AtoZ, Blog Challenge, Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction

Suspense-5 books that kept me hooked till the end


Suspense is the anticipation of a mystery’s conclusion or the puzzle’s final solution. It is quite a dramatic genre and keeps the readers hooked until the end. I am sharing five suspense-filled books that I have read recently.

The first crime and detective book I read was Sherlock Holmes, and thereafter I was hooked on suspense-filled novels. I graduated to Harlan Coban, Micheal Crichton, Jo Nesbo, Mary Higgins Clarke, and other bestselling crime writers. Closer home, I devoured Satyajit Ray’s books where his protagonist ( Feluda)  is somewhat styled after Sherlock Holmes.

All the five books that I am profiling here don’t exactly fit the bill of crime novels and are a mix of contemporary to historical fiction. Strictly speaking, I picked them up on endorsements by some of my favorite bibliophiles and each turned out to be an excellent read.

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A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

A butterfly chasing foundling who does not shy away from speaking her mind meets a count in hiding who moonlights as a taxidermist and lives in utter poverty. After repeated abduction and murder attempts, the two hide away in a travelling show and try to figure out why someone is chasing them. The duo form an unlikely team and attempt to solve the mystery chasing their heels. The icing on the cake is their sexual chemistry which adds an extra zing to the already spicy plot. I am dying to get my hands on the next in the series. Have you read this yet?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The setting is an island off the Irish coast which is the happy couple’s preferred location for a destination wedding. Spotty cell reception and a storm looming on the horizon seem to be the only fly in the ointment in the perfectly planned luxury event. The wedding is all set to be an opulent bash and be covered extensively by the media. The celebration commences with a dinner party and things look set to get in the groove when a dead body is discovered on the island. So who in the wedding party is not the well wisher of the happy couple? The setting of the plot is just fabulous and creates the perfect dark and sinister ambience required for this whodunit.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

First up, this book was adapted into a very popular TV series which I watched first and read the book later. But both are equally riveting and kept me glued till the last page. This contemporary tale begins in Monterey, California and opens on the school Trivia night where an accident leads to the death of one of the characters. But then the book edges back into flash back moments of each character and details out their lives. The narration pivots from present to past and the entire plot line is laid bare in this manner. We are drawn into a world of bullying, gaslighting, rape, domestic violence, friendships and parenting. And through it all the writer features six very strong independent women who juggle through home, work and their social lives. I absolutely love the treatment of this tale and would recommend it for a hearty read.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

The Queen of Twist lives up to her reputation in this dark psychological thriller, making us all wonder how well do we really know our spouse? An unhappy couple checks into a renovated castle in Scotland in a last ditch attempt to rejuvenate their failing marriage. Soon sinister events start to haunt the couple, almost killing them. Each starts to suspect the other of foul play. In between, the author inserts love letters written on every anniversary by the wife to her husband which are cryptic to say the least. These have never been mailed by the wife and the suspense of that is revealed later and blew my mind away. After every few pages, an intricate twist finds its way into the narration, often misleading but nerve racking to say the least. I loved the writing of this novel and am keen to pick up more of her books.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

What if you find a letter to be opened only after your husband’s death? Curiosity gets the better of you and you open it while the husband’s very much alive. The letter contains the deepest darkest secret hidden by a man you thought you knew. Now that you know the secret, how will you erase it from your memory? What happens next? This is how the book opens and follows the lives of three women who are not connected to each other. Gripping, dark and fairly evocative, this thriller had me burning the midnight oil to finish reading it.

Also read my review of The Man on the Washing Machine by Susan Cox here

Well there you have it. These are five of my favorite suspense books from recent reads. What did you think of these? Have you read any of these? Do drop in your favorite crime fiction writers/books in the comments below.

Coming up next T for Tortle!!

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For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except Sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.

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10 thoughts on “Suspense-5 books that kept me hooked till the end

  1. I am keen on reading Rock, paper, scissors and Big little lies. I have heard so much about these two. Once I am done with the A to Z I am getting these books, for sure.

    1. Oh you will love it. I am dying to buy the other ones but the price is stopping me. Waiting to find some on audible as I am sure the hearing experience would be just awesome too.

  2. I loved reading Big Little Lies. I had watched the show later. The husband’s secret and The guest list are in my reading list. Will add the other two as well. Thanks, Shalini. 🙂

    1. I just loved the way the actors played out their part in Big Little Lies. You might want to watch Little Fires Everywhere by Celsete Ng – its based on the book and is equally rivetting.

        1. That’s so awesome to hear Vinitha. I love some of these books to TV adaptations from down under a lot. I will share more as and when I discover them.

  3. Thank you for the recommendation. I haven’t read any of these; have heard a lot about Liane Moriarty. Your book choices are very impressive!

    1. Thanks Tarang that’s good to hear. I do hope you Pick your first Liane Moriarty soon and do tell me how it was for you.

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