Spooky Season Thrillers

Here are my 6 picks for thrillers that cross into horror and are perfect, page-turning reads for the spooky season starting now!


INSOMNIA by Sarah Pinborogh-

Summary: In this twisty, mind-bending thriller from the bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes, Emma Averell worries that her crippling insomnia is a sign that she’s slowly going insane—like the mother she’s worked so hard to leave in her past.

My Thoughts: A race to the finish. This is one of the most stressful reading experiences! The pressure and anxiety building on the protagonist is directly transferred to the reader.


LITTLE SECRETS by Jennifer Hillier-

Summary: Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman desperately tries to save her marriage in award-winning author Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets, a riveting novel of psychological suspense. 

My Thoughts: This one is so freakin’ good. Hillier does a great job developing characters and a strong sense of what they look like and how they interact with each other. The title, LITTLE SECRETS is perfect because it speaks to all the little “white lies” people tell themselves and others.
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Marin, the main protagonist, felt natural to me and as soon as she was described as looking like Selma Hayek, that’s who she became in my head. In fact, I had movie stars picked out for all the characters. The storyline is SO FUCKING COMPELLING.


JACKAL by Erin E. Adams

Summary: A young Black girl goes missing in the woods outside her white Rust Belt town. But she’s not the first—and she may not be the last. . . .

My Thoughts: I enjoyed the setup as Liz gets reacquainted with old friends and makes new ones. Once the conflict is introduced, in classic thriller form, everyone becomes a suspect and you can’t help formulating theories as to what’s happening. But this one will surprise you. Erin E. Adams definitely goes in an unexpected direction. I wasn’t sure how I felt about some of the big reveals, but I enjoyed the journey to get there. I will read more by this author for sure. 


NUMBER ONE FAN by Meg Elison

Summary: Terrifying and timely, set against the backdrop of convention culture and the MeToo reckoning, Number One Fan unflinchingly examines the tension between creator and work, fandom and source material, and the rage of fans who feel they own fiction.

My Thoughts: Perfect for modern horror/thriller fans this story goes off the rails into pretty dark territory. A female author is captured by an obsessive fan and imprisoned in his basement. The tension and anxiety are off the charts!


MOTHERTHING by Ainslie Hogarth

Summary: A darkly funny domestic horror novel about a woman who must take drastic measures to save her husband and herself from the vengeful ghost of her mother-in-law.

My Thoughts: I found Ainslie Hogarth’s storytelling voice compatible and comfortable. I slipped into my favorite “reading zone” where I am at peak levels of entertainment-the words on the page translating those visuals into my mind like a little movie.
And the humor! My goodness, this book is hilarious. Plenty of snarky, razor-sharp wit, and a way of using humor to diffuse hurt feelings.
Quirky, unexpected, and charming, Motherthing uses all the right ingredients combined in equal measure to ensure a delicious experience. 


GOOD NEIGHBORS by Sarah Langan

Summary: Celeste Ng’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburb—pitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger.

My Thoughts: This story is unhinged chaos! Readers will never guess how far these characters will go. The escalation, tension, and intensifying dread will have you on the edge of your seat!

Sadie Hartmann

“Mother Horror”

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