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9 Exhilarating Books Like Gone Girl

9 Exhilarating Books Like Gone Girl

By Books Like This One

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About the list

Love books? Well, Friendspire created this list of books for you on 18 February 2021.
Have you ever thought about why you like to read?  What makes you so interested in reading books vs just "watching" a book? I mean the "Harry Potter" books and movies are about the same, right? (The answer to that question is no. Dear God, the answer is definitely no.) Well then, what makes you a bibliophile? Is it that smell of paperback novels or the feeling of turning the next page? Do you get
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The Woman in the Window

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2018 | A. J. Finn

Rated by 145 people

#1 New York Times Bestseller – Soon to be a Major Motion Picture starring Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Gary Oldman – Available on Netflix on May 14, 2021 “Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing.” —Gillian Flynn “Unputdownable.” —Stephen King “A dark, twisty confection.” —Ruth Ware “Absolutely gripping.” —Louise Penny For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house. It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . . Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems. Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

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The Post-Birthday World

2007 | Lionel Shriver

In this eagerly awaited new novel, Lionel Shriver, the Orange Prize-winning author of the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, delivers an imaginative and entertaining look at the implications, large and small, of whom we choose to love. Using a playful parallel-universe structure, The Post-Birthday World follows one woman's future as it unfolds under the influence of two drastically different men. Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid. Until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton. The decision to give in to temptation will have consequences for her career, her relationships with family and friends, and perhaps most importantly the texture of her daily life. Hinging on a single kiss, this enchanting work of fiction depicts Irina's alternating futures with two men temperamentally worlds apart yet equally honorable. With which true love Irina is better off is neither obvious nor easy to determine, but Shriver's exploration of the two destinies is memorable and gripping. Poignant and deeply honest, written with the subtlety and wit that are the hallmarks of Shriver's work, The Post-Birthday World appeals to the what-if in us all.

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A Ladder to the Sky

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2018 | John Boyne

Rated by 2 people

"A satire of writerly ambition wrapped in a psychological thriller . . . An homage to Patricia Highsmith, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe, but its execution is entirely Boyne's own."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for fame. The one thing he doesn't have is talent--but he's not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don't need to be his own. Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful - but desperately lonely - older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice's first novel. Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall. . . . Sweeping across the late twentieth century, A Ladder to the Sky is a fascinating portrait of a relentlessly immoral man, a tour de force of storytelling, and the next great novel from an acclaimed literary virtuoso. Praise for A Ladder to the Sky "Boyne's mastery of perspective, last seen in The Heart's Invisible Furies, works beautifully here. . . . Boyne understands that it's far more interesting and satisfying for a reader to see that narcissist in action than to be told a catchall phrase. Each step Maurice Swift takes skyward reveals a new layer of calumny he's willing to engage in, and the desperation behind it . . . so dark it seems almost impossible to enjoy reading A Ladder to the Sky as much as you definitely will enjoy reading it."--NPR "Delicious . . . spins out over several decades with thrilling unpredictability, following Maurice as he masters the art of co-opting the stories of others in increasingly dubious ways. And while the book reads as a thriller with a body count that would make Highsmith proud, it is also an exploration of morality and art: Where is the line between inspiration and thievery? To whom does a story belong?"--Vanity Fair

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The Chain

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2019 | Adrian McKinty

Rated by 19 people

When a mother is targeted by a dangerous group of masterminds, she must commit a crime to save her kidnapped daughter -- or risk losing her forever -- in this "propulsive and original" thriller (Stephen King) that has won the Barry and Macavity Awards, and was named the ITWA Best Novel of the Year. It's something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it's a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn't do as she's told, the boy will die. "You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last." Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals -- and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim , and then commit a horrible act you'd have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago. But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning. "McKinty is one of the most striking and most memorable crime voices to emerge on the scene in years. His plots tempt you to read at top speed, but don't give in: this writing -- sharply observant, intelligent and shot through with black humor -- should be savored."-- Tana French "A masterpiece. You have never read anything quite like The Chain and you will never be able to forget it." -- Don Winslow "Diabolical, unnerving, and gives a whole new meaning to the word "relentless". Adrian McKinty just leapt to the top of my list of must-read suspense novelists. He's the real deal."-- Dennis Lehane "Pairing an irresistible concept with a winner protagonist, The Chain promises to be your new addiction once you succumb to the first enticing page."-- Alafair Burke "A grade-A-first-rate-edge-of-your-seat thriller. I can't believe what went through my mind while reading it." -- Attica Locke

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We Need to Talk about Kevin

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2003 | Lionel Shriver

Rated by 3 people

If the question of who's to blame for teenage atrocity intrigues news-watching voyeurs, it tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years before the opening of the novel, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and the much-beloved teacher who had tried to befriend him. Because his sixteenth birthday arrived two days after the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is currently in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York. In relating the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses her estranged husband, Frank, through a series of startingly direct letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son became, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general - and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? We Need To Talk About Kevin offers no pat explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents - whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton - have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in the most prosperous country in history. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story with an explosive, haunting ending. She considers motherhood, marriage, family, and career - while framing these horrifying tableaus of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.

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