If you’re looking for a chilling suspense, K.A. Tucker has you covered. Her novel He Will Be My Ruin follows 28-year-old Maggie Sparkes as she investigates the mysterious death of her best friend, Celine. The police ruled the death a suicide, but Maggie uncovers evidence that leads her to believe Celine’s lover is responsible. To celebrate the book’s paperback release, Tucker is sharing five of her favorite thrillers with Bookish readers.
While I enjoy reading across all genres, thrillers are books that keep me riveted to their pages, desperate to know how each story will end. These suspenseful tales of characters facing harrowing challenges are the ones that linger in my thoughts long after I’ve closed the back cover. Here are five stories that left me chilled to the bone.
Thirty-two year old realtor Annie O’Sullivan is abducted while showing a house, and held captive in a remote mountain cabin for a year before escaping. In the aftermath, the police struggle with their investigation of her abductor, as Annie faces her own psychological trauma. The story is uniquely told through sessions with a psychiatrist, with the brutal experience delivered to readers in flashbacks. Annie’s captivity at the hands of “The Freak” is visceral at times, but the story is fast-paced and gripping.
Respected scientist and devoted wife Yvonne Carmichael finds herself in a flirtation with a mysterious stranger, which quickly escalates into an affair… which leads to murder, a courtroom full of accusations, and life as Yvonne knows it falling apart. Apple Tree Yard is a smartly written, seductive story about morality—of a good person who makes one bad decision that has devastating repercussions.
Travel journalist Lo Blacklock is on a week-long luxury cruise for an assignment, relishing the posh accommodations and intimate group setting, when she witnesses a woman thrown overboard during a storm. But everyone on the short passenger list is accounted for, and Lo’s story is dismissed as paranoia. She knows what she saw, though, and sets out to prove it. There are some surprising twists in this one, and the setting on a small ship—forcing everyone into close proximity—lends itself well to building the chilling suspense.
Guinevere Beck has a stalker and his name is Joe Goldberg. You is uniquely told from the point-of-view of Joe, in second-person narrative, which gives the reader a level of intimacy with Joe’s thoughts that is both fascinating and disturbing. The story begins with a chance encounter in the East Village bookstore where Joe works, and follows each step of his obsession as it escalates, until he is pulling the puppet strings in Beck’s life. If you have ever wondered what goes on in the mind of such a deeply troubled individual, You is the book to read.
Sharlah May Nash’s older brother became her hero when he saved her life by killing their drunken father in self defense. But eight years later, Sharlah—who is finally being adopted by a retired FBI profiler and his partner—finds herself facing the possibility that her brother is also a killer. Lisa Gardner writes gripping suspense with complex characters and unexpected twists and turns. She is one of my go-to authors whenever I need an immersive thriller, and she never disappoints. This book is no exception.
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA TODAY, The Globe and Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publishers Weekly. She currently resides in a quaint town outside Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls. He Will Be My Ruin, K.A. Tucker’s full suspense debut, is now available in paperback and can be purchased here.