Getting old is hard. The loss of loved ones, freedom, memory, and dreams can lead to a swirling depression unlike anything felt in youth. So much is waning and fading. So much seems to be falling apart.
And then there are the regrets.
A life lived without regrets isn’t really a life lived, or so they say. However, some of us get to the end of life with bigger regrets than others.
What if, alone and abandoned, you realized that your whole life was a disastrous mistake? What if your golden years were tarnished by the reality that everything that fell apart in life was actually your fault?
These were the questions that drove me in writing The Widow Next Door. I wanted to write about the complexities of aging coupled with intense regret. I wanted to showcase the loneliness, the bleak reality that we sometimes face. Our golden years aren’t always golden--sometimes they’re rusted, worn, and even tinged with the blood of sins past.
To me, this book is about more than regrets and secrets, though. It’s about how our upbringing can forever impact the way we perceive the world around us. It’s about the fact that some people do horrible things without a real reason. It’s about the idea that the hero can also be the villain, even in his or her own story.
Monsters are real, and life isn’t always beautiful.
This book is deeply depressed at times. It deals with some of our darkest fears: loneliness, guilt, regret, and abandonment. It is a dramatic exploration of emotion with chilling twists and turns along the way.
If you’re ready for a book that starts as as slow-burn and then twists into a glowing fire of horror, I hope you’ll pick up The Widow Next Door. I hope that the widow’s story will speak to you and remind you that life isn’t always what it seems.
Perhaps for me the scariest thing of this entire journey has been the fact that for many of us, when we look into the character of the widow, we may see glimpses of our own selves… and there is nothing more terrifying than that, especially when you get to the twisted end.
With the cooler temperatures and the falling leaves, it's a perfect time to grab a scarier read. If you're looking for a new psychological thriller to add to your to be read stack, check out some of my favorite suggestions below. These books are all sure to keep you guessing, keep you interested, and keep you tucked under your blanket until the last page is read.
Do you have any other thrillers you think are must-reads for fall of 2018? Comment below with the books you think everyone should have on their list.
1. Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood
I'm a huge fan of all things Ruth Ware, but this is probably my favorite. I adore the whole premise of a group gathering for a bachelorette party--and things going very, very wrong. This is a thriller that will keep you guessing. I always love Ware's female protagonists because they feel very real, complex, and mysterious.
2. Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects
Fans of Gone Girl will love this dark, haunting story. Sharp Objects gets you inside the mind of a woman with a troubled past. When she returns to her hometown to report on some sickening murders, thinks will begin to unravel. I loved all of the psychological aspects of this book. It's definitely one that will keep you guessing.
3. Shari Lapena The Couple Next Door
If you need a super quick weekend read that packs a punch, The Couple Next Door is your next read. Shari Lapena does a great job at keeping you guessing, and the twists are well-planned and shocking. I loved the back-and-forth feel of the mystery in this novel, and the overall premise was creepy. I will definitely be checking out more of her books.
4. Liane Moriarty Big Little Lies
Liane Moriarty doesn't usually come to mind as a thriller writer, but Big Little Lies definitely has a lot of suspense set against the uppercrust of women's society. An elite group of private school mothers find themselves wrapped up in a warped mystery when someone shows up dead at a fundraiser. This one will keep you guessing. I loved all the female drama worked in, and I loved how it shows you that no matter how glamorous someone is, there can be so much going on behind closed doors. The HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon is also a must-watch when you finish reading.
5. C.L. Taylor The Missing
The Missing was my first C.L. Taylor book, and I loved the emotion she packs into her works. This is a story about the disappearance of a son, but it's about so much more, too. This book really explores the family dynamic when tragedy strikes and will keep you guessing the whole way through. I loved following the characters as their lives unraveled. I found it easy to empathize with the protagonist and to put myself in her shoes. This is a definite page-turner with so many deep themes running through it.
USA TODAY Bestselling Thriller author with Avon Books (HarperCollins), The Widow Next Door