Weekly Spotlight On…Gone Girl Readalikes

We know that waiting for the newest, hottest new book from your library can be a frustrating experience.  Our job at the River Forest Library is to find books for you to read, right away! We want you to walk into the library confident that you will not walk out empty handed.  Since it debuted back in June, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl has climbed its way to the top of the New York Time’s bestseller list.  Film rights have already been sold and it is THE book that everyone is talking about.  Well, along with 50 Shades of Grey.  Of course, this also means that the hold list for Gone Girl has skyrocketed.  Instead of running out and buying the book, put your name on the hold list, then check out this list of books that are similar to the Gone Girl, but much more available, to tide you over until its your turn to read it!  Each book is linked to the library catalog so you can check its availability right away.

The Breaker by Minette Walters

“In these character-driven and intricately plotted psychological suspense stories, seemingly devoted husbands become prime suspects in their wives’ disappearances. As investigations unfold, disturbing secrets are unearthed — casting both couples’ relationships in a new and unsettling light.” — Recommended by Gillian Speace from NoveList

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

This was one of last summer’s most popular psychological suspense thrillers!  I highly suggest you check it now if you have not already done so.  Like Gone Girl, it is a highly suspenseful novel that tells the story of a woman with short-term amnesia whose only anchor to her past and present life is a man who claims to be her husband.

Die For You by Lisa Unger

“Dark, disturbing secrets belie seemingly perfect marriages in these fast-paced, compelling psychological suspense novels, which unfold from multiple perspectives. In each, the narrator searches for a missing spouse who may not be the person they thought they knew.” –Recommended by Gillian Speace from NoveList

The Expats by Chris Pavone

This was a summer release as well, and has appeared on several Gone Girl readalike lists.  While this one is an international spy thriller, it is a smart suspense novel that deals with deception in marriage.  Its tone and style should appeal to those who loved Gone Girl, and there is virtually no wait list for this book.

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Quick! Grab this one off the shelf before its gone! This is a hugely buzzed about thriller for the month of August.  While the plot differs from Gone Girl (this book deals with a cheerleading team and a suspicious suicide), this riveting suspense story will appeal to readers of psychological thrillers and suspense fiction.  It has been labeled as a “dark and twisted love story“.  Interested yet?

By Blood by Ellen Ullman

I am recommending this one because it has the same appeal factors, just different characters and a different plot.  It is an intricately plotted, character driven, psychological suspense story that is compellingly written.  It takes place in 1970s San Francisco, where a disgraced professor takes a downtown office to plot his return. But the walls are thin and he’s distracted by voices from next door. His neighbor is a psychologist, and one of her patients dislikes the hum of the white-noise machine. And so he begins to hear about the patient’s troubles with her female lover, her conflicts with her adoptive WASP family, and her quest to track down her birth mother.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

This psychological suspense story tells the story of Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman with a troubled past who lives in a remote nineteenth-century Wisconsin town. He has advertised for a reliable wife; and his ad is answered by Catherine Land, a woman who makes every effort to hide her own dark secrets.

The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine

Like Gone Girl, this psychological suspense story is compellingly written, fast-paced, intricately plotted, and character driven.  Ivor Tesham, a member of Parliament on track for higher office, begins a passionate affair with Hebe, the wife of a colleague, but when a mock kidnapping goes terribly wrong and results in murder, he becomes trapped in a dangerous game of his own making.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Here is part of the starred review that Kirkus gave this book when it first came out: “Stevens’s blistering debut follows a kidnap victim from her abduction to her escape—and the even more horrifying nightmare that follows.One moment, Vancouver Island realtor Annie O’Sullivan is taking one last client, a quiet, well-spoken man with a nice smile, through the property where she’s holding an open house; the next moment, she’s being marched out to a van at gunpoint, unaware that it’s the last time for months
that she’ll see the sky or breathe the open air.” This book won the Thriller Award for best first novel.

In The Woods by Tana French

This is the first in a series of Dublin murder mysteries–French’s most recent, Broken Harbor, was released this summer as well. “Both French and Flynn write dark, literary suspense stories in which extremely flawed narrators draw the reader into an emotionally charged story. Their protagonists also tend to be intimately involved with the crimes they are investigating. They create unsettling and disturbing tales filled with psychological twists and turns.” — Becky Spratford on Novelist

A Simple Plan by Scott Smith

This book comes recommended as a readalike by one the River Forest Library’s reference librarians, Dorothy.  See what else Dorothy has recommended on our blog by searching the “Dorothy’s Recommendations” category in the drop down menu to your right.  Dorothy says that this is another one of those spiraling suspense tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through.

The Firm by John Grisham

This is another readalike recommended by Dorothy.  While this is a legal suspense thriller, its fast paced and compelling writing will appeal to lovers of Gone Girl.


Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

“Readers looking for thrillers with well-voiced characters and tautly suspenseful plots should add Elizabeth Haynes and Gillian Flynn to their reading lists. Both authors tell engrossing stories through the all-too-human voices of their protagonists, who intrigue and evoke sympathy, even as one must question their reliability.”–Katie-Rose Repp from NoveList

Land of the Living by Nicci French

“Escaping from an unknown kidnapper, badly beaten and retaining no memory of what happened to her, Abbie Devereaux is unable to get local authorities to believe that she was kidnapped and sets out to confront her attacker.”

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

“Interviewing a distressed and disoriented woman who has fled the scene of an accident, Baltimore County police department detective Kevin Infante is amazed when she claims to be the younger of a pair of sisters who were abducted thirty years earlier.”

Line of Vision by David Ellis

“A young man involved in a love affair with a married woman, Marty Kalish becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance and murder of her husband, despite his protestations of innocence, in a chilling novel of obsession, betrayal, and revenge.”

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

“In order to convince his son to come home, Herbert Greenleaf, a rich shipbuilder, sends Tom Ripley to Italy, but is unaware of his son’s friend’s criminal activities.”


The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah

“A year after a brief affair, Sally Thorning learns about the murders of her lover’s family and realizes that the man’s face does not match her lover–a situation which quickly escalates to a dangerous level for Sally’s family.”

Garnethill by Denise Mina

“On returning home in a drunken state after discovering her boyfriend has been married for twelve years, Maureen O’Donnell finds the body of her boyfriend tied to her kitchen chair with his throat cut and becomes the prime suspect in his murder.”

For hard copies of this same list, stop by our reference desk for printouts and fun bookmarks! Happy reading!





5 thoughts on “Weekly Spotlight On…Gone Girl Readalikes

  1. Pingback: Joanna’s September Recommendation | RFPL Reads

  2. Pingback: Blaise’s November Recommendation | RFPL Reads

  3. Pingback: Victoria’s December Recommendation | RFPL Reads

  4. Pingback: Line of Vision- David Ellis « Don't Take My Books Away

  5. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday {REWIND}: Books for People Who Liked Gone Girl | Life:Merging

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