Domestic Noir Books Every ‘Gone Girl’ Fan Should Read

Domestic Noir Books Every ‘Gone Girl’ Fan Should Read

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Keep an eye out for this one because it’s set to be huge! A tense and gripping thriller, The Girl on the Train follows Rachel whose life has descended into divorce and alcohol dependency. To escape she finds herself daydreaming about the lives of a couple she often sees through the window of the train she catches every day – imagining their perfect life and envying their happiness. But one day she witnesses something that sends her daydreams into a tailspin and draws Rachel into the couple’s lives. A fantastic page turner that will keep you reading into the night – we love Rachel as a narrator, despite her unreliability. S. J. Watson – the author of Before I go to Sleep – described it as “Gripping, enthralling – a top notch thriller and compulsive read”.

The Poison Tree – Erin Kelly

Conservative Karen is instantly drawn to the glamorous and exotic Biba when they meet in 1997. Soon Karen is living with Biba and her brother Rex and a swelteringly hot summer of parties, drugs and spontaneity fills their days. But their carefree summer can’t last forever and now two people are dead, Rex has been sentenced to prison and Karen is carrying Rex’s baby. But when Rex is released from prison ten years later with hopes of living a quiet life with Karen and their daughter, a secret that Karen has held onto for all these years threatens to come back to haunt them. Throwing us into the dark and twisted world of a troubled mind, this is one of the best psychological thrillers of recent years.

Hausfrau – Jill Alexander Essbaum

The first novel by acclaimed poet Jill Alexander Essbaum, this book offers a stunning dissection of a failing marriage. After relocating to Zurich with her husband and children, Anna feels isolated and unhappy and begins a number of sexual affairs behind her family’s back. But as Anna takes more risks things become more tense and desperate, it seems the family are heading for disaster. Not dissimilar from Anna Karenina, this is a tense read with a tragic beauty.

The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

Prepare for your trust and loyalty to waver throughout this intelligently constructed story, as each character proves themself as horrible as the next. When Ted admits that he wishes his cheating wife dead to a stranger at an airport bar, the woman he has just met surprises him by offering to help bring it about. Cue a page-turning, dangerous story full of baddies you’ll love to hate.

The Book of You – Claire Kendal

Frightening, creepy and addictive, this psychological thriller draws you in and builds suspense brilliantly to keep you turning pages feverishly. Rafe’s behaviour towards Clarissa is becoming more intimidating and invasive and nothing she says or does seems to deter him. And when Clarissa is called upon to do jury duty for a violent kidnapping case, she starts to notice a haunting similarity to her own experiences with him. Digging deeper into the fantasy world that Rafe has constructed between them, Clarissa discovers just how terrifying things have become.

Disclaimer – Renee Knight

When Catherine Ravenscroft picks up a book left in her home but written by a stranger, she has no idea that she’s about to read about events from her own past that she’s tried desperately to forget. Author of Catherine’s life story Stephen Brigstock is determined to tear Catherine’s life apart, and as the losses stack up we’re plunged into an uncertain world where we don’t know who to believe. Atmospheric, with a shocking plot twist and characters that will stay with you long after you turn the last page, the tension will keep you reading into the night. “DISCLAIMER stealthily steals your attention and by the end holds you prisoner – a searing story that resonates long after the final page. The best thriller I’ve read this year”. (Rosamund Lupton, bestselling author of Sister).

Before We Met – Lucie Whitehouse

A creepy and tense story that rips apart the idea of how well people really know each other, even married couples. Hannah and Mark meet in New York and after a whirlwind romance are married and living in London together a year later. But when Mark unexpectedly disappears with nothing but a phone call and a few excuses as to why he’s not home, Hannah starts to doubt whether she knows everything about Mark’s past. As the story continues Hannah starts to unravel Mark’s past and discovers more than she ever thought she would.

Apple Tree Yard – Louise Doughty

A chilling story that blows away any prejudgements about who makes the life-ruining decisions we often see in domestic noir and why. Yvonne is happily married with a successful career and two grown up children; it seems as though she’s got the perfect life. But when Yvonne spontaneously becomes involved in an affair everything quickly spirals out of control and she ends up on trial for a very serious crime. A psychological mystery that twists and turns along the way, you’ll be hooked by this compelling novel. “Once you start you can’t stop reading. Terrific”. (Helen Dunmore).

The Liar’s Chair – Rebecca Whitney

Dark and unsettling, this psychological thriller explores the controlling relationship between Rachel and her husband David. Despite their perfect image, the couple have a toxic relationship behind closed doors and when Rachel kills a homeless man in a hit-and-run accident things become even more tense and controlling. David insists that they cover her tracks and live life as usual but the guilt begins to tear Rachel apart and things quickly begin to unravel. An addictive read that will keep you guessing, you’ll hate every character but you’ll love to hate them.

Season to Taste (or How to Eat your Husband) – Natalie Young

A suburban dark comedic horror written in a very calm manner so as not to over-dramatise what is actually a very challenging storyline. Lizzie is the image of a happy, normal housewife. She keeps herself to herself, enjoys cooking and lives in a remote cottage in the woods with her dog and husband Jacob. Until the day that Lizzie can’t stand living in Jacob’s shadow for another minute and spontaneously kills him with a spade. What follows next is a sometimes tense, sometimes funny, candid tale of Lizzie’s struggle to put her cooking skills to use to dispose of her husband’s body. Not for the faint-hearted!

How to Be a Good Wife – Emma Chapman

Marta’s relationship with her husband Hector has been strained and distant for a while, and now that her son has grown up and left the nest she is finding everyday life more difficult. But as Marta’s memories become more skewed and uncertain and we learn that she’s stopped taking her medication, it seems there could be more to this story than Marta is telling us. A haunting and thought-provoking tale, Marta’s unreliable narration adds to the mystery and suspense and will keep you guessing right until the end.

Second Life – S. J. Watson

Julia is haunted by the murder of her sister and soon finds herself obsessively trawling the internet dating and sex websites that her sister used in an effort to find out who killed her. But what Julia didn’t expect to find was that she quite enjoys living the second life that she’s created for herself online. Her marriage soon becomes second rate to the fulfilment she finds online and the strain of Julia’s double life is starting to show. But as Julia’s obsession grows, will she find her sister’s murderer before they find her?

The Silent Wife – A. S. A. Harrison

The Silent Wife is possibly one of the most obviously similar to Gone Girl, particularly because of its chapters that alternate between him and her, but The Silent Wife feels just slightly more believable. The book is about Jodi and Todd and their crumbling relationship, but intriguingly we learn that she kills him on page one. So the story is more of a how dunnit than a who, which is a refreshing twist. Todd is a serial adulterer, and Jodi the partner who cannot turn a blind eye any longer and of course the consequences are devastating.

Into the Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes

Full of suspense and tension, this story touches of power and obsession as Catherine’s relationship with Lee soon descends into a dark, controlling and abusive struggle. But the flair of hope for a normal life that Catherine experiences after escaping Lee is soon extinguished once Lee has been released from prison and she receives a chilling phonecall. A rollercoaster of tension that will have you double checking that the door is locked properly each night.

Have we missed your favourite domestic noir book? Let us know in the comments box below.