Psychological Thrillers with a Surprise Twist Ending
I absolutely love a twist ending, as I’m sure many of you do. It’s predominantly what keeps us reading until the very end of a book — to find out what happened and be shocked out of our mundane predictions and our limited imagination.
In the psychological thriller genre, twist endings are expected. And that’s what makes a psychological thriller so good — you get to see that magnificent plot twist at the end!
Here are some books that have twist endings that even surprised me, as an author of psychological thriller fiction.
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Jar of Hearts begins as a typical psychological thriller about a girl named Georgina who is acquitted of killing her best friend and releases from prison after ten years. In the meantime, she’s been blogging about how hard it’s been to reintegrate into society after being in jail for so long. But soon, things turn around when an eight-year old girl turns up dead… and Georgina becomes prime suspect number one again.
I love a book that starts right away with an inciting incident. Too much “ordinary world” at the start of a book can bore me. So the fact that the main character was immediately on trial for murder was interesting and appealing. And she was sent to jail within the first few chapters. What a way to start a story!
There was a little too much repetition in this book for me; things were said over and over again that really didn’t need to be said once, let alone two or three times. And the exposition was heavy. I ended up skipping some paragraphs because it had all be told by where the characters ended up.
But let me tell you, the ending was absolutely wild. It was a bit all over the shop, but I certainly didn’t predict this ending. The author had a skillful way of making you really believe everything as it seems throughout the book. Like she wrote in the book, ‘you only see what you want to, not as it is.’
I do highly recommend this one for die hard psychological thriller fans.
The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor
Reverend Jack Brooks is on the lookout for a new beginning in The Burning Girls. Chapel Croft appears to be the ideal location, but the community has a sordid history – and its ghosts won’t stay buried. Two young women vanished decades ago. Only months ago, the last rector killed himself.
But the unconventional Reverend, is running away from her past and runs into a town filled with dark secrets and murders. Not to mention little burning effigies left everywhere.
This was a terrific read that was peppered with turns— literally, the author left a reveal at the end of each chapter. It was hard to stop reading and there were so many characters and potential suspects that it really did keep me guessing the entire way.
One of the biggest reveals at the end, I couldn’t see coming a mile off and it actually made me gasp out loud. I also really loved the unconventional religious aspect.
Put this psychological thriller to the top of your reading list.
Call Me Evie by JP Pomare
For the past two weeks, Kate Bennet, a seventeen-year-old girl from Melbourne, has been held captive against her will in an isolated cabin on a remote beach coast. Bill refers to her as Evie and claims he’s hiding her so she can be safe. That she committed an unforgivable crime one night back home in Melbourne – something so terrible that he had no option but to abduct her. The problem is that Kate doesn’t recall what happened that night.
Call Me Evie isn’t your typical psychological thriller as it’s so literary and well written with beautiful language and JP Pomare’s signature descriptive prose of the landscape.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
When a writer is called in to take over a famous author’s series after she suffered a traumatic incident that left her injured, she thinks it’s the deal of a lifetime.
Even when she starts getting a little too close to the husband. Through her research, she discovers a secret autobiography by the famous author that reveals secrets that the writer doesn’t know what to do with.
This was an easy and fast-paced read that has you questioning all the characters involved and you’re never really sure who the believe. The final reveal was a great twist and an interesting way of writing out the story. But it fell a little flat for me because it felt quite rushed and akin to ‘and it was all a dream.’
Nonetheless, I think Verity is well worth a read. Particularly, for the stellar opening chapters. Many people in the online reading groups I am in absolutely adore this book.
Let me know which of these psychological thrillers with a twist was your favourite (no spoilers for other readers though, okay?) and be sure to clue me in on any other twist ending books you love.
Also, be sure to check out my psychological thriller, The Tens, which certainly does have a few twists and turns that you won’t see coming!
This blog post does include some affiliate links but the reviews and opinions are genuinely mine.