The Best Thrillers To Read On Your Weekend Getaway

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Chances are you've already read 2012's "Gone Girl," seen the movie (maybe one not to watch with your significant other), or at least had the plot spoiled for you years ago. The book launched a trend of women-centered "domestic" thrillers, according to Esquire — imperfect female narrators became increasingly-popular, and the term "cool-girl" officially entered the cultural conversation. As "Gone Girl" author Gillian Flynn explained to The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, "I certainly think that the acknowledgment of female anger as a viable emotion," adding, "Women feeling that way was one of the reasons that so many people connected to 'Gone Girl.'"As noted by Esquire, "for fans of 'Gone Girl'" is a marketing phrase still used to sell books today — Flynn's novel solidified a whole new genre within the suspense umbrella.

However, if you're hoping to read something new on an upcoming weekend getaway — or simply on your living room couch — there're a slew of novels that aren't "Gone Girl" (or "Gone Girl"-adjacent). Enjoy our picks for best nail-biting thrillers. They might not (yet) be major motion pictures starring Ben Affleck, but they'll certainly have you on the edge of your seat.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Given all the variables at play — the wedding party, old crushes, families mixing and mingling — it's hard to guarantee a big wedding will go exactly as planned. Quite possibly the worst possible outcome happens in Lucy Foley's 2020 thriller, "The Guest List".... murder. When one of the bride and groom's many guests turns up, well, permanently indisposed, the grizzly mystery must be solved. Author Foley, who opted for her small wedding herself, saw the novel as an opportunity to explore "what could happen" given a larger guest list, per The New York Times. The story takes place on a remote, rocky island off Ireland's coast, a setting which makes for a cozy, albeit ominous, read.

The Maid by Nita Prose

Molly the maid might struggle when it comes to reading facial expressions or picking up on sarcasm, but no one can top her ability to maintain "a state of perfection" at the Regency Grand Hotel, per Amazon. But when she finds the dead body of VIP guest Mr. Charles Black in one of the hotel's suites, Molly finds herself at the center of a high-profile investigation. Who killed Mr. Black, and has Molly played a larger role in the incident than even she realizes? Nita Prose's 2022 novel is a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller, described as "excellent and totally entertaining" by Stephen King himself – if you've never read anything by the author, take a look at these books. According to King, Molly is "the most interesting (and endearing) main character in a long time," so make sure to check out this recent, completely-unique perspective on the thriller genre.

A movie adaptation of "The Maid" is said to be in-the-works, with Oscar-nominated actress Florence Pugh in talks to take on the lead role of Molly, per Deadline.

Kismet by Amina Akhtar

Amina Akhtar's "Kismet" is a story of suspense with generous helpings of humor, a take on the deadly sides of new-age wellness culture, per criminal element. Long-time New Yorker Ronnie Khan leaves her home city for Sedona, Arizona, following on the heels of "wellness guru" and influencer Marley Dewhurst. Ronnie hopes to indulge in a little self-care, but soon finds that not everything is as "healing" as it seems among the wellness gurus of Sedona (via Amazon). In fact, there might just be a murderer among them... Given that The Los Angeles Times ranked "Kismet" among the "seven books you'll want on your summer thriller reading list," this is definitely a go-to page turner for your weekend getaway.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides' debut novel, "The Silent Patient" may have only come out in 2019, but it's already a classic thriller. Alicia and Gabriel live in marital bliss until, one day, Gabriel returns home from work and Alicia shoots him in the face... five times. From that day onward, she goes completely silent, refusing to volunteer an explanation. The case is shrouded in mystery, and criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber decides to do some digging. Will he be able to unravel what happened between Alicia and Gabriel that fateful night? According to The New York Times, Michaelides' novel is Agatha Christie-inspired, meaning that it will be especially-hard to put down. Fans of "The Silent Patient" can follow it up with the author's second thriller, "The Maidens."

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Korede's sister, Ayoola, has a habit of "disposing" of her boyfriends, to put it simply. Korede, loyal to her little sister, is always there to dawn a pair of gloves and help clean up the blood, per goodreads. But when Ayoola begins dating Korede's colleague (and long-time crush), she must decide whether to speak up, betraying her sister, or risk the murder of the man she loves. As noted by The New York Times, "My Sister, the Serial Killer" is "a bombshell of a book — sharp, explosive, hilarious." Where do Korede's loyalties ultimately lie?