On January 17th, Bret Easton Ellis is releasing his first novel in thirteen years. The Shards is a story that is part coming-of-age and part thriller with a haunting prose, gritty plot, and dark and terrifying cloud of mystery that looms over its head. The story is about a seventeen-year-old prep school senior named Bret and his friend group navigating teen life in Los Angeles in 1981. When the mysterious Robert Mallory enters the picture and finds himself involved in Bret’s tight knit circle, Bret becomes obsessed with Robert when he feels that Robert is hiding a deadly secret. As this obsession intensifies, Bret also finds himself paying close attention to the case of a serial killer haunting L.A. called the Trawler. When the Trawler begins to taunt Bret, he fears that the killer could be closer than he imagined.
This story is brilliant, addictive, and well worth the wait for Bret Easton Ellis fans—and one that could easily draw in new fans in this twisted and cinematic story. If you enjoy dark and gritty stories, the ins and outs of what lurks in cities like Los Angeles, and books that have ensemble casts, check out some of these stories once you finish The Shards!
What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh
After seventeen-year-old Sarabeth movies to remote Arkansas with her family after they had become increasingly religious, she is abducted by a masked man in a cornfield. A week later, Sarabeth is found—but her abductor was not. Now, five years later, an investigator contacts Sarabeth believing that her case is connected to a recent girl who has just been abducted.
Outsider by Stephen King
After a young boy is found murdered in the woods, little league coach Terry Maitland is arrested for the crime. While there’s a large amount of evidence that puts Terry at the scene of the crime, there’s also evidence showing him over a hundred miles away. While the police they have their suspect, it’s clear that no one can be two places at once.
Anthem by Noah Hawley
Judge Margot Burr-Nadir has just received the call from the President of the United States inviting her to accept his nomination to the Supreme Court. While this would usually be a time to celebrate, the call has come when Margot is on a vacation in which her daughter has mysteriously disappeared. Around the same time, teenagers Simon and Louise and a man only known as Prophet who are on a mission to heal the world, their worlds are all about to collide.
Ohio by Stephen Markley
On one summer night, four former high school classmates return to their small hometown in Ohio at the center of a harrowing mystery. Bill is a drug-abusing activist with a mysterious package in his truck. Stacey is a doctoral candidate who is home to confront the mother of her first love after she vanished. Dan is a shy veteran returning for a date with his high school sweetheart. And Tina, whose reunion with the captain of the football team sparks a shocking climax.
The Patient by Alex Michaelides
Criminal psychotherapist, Dr. Theo Farber, has been waiting for his entire career for someone like his new patient. Alicia Berenson is a beautiful woman who had the perfect life—until she shot her husband in the face, not speaking one word since. Theo’s determination to find out what happened that night turns into a twisted obsession when he fears what would happen if Alicia does speak.
Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor
After a wealthy man’s car is seen speeding before an accident in which five people are killed in New Delhi, theman is nowhere to be found, but a traumatized servant is. A servant born into poverty, a playboy heir who will stop at nothing to outshine his father, and a journalist will soon have their lives intertwine following this incident.
Everybody Knows by Jordan Harper
Mae is a publicist for one of LA’s most powerful PR firms, protecting the rich and powerful by any means necessary. When her boss is gunned down, Mae finds herself in the center of the crime when she begins to investigate themurder and is taken on an odyssey of mystery in which she will come in contact with all of the different types of people you can find in Los Angeles.
A History of Fear by Luke Dumas
Twenty-five-year-old American grad student, Grayson Hale, is the most infamous murderer in Scotland. After brutally murdering his classmate, Hale claimed the devil made him do it. After Hale seemingly commits suicide in prison, a manuscript is found that may finally provide the answers everyone has been looking for. The novel finds a young atheist who takes a job ghostwriting a book that ignites his satanophobia, leading him to believe the devil is after him.