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Some of the most captivating stories are told by unreliable narrators. Whether they’re suffering from memory loss, strategically omitting information, or deliberately deluding themselves, unreliable narrators keep readers on their toes. They remind us not to believe everything we read, and encourage us to look for clues that maybe not everything is what it seems. If you enjoy stories with untrustworthy or morally grey narrators, check out these gripping reads that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Famous painter Alicia Berenson and her fashion photographer husband seem like the ideal couple. But one night when Gabriel returns home from work, Alicia shoots him five times and then stops speaking. Forever. The terrifying and inexplicable tragedy casts a spotlight on Alicia’s artwork, while the artist herself is locked away at the Grove, a sheltered forensic unit. There she encounters Theo Faber, a criminal psychologist who has been captivated by Alicia’s case. Determined to earn her trust, Theo dives deep into the mystery of what happened that night, his obsession daring him to examine his own motivations.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
This jaw-dropping thriller follows struggling author Lowen Ashleigh when she accepts a job offer to finish a series previously written by Verity Crawford. After a tragic accident, Verity’s husband Jeremy hires Lowen to complete the remaining books in the series, inviting her to look through all of Verity’s old notes and outlines. What Lowen doesn’t expect to find is an unfinished autobiography that Verity kept hidden away—and for good reason. As Lowen dives into the author’s life, she discovers terrible secrets and horrifying truths, including what really happened the day Verity’s daughter died. As Lowen grows closer to Jeremy and questions his wife’s sanity, she must decide whether he’s strong enough to handle the truth—or if some things are better left buried in an abandoned office drawer.
Into the Woods by Tana French
In 1984 Dublin, three children go missing in the woods. After scouring the forest, the police only find one boy, his sneakers filled with blood and his memory of the previous hours lost. Twenty years later, when a young girl is found murdered in the same woods, Rob Ryan and his partner Detective Cassie Maddox are determined to find out the truth about what happened all those years ago, and why it’s happening again. But Rob is closer to this case then he lets on. After all, he was the only child who was rescued in the woods that night. As he and Cassie work together to solve the mystery, Rob begins to question the power of his suppressed memories, and whether the truth is too horrific to bear.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
After losing their jobs in the recession and moving from New York to Missouri, Nick and Amy’s marriage starts to fall apart. Nick soon begins to question how well he really knows the woman he married, and whether the things they’ve done to each other could ever be forgiven. But then on their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing and Nick is named the prime suspect. Nick swears he has no idea what happened to his wife, but there is damning evidence that suggests otherwise. As the story of their troubling marriage is revealed and secrets are exposed, Nick is left wondering who is truly on his side and if there is anyone at all that he can trust.
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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A tragic and blurry accident has left Cadence Sinclair with terrible migraines and gaping holes in her memory. As summer nears, the suspicion that her family is hiding something only grows until Cadence is determined to find out the truth about what happened to her. This suspenseful story unravels the secrets and horrors of what took place on the family’s private island that fateful summer, and will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
When Adam and Amelia win a trip to a converted chapel in Scotland, they decide it might be good for them to get away. Things have been rocky for a long time in their relationship, and this trip feels like the final test of their marriage – a marriage that has been well documented by Adam’s wife in the form of anniversary letters. But secrets will finally be revealed this weekend, because this trip was not a coincidence. Someone is lying. Someone is watching. And someone desperately wants revenge.
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The Secret History by Donna Tartt
When Richard Papen moves from California to Vermont to attend a prestigious New England college, he becomes fascinated by a group of students studying under an eccentric classics professor. Desperate to become part of their world, Richard will do anything to fit in. But his new friends, however enigmatic and enticing, have their own dangerous desires. And it’s not long before these desires push them to commit an irrevocable act of violence, binding them together for life.
Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier
In early nineties’ Ontario, Ruby Reyes was convicted of murdering her boyfriend. Twenty-five years later, Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom and named the prime suspect in her celebrity husband’s murder. When Reyes is released from prison and learns about Jimmy Peralta’s death, she threatens to destroy the life Paris so carefully built. After all, Reyes knows Paris better than anyone. The two women share a history that will leave readers guessing until the very last page and questioning how much is really being hidden in the dark.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
A wedding is supposed to be a happy occasion. But on a small island off the coast of Ireland, a group of guests have unwittingly signed up for something far more sinister than a celebration of love. When a body is discovered on the night of the wedding, secrets are revealed, betrayals are exposed, and the past is dug up all over again. Lucy Foley expertly narrates the events from several alternating perspectives, forcing readers to wonder whether anyone can really be trusted.
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