As you can see from this list, I love atmospheric, literary suspense. Patricia Highsmith is a no-brainer for anyone who loves the genre; if you haven’t read her yet, run right out and get started now. But you may be wondering why I included some of the other titles on my list.
Lolita? Seriously? Yes. It’s a literary masterwork, but it’s also a harrowingly suspenseful story of a predatory pedophile who ruins the lives of a mother and her daughter. The language elevates it to great literature but it’s got the bones and heart of a thriller.
The same goes for the others: each of these novels joins powerful writing with a compelling story and leaves you looking over your shoulder to make sure that shadow you noticed isn’t an actual person who means you harm. Read these masters of suspense and you’ll see how it’s done when it’s really, really good.
Karen Ellis is the author of A Map of the Dark, the first novel in The Searchers series. The highly anticipated sequel, Last Night goes on sale January 2019. Ellis lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.
Even as her father lies dying in a hospital, FBI Agent Elsa Myers can’t ignore a call for help. When a teenage girl disappears from Forest Hills, Queens, a series of false leads during the critical first hours of the case obscure the fact that she did not go willingly. But as Agent Myers searches for a man who may have been killing for years, everything she has buried from her own self-destructive past threatens to resurface with devastating consequences.