Gone Girl has inspired a new literary genre. Fanny Blake recommends her top 5 grip-lit reads...
Wondering which holiday reads to go for this year? Dominating the bestseller lists are the new ‘grip-lit’ novels, so christened by bestselling novelist Marion Keyes, a self-confessed fan, in a recent interview on the BBC World Service. These novels are simply so gripping that you can’t put them down. Publishers are encouraging authors to turn to their dark side and write more – and readers can’t get enough.
Of course Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was the mother of them all, but today her tense and terrifying offspring are multiplying. So what are these books?
They’re psychological thrillers often written by women (the obvious exception being SJ Watson with Before I Go to Sleep and Second Life – both masterclasses in suspense). At their heart is a female character – no passive victim she, but a flawed and complex character who fights back, often putting herself at grave risk.
She’s plunged into a situation that reflects our own very worst nightmares and works her way to justice or revenge. Children go missing (Kate Hamer’s Girl in the Red Coat; Jane Shemilt’s Daughter); marriages break down (Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl); relationships turn sour (Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on a Train); or the past comes back to haunt them (Renee Knight’s Disclaimer). Whatever the premise, all these grip-lit novels get the pulse racing.
If you’re looking for a dose of Grip Lit this summer, these are the reads our Books Editor, Fanny Blake recommends…
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere)
After a tragic accident, Jenna moves to Wales to make a new start. But her past refuses to let her go.
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An isolated house; a hen party that ends in murder; Nora wakes up in hospital with no memory of what happened.
Preorder In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Four dead girls; four grieving families; a self-help group for the parents that?s cracking apart under the strain…
Pre-order First One Missing by Tammy Cohen
At 17, Tessa was the lone survivor of a serial killer attack. Decades
later, the signs are he?s still out there, this time after her daughter.
Pre-order Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin