Staff Blog: Ellen's Psychological Thriller Picks / by Time Out Bookstore


If you like to snuggle down with a grisly tale full of twists & turns, Ellen is the staff member for you!

Recently we've had a lot of requests for a great psychological thriller, so as Time Out's resident crime & thriller reader, Ellen’s put together a few recommendations:


Resin by Ane Riel
Narrated both by 7-year-old Liv and various unsuspecting observers, Resin is a dark, captivating look at one man's crumbling mental state and his increasingly disturbing efforts to keep his dysfunctional family together. Translated from Danish, Resin's atmospheric prose builds an ethereal and claustrophobic forest world in which its characters slowly fall apart.

Snap by Belinda Bauer
In 1998, siblings Jack, Joy, and Merry are left to wait in their broken-down car while their mother goes to call for help—and doesn't return. Three years later, Jack, forced to become a serial burglar in order to keep his family afloat, begins to unravel the mystery of his mother's murder just as mum-to-be Catherine's happy world begins to disintegrate. Snap is a tense, dark, slow-burn of a thriller and well worth its praise - including a spot on the 2018 Man Booker longlist.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Battling her body at the same time she's locked in an increasingly disturbing battle of wills with her daughter, Suzette is nearing her breaking point. 7-year-old Hanna doesn't speak and doesn't go to school, but she knows there's not enough room in the world for both her and mommy—and she's determined to drive her out so she can have her daddy all to herself. Zoje Stage’s sharp, tense prose builds suspense until the very end, creates a deeply unsettling picture of family life, and raises a very uncomfortable question: is it possible for a child to be a psychopath?

The Nowhere Child by Christian White
Sammy Went disappeared three days after her second birthday, taken from her front garden in America. Twenty-eight years later, in Melbourne, photography teacher Kim Leary is approached by a stranger claiming to be her brother. Cutting between past and present, The Nowhere Child unravels the secrets of two families and a small American town, and though there are plenty of tense moments, it is an easy--but compelling--read.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Anna Fox's agoraphobia keeps her trapped inside her home, forced to live vicariously through the snippets of life she sees unfolding across the street. Just as she starts to befriend her newest neighbours, she witnesses something she shouldn't. As Anna's carefully constructed life comes under siege, she is forced to confront her demons – and her neighbours. The Woman in the Window is an excellent mix of an unreliable narrator, slowly building suspense, and false starts that lead to an unexpectedly explosive conclusion.