Books Like Gone Girl: Recommendations

Updated August 2016

Are you looking for more books like Gone Girl? I’ve put together a list of books like Gone Girl that share a common thread: you can’t always trust the people you love or think you can trust.

I was inspired to write this list as I read Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places for the Between the Lines book club (hosted by Love the Here and Now & Chits and Giggles). That got me thinking about how much I loved Gone Girl  and Dark Places. Over the past year or so, I’ve read a ton of books that fall into that vein of psychological thrillers. Most of them are new and were published in the wake of Gone Girl’s popularity, but I’m going to throw in a few good classic novels for you, too!

Some of these are quick, young adult reads, and others are longer, darker novels. I particularly find classic mystery novels interesting because I can read the inspirations for some new and popular novels!

Contemporary:

The Truth About Alice

books like gone girl

The Truth About Alice follows the story of a high school girl who is accused of a myriad of terrible things. The story is told from different points of view from people in the town.

The Silent Wife

the silent wife

This psychological thriller follows a woman who resigns herself to a partnership (not marriage) with a man who is not faithful for her. She tries to tell herself that it is what she wants, but she finds out that it is not what she wants.

Everything I Never Told You

everythig i never told you

Everything I Never Told You reconstructs the story of a girl who is found dead. You don’t want to read anything else about it before you read it. #nospoilershere

The Good Girl

the good girl

Again, this novel is told from multiple points of view, in a non-linear fashion. Just wait for the twists!

Before I Go To Sleep

before i go to sleep

This novel, recently turned into a movie, is completely captivating. While the main character is learning how to live a life where she wakes up every morning with no memory, she also has to figure out who she can trust.

The Weight of Blood

the weight of blood

This mother-daughter story toggles between the past and present, as the main character tries to understand her missing mother’s assumed suicide.

Reconstructing Amelia

reconstructing amelia

I enjoyed this book because it is told through prose, emails, text messages, and newsletters. The story is about a mother who is trying to uncover what really happened in her daughter’s life, leading up to her death. There are twists and turns around every corner. I loved the way that the different types of writing were put together in a non-linear fashion to create a cool story.

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 2)

the likeness

Out of all of the Dublin Murder Squad series, I thought this one was the most psychologically thrilling of the entire series. The story follows the detective as she goes undercover to impersonate a murdered woman, in order to find out the identity of the killer. Going undercover and assuming the identity of the woman not only messes with the detective’s own mind, but complicates so many relationships. It was so creepy that I couldn’t put it down because I had to know the resolution!

Defending Jacob

defending jacob

Oh, wow. I never saw the end of this one coming. It was a quick read that caught me completely off guard.

Dear Daughter

dear daughter

While Dear Daughter was no great work of literature, it was hysterical. I also think I read it at the right point in my life when I really needed something funny. However, it’s still a thriller, which I thought was a nice combination.

Second Life

second life

It took over half of the novel for the story to start to “come together.” And by “come together,” I mean that the torrid affair scenes cooled down enough for the story to move forward. In the end, Watson made a good point about life, but it got lost in pandering to trendy literature. [Note for other readers: This book is not PG-13. It might test the limits of R ratings, if you’re not comfortable with reading that. And some of it was gratuitous, whereas some added to the plot.]

Where They Found Her

Where They Found Her

I found this novel more “adult” than the author’s first novel, Reconstructing Amelia, which seemed more young adult. It wasn’t the best novel that I’ve ever read, but I liked it. It kept me guessing until the end. I read the hardback instead of listening, since I read that the novel would be told through several mediums – like Reconstructing Amelia, which used text messages, instant messages, emails, and many types of prose. There weren’t as many in this novel, but I still liked it.

Pretty Girls

pretty girls

One of the more gruesome and graphic novels of the Gone Girl-vein. I had to put it down for awhile in order to avoid nightmares.

The Luckiest Girl Alive

luckiest girl alive

The title and synopsis kind of made it seem like Luckiest Girl Alive would be super trashy and smutty, but it wasn’t. It didn’t have a neat or tidy ending, so the reader isn’t sure what the main character of Luckiest Girl Alive is going to do after the novel ends, but the reader does know that she learned something about herself and life from her experiences, which makes an ambigious ending a good one.
I will say that it’s not the best book ever because I have a hard time recalling the plot less than a month later, but it was really entertaining at the time. So, it’s better than some other thrillers out there–some that I’m leaving off of my list on purpose.

Don’t Try to Find Me

don't try to find me

Decent coming of age/young adult novel. Don’t buy the publisher’s advertising. Nothing like Gone Girl/Reconstructing Amelia. Not innovative at all. However, it’s a quick read.

Classics:

Murder on the Orient Express

murder on the orient express

This classic novel will leave you guessing about the ending, right up until the end!

Rebecca

rebecca

This is one of my favorite novels, ever. I would argue that this gothic novel is one of the best mysteries that I’ve ever read. While the plot is a little more traditional than Gone Girl, it is still thrilling right up until the end! It proves that you can’t always trust the people that you think you can, just like Gone Girl.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

the talented mr ripley

Don’t laugh, but I’ve only ever seen bits and pieces of the movie version on TV. So, I decided that it would be nice to read the book before sitting down to watch the entire movie. When I decided to read the book, I didn’t realize that it was only the first novel in a famous mystery series! Again, this is a novel where people should not trust each other!

A Kiss Before Dying

a kiss before dyingThis was a great novel! On one hand, it seemed far fetched, but on the other hand, it seemed plausible, because people are c-r-a-z-y. The novel was also interesting because of the way that Levin incorporated a twist, but instead of waiting until the end of the novel, he lets you in on what’s really going on about 1/3 of the way into the novel. That way, you feel like a co-conspirator with the narrator.

Lady Audley’s Secret

lady audley's secret

This classic book was fascinating. The story was good, but the best part was that it was crime novel with cut-throat woman who will do anything to get what she wants (which is a foil to her angelic look) that was written and published in the mid-1800’s. I just don’t ever think of that type of literature being written and published at that time because it challenges a lot of proper stereotypes!

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  • Jae

    Thanks for sharing these, Sarah! I’m adding some of these books to my Goodreads TBR bookshelf!

  • I’ve read a couple of these, I already intended to read several more, and I added even a few more to my always-growing-to-read list.

    • My list is always getting longer. I picked up Girl on the Train today! I started it, but I was already reading a few books!

  • I didn’t know that The Talented Mr. Ripley was a book, too–now I want to read it!

    • Yeah! I’ve only ever caught bits and pieces of the movie on TV. The first book is a cliff hanger. I guess you have to read the whole series to get the whole story, which seems a little much to me. But, I was surprised that it was from the 1950’s (I think..).

  • Genevieve Yam

    I really want to read Everything I Never Told You! It sounds really good. I loved Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn so I’ll definitely have to add these books to my to read list!

  • Looking forward to reading your thoughts for Between the Lines! I am so excited about The Girl on the Train.

    • I need to write up that post before I forget the whole book. I just started The Girl On the Train this evening. It’s interesting, for sure!

  • So many good suggestions! I really enjoyed Reconstructing Amelia too- and I just downloaded Dark Places the other day. Definitely going to add a few of these to my tbr list!

    • I loved, loved, loved Reconstructing Amelia! I loved the way it was text messages, emails, etc. It is so cool how it all comes together in my brain to tell a story without being like “Things happened in this order. The End.”

  • Oh gone girl has been on my list for a long time. It is very unlike my usual book preferences that I’m hesitant to read it. I like the blurb on lady Audley’s secret too. I’ll add that one to my list. Maybe I’ll be brave and read them this year

    • Gone Girl was so amazing. My husband doesn’t read much, but he couldn’t put it down. Lady Audley’s Secret wasn’t my favorite book ever written, but it’s really cool when you think about it in its historical context.

  • I’ve never read Gone Girl before or seen the movie for that matter, but I have had recommendations to read “Reconstructing Amelia” its my que! Hopefully I get to it soon!

    • I think I read Reconstructing Amelia in only a day or two. It was pretty fast because some chapters are text message conversations or IMs. It really was a fascinating story, especially because it takes a look at the role that techonolgy plays into the lives of teenagers. I had AIM and got text messaging at the end of high school, but didn’t get Facebook or any of that until college. I always wonder what kind of pressure kids feel these days with all of the social media.

  • Logan Cantrell

    I’ve heard Defending Jacob is really good! I have Gone Girl sitting on my shelf but have yet to read it.

    • Defending Jacob threw me through a loop! It’s really good if you like police procedurals, especially. You should really read Gone Girl, if no one has told you any of the twists yet!

  • Elisabeth

    Legit just bought 3 of these books. Thanks so much for your recommendations! I can’t wait till they come in the mail.

  • Nadeen

    This is a great list! I read Gone Girl and Reconstructing Amelia and enjoyed both. A fee others of these life defending jacob are on my list!

  • This is fabulous! I am revamping my reading list and I need new books. To read! I’m going to check a few of these out!

    • You should! Some are definitely better than others, I think. Check out their average ratings on Goodreads to prioritize!

  • My list to read keeps growing and growing. I’ve been meaning to read The Silent Wife, Everything I’ve Never Told You, Defending Jacob, and Rebecca. Still waiting to be paid just to read.

    • You haven’t read Rebecca??????!!!!????????!!!!!!!! Stop whatever you’re doing and get that book. It’s been one of my faves since high school. I just started reading some more of her work, which is equally Gothic and awesome.

  • Some of the books have been on my “to read” list. Maybe I should see this as a sign to just do it! Thanks!

  • I didn’t love Gone Girl, but some of these sound really interesting!

    • I tried to pick a lot of books that have twists or ones where you can’t trust the narrator or the main characters trust the wrong people, etc. So, I guess this is a list of books about trust! You should definitely try one. The Dublin Murder Squad series has been a favorite of mine from last year. I didn’t read the newest one yet, but I enjoyed the rest of them! Each novel is told by a different narrator and one of them could even be a stand alone novel.

      • I will definitely be checking those out, then!

  • Defending Jacob and The Likeness were SO GOOD! I’m totally putting all these other books on my list now!!

    • The Likeness was just so creepy that I couldn’t put it down. I had to know the resolution as quickly as possible. It freaked me out on so many levels!

  • I remember when Before I Go to Sleep came out. I thought about it for like a year after haha. It’s a great book. BUT…. dun dun dun. Big confession: I have yet to read Gone Girl. AHHH. So, now I have to go read all these books along with that one! Ha.

    • Yes! Gone Girl is longish, but quick to read. Even my husband (who never ever reads) couldn’t put it down.

  • a couple of these were on my list already – i wasnt a huge fan of gone girl.. i mean i could recognise it was well written but it’s really not my style. that being said, i hope the (classics) ones that are on my list aren’t as creepy haha.

  • before i go to sleep and reconstructing amelia are 2 fantastic books!

  • Guest

    Ohhh thank you for this! I orginally despised Gone Girl, but after seeing the movie and then reading it a second time I loved it. I since then have read a couple of books on your list but, am always looking for more read-a-likes! Thank you! *Runs to Goodreads*

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  • Awesome suggestions! I’ve read quite a few of these but still added a lot of new ones to my list! Before I Go To Sleep was one of my faves and I’m excited to read the latest from the author!

  • I liked Flynn’s Dark Places (her second book… I think that’s what it’s called). I heard her first one wasn’t worth reading. I’d recommend The Good Girl, especially, if you like Gone Girl and read the other novel by Flynn! Before I Go to Sleep was also good, I think.

    • I’ll definitely add those to my list. I just finished Gone Girl. MIND BLOWN! The lady is crazy!!!

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