Whether it’s the shorter days or the crisp air, there’s a certain fall ambiance that sends chills down your spine. Or maybe it’s just that mystery-thriller novel that’s on your bedside table. After all, pumpkin spice lattes aren’t the only things in season right now.
At Readers.com, we love a good suspenseful novel to get us into the fall-state-of-mind. So, we thought we’d make you a list. Read on for our favorite stories, novels, and poems to read before Halloween. Better sleep with the lights on — these novels might just have you up all night.
We’re kicking off the list with a classic by renowned author Agatha Christie. Originally published in 1939, this mystery novel is about 10 strangers who are lured to an island. Slowly, each person bites the bullet. Maybe you’ve read it (even if it that was 15 years ago), or maybe you haven’t. Either way, this suspenseful novel deserves a look before Halloween.
Paula Hawkins brings us a psychological thriller we can’t put down. The story begins with Rachel, who rides a train by the same happy couple every day. Rachel sees something, and then the girl goes missing. Cue everything getting a lot more complicated. Also being released as a movie, this novel is filled with twists, turns, and oh-my-gosh-did-that-really-happen moments.
James Patterson really is the king of thrillers. His 2011 novel features Nina Bloom, a loving mother with a dark past who’s built the perfect life in New York. Then things get dicey when people start dying. There’s both drama and a whole lot of suspense. We think you’ll like it.
This 1897 horror novel by Bram Stoker will make you uneasy, disgusted, and a little amazed. The tale takes place in both England and fictional Transylvania and is told through diary entries and letters. Even though Dracula was written over 100 years ago, the way the novel evokes emotion is as good as anything written today. If you’ve never read this gothic classic, we suggest you pick up a copy immediately.
Horror thrillers not your thing? Then we recommend diving into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s world of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Opt for the complete edition and get all 4 novels and 56 short stories. A few of our favorite stories include The Hound of the Baskervilles and A Study in Scarlet.
Zoe Whittaker has it all — married to a Wall Street tycoon, living in the hottest neighborhood in New York City, and serving on the board of the most prestigious non-profits in the area. Until, of course, her past creeps back into her life. Filled with plot twists and suspense, this mystery thriller from Kate Moretti will take you on an emotional rollercoaster.
7. The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe’s 1858 narrative poem features a talking raven and a distressed lover. It’s also one of the most famous pieces of literature, ever. Because the poem is pretty short, it should be an easy read to knock off our list. You can even listen to Christopher Walken read the poem here. Once you’re done with The Raven, read a few of his other short stories. Some classics to start with are The Pit and the Pendulum and The Fall of The House of The Usher.
8. Gone Girl
Whether or not you saw the movie last year, Gone Girl is worth a read this fall. Gillian Flynn’s novel begins with Nick as he prepares for his five-year anniversary with his wife, Amy. She disappears and he’s the primary suspect. Then things get weird. Give it a little time (the first half can be slow) and you’ll find intricate characters and a well-woven plot.
Taking place in Washington D.C. and working its way through New York and Paris, Doug Schroeder’s mystery novel opens with a couple in Georgetown. When two U.S. senators die in a car explosion miles from the couple’s home, the FBI wants to talk. It’s intelligent, fast-paced, and above all, well-researched.
The first thing to know about Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel is that Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster. The story uses a frame narrative structure and is one of the first examples of science fiction. And if you haven’t read it before, there’s never been a better time than now.
How many have you read? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!