Book Reviews: See What I Have Done, Silent Coroner, You Should Have Left, Final Girls, I See You

By | October 31, 2017

If you’re in the mood for some scares—it is Halloween after all—check out these five thriller or horror books…

Final Girls by Riley Sager…A group of “Final Girls” (women that are the sole survivors of horrific mass-murders) are rocked when one of the three dies in a shady suicide. The book’s best sections are the flashbacks to the horrible events the women survived—that’s the majority source of the scares—but it’s a little too long, and I figured out the “twist” ending, and I’m not kidding, in the first ten or twenty pages. Grade: B

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt…Hampered by a generic title—there’s a similarly named book even in this very article—but don’t judge a book by its title, as this is one eerie, singularly creepy book following Lizzie Borden right before and during the infamous murder of her parents. Although not an enjoyable place to spend a few hours, if you’re looking for period thrills that have a mounting sense of claustrophobia (the dread of her house is only amplified by how cruel and nuts Lizzie seems to be as well), this is your book. Grade: B-

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlman…A slim Germanic novella about a stalled screenwriter trying to change his writer’s block by checking into an eerie mountain home. For me, there were too many pages about the writer’s work and professional relationship with his actress wife, but the book does eventually go somewhere. Grade: B-

I See You by Clare Mackintosh…A London woman finds her own picture in a mysterious personal’s ad in this disappointing thriller that has a great set-up (are women being stalked in the London transit system through these ads?) but ultimately a let-down of an ending and too many cozy-mystery passages that don’t amplify the tension so much as lay out mundane details about the various characters. Soon, even the taunting villain—his/her passages are in italics, told through the first person—begins to feel repetitive. Grade: C+

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz…Although the rest of the books are more straight horror-thrillers or outright horror than this thriller, this one is arguably more unsettling as it follows a sinister web of high-profile suicides by successful individuals that seemingly had everything to live for. Koontz (this is the first book of his I’ve read) can’t help himself from occasionally engaging in the purple, but the book is action heavy, tense, and once you find out exactly what’s causing the suicides, it’s terrifyingly sick. Grade: B+

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