5 Backlist Thrillers | Book Reviews

10/30/2020

I have an unending list of backlist thrillers on my physical TBR. Whenever I find a vaguely interesting sounding thriller at a library sale, I buy it. In a bid to lessen the load, I made it my mission to pick up at least 5 to read during the spooky month of October. Let's discuss them!


The Last Mrs. Parrish 

by Liv Constantine

(Otherwise known as Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline)

How far would you go to make all your dreams come true? Amanda is willing to do whatever it takes to get a rich husband, a beautiful house, and a hefty bank account. She has her eye on someone, the only problem is that he's already married. Will her game play out the way she wants it to? Have you ever read a book that you find so painfully problematic that you just can't stop listening? Mrs. Parrish is the most fatphobic book I've ever read. The women literally change the man's emotions by changing their weights (one gaining and one losing). I swear I have a new wrinkle between my brows just from reading some of the chapters in this. It was so extremely prolife without ever actually coming out and saying it. Just no, don't read this. I'm so disappointed as it was a Reese Witherspoon book, what was she thinking? Blegh. 


An Unwanted Guest

by Shari Lapena

A group of people get stranded at a remote hotel in the middle of a snowy nowhere. When they all slowly begin to die, they have to question how well they can trust a stranger. It's harsh to say but this book was a huge waste of my time. If it weren't for the audiobook I would've DNF'd at the 40% mark. I was sooo bored. The characters are idiotic and unlikeable at various points of the book, making it very hard to care when they begin to die. I think this book hugely suffered from the multiple POV's as the author naturally had to make each character seem untrustworthy or, well, an ass. I just didn't care, and that's the ultimate bash for a thriller. I feel like a bish continuing to say what I didn't like about this book, but whatever. One thing I really hated was how the author completely skipped over her ability to create an atmospheric setting. They're stranded in a cabin in the snow, yet I never truly felt isolated. I disliked One by One by Ruth Ware, but at least I felt the cold and fear that the characters did. Lapena did an injustice to her own set building. 


Final Girls

by Riley Sager 

When Quincy was a teenager she survived the tragic slaughtering of her friends. Now, as an adult, she's still struggling with blank spaces in her memory of that night and the consequences that came from surviving - just like Lisa and Sam, two other 'Final Girls'. When one dies suddenly and the other turns up on Quincy's doorstep, chaos ensues. How did it take me so long to read this? Riley Sager's thrillers are well hyped and that's because they're so much fun. The author excels at writing fast-paced entertaining books that are incredibly vivid, they almost feel like you're reading a movie. Final Girls was no different. We are all familiar with the Scream Queen trope, this takes that and runs with it. As a protagonist, Quincy was likeable despite making some very questionable choices. I rarely have any desire to reread thrillers, but Riley Sager is the exception. I look forward to rereading Final Girls, not only for the story itself but to have the opportunity to pick up on all the Easter eggs and clues that Sager undoubtedly weaved through the story.


All The Missing Girls

by Megan Miranda 

A girl is forced to return home to pack up her childhood, but can she keep the secrets of her past hidden? This premise isn't anything special. We've seen variations of it in so many thrillers. But in playing with the story structure, Megan Miranda managed to make this book it's own thing. Told through two timelines that work backward throughout the book, this is such an interesting way to tell a story. If you don't like authors purposefully keeping information from you, you'll hate it. In many ways, the format caused the story itself to crumble apart. Rationally thinking, so many things didn't make sense in the plot once you knew the 'twist'. Yet.. I had fun! I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book, but I would urge you to check out something else by the author.


Something In The Water

by Catherine Steadman

This has one of the most compelling opening lines I've ever read in a book. "Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age. However long you think it takes, double that." I mean, how intriguing is that? The story itself is about a husband and wife who get caught up in some dodgy business when they find a plane under the ocean, bodies, and a bag filled with money and diamonds. This was a fun book, not as fast paced as I was hoping but still entertaining. It felt like a modern day take on the classic Bonnie and Clyde. My problems with it are, this book would've majorly benefited from 100 pages less. It often felt like the characters were making idiotic decisions solely for the author to drag the story out a bit more when it really didn't need it. I'd go as far as to say that this could've even been a novella with the same payoff. The audiobook was great, thankfully, as I think I would've DNF'd having read it physically. If this has been your TBR, maybe pick it up..? Just know that it's semi forgettable but a little fun. 



So, all in all this wasn't very successful. But I did knock off quite a few of the thrillers on my TBR and I can now donate most of them to my local library. Yay! What was the last backlist thriller you read?

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