Share Wrong Place, Wrong Time: 6 Novels with Suspicious Characters Who Have to Prove Their Own Innocence

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: 6 Novels with Suspicious Characters Who Have to Prove Their Own Innocence

Alice Martin is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Rutgers University, where she obsesses over nineteenth-century women writers, the history of the publishing industry, and writing practices. She’s also a regular contributor to Shelf Awareness and a freelance writer and editor. Her writing has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Appalachian Heritage, and Sixfold among other publications. You can find her talking about books, food, and basketball (in that order) on Twitter @AliceJeanMartin.

Mistaken identities, shady figures, and red herrings, galore! In these six page-turners, everyone – including the protagonist – is a suspect. Whether you’re into hard-boiled detectives, unreliable narrators, or victims determined to catch their tormentors, these fast-paced, twisted, and unpredictable thrillers have something everyone. The one element they all have in common? A protagonist who will stop at nothing to clear his or her own name, guilty or not. Make sure to keep your wits about you as you dive in deep to these suspicious tales. Not everyone is who they seem.


Woman on the Edge
by Samantha M. Bailey

Morgan is just making her daily commute when a frantic young mother thrusts an infant into her arms, says her name, and jumps in front of a train. As the only witness to what happened, Morgan becomes an immediate suspect in the mysterious mother’s death. Now, she must piece together the last days of the woman’s life to find out what really happened, and make sure it doesn’t happen to her next. WOMAN ON THE EDGE is a pulse-pounding debut novel about the sacrifices a mother will make for her child. 

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Woman on the Edge
Samantha M. Bailey

A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away.

A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”

She places her child in your arms. She says your name.

Then she jumps...

In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.

Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.

The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.

Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life.

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The Perfect Stranger
by Megan Miranda

In THE PERFECT STRANGER, Megan Miranda, author of the bestselling ALL THE MISSING GIRLS (2016), tells the story of failed journalist Leah Stevens as she attempts to clear her name following the article that destroyed her career. After running into Emmy, an old friend who just left a bad relationship, Leah decides to relocate with Emmy to rural Pennsylvania and start over. But when Emmy mysteriously vanishes without a trace, Leah must find out what happened to her and prove to herself, the police, and everyone following the story that Emmy existed at all.  

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The Perfect Stranger
Megan Miranda

From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Missing Girls—the gripping story of a journalist who sets out to find her missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all. “Think: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl” (TheSkimm).

When Leah Stevens’ career implodes, a chance meeting with her old friend Emmy Grey offers her the perfect opportunity to start over. Emmy, just out of a bad relationship, convinces Leah to come live with her in rural Pennsylvania, where there are teaching positions available and no one knows Leah’s past.

Or Emmy’s.

When the town sees a spate of vicious crimes and Emmy Grey disappears, Leah begins to realize how very little she knows about her friend and roommate. Unable to find friends, family, a paper trail or a digital footprint, the police question whether Emmy Grey existed at all. And mark Leah as a prime suspect.

Fighting the doubts of the police and her own sanity, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Megan Miranda delivers a deep, dark and twisty novel just as thrilling as her New York Times bestseller All the Missing Girls.

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The Girl on The Train
by Paula Hawkins

After a failed relationship and a descent into alcoholism, Rachel doesn’t have much to look forward to. The best part of her day is the couple she sees through the window on her daily train commute; they seem to have the perfect life. But when Rachel witnesses something shocking one morning, she feels she has to report it. As the case unfolds, the mystery becomes far more intertwined with Rachel’s own life than she could have imagined. An explosive debut and New York Times bestseller, GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a devilishly addictive psychological thriller. 

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The Girl on The Train
Paula Hawkins

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In Her Bones
by Kate Moretti

It’s been fifteen years since Edie’s mother was arrested for murdering six woman. Edie, a recovering alcoholic desperate to stay out of the media spotlight, has developed an unsettling fixation with the victims’ families. While she convinces herself that she just wants to see how they’re doing, her involvement seems less-than-innocent after a man turns up dead. Now, she must go into hiding while investigating the truth behind what happened. Emotionally complex and haunting, Kate Moretti’s tale of obsession, guilt, and claustrophobic families is perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn’s SHARP OBJECTS (2006). 

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In Her Bones
Kate Moretti

“A higher level than the standard thriller. Readers will enjoy this book for the suspense…[and] love it for the skill and mastery Moretti has for her craft.” —New York Journal of Books

“Morbid…Moretti pulls some tricky tricks.” —The New York Times

New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s next “exceptional…emotionally astute, [and] deliciously sinister” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) thriller follows the daughter of a convicted serial killer who finds herself at the center of a murder investigation.

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction, media frenzy, and the release of an unauthorized biography, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie Beckett is just trying to survive out of the spotlight. She’s a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job and an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to see how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on. While her escalating fixation is a problem, she’s careful to keep her distance. That is, until she crosses a line and a man is found murdered.

Edie quickly becomes the prime suspect—and while she can’t remember everything that happened the night of the murder, she’d surely remember killing someone. With the detective who arrested her mother hot on her trail, Edie goes into hiding. She’s must get to the truth of what happened that night before the police—or the real killer—find her.

Unless, of course, she has more in common with her mother than she’s willing to admit…

Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, In Her Bones features Moretti’s “riveting and insightful” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) prose and “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists, and will leave you questioning the nature of guilt, obsession, and the toxicity of familial ties.

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Whisper of Warning
by Laura Griffin

Fast-paced and titillating, WHISPER OF WARNING is a thriller-romance with life-or-death stakes. After witnessing a murder, Courtney becomes the lead suspect. The handsome, no-nonsense detective on the case, Will, is suspicious of Courtney, who clearly has a troubled past. But as more murder victims turn up, he begins to see that instead of a killer, Courtney may be the next victim. Together, the two of them must piece together the mystery of what Courtney saw before the murderer strikes again. 

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Whisper of Warning
Laura Griffin

WILL HE HELP PROVE HER INNOCENCE...

OR LEAD A KILLER TO HER DOOR?

Courtney Glass has been in trouble all her life, but nothing tops being an up-close witness to a brutal murder. Until she's accused of the crime.

Every scrap of evidence points to her guilt, and only Courtney knows what really happened. Now she must prove that she's not a murderer...but is one of the killer's intended victims. As police investigators hammer her for answers, Courtney knows she has two choices: run, or trust the brooding, sexy detective who's made it clear she's his prime suspect.

Will Hodges doesn't need Special Forces training to know that, despite Courtney's killer looks and razor-sharp tongue, her tough-girl act hides a vulnerable woman with a deadly secret. As the body count rises, Will realizes that a lethal enemy has Courtney in his crosshairs. The killer is waiting, watching her every move -- and he won't stop until her fear has grown from a whisper to a scream....

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Devil in a Blue Dress
by Walter Mosley

In this neo-noir classic, Easy Rawlins, a black World War II veteran, has returned to the African-American community in Watts, Los Angeles in the late 1940s. After being fired from his job, Easy looks for comfort at the bottom of a glass in a friend’s bar. Soon, however, a white man approaches him and offers him easy money if he can find Daphne Monet, a blonde bombshell infamous for hanging out in black jazz clubs. Atmospheric and whip-smart, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS is the first novel in Walter Mosley’s captivating Easy Rawlins mystery series.  

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Devil in a Blue Dress
Walter Mosley

Devil in a Blue Dress, a defining novel in Walter Mosley’s bestselling Easy Rawlins mystery series, was adapted into a TriStar Pictures film starring Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins and Don Cheadle as Mouse.

Set in the late 1940s, in the African-American community of Watts, Los Angeles, Devil in a Blue Dress follows Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Monet, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

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Photo Credit: iStock/Михаил Руденко

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