Share 6 Gripping Books Author Megan Miranda Recommends

6 Gripping Books Author Megan Miranda Recommends

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

We don’t know about you, but we’re still reeling from Megan Miranda’s The Last House Guest. Her latest book, also a Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick, was full of the twists and turns readers have grown to expect from a Miranda novel. Her next thriller, The Girl from Widow Hills, published this week, but what do you read while you’re waiting for your copy to arrive? Lucky for you, we gathered together six thrilling books Megan herself has recommended to keep you occupied and on the edge of your seat. 


The Winter Sister
by Megan Collins

Megan Miranda“Sharp and mysterious, THE WINTER SISTER explores the complex bonds between families, the secrets that tie people together—and those that break them apart. A haunting debut: suspenseful, atmospheric, and completely riveting.”    Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister, Persephone, never came home. Out late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder is still unsolved. In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Adding to the discomfort, Persephone’s former boyfriend is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie has always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her. As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. 

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The Winter Sister
Megan Collins

A “haunting debut: suspenseful, atmospheric, and completely riveting” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls) about a young woman who returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister, Persephone, never came home. Out late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder is still unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Adding to the discomfort, Persephone’s former boyfriend is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie has always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died.

The Winter Sister is a “bewitching” (Kirkus Reviews) portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and “will captivate you from suspenseful start to surprising finish” (Kathleen Barber, author of Are You Sleeping).

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6 Gripping Books Author Megan Miranda Recommends

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 26, 2020

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The Party
by Robyn Harding

Megan Miranda: "A tense and riveting story about one night gone horribly wrong, and the fallout within a family and a group of friends. Secrets, desires, choice and consequence, The Party reveals that what lies inside a family—and each person—is not always as it seems. I was hooked from the opening scene and could not look away until I reached the very last page."    Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming-of-age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong? But things do go wrong, horrifically so, and Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter is exposed. 

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The Party
Robyn Harding

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6 Gripping Books Author Megan Miranda Recommends

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 26, 2020

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The River at Night
by Erica Ferencik

Megan Miranda"THE RIVER AT NIGHT is both a haunting, twisting thrill-ride through the Maine wilderness, and a story of friendship, humanity, and the will to survive. Terrifyingly real and impossible to put down."    Winifred Allen needs a vacation. Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings. What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare; a freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long-buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed. 

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The River at Night
Erica Ferencik

A “raw, relentless, and heart-poundingly real” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) thriller set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, The River at Night charts the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident.

Winifred Allen needs a vacation.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare; a freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

With intimately observed characters and visceral prose, The River at Night “will leave you gasping, your heart racing, eyes peering over your shoulder to see what follows from behind” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author). This is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.

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Her One Mistake
by Heidi Perks

Megan Miranda"I flew through this book, desperate to unravel the secrets within. A chilling, captivating story of friendship, motherhood, and deceit, Her One Mistake kept me guessing until the very end."    Charlotte was supposed to be looking after the children, and she swears she was. But while her three kids are all safe and sound at the school fair, Alice, her best friend Harriet’s daughter, is nowhere to be found. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing—and admit that she’s solely to blame. Harriet, devastated by this unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now, more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one. But as the police bear down on both women, trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface—and Harriet discovers that trusting Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter.... 

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Her One Mistake
Heidi Perks

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MENTIONED IN:

6 Gripping Books Author Megan Miranda Recommends

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 26, 2020

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The Blackbird Season
by Kate Moretti

Megan Miranda: “A powerful story about a missing girl and an accused suspect that takes a haunting look into the characters and relationships you think you know. The Blackbird Season explores the fine line between guilt and innocence, truth and perception, the moments that break people apart—and those that bring them together. Riveting and insightful, this is a book that lingers long after you turn the final page.” In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community. Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life. And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate. Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

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The Blackbird Season
Kate Moretti

“Exceptional…a deliciously sinister glimpse into the duplicity of small-town lives and the ease with which people turn on each other when tragedy comes calling. Moretti's tale of jealousy and obsession is nothing less than dark magic. Witchery indeed." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alecia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.

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The Elizas
by Sara Shepard

Megan Miranda: "Clever, compelling, and completely unpredictable, THE ELIZAS kept me guessing until the very last page. Sara Shepard has spun a captivating story around an unreliable protagonist and the one mistake that refuses to stay in her past." When Eliza Fontaine is rescued from the bottom of a hotel pool just a few weeks before her first novel is going to be published, her family assumes that it’s another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed. The problem is she remembers little of that night, a result of the large quantity of alcohol she consumed and a worsening struggle with memory loss due to a brain tumor. Feeling ignored and vulnerable, she decides she must find the truth of what actually happened. As she searches for answers, something very peculiar begins to happen: The people closest to her start to confuse the events in her novel with those in her real life. The dividing line between fact and fiction seems to be dissolving, and even Eliza is becoming uncertain about where her protagonist’s story ends and hers begins. She glimpses a shadowy presence hovering nearby, a mirror image of herself…but is it all in her head or is there really someone following her, studying her, wishing to do her harm? Perhaps the answers to all her questions already exist in the pages of her novel, if only she could put the pieces together in the right way.

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The Elizas
Sara Shepard

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