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10 Thrillers with More Twists Than a Corn Maze

September 9 2022
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When I was a kid, we took a family trip to a farm with a Cowzilla corn maze. We got so completely lost that it was a bit terrifying and amazing at the same time. Granted, I was only seven years old, so it might not have the same appeal for me nowadays, but luckily, I have novels to provide the same thrill. The books in this list are right up there with the Cowzilla corn maze that made a lasting impression on me. So, if you’re ready for some creepy thrillers to get lost in, then this list is for you.

The Heavens Rise
by Christopher Rice

Maybe it’s just me, but I find marshy swamps to be one of the creepiest places you could ever go. And, in this supernatural thriller set in the swamps of the Louisiana bayou, Christopher Rice captures that fear. Niquette’s father dreamed of turning a stretch of swampland into a haven for his family, but something dark lay beneath the property. It’s been a decade since almost everyone in the Delongpre family vanished, and only Niquette knows the truth. She’s been running ever since in hopes of keeping everyone else she cares about safe, and now she’s discovered that she’s not the only one with her strange abilities—another man has somehow acquired them as well. But, unlike Niquette, he’s not hiding.

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The Heavens Rise
Christopher Rice

From New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice: Three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface in a “masterful coming-of-age novel” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction… She alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.

Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.

Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.

“Creepy, chilling, and almost impossible to put down” (Booklist), The Heavens Rise is an intense and atmospheric supernatural thriller about the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou.

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Gentlemen and Players
by Joanne Harris

Have you ever wanted to read a book that unfolds like a riveting chess game? Harris is a master at crafting complex characters and twisted narratives that mimic the movements of the pieces on a chessboard, and in GENTLEMEN & PLAYERS she has created a truly wonderful and suspenseful read. St. Oswald's has always been a highly sought-after school for privileged boys. They have a king history of breeding success, especially under their beloved Classics teacher, Roy Straitley. But this year things are different. New paperwork and technology threaten the history and traditions of the school, but it’s not the only threat. Joining veteran teacher Straitley are five new teachers, one of which has a secret and a plan to destroy the school once and for all. This new teacher is playing a deadly game, one Straitley must end before it’s too late for both St. Oswald's and everyone else. 

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Gentlemen and Players
Joanne Harris

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The Family Remains
by Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is a master at writing truly twisting tales! Three seemingly unrelated mysteries converge into horrifying truths in this domestic thriller. DCI Samuel Owusu is called to investigate the remains that have washed up on the shore of the Thames, only to discover that they’re connected to a thirty-year-old cold case that left three people dead. Rachel Rimmer has just been told that her husband was found dead in the cellar of his house in France, and she is desperately trying to avoid answering anything about his past. Meanwhile, Lucy Lamb is finally moving back to London after a horrible tragedy thirty years prior, but just before she can get settled her brother takes off looking for answers from their past. There are so many layers to this one that you’ll love unpacking all the details and trying to put the puzzle together before the very end.

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The Family Remains
Lisa Jewell

A woman stops at nothing to find her husband’s murderer in this psychological thriller about twisted marriages, fractured families, and deadly obsessions in this standalone sequel to the “brilliantly chilling” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs from the New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell.

Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.

Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer.

After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present.

As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.

In this masterful standalone sequel to her haunting New York Times bestseller, The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell proves she is writing at the height of her powers with another jaw-dropping, intricate, and affecting novel about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love and uncover the truth.

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Forty Acres
by Dwayne Alexander Smith

This thought-provoking political thriller deals with race and power in a different way. Martin Grey is a brilliant lawyer working in Queens, NY. After winning a civil rights case, he finds himself befriending some of the most powerful and wealthy Black men in the States. He is enthralled by their achievements and hopes to join in their success. But when they invite him for a weekend away, Martin realizes that he doesn’t really know these people at all. Far away from everything he loves, Martin learns that his new “friends” are part of a secret society creating their perfect utopia, where they are the masters and white people are slaves. If Martin agrees to join them, he could have everything he ever wanted, and going against them likely means death. Martin struggles to survive without becoming someone he despises.

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Forty Acres
Dwayne Alexander Smith

“A thriller in a class by itselfbrilliant and scary!” Terry McMillan

Read the page-turning, provocative thriller that will forever change the way you think about slavery and its legacy in today’s America.

Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as successful as they are. They invite him for a weekend away from it all—no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But far from home and cut off from everyone he loves, he discovers a disturbing secret that challenges some of his deepest convictions…

Martin finds out that his glittering new friends are part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of the institution of slavery—but this time around, the black men are called “Master.” Joining them seems to guarantee a future without limits; rebuking them almost certainly guarantees his death. Trapped inside a picture-perfect, make-believe world that is home to a frightening reality, Martin must find a way out that will allow him to stay alive without becoming the very thing he hates.

A novel of rage and compassion, good and evil, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the thought-provoking story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.

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Greenwich Park
by Katherine Faulkner

Secrets, betrayal, and dark pasts full of secrets . . . GREENWICH PARK has it all! With multiple POVs, Faulkner perfectly weaves this into something truly addicting. Helen has just about everything: the gorgeous and talented husband, the incredible Victorian house, and a baby finally on the way. And then she meets Rachel in her prenatal class. Rachel smokes and drinks and doesn’t seem all that interested in being a mom. Yet despite their differences, they’re drawn to each other. Helen’s loneliness drives her to the friendship, plus Rachel is fun to be with. But as Rachel’s behavior becomes increasingly concerning, Helen’s friends and family fear she may somehow be linked to something from the past. So, when Rachel threatens to destroy everything and expose a previous crime, more secrets creep out of the woodwork.

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Greenwich Park
Katherine Faulkner

“Gripping and haunting and gorgeously suspenseful. I couldn’t put this thriller down and can’t recommend it highly enough.” —Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl

A twisty, whip-smart debut thriller, as electrifying as the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, about impending motherhood, unreliable friendship, and the high price of keeping secrets.

Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way (after years of trying)—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.

But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.

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The Darkness in the Light
by Daniel Kalla

Dr. David Spears blames himself when one of his patients takes her own life, fearing that he missed some crucial sign that could have saved her. So, when another one of his patients is in crisis, he drops everything to travel to a remote community in Alaska to save her. But once he arrives, he learns that she’s disappeared. The local police aren’t worried. They’re sure she’ll turn up eventually, but David and the town’s social worker, Taylor Holmes, are not convinced. Together they launch their own investigation, with Taylor believing that there may be some connection to a local drug lord and David fearing that it is a result of the new antidepressant he prescribed to both patients. The truth will lead them down a dangerous and horrifying trail. This incredible medical thriller is sure to surprise you, as Dr. Kalla brings his years of experience as an ER doctor to this haunting new mystery.

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The Darkness in the Light
Daniel Kalla

A psychiatrist’s patients are dying—are they suicides related to a new antidepressant, or is there something even more sinister going on in the northernmost town in the US? A riveting new thriller from internationally bestselling author Daniel Kalla.

After Brianna O’Brien takes her own life, Dr. David Spears blames himself. Though he understands suicides can be a tragic occurrence in psychiatric practice, this loss hits him particularly hard. With Brianna, he’s convinced he missed crucial warning signs. When David suspects Brianna’s friend, Amka Obed—whom he’s also been treating virtually—is in crisis, he flies to the remote Arctic community of Utqiagvik, Alaska, only to discover that she has disappeared.

While the regional police are confident that Amka will turn up safe, David and the town’s social worker, Taylor Holmes, have serious doubts. Each battling their own demons, David and Taylor launch an investigation, determined to help uncover the truth about what happened to Amka. David wonders if a new antidepressant he recently prescribed both Amka and Brianna played a role in what took place. Taylor, who’s familiar with the locals, suspects a drug lord with connections to Amka’s boyfriend.

Who is right? Where is Amka? Is she still alive?

What begins as a missing persons inquiry and suspicion over a pharmaceutical cover-up quickly evolves into a terrifying journey of treachery and death—one that will horrify this isolated town and endanger many more lives.

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The Other Side of Night
by Adam Hamdy

This book is the definition of unexpected. And to truly enjoy it, the less I say here, the better. If you want an intriguing story that will sit with you long after you’ve left it, then pick this book up. The story begins with David Asha writing about his life’s greatest regret. Next, we encounter disgraced police officer Harriet Kealty, who is trying to clear her name when she stumbles upon a plea for help in a book. This mystery leads her to David Asha and Ben Elmys, the man she once believed was the love of her life.

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The Other Side of Night
Adam Hamdy

“I couldn’t stop thinking about the story’s incredible twist…like no crime novel I’ve ever read.” —James Patterson

For fans of Matt Haig and Anthony Horowitz, an “intriguing and thought-provoking” (Liv Constantine, author of The Last Mrs. Parrish) novel in which the lives of a disgraced police officer, a prolific author, and an upstanding citizen are inextricably bound together by a series of mysterious deaths.

The Other Side of Night begins with a man named David Asha writing about his biggest regret: his sudden separation from his son, Elliot. In his grief, David tells a story.

Next, we step into the life of Harriet Kealty, a police officer trying to clear her name after a lapse of judgment. She discovers a curious inscription in a secondhand book—a plea: Help me, he’s trying to kill me. Who wrote this note? Who is “he”?

This note leads Harri to David Asha, who was last seen stepping off a cliff. Police suspect he couldn’t cope after his wife’s sudden death. Still, why would this man jump and leave behind his young son? Quickly, Harri’s attention zeroes in on a person she knows all too well.

Ben Elmys: once the love of her life. A surrogate father to Elliot Asha and trusted friend to the Ashas.

Ben may also be a murderer.​

The Other Side of Night is a thought-provoking, moving “head-spinner of a novel” (John Connolly) with intriguing narratives and plot swerves that will leave you reeling. By the end, you’ll be shaken as each piece slots satisfyingly into place.

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All I Want
by Darcey Bell

If you’ve ever wanted to buy a creepy Victorian mansion in upstate New York, Bell might have you rethinking that. With a baby on the way, Emma is eager to move out of their cramped one-bedroom apartment in the city, so she lets her husband, Ben, convince her to buy the slightly rundown fixer-upper. But when Ben starts acting strange and withdrawn, Emma’s not so sure they made the right choice. What don’t they know about this house, and is there some horrible history lurking in the shadows? This domestic thriller from the author of A SIMPLE FAVOR is sure to haunt you.

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All I Want
Darcey Bell

The New York Times bestselling author of A Simple Favor brings her “sly, satirical, subversive” (L.S. Hilton, author of Ultima) prose to a pitch-perfect psychological suspense novel about a young couple whose disintegrating marriage and remote new home in rural, upstate New York make for a terrifying descent into the darker side of human nature.

When Emma’s husband, Ben, falls in love with a large Victorian mansion for sale in upstate New York, he swears to her the fixer-upper will be worth the risk. With a baby on the way, Emma would like to live in a charming, safe community, after all—and in a space larger than a one-bedroom New York City apartment. On impulse, she agrees to Ben’s plan and they put in an offer on the house.

Sure, the mansion has a somewhat creepy backstory and is a bit dilapidated, but Emma and Ben are in this together, aren’t they? When strange things start happening, Emma begins to experience a little buyer’s remorse. What’s the real history of this house? Is its dark history repeating itself? Why does her husband suddenly seem so distant? Is she in danger? Is her baby?

Combining the domestic anxiety of Liane Moriarty and the haunting twists and turns of Shirley Jackson, All I Want is an intensely absorbing novel that will change the way you look at your neighbors.

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They All Fall Down
by Rachel Howzell Hall

This modern take on AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is a twisted delight. I have always wanted to receive a mysterious invite to some amazing private island, but given how this one turns out, maybe it’s for the best that I haven’t! However, our leading lady, Miriam, is delighted at the prospect and instantly heads to the luxurious and very remote island somewhere off the coast of Mexico. Once the other six strangers arrive, they quickly realize that this is not a dream vacation and that every one of them has a dark secret they’re trying to protect. With spotty cell reception and no way off the island, tensions rise, and after a series of accidents, their distrust grows as they are picked

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They All Fall Down
Rachel Howzell Hall

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The Maze
by Nelson DeMille

The latest installment of DeMille’s John Corey series is full of twists and turns—in both plot and setting! Back on Long Island, Detective Corey’s former lover, Detective Beth Penrose, comes to him with a job offer to help catch a serial killer and solve the murder of nine—and maybe more—prostitutes who are possibly buried beneath the dense undergrowth along a secluded beach. Based on the real-life Gilgo Beach murders, Corey begins to suspect that the police might be not only incompetent but potentially involved. Filled with Detective Corey’s humor and out-of-the-box sleuthing work, THE MAZE is sure to keep you guessing.

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The Maze
Nelson DeMille

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille returns with a blistering thriller featuring his most popular series character, former NYPD homicide detective John Corey, called out of retirement to investigate a string of grisly murders much too close to home.

In his dazzling #1 bestseller, Plum Island, Nelson DeMille introduced readers to NYPD Homicide Detective John Corey, who we first meet sitting on the back porch of his uncle’s waterfront estate on Long Island, convalescing from wounds incurred in the line of duty. A visit from the local Chief of Police results in the legendary Detective Corey becoming involved in the investigation of the murders of a married couple who were scientists at the top-secret biological research facility on Plum Island.

Fast forward through six more bestselling John Corey novels and The Maze opens with Corey on the same porch, but now in forced retirement from his last job as a Federal Agent with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Corey is restless and looking for action, so when his former lover, Detective Beth Penrose, appears with a job offer, Corey has to once again make some decisions about his career—and about reuniting with Beth Penrose.

Inspired by, and based on the actual and still unsolved Gilgo Beach murders, The Maze takes the reader on a dangerous hunt for an apparent serial killer who has murdered nine—and maybe more—prostitutes and hidden their bodies in the thick undergrowth on a lonely stretch of beach.

As Corey digs deeper into this case, which has made national news, he comes to suspect that the failure of the local police to solve this sensational case may not be a result of their inexperience and incompetence—it may be something else. Something more sinister.

The Maze features John Corey’s politically incorrect humor, matched by his brilliant and unorthodox investigative skills along with the surprising and shocking plot twists that are the trademark of the #1 New York Times bestselling author, Nelson DeMille.

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