Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel loves to ride the commuter train into the city each day. She loves to look out the windows and see the backyards of the houses which back up to the tracks. She makes up stories about the people who live in the homes, especially the young married couple in one home in particular…so in love, so beautiful, so “together”… Not like her, and her messy life.

But one day Rachel is looking out the window and she sees the lovely blond woman kiss another man in the backyard-a man who isn’t her husband. The next day, the woman is in the news. She has gone missing. Rachel tries to tell the police she saw the woman with another man, but they don’t believe her. They think she’s just a bored, sick woman who wants attention. But Rachel can’t let go. She knows something terrible has happened to the woman and she sets out to find out what happened that night…Because Rachel was in the neighborhood that night, but she can’t remember what happened. She was inebriated and only remembers patched, blotchy memories. Did she see the missing woman that night? Or is she losing her mind?

Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, is a psychological thriller set in England, in the vein of Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn), Everything She Forgot (Lisa Ballantyne), The Lace Reader (Brunonia Barry), and You Should Have Known (Jean Hanff Korelitz).

If you love edge-of-your-seat reads with unreliable narrators (I sure do) then Girl on the Train should absolutely be on your t0-read list.

Miss Me When I’m Gone by Emily Arsenault

Jamie is shocked to learn that her best friend, Gretchen Waters, has died in a fall, but she is even more shocked to learn that Gretchen’s family would like her to put together the pieces of the dead girl’s manuscript so that the book that she was working on when she died could be published post-humously.

When Jamie learns that foul play is suspected in her friend’s death, and she finds out that her best friend was not researching old time country singers, but that she was actually trying to find out the truth about what happened to her mother, who was murdered when she was seven years old, and she may have even discovered who her father might have been…And somewhere in that search, she had likely tipped off someone who wanted very badly for those secrets to stay buried forever.

Strange things start happening around Jamie, making her think that someone wants the manuscript from Jamie  VERY BADLY. Despite the threat to her life and that of her unborn baby, Jamie decides to push forward and get Gretchen the justice that she deserved…But can she discover the truth before something terrible happens?

Emily Arsenault is one of the very best mystery authors I’ve ever written. I was introduced to her when I reviewed “In Search of the Rose Notes“, and “Miss Me When I’m Gone” is just as riveting, in fact, I stayed up deep into the night because I just couldn’t put the book down. You are addicted to the books from the beginning and after you finish the book, you sit there in awe and relay the entire book in your head one more time to see how the pieces fit together.

You will like Emily Arsenault if you liked Katherine Webb’s “The Unseen” or Brunonia Barry’s “The Lace Reader”. They are suspense/mysteries that you won’t want to put down, even to sleep. So don’t miss “Miss Me When I’m Gone” if you love mysteries. It’s a must-read.

The Girl Below by Bianca Zander

Suki returns to London after living in New Zealand for a decade, and nothing is as it seems…Which is exactly how Suki remembers it. Shadows aren’t just shadows, statues move around in apartments, and something is hiding in the closets wherever she goes. Suki searches out her old friends, only to find that they have lives that don’t include her. The only truly friendly face is Peggy, who was once Suki’s babysitter and who generously offers her a place to stay, with her mother, Pippa, who is dying from the long-term effects of alcoholism and who needs company once in a while. Suki finds herself being included in the dysfunctional family, and even ends up spending a great deal of time with the very surly teenage son at Peggy’s request.

The past comes back to haunt her, however, and as she finds herself in the same building where her own family fell apart when her father disappeared to another continent to start a new family, she also finds herself remembering events that happened there. A party one night when she was just a girl, an air raid shelter where she nearly died, a locket holding a secret. She can’t seem to put the pieces together all at once, but she is assaulted by the tiniest details.

This novel cannot be placed in any one genre, which makes it remarkably difficult to describe. A touch of the supernatural, a touch of psychological thriller, a touch of women’s literature, all mixed together to keep you turning those pages and trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Is Suki crazy? Is there an explanation for the things that keep happening around her? Whatever happened to the creepy neighbor guy who disappeared? What happened the night of the party she keeps remembering?

If you love literature like Brunonia Barry’s The Lace Reader, you won’t want to miss The Girl Below by Bianca Zander.