If you love suspenseful family tales that will mess with your mind, these twisted domestic thriller books will keep you up all night long.
If you can’t trust your loved ones, who can you trust?
Domestic thriller books are a fun subgenre of thrillers. With a heavy focus on relationships, domestic thriller books can twist your mind like the best psychological thriller books but the familiar settings and characters make everything seems so much more suspenseful.
From suburban thrillers that will leave you side-eyeing your neighbors to domestic thrillers about marriage that will make you doubt your spouse, these page-turners will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Best Domestic Thriller Books
Gone Girl took the book world by storm with its look at a marriage gone terribly wrong. On her fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne mysteriously disappears. At the top of the suspect list – her seemingly perfect husband Nick. Both husband and wife aren’t who they seem to be, so expect plenty of twists and turns (and lots of language) in this hit thriller. You might not end up loving the story or the characters, but I promise you, you’ll find them memorable enough to land it among the best domestic thriller books ever written.
When their babysitter bails at the last minute, new parents Anne and Marco Conti decide they can still attend a dinner party at their next-door neighbor’s house. Despite checking on baby Cora every half hour, when they return home, she is gone. Suspicion immediately falls on the panicked couple because they are both hiding secrets. With perfectly timed revelations, The Couple Next Door is a domestic thriller book that will instantly pull you in.
A year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life was dramatically changed when her toddler was taken while she and her husband slept in the next room. Once a sleepwalker but now suffering from crippling insomnia, Isabelle is obsessed with finding her missing child. When she turns to a true crime podcaster for help, Isabelle begins to doubt her memories and worries that she might have been responsible. Full of nuanced women, All the Dangerous Things is an excellent domestic thriller book that highlights many facets of motherhood, both good and bad.
The first time Lucy met Diana, she disappointedly finds her future mother-in-law is cold and distant, not at all the best friend and replacement mother Lucy was hoping to find. Now ten years later, Diana is dead, and all eyes automatically turn to Lucy. More of a character study than a murder mystery, The Mother-in-Law shines by highlighting how two different people can view the same event differently and shows the navigation of the history of a complicated relationship.
Instamom Emmy Jackson is known for telling it as it is to her millions of Instagram followers. She knows exactly how to monetize her life as a “good-enough” mom. When Emmy’s online narrative pulls further from the truth it begins to strain her marriage. Meanwhile, an obsessed follower begins stalking the family, with a major grudge against Emmy. With an accurate portrayal of influencer life and a compelling stalker story, People Like Her is an all-around fun thriller book to read that makes you think about how putting our lives online affects us.
Domestic Thriller Books 2023
Hepworth is the queen of domestic thrillers and her latest thriller on marriage and murder is a bit more focused on marriage than murder. Gabe and Pippa love their perfect little cottage on the edge of a sleepy coastal town. Yet the tall cliffs bordering their property are a magnet for jumpers. Usually, Gabe talks them off the edge, until one woman falls to her death. Was she jumped or was she pushed? When Pippa realizes the victim was Amanda, the wife of Gabe’s former boss, she begins to question everything about her marriage.
Two years after their spouses are tragically killed, DC philanthropist Sloane Chase is ready to settle down with Senator Whit Montgomery. When Sloane needs a routine hip replacement, they hire Athena as a home health aide. Instead of getting better, Sloane gets sicker and she begins to suspect Athena might be there to replace her. Keeping you constantly on edge, The Senator’s Wife is a slow-burn mystery with some fun twists and turns.
The safe community of Stanhope is shocked when nine-year-old Avery Wooler goes missing. Hours before her disappearance, Avery’s dad unexpectedly found her home early from school and blew up at her, already angry because he just ended his longstanding affair. Now Avery’s neighbors want to spill the beans, but it seems that everyone here is lying.
In a well-off neighborhood, four families gather together for a pleasant summer barbecue but are thrown when Whitney, the perfect hostess, explodes at her son Xavier. Months later, Xavier falls out a bedroom window in the middle of the night. While he lies critically injured in the hospital, Whitney refuses to speak and the other women begin to wonder what really happened that night, knowing they all have secrets to hide. Unafraid to tackle hard subjects, Audrain tackles the dark side of motherhood in this intense suburban thriller.
In a small Irish village, Ciara Dunphy is the queen bee with the perfect life that makes her the envy of all her friends. Meanwhile, Ciara’s best friend Mishti feels out of place in her arranged marriage in a foreign country and local mom Lauren feels ostracized for her disheveled lifestyle. When Ciara is murdered, the flaws in her immaculate life are on display for all to see and everyone starts airing their neighbors’ dirty secrets to distract from their own possible motives.
Recent Domestic Thriller Books
Alex’s unexpected rise as a social media influencer would never have been possible without the help of her personal assistant AC. Just as a controversial post she swear she didn’t write turns her audience against her, Alex’s assistant disappears. As things keep getting worse for Alex’s family, she digs into the identity of the woman who knew everything about her life. But when a woman is found murdered, Alex and her husband find themselves the prime suspects.
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Rogue therapist Avery Chambers promises that she can fix any problem in 10 sessions with her unconventional methods that have stripped her of her license. After cheating on her husband, Marissa Bishop is willing to do anything to save her marriage to Matthew. As Avery looks deeper into the seemingly perfect couple, she finds that there is much more going on than any of them suspect. With a compelling story and plenty of twists to keep you guessing, The Golden Couple is one of the best new domestic thriller books.
As a female politician, Emma knows it only takes one slip-up to ruin your reputation. Using her position as an MP, Emma is determined to fight for female victims and pass a law against revenge porn, even though it brings a slew of threats, both online and in person. When her teenage daughter lashes out at a high school bully, the consequences could be disastrous as Emma is put on trial for the death of a reporter who threatened to publish the story. Not only did Vaughan write a compelling narrative but also she managed to hit home on her main themes, violence against women and how our reputation affects our actions.
Tully and Rachel find themselves thrown for a loop when their father announces he is divorcing their mother with dementia and marrying a woman younger than both of them. As they dig deeper into Heather’s secrets and confront their own issues, comments from their mother make them suspect that their parents’ marriage may not have been as idyllic as they thought. Knowing the wedding will end in blood, The Younger Wife is one of those addictive domestic thriller books that keeps you engaged as you play amateur detective, judging the reliability of the narrators and deciding who you think is guilty.
Up-and-coming novelist Harriet Reed is ecstatic to be marrying Edward Holbeck. Although he’s been estranged from the Holbeck family for years, Edward’s engagement sparks the family to want to draw him back in, especially since he’s the heir to the family fortune. What seems like a lovely family reunion turns dark when Harriet is given a tape confessing to a murder. Now the game is afoot, and Harriet isn’t sure what part she is expected to play.
Psychological Thriller Books
Shortly after her 25th birthday, Libby Jones learns that she has inherited an abandoned London mansion from her biological parents. Adopted as a baby, Libby is excited to learn about her birth family. But her family history is much more than she anticipates when she finds out her parents committed suicide as part of a cult, and her siblings vanished. As scary as that is, the truth is even darker. A dark and disturbing tale, you can’t look away as the truth of what happened so long ago gets more and more twisted.
Coveting the life of elite socialite Daphne and her husband Jackson, Amber Patterson sets out on a mission to insinuate herself into the Parrish family. Quickly she becomes Daphne’s most trusted confidante and companion, and Amber is determined to take the life she knows should be hers. Until she learns that the Parrishes have a secret of their own.
B. A. Paris
If you love domestic thriller books about seemingly perfect couples, B. A. Paris has a great book for you. Jack and Grace seem to be the perfect couple. He’s a high-powered attorney who defends abused women and she’s the perfect housewife. Yet looks can be deceiving, Grace is a prisoner in her own house, forced to act as Jack sees fit. As the day nears for Grace’s sister with Down Syndrome to move in with them, Grace must find a way to negate Jack’s leverage and escape.
After winning a trip to a remote Scotland getaway for the weekend, Adam and Amelia try one last-ditch effort to save their marriage. Amelia is tired of Adam putting his work as a screenwriter before her and Adam is just tired of Amelia. As things start to unravel and their past is revealed through secret anniversary letters Adam has never read, you find that someone is lying and someone doesn’t want them to end happily ever after.
Blythe Connor is determined to be the kind of mother to her daughter Violet that she never had. Except, quickly Blythe begins to suspect that there is something wrong with her daughter. As her husband is quick to dismiss her fears, you have to wonder, is there something wrong with Violet or is there something wrong with Blythe?
Struggling writer Lowen Ashleigh receives the chance of a lifetime when Jeremy Crawford hires her to complete the bestselling book series written by his injured wife, Verity. However, in Verity’s study, Lowen stumbles upon an unpublished autobiography full of dark confessions. As Lowen falls in love with Jeremy, she debates whether to show Jeremy Verity’s writing
Suburban Thriller Books
It should be the golden years for Stan and Joy Delaney now that they’ve sold their tennis academy and settled into retirement, so why aren’t they happy? When they welcome a bleeding stranger into their home, her arrival begins a cascade of events. Now Joy is missing, and the four grown Delaney children wonder if their father might have done it.
You know the game. Never have I ever kissed a boy or gone skinny dipping. But when the mysterious Roux shows up to the neighborhood book club, the game takes a sinister turn. Now Amy Whey’s whole life feels threatened. For Amy has a secret past, one that Roux is willing to blackmail her over. But two can play at this game. A deliciously fun domestic thriller, Never Have I Ever will will keep you guessing until the end.
Bree Cabbat wakes up one more to find a witch looking in through her window. She shakes it off as a nightmare, but then she experiences every mother’s worst nightmare: her baby boy is abducted. Instead of a ransom note, she finds a message telling her to follow the instructions to get him back, forcing her to decide how far she will go for her child. Mother May I starts strong, with great twists and shocking moments, and then settles into an investigation story that, while more predictable, is still compelling enough to earn it a spot among the best domestic thriller books.
The night after having Easter dinner with their three grown children, a wealthy couple is murdered. Of course, the Merton children are devastated. Or are they? They stand to inherit millions and Daddy dearest wasn’t exactly the nicest guy. Was it a random act of violence or was the perpetrator someone much closer to home? But if one of your siblings was a murderer, you would know … wouldn’t you? Despite its less-than-original premise, Lapena’s domestic thriller is a fast-paced fun read that will keep you guessing whodunit.
Pediatrician Liz Trenchard doesn’t know what to think when her friend shows up in the ER with her injured baby girl. Jess has always been the perfect mom, and yet her story of how Betsey suffered a skull fracture doesn’t add up. Vaughan’s new book was a difficult one for me to read. My heart broke for a mom who so obviously was having mental health problems unnoticed by her friends and family. With a slower pace, Little Disasters is a drama with a hint of mystery.
All children have imaginary friends, but Georgina begins to wonder when her seven-year-old son tells her he met a new friend, New Granny, at the park. Is Georgina just overreacting with the death of her mother still so painful? What if his imaginary friend isn’t imaginary? A great domestic thriller book with an unreliable narrator, The Woman Outside My Door does an excellent job throwing in plenty of red herrings, keeping you on your toes the whole time.
Domestic Thrillers With Twisted Families
A quirky free-spirited librarian with Asperger’s, Fern Castle likes to keep her life strictly regimented. On the other hand, Fern’s twin sister Rose is the responsible one with the perfect house and the perfect marriage, a sister who spent their childhood protecting Fern from their abusive mother. As Fern starts making more choices on her own, she begins to realize that maybe Rose might not be such a good sister after all.
For her entire childhood, Rose Gold thought she was sick until as a teenager she realized her mother was poisoning her. After five years in prison, Patty Watts walks out of prison and into Rose Gold’s life again. Rose Gold is no longer a child and is now ready for her dear old mother. Wrobel’s thriller is told from a split perspective: Patty’s modern-day viewpoint and Rose Gold’s story from the last five years.
Before Owen Michaels disappeared, he smuggled a note to his new wife Hannah: Protect her. Hannah knows he’s referring to his sixteen-year-old daughter Bailey, but Bailey doesn’t want anything to do with Hannah. As Owen’s boss gets arrested and the FBI comes knocking, As Hannah tries to unravel Owen’s true identity and learn to connect with her stepdaughter, the suspense keeps you turning pages.
Emily has found the perfect man in Adam and is ready to tie the knot. Yet one thing stands in the way of their union – Adam’s mother. Pammie is determined to be the only woman in her son’s life, and you’ll be shocked to discover how far she is willing to go to eliminate the competition. With an excellent concluding twist, The Other Woman is a great domestic thriller book to read if you like twisted relationships.
In an idyllic college town, a beloved high school teacher goes missing. It’s the third unexplained disappearance in three years and police are scrambling to figure out where he went. The whole town is in an uproar about his disappearance … everyone except his wife. She knows he’s dead because she killed him. She just doesn’t know where the body went. This twisted domestic thriller is a quick and extra-creepy read featuring a tough-as-nails heroine who you can’t help root for and a premise that hooks you from the start.
Dogwalker and petty thief Jane sees her next mark in Eddie, the mysterious man in the neighborhood. As they fall in love, Jane is haunted by the story of his deceased wife, Bea, the wealthy owner of an interior design company who drowned in a boating accident with her best friend. A modern retelling of Jane Eyre, The Wife Upstairs is one of the domestic thriller books best suited to people who love mixing romance books with mysteries.
After fifteen years of marriage, domestic life doesn’t suit Millicent and her husband any longer. They have the kids and the house in the suburbs, but life has become rather dull. That is, until the couple decides that getting away with murder will be the perfect way to keep their marriage alive.
When millionaire Zach Grayson is arrested for the murder of his wife Amanda, he enlists his friend Lizzie Kitsakis to defend him. However, as Lizzie dives more into Amanda’s secrets, she begins to wonder: What if Zach is actually guilty. The truth of their picture-perfect marriage also makes her question whether her own marriage can be saved. A salacious legal thriller that could be just what you need to spice up your reading list.
To be near his mother in a dementia care facility, newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter move to his sleepy New York hometown. Working in a downstairs office, Sam doesn’t realize his therapy sessions with his mostly female clientele can be heard from a vent in the office upstairs, a temptation too big to resist. After Sam disappears one night in a storm, Annie wonders how well she really knew her husband. If you want a story with a twist, you can’t miss Goodnight Beautiful, a very quick read that will surprise you with not one, but two well-executed twists you will never see coming.
Domestic Thriller Books with a twist
There are two sides to every story, and usually the truth lies somewhere in-between. BBC correspondent Anna Andrews returns to her hometown to report on the murder of one of her high school best friends. Complicating matters, her ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is investigating the case. As the investigation continues, past secrets come to light and both Jack and Anna find themselves suspects in the case. A solid domestic thriller, Feeny keeps you guessing until the end – letting you believe you know the truth, then twisting it until you suspect you finally understand, before twisting it again.
In 1985, Lore Rivera is an international banker, frequently traveling between Texas and Mexico City. Although married to Fabian with twin sons, after Lore has an affair with Andres in Mexico, she secretly marries him as well. When her double life is finally exposed, one husband is arrested for murdering the other. Uncovering this sensational story in the modern-day, a true-crime writer uncovers long-hidden secrets when she tracks down Lore to hear Lore’s side of the story.
Broke and recently fired, Emily has hit rock bottom. Until she lands the perfect job as a housekeeper for a wealthy couple on a remote French estate. But is this offer too good to be true? Luckily, the rather flighty protagonist comes into her own as the novel progresses, or this novel would have been really hard to read. Right away, you know something is off about this family, but Downes does a good job keeping you guessing what the big reveal will be.
Just after midnight, Jen is watching out the window for her teenage son Todd to come home when she sees him murder an older man right outside their house. With her son in custody, Jen goes to be in despair but wakes to find the day starting all over again. Caught in a time loop, Jen must find out the impetus for the murder and try anything she can to stop it.
Emma Averell loves her life as a high-powered lawyer with two beautiful children and a wonderful husband. As her fortieth birthday approaches, Emma worries her crippling insomnia is making her lose her mind, just like her own mother did when she turned forty. Are Emma’s symptoms the precursor to her mother’s illness, and, more importantly, will she also end up hurting her family just like her mother did?
What Are Your Thoughts on Domestic Thriller Books?
Do you love them or do you hate them? Do you agree or disagree with my list of domestic thriller books? What thrillers did I forget to add to my list? Which domestic thrillers on my list did you find overrated? As always, let me know in the comments!
More Thriller Books to Read: