Everyone has their own idea about what makes for a good beachside read. The psychological marriage thriller is a genre of book that is not going away and is one you might want to consider for your beach bag. Marriages deal with everything from sex to money to betrayal. It's little wonder that they make for the perfect backdrop to a thriller. While many of thrillers are quite formulaic, they can make for compulsive reading. All you have to do is imagine the perfect couple. A successful husband and a beautiful wife (cliched beyond belief). Imagine their beautiful home and their seeminlgy perfect life together. Of course we all know how it plays out. The person who shares your bed is the person you should be most scared of.
While this isn't my favourite genre of book, I am an equal opportunity book lover and every so often I pick up a book from this genre and literally fly through it. There's something about them that keep you gripped from start to finish no matter how cliched and predicatable they might be. For that reason, it's well worth adding one to your holiday hit list. I mean, what better way to unwind pool side than by reading about the sadist psychopathic tendancies of a perfect husband?!
Keep scrolling for some of the most chlling and gripping psychological marriage thrillers I've come across. PS: I promise there are no spoilers xx
Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Psychiatrist David and housewife Adele appear to have the perfect marriage. However, in steps Louise, a single mother who kisses David in a bar on a random night out only to find out the next day that David is her new boss. Adele and Louise form an unlikely friendship and the story appears to follow the predictable marriage thriller formula. So much so that you will think that you have the ending all figured out. However, I can safely say you won’t. The twist at the end is firmly in the category of “WTF, did I just read that right?”
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
A rich American business man meets a mysterious woman while flying home from London to Boston. Cliched opener, am I right? They are seated next to each other on the flight and one thing leads to another and Ted ends up telling Lilly about his marital troubles. His wife, Miranda has been unfaithful with their contractor who is working on their dream home. He articulates that he wants to kill Miranda and instead of Lilly balking at the idea, she remains calm and encourages him to do so. This thriller is quite formulaic and predicatable, but sometimes that’s just want you want and I was hooked.
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
Kate is a young successful QC. Sophie is a stay at home mother and wife to James. James was educated at Eton and Oxford, was successful in the city and is now an up and coming junior minister in a Tory government. He is also best friends with Tom, who happens to be the Prime Minister. Enough said, you know this book is going to be about male privilege, an ostensibly perfect marriage, ambition and scandal. The subject of the book is a sexual assault allegation set against the background of an affair. This book is as much a court room drama as it is a thriller. While it is cliched at times, it’s full of twists and turns and it keeps you reading long after midnight.
Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris
This book is twisted. Imagine the perfect couple with the perfect life, but the husband just happens to be a sadistic psychopath and we all know how this story ends. This falls squarely into the category of a psychological thriller. Jack is a successful lawyer. Grace is beautiful. I mean what could go wrong?! They marry and on their honeymoon, Jack reveals his true nature. And it’s the pure evilness of Jack that enrages you throughout this novel. He has literally zero redeeming characteristics, which will make his demise all the more satisfying. Behind Closed Doors is all you will need if you want a psychological thriller. I read it in a day, I couldn’t put it down.