Books·3 to Read

3 Canadian thrillers to read if you loved Gone Girl

Looking for a dark, thrilling read? These 3 books by Canadian authors scratch that Gone Girl itch.
Gillian Flynn is the author of Gone Girl. (Heidi Jo Brady/Penguin Random House/Broadway Books)

If you love going to dark places with your summer reading, here are three new thrillers by Canadian authors that are mean, moody and deliciously suspenseful.

Still Mine by Amy Stuart

Amy Stuart is the author of Still Mine. (Paige Lindsay/Simon & Schuster Canada)

What it's about: A woman shows up in a remote mining town where a young local woman has recently gone missing. She starts asking questions about the disappearance, but everyone has something to hide.

When you're in the mood for: Small-town drama. A woman on the run. Really bad relationships. Questionable life choices.

If your favourite thing about Gone Girl was: Waiting for people's bad decisions to catch up with them.

Strange but true: Canada Reads-winning author Lisa Moore was Amy Stuart's advisor when she started writing Still Mine as a thesis project for her Master of Fine Arts degree.

From the book: "Odds are that a woman missing for weeks is dead, but Clare stands in these ghostly woods as living proof that this isn't always the case. Sometimes people vanish for good reason, leaving an entire life behind to escape just one part of it."

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Iain Reid is the author of I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Lucas Tingle/Simon & Schuster)

What it's about: A woman and her new boyfriend are driving down a dark country road on the way to meet his parents for the first time. She's not sure she's all that into him. Things get weird. 

When you're in the mood for: Slow-burn dread. Existential angst. That "WTF" moment where you have to rethink everything you just read.

If your favourite thing about Gone Girl was: Feeling extremely unsettled for the duration of the book.

Strange but true: This is Reid's first novel — his previous book was a charming memoir about taking a road trip with his 92-year-old grandmother. The road trip in this book takes a decidedly different tone. 

From the book: "How do we know when something is menacing? What cues us in when something is not innocent? Instinct always trumps reason. At night, when I wake up alone, the memory still terrifies me. It scares me more the older I get. Each time I remember it, it seems worse, more sinister. Maybe each time I remember it, I make it worse than it was. I don't know."

Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

Teresa Toten is the author of Beware That Girl. (Courtesy of Penguin Random House)

What it's about: Beautiful, brilliant Kate gets a scholarship to an elite New York City high school, where she immediately insinuates herself into the life of beautiful, damaged, ultra-wealthy Olivia. Kate's got a dark past and unclear motives, but she's not the only predator at work in the posh school.

When you're in the mood for: Mean girls. Rich, beautiful New Yorkers behaving badly. Trying to decide which character is the most messed up.

If your favourite thing about Gone Girl was: Trying to imagine what it was like to go to high school with Amazing Amy.

Strange but true: Third time's the charm! Teresa Toten had already been nominated twice for Governor General's Literary Awards when she won in 2013 for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, about a boy coping with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

From the book: "I'd been watching her for days. The first few days were all about the hunt... A handful of girls were examined and dismissed. Too regular, too normal, too together or (the true kiss of death) not genuinely loaded, even though they seemed to have all the trappings. I know the difference."

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