The world is full of books, right? We are inundated every day with book recommendations and author suggestions from friends, family, and social media.
"You've got to read Stephen King, he's my favorite!"
Okay, well... Stephen King has quite the catalogue of books! That can be extremely intimidating to someone trying a new author for the first time. How can you possibly choose one book to start your journey?
That's where we come in!
In this blog post we've taken five popular thriller authors with a number of titles under their belts and will suggest the best book for you to start with to get a vibe for the author and their style.
Please always check trigger and content warnings before reading any books.
You know what, let's start with Mr. King and his extensive library of work!
If you had to read one Stephen King book to get you hooked into his horrific and twisted worlds... You should read The Shining.
The book is completely different from the Stanley Kubrick film we are all very familiar with. There are huge differences in how the main characters are portrayed, their relationships are far more satisfying in the book, and it is down right scary! This was the first book that I read that truly scared me, to the point I could only read it during the day when there was plenty of light outside! The Shining is a great gateway into what King is capable of.
Another popular author who has quite the catalogue is... Karin Slaughter.
Karin Slaughter has made a name for herself over the last few years as a prominent crime and thriller author. Pretty Girls was my first dive into her dark world and I am still not over it!
Pretty girls is DARK... Very dark. It can be hard to read at times. But at its heart, Pretty Girls is full of complex, powerful, and flawed women who are so compelling to follow. And the twists! The twists and turns this book takes you on will grab hold of you and keep you guessing until the very end. A perfect taste for what Karin Slaughter has to offer.
Next up we have Riley Sager.
I'm pretty sure I've read every Riley Sager book that is on the market right now... And I have to say that Home Before Dark is my favorite!
Riley Sager themes each of his novels off of a horror movie genre. He has summer camp horror, slasher horror, upper societal/hotel horror, trapped in a car/passenger horror... But Home Before Dark is my favorite... A haunted house. This book delves more into the spooky horror than any of his other books but it is so immersive. I still feel like I know the insides of Baneberry Hall intimately.
Unpopular opinion time... Gillian Flynn.
Listen... Gone Girl took the world by storm. It doesn't get much more bleak, twisty, or depressing than Gone Girl... But Dark Places is her best.
Dark Places, at its heart, is a story about family. The ways we love each other, the ways we hurt each other, and the ways we try to protect each other. The overall mystery of this book kept me guessing until the very end (in true Gillian Flynn style!) But the reason I like this book more than either of the others is because of the ending. Gillian Flynn can go DARK. She can do bleak. But this book gives the reader the smallest, tiniest glimmer of hope that her other novels don't do.
And last but certainly not least... Blake Crouch.
Blake Crouch has certainly risen to popularity over the last few years for his work in thriller and science fiction, but Dark Matter remains his best.
We have talked about Dark Matter a lot on our blog! Check out our previous guest blogger Josh Vetter's review of the book for a more in-depth dive into what Dark Matter is about.
Do you agree with our suggestions? Or would you choose a different book from these author's catalogues to recommend to a new fan?
Let us know in the comments below!