Suspicious deaths & inexplicable disappearances. These titles will keep you on the edge of your seat as you race alongside the narrator to uncover the truth and prevent the next tragedy. Although we should warn you, not all of the narrators are entirely reliable…
At the center of the tale is a drowned child, pulled from the river's icy waters and pronounced dead, until she miraculously awakens. It's the late 19th century, and the girl won't speak, so it's left to the full cast of fascinating characters — from the scientifically-minded local nurse, to a couple grieving the disappearance of their own young daughter, to the River Thames itself — to make sense of who she is and how she survived, through religion, folklore, and emerging science.
—Beck, Firestorm Collective member
Written with an atmospheric and hallucinatory quality that gets under your skin and rearranges your head space, Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation is unlike anything else I have read. A genre-bending work of fiction, the story is set up with a sci-fi premise but quickly devolves into a mind-melting eco-horror mystery thriller that leaves readers in an otherworldly state of utter confusion, discomfort, and awe.
—Ash, Firestorm Collective member
The deadpan, misandrist thriller of our dreams. Set in Nigeria, this debut novel moves at a breakneck clip as it explores the rivalry and bond of two sisters — Ayoola (who keeps murdering her boyfriends) and Korede (who keeps cleaning up the bodies) — and their distinct ways of navigating a deeply patriarchal society with a shared history of abuse at the hands of men.
—Beck, Firestorm Collective member
If you love creators like Jordan Peele (Get Out) who embrace horror elements for social critique, you will definitely want to check out When No One is Watching! Cole depicts the process of gentrification in a Brooklyn neighborhood in a terrifying new light with this slow-building, ominous read. Informative and hair-raising, Cole presents a compelling argument that the destruction of thriving Black communities is never accidental.
—Esmé, Firestorm Collective member
Originally published in 1947, The Dry Heart is by far Ginzberg’s strangest work of fiction, a taught psychological thriller laced with horror about a woman who — very matter-of-factly in the first few sentences — murders her husband. “I shot him between the eyes,” the nameless narrator says, then goes out for coffee. Short enough to read in one sitting, it’s a feminist classic that exposes the dark side of marriage in clean, captivating prose.
A winding, imaginative, genre-defying story. Part murder mystery, part fairy tale, Drive Your Plow is a thrilling philosophical examination of the ways in which some living creatures are privileged above others.
The Spy is the story, to put it very simply, of a complicated act of deadly triple-bluff perpetrated by the British Secret Service against its enemies in the German Democratic Republic, as communist East Germany was then known... So much so relatively straightforward, but one of the sheer pleasures of the grade one espionage novel is in unravelling its multifarious complexities and Le Carré handles the unspooling web of narrative and motive with exemplary poise.
—William Boyd, The Guardian
The players in the Gameshouse are divided into two camps: those that succumb to the game, and play without recognising its cost, and those who care about its impact on both players and pawns alike. Without being cliché, it’s about how you play the game. And this book is, above all, a winner.
Magic for Liars is a perfect, spare, delectable novel that features a masterful narrative structure, terribly human characters occupying realistically magical settings, and more. The prose is spot-on and paints an intimate, flawed portrait of how a world like Gamble’s would function, from the moment she tells the disbelieving bartender magic exists to the moment she walks out on her sister. I can’t recommend it highly enough.