What’s So Enticing About Female-Driven Thrillers?

With the stellar success of books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, we’re all left questioning what it really is that draws us to these books. Not only have they been made into box office thrillers, but they’re topping charts all over for best-sellers. 


We crowd around the news and constantly look for new developments on our phones. We obsess over psychological suspense thrillers the same way. Both Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train propel us into home lives that keep us intrigued and really make us question what’s going on.


These types of novels, though quick reads, opens up conversations between readers. These conversations turn into entertainment for most of us. We love to gossip, but talking about pyschological thrillers is so much better. You can’t wait to find out the ending and even when you do, the conversation continues past the last page. It’s often the shock of the build up in the story that keeps us coming back for more. We recommend it to your friends and it becomes a trend. These psychological thrillers literally get into our minds and at the end, we can’t believe we were fooled, or we didn’t see that outcome coming. 


But what about the female part? Why are we driven to female instead of male -lead thrillers right now? The answer may come from the sheer amount of male-driven books, regardless of genre. With the female-driven thriller, we have a fresh view. We’re exposed to an inside look at the crime, or mystery. For example, with The Girl on the Train, we have a story that is seen through three different female perspectives. This type of insight allows us to get into their heads, whereas a male-driven thriller wouldn’t necessarily give us so much backstory, or emotional tie to other characters. 


We like to be kept in the dark with these books, because the ending catches us by surprise. It’s like a TV show that had an amazing cliff hanger at the end and you yell, ‘OHHH’ at the TV, because you ‘need to watch the next episode!’ We just want more. With every page we turn in these books, we’re getting closer to the big reveal, and that’s the pleasure in it. The books beg to be read. It’s like an itch and the only way it gets scratched is by picking up the book and figuring out what happens next. 


According to PublishersWeekly, Gone Girl “has sold more than nine million copies (in all formats) in the U.S. alone—as having started the current craze in psychological suspense.”


Image courtesy of Giphy


For people like me, these books are not ones I would typically pick up. But I read The Girl on the Train in three days, which is a record for me lately. I don’t think I’ve finished a book that quickly since I stayed up all night reading Harry Potter. It’s these types of books that get people excited. Our society loves mystery. We love scandal, deceit, and murder. There’s no doubt that these stories sell.  


Image courtesy of Giphy


Here are some other thrillers you might like!


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin 

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

The Girl Before by Rena Olsen 

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica 



Featured image courtesy of ScreenRant