Tag: crimeand mystery

Feature image courtesy of Universal Pictures

9 Mind-Blowing Plot Twists That You Never Expected

For writers, adding a twist to your story is easy, but to incorporate one that feels sincere without alerting the attentive reader requires meticulous planning, and an extremely shrewd mind.

 

The greatest challenge lies in believability. For example, if you realize at the end of the novel that the man assumed to be responsible for the murder has been wrongly accused despite the fact that his fingerprints were all over the weapon and the true killer is his astute assistant who had secretively developed advanced fingerprints forging technology, you’d think this is preposterous. On the other hand, if the author reveals that the real culprit is the accused’s hidden identical twin brother, now that would be called a twist.

 

For this list, we’ve gathered some of the best examples of shockingly unexpected plot twists for fans of mysteries and thrillers. Don’t worry, we won’t spoil your reads, so go ahead and select your favorite titles from this list.

 

Captions Via Amazon Editorial Reviews.

 

1. Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

 

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

Via Amazon

 

NYPD detective Charlie “Bird” Parker was busy boozing at Tom’s Oak Tavern when his wife Susan, and young daughter Jennifer were mutilated by a killer called the Traveling Man. Consumed by guilt and alcoholism, Charlie soon lost his job, and almost his sanity. Several months on he is sober and ready to get his life back in order. Charlie takes up private investigating. One of his first cases involves the disappearance of a woman called Catherine Demeter. At first, this puzzle seems unrelated to the Traveling Man, but Charlie has a gut feeling that the slayer is pulling the strings. 

 

2. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

 

Before I go to sleep

Via Amazon

 

Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he’s obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis–all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she’s written three unexpected and terrifying words: “Don’t trust Ben.” Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion and the world as she knows it no longer seems familiar.

 

3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

 

Via Jodi Picoult

Via Jodi Picoult

 

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate—a life and a role that she has never challenged…until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

 

4. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

 

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Via Amazon

 

“I exist!” exclaims Ruby Lennox upon her conception in 1951, setting the tone for this humorous and poignant first novel in which Ruby at once celebrates and mercilessly skewers her middle-class English family. Peppered with tales of flawed family traits passed on from previous generations, Ruby’s narrative examines the lives in her disjointed clan, which revolve around the family pet shop. But beneath the antics of her philandering father, her intensely irritable mother, her overly emotional sisters, and a gaggle of eccentric relatives are darker secrets–including an odd “feeling of something long forgotten”–that will haunt Ruby for the rest of her life.

 

5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 

Via Target

Via Target

 

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s 5th wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

 

6. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

 

Via Goodreads

Via Goodreads

 

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house. Or why there are metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

 

7. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

 

Goodreads

Via Goodreads

 

“Ten . . .”
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U. N. Owen.”

“Nine . . .”
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.

“Eight . . .”
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.

“Seven . . .”
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?

 

8. Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil

 

Via Goodreads

Via Goodreads

 

In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son’s red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year – a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned.

His body was never recovered.

Ten years later, Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She’s married, pregnant, and happy…until Aiden returns.

Too traumatized to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Only his body tells the story of his decade-long disappearance. The historic broken bones and injuries cast a mere glimpse into the horrors Aiden has experienced. Aiden never drowned. Aiden was taken. As Emma attempts to reconnect with her now teenage son, she must unmask the monster who took him away from her. But who, in their tiny village, could be capable of such a crime?

 

9. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

 

Amazon

Via Amazon

 

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

 

Featured Imaga Via Universal Pictures

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

pictures of the suspects of 1995 crime

Murder Mystery Author Accused of Murder

 

Attention: The crimes in your favorite thrillers can spill off the page into real life. At least, that seems to be the chilling conclusion we reached when Liu Yongbiao, author of the novel “The Guilty Secret” and an upcoming project called “The Beautiful Writer who Killed”, was recently taken into custody under suspicion of committing a decades-old quadruple-murder.

 

liu yongbiao in custody

Image courtesy of The Guardian

 

According to police, Liu—a member of the China Writer’s Association and the author of a historical novel later adapted into a 50-episode TV series—did the grisly deed back in November 1995. Apparently, Liu and another man entered a guesthouse in the eastern city of Huzhou with the intention of robbing the guests. The robbery went terribly wrong, however, and the two men ended up bludgeoning a belligerent guest and three more people who had the misfortune of walking in on the crime: the guesthouse’s owners and their 13-year-old grandson.

 

lip's novel the guilty secret

Image courtesy of The Guardian

 

After 22 years on the cold case, police were able to use DNA evidence to finally zero in on the suspects. “Now I can finally be free from the mental torment I’ve endured for so long,” Liu reportedly wrote his wife in aletter confessing his crimes; when the police arrived at his doorstep, he told them “I’ve been waiting for you here all this time.”

 

 

Featured image courtesy of Diario Libre.

 

James Maybrick, possible Jack the Ripper

Identity of Jack the Ripper Closer Than Ever to Being Confirmed

 

25 years ago, an old diary was found in Liverpool, England. The diary, apparently once the property of a man named Edward Maybrick, contains horrors—vivid descriptions of the gruesome murders of six women. The 9,000-word confession ends with the following affirmation: I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentleman born. Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper.”

 

james may brick portrait

Image courtesy of Jack the Ripper

 

The theory of Maybrick as Jack the Ripper has been controversial since the diary was published in 1993, with many regarding it as a fake. However, years of meticulous research by ‘Withnail and I’ director Bruce Robinson and other Ripper fanatics have turned up a stunning revelation: the diary was recovered from the floorboards of Maybrick’s very mansion.

 

picture of the may brick diary

Image courtesy of Casebook: Jack the Ripper

 

James Maybrick, a cotton merchant, was born in Liverpool in 1838 and died there—from arsenic poisoning—in 1889. The death came a year after the notorious serial killings of female sex workers scandalized London and captured the popular imagination.

 

newspaper headline announcing Ripper killing

Image courtesy of Bio.com

 

The diary revelation, among other information, can be found in the upcoming ‘Years of the Diary of Jack the Ripper: The True Facts’ by Robert Smith, who first publicized its contents in 1993. If the claims are verified, it could put the Jack the Ripper identity debate to rest once and for all, closing a mystery that has pointed fingers at figures as varied as Chicago serial killer H.H. Holmes, a royal obstetrician, and former heir to the British Throne Prince Albert Victor.

 

Featured image courtesy of The Mirror.

image

Great Upcoming Crime & Mystery Books

A chilling crime or mystery novel is the perfect pair for the chilly fall and winter weather, and there are plenty of great books to fit the bill this season. We’ve put together this list to clue you in to the best new crime and mystery books slated for release in October and November. Which one are you most excited for?

 

The Best American Mystery Stories 2015, edited by James Patterson

Part of the Best American series, this collection of short fiction has something for every mystery fan. Master storyteller James Patterson selected and edited the compilation, and contributing writers include Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and Joyce Carol Oates. It’s a ‘greatest hits’ collection for mystery fans!

Release date: October 6, 2015

 

Dark Reservations by John Fortunato

Fortunato’s latest novel takes us to the American Southwest, where Bureau of Indian Affairs special agent Joe Evers is being forced into a scandalous early retirement. But before he goes, he’s confronted with new evidence in a cold case. Fighting for justice and his career, Evers gets one last crack at the case.

Release date: October 13, 2015

 

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

J.K. Rowling’s critically acclaimed Cormoran Strike series continues in this latest installment. The story opens with a gruesome discovery: someone has mailed protagonist Robin Ellacott a severed human leg. She and her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, are determined to find out who sent it – and why.

Release date: October 20, 2015

 

Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell

Rendell was one of the crime and mystery genre’s most exciting writers, and we’re sure she’ll deliver with Dark Corners. In Rendell’s new book, a wealthy heir finds himself blackmailed by a creepy roommate. As he searches for a way out, Carl Martin is forced to take extreme measures himself.

Release date: October 27, 2015

 

The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith has written fifteen installments of his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and he’s finally giving his characters a break. This novel opens with a slow period at the agency. Protagonist Precious Ramotswe finally has time to take a vacation! McCall Smith doesn’t give his character long to unwind, though: Ramotswe soon finds that even during a holiday, mystery and intrigue are everywhere.

Release date: October 27, 2015

 

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

Connelly’s latest thriller follows his popular character, Harry Bosch. Bosch is a retired LAPD detective, so he’s reluctant to work for a defense team. But he can’t say no when his half-brother, a lawyer, asks him to help dig into a case. Soon, Bosch discovers that the mystery involves the LAPD – and Bosch himself.

Release date: November 3, 2015

 

Numero Zero by Umberto Eco

Italian master Umberto Eco has already cemented his reputation as a literary titan. His latest book, Numero Zero, will bolster his credentials as a weaver of mysteries. Eco’s imaginative mystery is set in Italy in 1992. Intrigue and murder are everywhere – from the Vatican to the alleys of Milan.

Release date: November 3, 2015

 

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

Mystery master Mary Higgins Clark is back! This is the second book in the Under Suspicion series, which began with The Cinderella Murder. In All Dressed in White, Higgins Clark’s TV producer protagonist investigates the case of a missing bride.

Release date: November 17, 2015

 

Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich

Tricky Twenty-Two has been on our radar for a while now, and it’s finally almost here. Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is one of the best in the genre right now, and this twenty-second installment promises to live up to the series’ reputation. This novel plunges Plum into the strange world of a college in Trenton, New Jersey.

Release date: November 17, 2015

 

Cross Justice by James Patterson

Cross Justice is the latest novel in James Patterson’s massively popular Alex Cross series. The new novel takes Cross back to his hometown in North Carolina, where his own cousin is being accused of a horrific crime. Cross’ own family secrets intertwine with a murder mystery in this thriller.

Release date: November 23, 2015

 

Stephen L., Staff Writer