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14 Books Like Sharp Objects

Books Like Sharp Objects

If you’ve devoured Gillian Flynn’s gripping thriller “Sharp Objects” and are hungry for more books that deliver the same chilling intensity and psychological intrigue, you’re in luck. 

Dive into these gripping reads that will keep you on the edge of your seat, with twisted plots, complex characters, and dark secrets waiting to be uncovered. 

From haunting mysteries to gripping suspense, these books are sure to satisfy your craving for the dark and twisted world of “Sharp Objects.”

Books Like Sharp Objects

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This psychological thriller revolves around Rachel, a woman who becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that drastically affects her life. The story is told from the perspectives of three women, Rachel, Anna, and Megan, each with their own secrets and connections to the others. 

As Rachel delves deeper into the mystery, she uncovers truths that challenge her own understanding of her life and those around her.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn, “The Girl on the Train” explores the themes of memory and truth through the lens of a troubled female protagonist. 

Both novels feature complex, flawed characters and delve into the darker sides of suburban life and family dynamics. The gripping, suspenseful narratives keep readers guessing until the end, making both books compelling reads for fans of psychological thrillers.

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Set in a seemingly idyllic Australian community, “Big Little Lies” follows the lives of three women, each at a crossroads. The story weaves together themes of friendship, secrets, and lies, culminating in a shocking event at a school trivia night. 

Moriarty expertly unravels the characters’ stories, revealing the complexities of their lives and the darkness lurking beneath the surface of their perfect facade.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Sharp Objects” and “Big Little Lies” explore the intricacies of female relationships and the impact of past traumas on the present. 

The novels share a focus on small-town secrets and the way those secrets can intertwine and explode into violence. Moriarty and Flynn both create a suspenseful atmosphere that builds to an unexpected and dramatic conclusion.

3. In the Woods by Tana French

“In the Woods” is the first book in the Dublin Murder Squad series and introduces Detective Rob Ryan and his partner Cassie Maddox. 

When a young girl is found murdered in the same woods where, years earlier, Ryan was found with no memory of a traumatic event that left his two friends missing, the case becomes intensely personal. The investigation forces Ryan to confront his past, unearthing secrets that have long been buried.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Sharp Objects,” “In the Woods” combines a gripping murder mystery with deep psychological insights. Both novels feature protagonists dealing with their own dark pasts while trying to solve a crime that hits close to home. 

French, like Flynn, excels at creating a tense, atmospheric setting that enhances the mystery and the exploration of human nature and memory.

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Another masterpiece by Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl” tells the story of Nick and Amy Dunne’s tumultuous relationship, which takes a dark turn when Amy goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. 

Told from alternating perspectives, the novel delves into the complexities of marriage, media influence, and the facade of perfection. Flynn crafts a narrative filled with twists and turns, challenging the reader’s perceptions until the very end.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Gone Girl” and “Sharp Objects” showcase Flynn’s talent for creating complex, flawed characters and engaging the reader in a psychological puzzle. 

The exploration of themes such as family dynamics, the media’s role in shaping public perception, and the dark undercurrents of suburban life are prevalent in both novels. 

Flynn’s signature twisty narratives and dark, suspenseful atmospheres make these books companion pieces in exploring the darker side of human nature.

5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This novel follows a group of elite college students under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, who explore morality beyond the boundaries of the law, leading to tragic consequences. 

Tartt delves into the psychology of her characters, revealing the impact of their actions on their lives and the lives around them. The narrative is dense with themes of beauty, decay, and the consequences of intellectual arrogance.

Major Similarities: 

The Secret History” and “Sharp Objects” both explore the effects of trauma and the human capacity for darkness. While Tartt’s novel is set within the confines of a college and its eccentric circle, it similarly uncovers the layers of its characters’ psyches, revealing their complexities and the darkness within. 

Both books offer a deep dive into the psychological underpinnings of their characters, making them compelling reads for those fascinated by the darker aspects of human nature.

6. The Widow by Fiona Barton

“The Widow” delves into the life of Jean Taylor, the widow of a man accused of a horrific crime, as she navigates the aftermath of her husband’s death and the media frenzy surrounding it. 

Told from multiple perspectives, including Jean’s, the detective’s, and the reporter’s, the novel explores themes of deception, the nature of truth, and the extent to which one can know another person. Barton crafts a psychological thriller that keeps readers guessing about what Jean really knows.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Sharp Objects,” “The Widow” examines the complexities of female characters entangled in a web of lies and secrets. Both novels are driven by a central mystery and the unraveling of truths hidden beneath the surface of ordinary lives. 

The use of multiple perspectives to gradually reveal the story’s layers creates a suspenseful and engaging narrative, appealing to readers who enjoy psychological depth and twists.

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

Christine wakes up every morning with no memory of her life from her early twenties onwards. She discovers that she has been suffering from a rare form of amnesia after a mysterious accident. 

Each day, with the help of her husband, Ben, and her doctor, she tries to piece together her past, only to realize that she might not be able to trust the people closest to her. The novel is a gripping psychological thriller that explores memory, identity, and truth.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Before I Go to Sleep” and “Sharp Objects” feature protagonists struggling with their pasts and memories. The tension in both stories builds as the main characters uncover unsettling truths about themselves and those around them. 

Watson, like Flynn, masterfully uses suspense and psychological depth to explore the fragility of the mind and the concept of trust, making both novels captivating reads for those interested in the psychological thriller genre.

8. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was only seven when her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in what was deemed “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. Having survived and testified against her brother, Libby lives off the proceeds from her tragic fame. 

Decades later, a group obsessed with solving notorious crimes confronts her with questions about the night of the murders, leading Libby to uncover the unsettling truth about what happened.

Major Similarities: 

“Dark Places” shares Gillian Flynn’s knack for diving into dark themes and complex characters, much like “Sharp Objects.” Both novels feature damaged protagonists with troubled pasts, exploring the psychological effects of trauma and family secrets. 

Flynn’s compelling storytelling, rich character development, and the theme of revisiting past traumas to uncover truth are central to both books, making them resonate with readers who appreciate gritty, psychological narratives.

9. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This psychological thriller unveils the perfect marriage of Jack and Grace, which is anything but. With the facade of a loving relationship, the reality is far more sinister. 

Grace’s attempts to escape her husband’s control become a central plot point, revealing the depths of Jack’s manipulation and the darkness behind their closed doors. 

Paris crafts a narrative that is both disturbing and compelling, exploring themes of control, freedom, and the power of appearances.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Sharp Objects,” “Behind Closed Doors” delves into the psychological complexities of its characters, particularly focusing on the themes of control and the facade of perfection. 

Both novels offer a gripping look into the dark side of what might seem like ordinary lives, with a strong emphasis on suspense and the gradual unveiling of secrets. 

Readers who are drawn to stories about the psychological manipulation and the fight for survival, all while uncovering hidden truths, will find both books deeply engaging and thought-provoking.

10. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Set in the 1970s, this novel centers on the Lee family, who are dealing with the mysterious death of their daughter Lydia. 

The story explores themes of race, identity, and family dynamics, revealing the pressures Lydia faced to fulfill her parents’ expectations and the secrets that each family member keeps. 

Ng’s writing delicately unravels the complex relationships within the Lee family, leading to a poignant exploration of the ways in which unspoken words and unrealized dreams can shape a family’s life.

Major Similarities: 

“Everything I Never Told You” and “Sharp Objects” both delve into the complexities of family relationships and the impact of past traumas on the present. 

While Ng’s novel does not revolve around a murder investigation, it shares Flynn’s interest in exploring the dark side of human nature and the secrets that lie beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary lives. 

Both authors create deeply nuanced characters and craft narratives that engage with the themes of memory, loss, and the search for truth, making them compelling for readers drawn to emotionally rich and complex stories.

11. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

This gripping novel follows two sisters who survive a brutal attack in their childhood, which leaves their mother dead and their family shattered. Decades later, another violent event forces them to confront their past, unraveling secrets that have been buried for years. 

Slaughter weaves a tale of suspense, family loyalty, and the scars left by trauma, exploring the complex relationships between family members and the impact of past events on the present.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Sharp Objects,” “The Good Daughter” delves deep into the psychological effects of trauma and the complexities of familial relationships. Both novels feature strong, flawed female protagonists dealing with the aftermath of violent crimes. 

Slaughter, much like Gillian Flynn, excels in creating a dark, suspenseful atmosphere and a plot filled with twists and turns, making both books compelling reads for fans of psychological thrillers that explore the darker aspects of human nature and family dynamics.

12. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Set in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, this novel explores the intertwined fates of the Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. 

The story delves into the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood — and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster. 

Ng crafts a narrative that is both a gripping page-turner and a thoughtful exploration of morality and privilege.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Little Fires Everywhere” and “Sharp Objects” explore the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the impact of secrets within a tight-knit community. 

While Ng’s novel is less of a thriller, it shares with Flynn’s work a keen psychological insight and the exploration of the darker side of suburban life. 

The detailed character studies and the unraveling of family secrets in both novels will appeal to readers who enjoy stories about the intricacies of human relationships and the unforeseen consequences of our actions.

13. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient” follows psychotherapist Theo Faber as he attempts to treat Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who has become mute after being charged with her husband’s murder. 

Alicia’s refusal to speak or give any form of explanation turns her into a mystery that Theo becomes obsessed with solving. The novel is a tightly woven psychological thriller that explores themes of obsession, trauma, and the search for truth.

Major Similarities:

Like “Sharp Objects,” “The Silent Patient” delves into the psychology of its characters, with a focus on uncovering the truth behind a violent act. Both novels keep the reader on edge with their suspenseful narratives and unexpected twists. 

The exploration of trauma and its lasting effects on the psyche is central to both stories, appealing to readers who are fascinated by the depths of human emotion and the mysteries of the mind.

14. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This novel tells the story of Laurel Mack, whose life changes forever when her daughter, Ellie, disappears. 

Ten years later, with no leads to what happened, Laurel begins to put her life back together until she meets a charming man and his young daughter who bears a striking resemblance to Ellie. 

As Laurel becomes increasingly involved with the family, she uncovers secrets that she could never have imagined. “Then She Was Gone” is a compelling mix of mystery, psychological insight, and the enduring hope of a mother’s love.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Then She Was Gone” and “Sharp Objects” feature intricate plots revolving around family secrets and the impact of past events on the present. Lisa Jewell, like Gillian Flynn, creates a suspenseful atmosphere that keeps the reader engaged and guessing until the very end. 

The themes of loss, grief, and the quest for truth are prevalent in both novels, making them resonate with readers who appreciate stories that explore the darker, more emotional aspects of human relationships and the lengths to which people will go to uncover the truth.

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