Sunday, October 9, 2016

Let the Mind Games Begin

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is the latest psychological thriller to make its way from page to screen.  Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is in a deep depression after going through a divorce and turns a little to often to alcohol to numb her pain.  Everyday on the train she sees this perfect couple, a couple she feels is the embodiment of true love.  Then the woman disappears and Rachel was seen in the area.  The thing is, Rachel can't remember what happened due to blacking out and losing time after drinking too much.  If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, this one has quite a twist at the end.

For more dark and twisty stories here are a few books and movies you should try.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Five-year-old Jacob is killed in a hit and run, an event that sends the police in search of the driver. Jenna Gray flees to Wales to mourn the loss of her son and recover from her past. As the anniversary of Jacob’s still unsolved death approaches, a tip to police results in an arrest and a very different picture emerges. This self-assured debut combines jaw-dropping moments with complex, believable characters and an ending that is hard to see coming. (Jennifer Winberry for LibraryReads)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (also a feature film)
When Amy Dunne disappears from her Missouri home, it looks like her husband, Nick, is to blame. He claims he is innocent, but he doesn't seem truthful.  But this isn't just a simple case of a husband killing his wife to free himself from a bad marriage.  There is something more sinister going on.  Told in first person narratives with multiple perspectives, Gone Girl is a truly frightening glimpse into a souring marriage. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike play Nick and Amy in the 2014 feature film.

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford
What is a pocket wife? It is a wife whose husband barely gives her the time of day. This describes Dana Catrell perfectly. One day Dana drunkenly argues with her neighbor, Celia and then Celia turns up dead.  Dana can't remember what happened, did she kill Celia?  Even her husband thinks she had something to do with the murder. The Pocket Wife is a gripping, character-driven mystery.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Jodi and Todd have been married for 20 years, theirs is the perfect marriage.  Unless of course you count Todd's many infidelities and Jodi turning a blind eye.  Then one of Todd's indiscretions turns serious and he tells Jodi he is leaving her, but Jodi isn't going to let Todd go that easily.  Canadian author Harrison delivers a smart, gripping debut novel.  (According to IMDB the movie based on this book is "in development").

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat. (Joseph Jones for LibraryReads)


Gone Baby Gone (2007) 
Adapted from the novel Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, Gone Baby Gone is an intense look at the inside an ongoing investigation into the kidnapping of a little girl in Boston.  As the detectives get closer to finding her, nothing is as it seems and the danger intensifies.  Starring Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, and Casey Afflek.

Zodiac (2007, based on the book by Robert Graysmith)
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downy, Jr., this thriller follows investigators and reporters as the hunt for the Zodiac serial killer who has been terrifying San Francisco Bay area and taunting police with letters and ciphers.

Side Effects (2013)
Emily Taylor, despite being reunited with her husband from prison, becomes severely depressed with emotional episodes and suicide attempts. Her psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks, after conferring with her previous doctor, eventually prescribes an experimental new medication called Ablixa. The plot thickens when the drug has chilling and deadly side effects.  Starring Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Shutter Island (2010, based on the book by Dennis Lehane)
Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese team up in this psychologial thriller about a U.S. Marshal investigating the asylum for the criminally insane on Shutter Island.  As the investigation unfolds, the marshal, Teddy Daniels, uncovers shocking and terrifying truths about the island. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 or 2011 Also a book by Stieg Larsson)
A journalist is aided by a young computer hacker as they search for a woman who has been missing, or dead, for the past 40 years.  The original Swedish version (2009) and the English language adaptation (2011) are both supremely chilling thrillers, not for the faint of heart. 

Lock your doors and let the mind games begin.

~ Amy, Adult Services

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