This time round I’ve decided to recommend books that all have a psychological twist; not necessarily thrillers per se, but books that get inside your head or which explore the inner workings of the characters’ minds.
The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
The clever aspect of The Boy Who Could See Demons is that we are never entirely sure whether the young protagonist is truly seeing Ruen – the demon he believes is his best friend – or whether he is suffering from schizophrenia. As Ruen’s influence becomes more and more dangerous, the need to uncover the truth becomes more pressing.
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
Our Endless Numbered Days opens with Peggy returning to civilisation after spending years living in solitude with her survivalist father, who convinced her that the world had ended. The story is told in a dual narrative, flitting between Peggy’s time living in the woods with her obviously unstable father, and her attempts in the present day to re-assimilate into society. With a strong fairy tale vibe and a dark undercurrent, this was a very interesting read.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Bird Box plays with the senses and is a perfect example as to the power of the unsaid, or in this case the unseen. The world is falling apart due to something outside which drives anyone who sees it to instant insanity. After years of living in the shadows, we follow Malorie as she blindfolds her young children and heads out in search of safety. Utterly gripping, this book blew me away, with Malorie’s added moral struggles in the quest to keep her children safe adding another layer of depth.
Out by Natsuo Kirino
Written by the ‘Japanese Queen of Crime’, Out is a dark tale that centres around a group of female factory workers who help a colleague cover up the murder of her husband. It explores each woman’s reasons for getting involved and the effects of keeping such a dangerous secret, all whilst making fascinating commentary on issues within Japanese society, such as the role of women and the economic divide.
The Dumb House by John Burnside
A character study of perhaps one of the most disturbed individuals you are likely to encounter in modern literature, The Dumb House follows a man’s warped fascination with the innateness of language and the physical presence of the soul. His quest for knowledge will lead him down an increasingly twisted path, with devastating consequences.
What are some of your favourite books with a psychological element? Let’s get talking in the comments!