10 Best Authors Like Ottessa Moshfegh Who Weave Dark and Twisted Narratives

Discover our list of authors like Ottessa Moshfegh, who weave complex tales of unsettling psychological suspense that leap off the page. 

The psychological suspense genre has a rich history spanning multiple decades. It first arrived as a subgenre of crime and legal thriller novels but soon developed into its own genre. Writers in this niche are often influenced by masters such as Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, and Daphne du Maurier. The authors on our list have become masters in their own right, often crafting diabolical tales that leave readers’ minds reeling.

New Englander Ottessa Moshfegh stands out as one of the most skilled at weaving plots that twist readers’ perceptions of what’s real and what’s imagined. Her debut novel, Eileen, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Subsequent books by Moshfegh have hit the New York Times Bestseller list, cementing her position as a psychological suspense novelist with many more good reads to offer. In the meantime, delve into our curated list of authors like Ottessa Moshfegh for more juicy tales of mind-bending suspense.

Best Authors Like Ottessa Moshfegh Ranked

1. Tana French, 1973

Book cover of The Likeness by Tana French
Book cover of The Likeness by Tana French

Tana French is a contemporary American-Irish writer celebrated for contributing to the crime fiction genre. Born in Vermont, she lived in various countries worldwide before settling in Dublin, Ireland, where she previously attended Trinity College. French is acclaimed for her psychological depth and complex character portrayals, and her debut novel, In the Woods, garnered several prestigious awards, including the Anthony, Edgar, Barry, and Macavity awards for Best First Novel.

One of her standout novels, The Likeness, presents an intriguing premise: Detective Cassie Maddox is called to a crime scene only to find that the murder victim bears a striking resemblance to her and even carries identification with an alias she once used. What follows is an intricately woven narrative of Maddox infiltrating the dead woman’s life, moving into her home, and delving into her secrets. The Likeness was on the New York Times bestseller list for several months.

“I found out early that you can throw yourself away, missing what you’ve lost.”

Tana French, The Likeness
The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 2)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • French, Tana (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 492 Pages - 07/17/2008 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

2. A.J. Finn, 1979 –

A.J. Finn
A.J. Finn

A.J. Finn, pseudonym of American author Daniel Mallory, came into the spotlight with his debut thriller novel, The Woman in the Window. Before his writing career, Mallory was a senior publishing executive at William Morrow and Company. His debut novel immediately hit the bestseller list and was translated into numerous languages worldwide. The novel also gained attention due to the controversy surrounding Mallory’s alleged misrepresentation of his personal life and professional history.

The Woman in the Window is a psychological thriller that centers around Anna Fox, an agoraphobic woman who spends her days inside her New York City brownstone. Her life takes a dark turn when she witnesses something shocking through her window involving her new neighbors. As Anna becomes increasingly obsessed with uncovering the truth, her sanity comes into question.

The novel explores themes of paranoia, perception, and the blurred lines between reality and imagination. With its suspenseful plot and complex characterization, The Woman in the Window immerses readers in a twisted and suspenseful tale of secrets and deception. If you’re searching for more thriller books to binge on a weekend, check out our list of the best Evan Hunter books. You can also search for thriller authors using our search bar at the top right of the post.

“As Shaw also said, alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. Good old Shaw.”

A.J. Finn, The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Finn, A. J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 454 Pages - 01/02/2018 (Publication Date) - William Morrow (Publisher)

3. Megan Miranda, 1972 –

Book cover of All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Book cover of All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda is an American author known for her psychological suspense novels. Miranda, a former high school science teacher, pursued her love for writing and gained recognition with her debut novel, Fracture. She continued to pen multiple successful young adult novels before transitioning into adult fiction. Her adult debut, All the Missing Girls, was a New York Times bestseller and received considerable acclaim.

All the Missing Girls stands out due to its unusual narrative structure: the story is repeated over two weeks. This innovative structure enhances the suspense as the protagonist Nic Farrell returns to her hometown to unravel the mystery of two missing girls, one going into the present and one ten years ago. With the intriguing setup and unconventional timeline, readers are kept on their toes following the engaging narrative in this book.

“We were a town full of fear, searching for answers. But we were also a town full of liars.”

Megan Miranda, All the Missing Girls
All the Missing Girls: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Miranda, Megan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 396 Pages - 06/28/2016 (Publication Date) - S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books (Publisher)

4. Karin Slaughter, 1971 –

Karin Slaughter
Karin Slaughter

American crime writer Karin Slaughter has been published in 37 languages and sold over 35 million copies of her books worldwide. Slaughter was born in a small Georgia town and has her home state as the setting in many of her novels. Known for her gritty and graphic storytelling, she debuted in 2001 with Blindsighted, which became an international success and was translated into 27 languages.

Pretty Girls is an incredibly intense and disturbing read among her wide repertoire of crime novels. It’s a tale of two estranged sisters who come together following the disappearance of their third sister, who disappeared decades earlier, and the more recent disappearance of other girls. As the sisters unravel their family’s dark past, Slaughter doesn’t shy away from graphic scenes, giving a raw and unflinching look at the horrific events.

“This was the beginning of something that might lead to everything or nothing at all.”

Karin Slaughter, Pretty Girls
Pretty Girls: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Slaughter, Karin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 09/29/2015 (Publication Date) - William Morrow (Publisher)

5. Mary Kubica, 1978 –

Book cover of The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Book cover of The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is an American author of psychological thrillers. As a Chicago native, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She debuted in 2014 with The Good Girl, an Indie Next pick and a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide.

The Good Girl revolves around the abduction of Mia Dennett, the daughter of a prominent Chicago judge. Told through multiple perspectives, including Mia’s mother, the kidnapper, and a detective assigned to the case, the story unravels the complexities of Mia’s disappearance and the secrets that lie beneath the surface. As the investigation progresses, unexpected connections and betrayals come to light. The novel delves into themes of identity, family dynamics, and the blurred lines between good and evil.

“But with every dollar I earned was also the knowledge that I belonged to someone other than me.”

Mary Kubica, The Good Girl
The Good Girl: A Thrilling Suspense Novel from the author of Local Woman Missing
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kubica, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 383 Pages - 07/29/2014 (Publication Date) - MIRA (Publisher)

6. Clare Mackintosh, 1976 – 

Clare Mackintosh
Clare Mackintosh

British author Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force before eventually turning to writing. Her debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer. It also won Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. Her subsequent books have continued to be received with critical and commercial success.

I Let You Go is a profoundly emotional psychological thriller where a tragic accident sets off an unstoppable chain of events revealing shocking secrets. It follows the life of Jenna Gray, a woman haunted by a tragic accident. After a hit-and-run incident claims the life of a young boy, Jenna seeks solace by moving to a remote coastal town. She becomes entangled in a web of secrets and lies as she tries to rebuild her life. Meanwhile, the police investigator, haunted by the unsolved case, continues to search for the truth.

“She crouches beside him, searching frantically for a pulse.”

Clare Mackintosh, I Let You Go
I Let You Go
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Mackintosh, Clare (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 377 Pages - 05/03/2016 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

7. Alex Michaelides, 1977 –

Book cover of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Book cover of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides is a British author and screenwriter of Cypriot descent. Born and raised in Cyprus, he moved to England to study English literature at Cambridge. He later earned a postgraduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His debut novel, The Silent Patient, quickly gained international recognition and topped the New York Times Bestseller list. It also won the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller in 2019.

The Silent Patient explores the story of Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who abruptly stops speaking after allegedly shooting her husband, and Theo Faber, a psychotherapist determined to uncover the truth. As Theo delves deeper into Alicia’s mysterious past and her time at a psychiatric facility, he uncovers shocking secrets and a web of deceit. With a twist-filled narrative and psychological suspense, this book explores themes of trauma, obsession, and the complexities of the human mind.

“During the trial, the judge took a dim view of Alicia’s persistent refusal to speak.”

Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient
The Silent Patient
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Michaelides, Alex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 308 Pages - 02/05/2019 (Publication Date) - Celadon Books (Publisher)

8. C.L. Taylor, 1873 –

Book cover of Sleep by C.L. Taylor
Book cover of Sleep by C.L. Taylor

C.L. Taylor is a British author known for her psychological crime thrillers. Taylor was born in Worcester, England, and spent her early career working in graphic design and marketing before turning to writing full-time. Her novels have sold over a million copies, been number one on all ebook platforms, and been translated into over 20 languages. She also won the Best Crime Novel award at the inaugural Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards.

Sleep is among her most recognized works. It follows the story of Anna, a woman attempting to escape her troubled past and feelings of guilt. She takes up a job at a hotel on a remote Scottish island, seeking solace and a fresh start. However, her plans take a dark turn when she discovers that one of the guests is a killer. As Anna becomes entangled in the dangerous situation, the plot unfolds with gripping intensity. Looking for more crime thriller novels to read? Check out our round-up of the best PD James books of all time.

“Those who have a mother, treasure her with care, for you never know how much you love her until she is not there.”

C.L. Taylor, Sleep
Sleep: The gripping crime thriller that will keep you up at night, from the million-copy bestseller
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Taylor, C.L. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 369 Pages - 04/04/2019 (Publication Date) - Avon (Publisher)

9. Jane Harper, 1980 –

Book cover of The Dry by Jane Harper
Book cover of The Dry by Jane Harper

Jane Harper is an English-born Australian author best known for her crime novels set in Australia. Harper was born in Manchester, England, but moved to Australia with her family when she was eight. After a career in journalism, she turned to writing fiction and won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript for her debut novel, The Dry.

The Dry is a compelling crime novel set in a small drought-stricken Australian town. The protagonist, Aaron Falk, returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend and becomes embroiled in the investigation of the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. Harper’s atmospheric writing vividly evokes the oppressive heat and isolation of the Australian Outback.

“Both boots and every pocket of her jeans had been packed tight with stones.”

Jane Harper, The Dry
The Dry: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Harper, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 01/10/2017 (Publication Date) - Flatiron Books (Publisher)

10. Peter Swanson, 1968 –

Book cover of The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Book cover of The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is an American author known for his suspenseful thriller novels. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, he has degrees from Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College. His novel, The Kind Worth Killing, won the New England Society Book Award and was a finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger.

The Kind Worth Killing follows the story of two strangers, Ted and Lily, who meet during a late-night flight. What starts as an innocent encounter quickly evolves into a deadly game of what-ifs. As the tension rises, the plot takes a dark turn involving murder. Swanson’s skillful storytelling builds suspense, with morally ambiguous characters that engross readers.

“Everyone dies, but not everyone has to see someone they love with another person.”

Peter Swanson, The Kind Worth Killing
The Kind Worth Killing: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Swanson, Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 02/03/2015 (Publication Date) - William Morrow (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best authors like John Grisham!

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  • Kate has been writing since she was 10 years old, tapping away on an old typewriter in her childhood bedroom. Today, Kate is a seasoned freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing for print and online media. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of words to transport readers to new worlds, and inspire and nurture creativity. Kate is also a published author and is currently working on her next project.