For the people like me, who some times have a hard time separating reality and fiction after they put a book down— serial killer novels are the worst. Why? Because serial killers AREN'T fiction. They are one of the scariest and real threats out there (reading these can leave me paranoid for daaaays).
At the same time, researching the psychology and motives that drive serial killers is disturbingly fascinating. Also, reading or watching scary situations allows us to experience emotions and situations in a safe space.
From USA Today, "Why we like to be scared"
"On a psychological level there’s an appeal to vicariously experience what’s forbidden, bizarre or dark. Horror films in particular allow us to explore the experience of fear in an enjoyable and safe way. They also allow us to identify with the bad guy without getting ourselves into too much trouble. Many of us have a need to expose ourselves to sensations which are different from our daily routine. This helps us to feel more stimulated by life. Identifying with the dark side of human nature can be quite cathartic for us as well.
Creepy stories help us to release strong emotions. Let’s face it, most of us, in our daily lives, don’t have a way to release these types of intense and unimaginable feelings (which is probably a good thing). There are benefits to let go of these pent up fears and let them run their course when we have the chance."
1. I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells
It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.
Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense....
Crime by the Book, one of my top favorite reviewers for thrillers said this in her review:
"So what exactly makes EENY MEENY great? A strong female lead, a story unburdened by unnecessary details, a satisfyingly twisted villain, short chapters that keep you turning the pages as quickly as you can… these are just a few of the things I loved about this book. Mainly, this book is fun. (As much as a book about a serial killer can be.) Bring it with you on your next vacation, and you’ll fly through it before you arrive at your destination. It will leave you wanting more, and it will keep you hooked. At the end of the day, that’s what makes a great thriller."
3. The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund
Its discovery reveals a nightmare world of hidden lives. Of lost identities, secret rituals and brutal exploitation, where nobody can be trusted.
This is the darkest, most complex case the police have ever seen.
This is the world of the Crow Girl.