Unreliable and Larger than Life Narrators

In the world of books, some narrators are more than words on a page—they are unforgettable personalities. From thrilling tales to scandalous stories, here are a few books featuring unforgettable narrators. But can you trust them?

The Busy Body by Kemper Donovan

A ghostwriter enlisted to assist former Senator Dorothy Gibson in crafting her memoir in rural Maine finds herself caught up in a narrative as compelling as Dorothy’s storied career when a local is mysteriously killed. Against the backdrop of stunning landscapes and political fallout, these two women investigate this crime and the tangled web it reveals. However, the true enigma lies within the ghostwriter—an unreliable narrator with a penchant for narrative manipulation. Original and captivating, this puzzling tale that echoes the charm of Golden Age mysteries while introducing a modern and unpredictable twist, keeps readers engaged until the final reveal.

Where Ivy Dares to Grow by Marielle Thompson

In this haunting debut, Saoirse’s journey to her fiancé’s ancestral home becomes an exploration of time and perception. Langdon Hall, with its ominous façade, hides secrets both in its dilapidated present and in its enchanting heyday of 1818 where Saoirse unexpectedly finds herself. The line between reality and fantasy blurs and Saoirse’s struggles cast shadows on her every interaction. As she encounters Theo Page, a figure from the past, the fragile peace of Langdon Hall fractures. With a narrative where trust is elusive and the mind is as treacherous as the manor’s halls, Saoirse’s descent into the echoes of time becomes a suspenseful dance, leaving readers to question what is real and what is not.

Who to Believe by Edwin Hill

In a small coastal town, Laurel Thibodeau’s murder disrupts the tranquil community, sparking suspicions and rumors among six friends. Hill weaves a suspenseful tale, exploring jealousy, revenge, and hidden secrets reminiscent of Ruth Ware. As the friends navigate a web of deceit, the question becomes not just who is capable of murder, but who isn’t. And while everyone has their own version of the story the narrator, psychiatrist Farley Drake, knows everyone else’s perspective, while skillfully hiding his own…

Atonement by Ian McEwan

A hot summer day in 1935 marks a turning point for thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis. Observing the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant, Briony’s youthful misunderstanding and vivid imagination lead to a crime that reverberates through their lives. As World War II unfolds, the novel delves into the chaos and carnage of the war and extends its gaze into the complexities of guilt and forgiveness, weaving a symphonic tale that spans decades into the close of the twentieth century.

Love, Honor, Betray by Mary Monroe

In Depression-era Lexington, Alabama, Jessie and Hubert Wiggins, known for their idyllic marriage, harbor hidden secrets and forbidden affairs amid mysterious serial murders in their community. As their town unravels with murders, the Wiggins’ confront the perilous truth threatening to expose their carefully crafted façade, told from the dual perspectives of this husband and wife readers get a front row seat to the lies Jessie and Hubert tell their community, each other, and maybe even themselves.