Spooky Spotlight: Freida McFadden
We're well into the thick of Spooky Season, so it's time for thrillers to shine! Even if you're not a fan of the genre, it's hard to avoid anything scary right about now. There are many famous authors who write thrillers: Stephen King, Agatha Christie, John Grisham, etc.
However, one author that may have been overlooked until recently is Freida McFadden. When she isn't writing mindblowing psychological thrillers, McFadden is a physician specializing in brain injuries. Her most popular work includes The Housemaid series, and her name is becoming synonymous with the psychological thriller subgenre.
by Freida McFadden, 2020
How far is a mother willing to go to protect her child? That's what you'll ask yourself when you read The Perfect Son. Detectives approach Erika Cass about a missing high school girl, and her son is the last person to see her alive. Erika believes that her son is perfect -- hence the title -- but the plot reveals the truth... Liam may have actually been responsible for this missing and presumably dead girl. Will his mother do anything about it? Big on suspense, McFadden surprises readers with this novel's unexpected ending, so you'll just have to read it to find out!
The Locked Door, 2023
Filled with twists and turns, The Locked Door offers us a serial killer plot. Nora grew up thinking her childhood was normal; nothing was normal about having a serial killer for a father. In their basement, Nora's father was getting away with killing women until the police showed up. It's been decades since Nora's father was arrested, and Nora would prefer if no one knew who her father was. Pursuing a successful career as a surgeon, Nora stays as off-the-grid as possible while following her dreams. Horrifically, one of her female patients gets murdered in the same gory way that her father killed his victims. Someone knows Nora's identity, but they don't know what's in her basement... If you are interested in true crime and serial killer stories, you'll love this McFadden novel!
The Inmate, 2022
Brooke Sullivan wants to start her new job as a nurse practitioner on the right foot. However, when she's working at a maximum-security male prison, Brooke finds it more than difficult. Her job is especially difficult when Shane, her high school sweetheart, ends up being one of her patients. Brooke is not supposed to reveal any details about her personal life, but what happens when someone already knows her? Shane is not exactly happy to see Brooke, since Brooke's testimony finalized his guilty verdict of many murders. Despite everything that happened, Shane remembers how the events occurred, and he won't forget. The Inmate has a great plot, captivating narration, and of course a mindblowing ending.
What starts out as a story of a newly married couple turns into a haunting mystery. Ethan and Tricia are house-hunting when they see the residence of Dr. Adrienne Hale, who suddenly disappeared a few years ago. After they decide to check it out, the couple becomes trapped in the manor during an awful winter storm. While they wait the blizzard out, Tricia accidentally finds a secret room in the house. The secret room houses many transcripts from all of Dr. Hale's psychiatric patients. Tricia listens to them one by one, learning more about how Dr. Hale may have gone missing. When Tricia finally gets to the last cassette tape, the entire truth becomes obvious and terrifying. This horrifying, mind-bending thriller always keeps readers on their toes. If you dare to embark on this creepy reading journey, check out Never Lie now.
The Housemaid, 2022
From the moment Nina hires Millie to clean their home, Millie fears that her secrets will be revealed. Little does she know that she should be more worried about what Nina and Andrew Winchester are hiding... Millie cleans their home, picks up their daughter, and cooks their meals -- all to be sent to a tiny room to live in at night. As days go by, Millie realizes that Nina's behavior is abnormal. Why does Nina make messes just to watch Millie clean, and then criticize Millie's cleaning? Millie starts to grow resentful, despite this amazing job opportunity, and even envious of Nina's life with her perfect husband. Millie tries not to fall for Andrew's handsome and attentive guise, but Nina sees right through it. After Millie tries on one of Nina's dresses, everything seems to change between the two. Once Millie learns that her tiny bedroom door locks from the outside, she starts to understand what she got herself into. For anyone looking for a twisted read filled with gasps, The Housemaid is for you.
The Housemaid's Secret, 2023
Published at the beginning of this year after quite the wait, The Housemaid's Secret is the sequel to The Housemaid. This story still follows Millie, whose background we learn about in the first book of the series. Without spoiling anything, Millie is working as a housemaid at another house in this story. This time, she works for the Garricks in a beautiful, expensive penthouse. Millie is not asking any questions, as she continues to work hard, but she can't help but wonder where Mrs. Garrick is. After some time, Millie hears a woman crying in the guest room, but she is not supposed to enter that room. Once she notices blood on the woman's clothes during laundry, Millie needs to know more. After she decides to open that door and sees Mrs. Garrick, Millie knows what she has to do...
McFadden's most recent release, The Coworker, has already received raving reviews. Despite their differences, two women working in the same office form an odd friendship. Dawn is noticeably off personality-wise, but she is always on time and consistent. When Dawn does not show up to work at her usual time one morning, Natalie grows concerned. If things aren't strange enough, Natalie receives an uncanny, anonymous phone call... Readers will realize that Dawn wasn't just an awkward coworker; she was the target. Will Natalie solve her coworker's disappearance, or will she suffer the same fate as Dawn?
When the leaves start to fall and everything is pumpkin flavored, what more could you ask for than good thrillers? Freida McFadden has been writing thrillers for years, and her most recent series, The Housemaid, has been praised all over social media. I personally have read several of her books, and they never cease to amaze me. As a fan of the thriller genre, I am always impressed by her unreliable narrators and twisted writing. At Discover Books, we wish you a cozy fall and happy reading!