“What REALLY happened?” Mysteries and Thrillers for October

October is the month to explore the darker side of the human psyche. Horror, gore and monsters might not be your cup of tea. Maybe you're not into the occult or paranormal, either. But what about the mysterious, concealed truths, troubling times, the loss of people they've loved and the unexplained events that make a novel protagonist determined to find out "what really happened"?  Then this reading list is for you.

Haunting and Atmospheric October Reads


Haunting mysteries and thrillers including people with complex pasts, or who have lost people they've loved, or find themselves under suspicion regarding the disappearance of friends and family members, and the compulsion to find out "what really happened."

Aspiring artist Adair McCrohan ,has long been haunted by the never-solved 1995 disappearance of her childhood best friend, Rowan Kinnane, then 12, during the gleefully ghoulish annual pre-Halloween festivities in Culleton, N.Y. Now, in 2010, financial straits and health problems bring Adair back to the Hudson Valley town from Brooklyn to stay with her poet uncle, Michan McCrohan, at the family’s mansion-turned-writers-retreat, where he raised her following her parents’ deaths. As fate would have it, one of the writers in residence, Ciaran Riordan, who also has a personal connection to Rowan, is covertly investigating the girl’s disappearance.

After her mother commits suicide, 16-year-old Lane Roanoke moves from New York to Osage Flats, Kansas, to live with her grandparents and her cousin Allegra. Both girls’ mothers left Lane’s grandparents years earlier. Over the course of the summer, Lane and Allegra explore their places in the line of Roanoke girls—their mothers, aunts, and grandmother—who all lived in Osage Flats. Soon, Lane uncovers the reason her mother fled the family and runs away herself, abandoning Allegra. Ten years later, her grandfather calls to tell her that Allegra is missing. Lane returns to confront her tangled past and search for her beloved cousin.

Struggling to put her life back together a decade after her beloved teen daughter's disappearance, a divorced woman bonds with a charming single father whose young child eerily resembles the woman's own lost daughter and who compels a wrenching search for answers.

As a teenager, Ani had been gang-raped by local boys at a party. Then after a shooting massacre at her high school, she was assumed to have been an accomplice in the shooting since she had been friends with one of the gunmen who had targeted her rapists. Decades later as she prepares to marry her fiancee, Ani's future is threatened by documentarians who want to know "what really happened" at the Bradley High School massacre.

When a sleepwalker who has experienced episodes of near violence while unconscious goes missing, her eldest daughter, Lianna, finds herself drawn to a lead detective who seems to know more than he is revealing.

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