16 Chilling Domestic Thriller Books That Will Keep You Up All Night

Best Domestic thriller books to read scaled

The home might be where love lives for some, but for others, it’s the worst nightmare they’ve ever experienced – so bad, that they  often doubt their sanity.

Unlike other subgenres of thriller novels, domestic thriller novels usually focus on the relationships between people living under the same roof and whatever tension keeps them all awake at night.

It could be a murder mystery, but ultimately, the focus is on the dynamics between several characters and how whatever exists between them is potentially deadly.

These must-read books are perfect if you’re looking for a new read that will keep you glued and have you immersed in record time, and I promise they are all so good.

1. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs

Libby Jones receives a life-changing letter on her twenty-fifth birthday, revealing her birth parents’ identity and her inheritance of their mansion in Chelsea. 

What she doesn’t know, though, is that the mansion holds dark secrets from twenty-five years ago, involving three entangled families and a mysterious disappearance of children. 

And as she digs deeper to find out more, she gets entangled in a web of deceit that she could never have seen coming. 

2. Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

Arlo Wilde, a former rock star, and his wife Gertie struggle with addiction and ostracism, while their children face their own challenges in this tense, atmospheric domestic thriller book.

Their neighbour, Rhea Schroeder, also has many dark secrets and wants to fit into the community, but when a sinkhole opens in a nearby park and Rhea’s daughter goes missing, tensions escalate.

This then leads to a shocking accusation and a devastating clash between the neighbors. As chilling as it could be, this gripping book shows the dark, treacherous underbelly of suburban life.

3. The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose

The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose

Sarah Morgan is a successful defence attorney in Washington D.C. whose life is upended when her husband Adam is arrested for the murder of his mistress, Kelly Summers. 

Adam, a struggling writer, had been having an affair with Kelly, which led to a tumultuous situation. 

And as Sarah mounts her defence for her husband, she’s forced to confront the possibility that he might be genuinely guilty of the crime. 

4. Watch Out for Her by Samantha M. Bailey

Watch out for her

Sarah Goldman, mother to six-year-old Jacob, relocates across the country to escape her past, particularly her uneasy relationship with her former babysitter, Holly Monroe. 

Despite initially appearing perfect, Sarah grew suspicious of Holly’s true intentions and discovered unsettling secrets. Now settled in a new city with her husband and son, Sarah believes she’s left her past behind.

But, when she discovers hidden cameras in her new home, she realizes her past may not be as distant as she thought and now she must uncover who’s watching her and why before it’s too late.

5. The Woman Inside by M.T. Edvardsson

The woman inside

Bill Olsson is a recently widowed father who’s struggling to provide for his daughter, Sally. 

To make ends meet, he takes in Karla, a law student working as a housekeeper for the wealthy Rytters. 

Soon, tensions escalate when the Rytters are found dead, and Karla becomes a suspect. With each character harboring secrets, the question of who could have been driven to kill hangs over them all.

This is yet another fantastic domestic thriller book that kept me up all night that I think anyone would absolutely appreciate reading. 

6. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The couple next door

A mother’s worst nightmare happens after her six-month-old daughter disappears from her crib during a dinner party at the neighbor’s house. 

With tensions rising and suspicions mounting, the mother is pushed to her limit as she starts investigating the harrowing ordeal of her child’s abduction. 

And soon, the mother is forced to confront her own capabilities and resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.

7. The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

The Mother in Law

Lucy finds herself entangled in a web of mystery and suspicion after the sudden death of her mother-in-law, Diana.

Even though Diana’s outward charm and social standing left everyone in awe, Lucy slowly discovers more about the circumstances surrounding Diana’s demise that paints her late mother-in-law in a totally different light.

Now, Lucy must confront the possibility that someone close to her has a deadly agenda and to make it worse, her own secrets are also at risk of being revealed.

8. All The Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham 

All the dangerous things

Isabelle Drake’s life was shattered when her toddler son, Mason, was abducted from his crib a year ago. 

And even though she tried all she could to find him, the case remained cold and her sadness consumed her so much that she developed insomnia. 

Desperate for answers, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster and this triggers memories from her own past and raises doubts about her recollection of Mason’s disappearance.

9. Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

In a small Irish village, Ciara Dunphy appears to have a perfect life as an Instagram influencer, but behind the facade, her reality is less glamorous. 

Her best friend, Mishti Guha, struggles with a discontent marriage and yearns for Ciara’s seemingly effortless life. Meanwhile, Lauren Doyle, considered the village’s odd one out, finds an unlikely ally in Mishti. 

When Ciara is found murdered, the village’s secrets come to light and we learn about the hidden tensions and motives among its residents. 

10. The Family Game by Catherine Steadman

The family game

In this suspenseful tale, novelist Harry’s life takes a thrilling turn when she becomes engaged to Edward, who comes from the powerful Holbeck family. 

Despite Edward’s efforts to distance himself, they are inevitably drawn back into the family’s world of wealth and influence. 

Harry is intrigued by the Holbecks, especially Robert, the enigmatic patriarch. However, when Robert shares a shocking confession with her, Harry is thrust into a dangerous game where the stakes are high and the consequences deadly. 

11. Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Not a happy family

In a wealthy upstate New York town, the Merton family, known for their riches, faces a gruesome murder after Easter dinner. 

The three adult children, set to inherit millions, appear devastated but also harbour secrets. Raised in a dysfunctional household, suspicion arises about which family member might be disturbed enough to commit the crime. 

This is another fantastic and twisted domestic thriller and murder mystery book you should read if you want something genuine and original to sink into. 

12. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

The last thing he told me

Owen Michaels disappears after leaving a cryptic note to his wife, Hannah, urging her to protect his daughter, Bailey. 

And even though she’s confused at first, she decides to follow through, but Bailey isn’t enthused to spend any amount of time with her stepmother. 

As Hannah tries to reach Owen and faces unexpected visits from law enforcement, she discovers Owen’s true identity is a mystery. With Bailey possibly holding crucial information, Hannah begins digging out the truth behind Owen’s disappearance.

13. Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

Newlyweds Sam and Annie move to Sam’s hometown, where he works as a therapist in their home while Annie spends much time alone. 

Unbeknownst to Sam, his sessions can be overheard through a vent by someone upstairs. As Sam becomes increasingly distant, a French girl’s arrival disrupts their marriage, which leads Sam to disappear from home. 

This unexpected turn challenges their happily ever after and reveals cracks in their relationship as secrets are exposed and their future becomes uncertain.

14. Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister 

Wrong place wrong time

On Halloween, Jen witnessed her only son commit a violent act and with Todd taken into custody, Jen fell asleep in despair, only to wake up to the previous day. 

Realizing she’s repeating time, Jen is determined to find out the trigger for Todd’s crime and prevent it from happening. 

Each morning, she wakes up further back in the past which gives her a chance to change events and save both their lives. 

15. The Woman Outside My Door by Rachel Ryan

The woman outside my door

Georgina tries to convince herself that Cody’s imaginary friend, New Granny, is normal childhood behaviour. But, her maternal instinct tells her otherwise. 

Struggling with her own grief and busy life, Georgina worries that Cody’s friend might not be imaginary, especially since he recently lost his grandmother. 

And even though her husband reassures her, she can’t help the feeling that there might be something more sinister going on that will test her sanity.

This is yet another super brilliant domestic thriller book with suspense that builds on suspense and I promise you’re going to love it from start to finish. 

16. Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

Pretty little wife

In an apparently peaceful college town, Lila Ridgefield is bent on hiding her true identity. But when a student and her husband, Aaron, vanish, suspicion mounts. 

The cases are dismissed as coincidences until it’s revealed they’re part of a pattern of disappearances. Desperate for answers, the police search for connections. 

Meanwhile, Lila appears indifferent to her husband’s disappearance, as she was the last to see his body—now missing. As the town reels from the mystery, Lila holds a dark secret that could unravel the truth behind the disappearances which leaves everyone curious about who she really is.

What do you think? Will you check out any of these domestic thriller books? Let me know if you have any more recommendations or if you have any questions in the comment section below.

And if you’re in the mood for even more thriller recommendations, you might want to check out the best psychological thriller books you’ll ever read, and the related post has even more lists for you.


Hi! I'm Preye ("pre" as in "prepare" and "ye" as in "Kanye"), and I am a lifelong book lover who enjoys talking about books and sharing bits and pieces of all the fascinating things I come across. I love books so much that I decided to become a developmental editor, and right now, I work with authors to help them tell their stories better. On this blog, I share everything from book recommendations to book reviews and writing tips, so feel free to stop by anytime you like!

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