Internationally bestselling author Ruth Ware has a slate of exceptional thrillers to her name. From the author’s acclaimed debut novel In a Dark, Dark Wood to her latest It Girl, which hit shelves July 2022, Ware’s twisty plotlines and intriguing characters make for wonderfully riveting reads. And if you enjoy Ware’s work, then we think you’ll devour books by the thrilling authors below.
11 Authors Like Ruth Ware
Ware fans are sure to love these acclaimed thriller authors.
The Silent Patient
By Alex Michaelides
Internationally bestselling author Alex Michaelides writes captivating psychological thrillers with propulsive pacing and surprising revelations. Like Ware, he makes effective use of complex characters to craft smart, compelling plots. In The Silent Patient, Michaelides’ blockbuster debut, he pulls off an impressive feat: The central character doesn’t speak. Alicia Berenson had a lovely life and a perfect marriage — or so it seemed until she shot her husband five times in the face and then stopped speaking altogether. Alicia’s silence adds to the mystery of her crime as a criminal psychotherapist works desperately to break through and unravel the truth. In Michaelides’ second novel, The Maidens, the author’s clever twists and meticulously crafted characters are once again on full display as troubled therapist Mariana Andros spirals into obsession trying to prove that a well-loved and charismatic professor is also a murderer. For fans of Ware, we can’t recommend Michaelides highly enough.
A Nearly Normal Family
By M.T. Edvardsson
Swedish crime writer M.T. Edvardsson has a sharp, suspenseful style that fans of Ware will appreciate. His first U.S.-published novel, A Nearly Normal Family, features a skillfully crafted plot, a shadowy suburban setting, and a host of nuanced characters. When 18-year-old Stella Sandell is accused of murdering a businessman, the bonds of her upright suburban family are put to the test. Stella’s pastor father clings to his daughter’s presumed innocence, while Stella’s defense attorney mother begins questioning everyone’s stories. Meanwhile, Stella herself is willing to go to unexpected lengths to reclaim her future. Like Ware, Edvardsson tells a twisted and gripping tale in this brilliant crime thriller that raises questions of morality and family obligation.
By Jean Hanff Korelitz
Part of what makes Ware’s characters so compelling is just how flawed they are, which is why we think both The Plot and The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz will be satisfying reads for Ware fans. In The Plot, a dark and enticing opportunity presents itself to struggling creative writing professor Jacob Finch Bonner. Jake’s star student has died unexpectedly, leaving behind a “sure thing” plot idea — which Jake decides to steal and claim as his own. Initially, Jake rides high on his stolen success, but then an ominous message arrives — You are a thief. Naturally this sends him scrambling to protect his secret and hide the truth about his late student and the origin of the plot. Korelitz’s The Latecomer follows the wealthy Oppenheimer family and examines how the surprise arrival of a fourth sibling, the titular “latecomer” who’s two decades younger than the other Oppenheimer siblings, impacts the family’s already frayed dynamic. While ultimately a story about togetherness and familial bonds, The Latecomer still delivers a healthy dose of page-turning intrigue and family drama as “Korelitz juggles the stories of each parent and child, weaving a tapestry of secrets, antipathies, and private quests” (The New York Times Book Review). While Ware threads her mysteries with deeply human characters, Korelitz expertly wraps a bit of mystery around her very human stories, and we love them both for it.
By Alexis Schaitkin
Since you’re looking for authors like Ruth Ware, it’s fair to assume that you love a dash of mystery and appreciate complex female characters. You’ll get your fill of both from celebrated author Alexis Schaitkin. Schaitkin’s novels, Saint X and Elsewhere, have a spellbinding quality to them, drawing you into their enticing narratives in a way Ware readers are sure to enjoy. In Saint X, Schaitkin introduces us to the haunted yet determined Claire, whose older sister, Allison, died under mysterious circumstances while on a family vacation many years ago. Allison’s death was never fully explained; while two local men were suspected of her murder, there was never enough evidence to charge them with the crime. Years later, a now-grown Claire bumps into one of the men suspected of murdering her sister, sending her into a twisting search for answers about who her sister was and what happened to her all those years ago. Schaitkin’s storytelling is compulsive, emotional, and full of wonderfully flawed characters. After Saint X, we recommend Schaitkin’s newest release, Elsewhere, for a fresh and eerie read.
The Night She Disappeared
By Lisa Jewell
Bestselling author Lisa Jewell has a slew of celebrated novels to her name, and any of her riveting thrillers deserve a top spot on your TBR pile. For the purposes of this list, we’re recommending The Night She Disappeared for its Ware-like character-driven plot, strong female characterizations, and suspenseful storytelling. A year after a young couple goes missing, a writer moves into a cottage in the woods near the site of the unsolved disappearance. When she finds a note that reads DIG HERE, she’s swept into the mystery of the missing couple and the enveloping woods that now surround her. Fans of Ware will be taken with Jewell’s compelling female characters and the unexpected conclusion in what The Guardian calls a “gripping and satisfying” read.
The Book of Cold Cases
By Simone St. James
If you love Ware’s The Turn of the Key, Simone St. James’ The Book of Cold Cases is a must-read. St. James, like Ware, knows how to conjure a thoroughly haunting setting that keeps you on the edge of your seat. In The Book of Cold Cases, a woman is acquitted of the murders of two men. Decades later, a true-crime blogger named Shea interviews the once-suspected killer in her mansion home. But the longer Shea spends inside Greer mansion hoping to unearth the truth about the cold case, the stranger things become. Chilling and spooky, this modern haunted house tale will keep Ware fans riveted until the last page is turned.
The Paris Apartment
By Lucy Foley
Lucy Foley is a New York Times bestselling author with a talent for crafting unputdownable whodunnits filled with compelling characters and sharp twists — which is exactly why Ware fans are sure to enjoy Foley’s acclaimed narratives. We recommend Foley’s The Paris Apartment, which is charming, surprising, and well-paced. In need of a fresh start after leaving her job, Jess decamps to Paris to stay with her half-brother Ben. But when she arrives, Ben is nowhere to be found, and the building’s residents all seem to be hiding something. The longer Ben remains missing, the deeper Jess dives into finding answers about his disappearance — but is she ready for what she might find? Ruth Ware herself hails Foley’s The Paris Apartment as “gloriously twisty.”
By Sarah Pearse
Bestselling author Sarah Pearse delivers Ware-like atmosphere, believably flawed characters, and unsuspecting plot twists in her thriller The Sanatorium. Detective Elin Warner needs some time off from work, so she heads to a remote sanatorium turned luxury hotel in the Swiss Alps to celebrate her brother Isaac’s engagement. But when Isaac’s fiancée goes missing and a body turns up, Elin’s vacation is officially put on hold. Then things take an even darker turn when a powerful storm cuts off the hotel from the outside world. Avid Ware readers will feel right at home with Pearse’s creepy setting and chilling story in this instant New York Times bestseller.
His & Hers
By Alice Feeney
Ware’s narratives do a wonderful job at keeping readers guessing from cover to cover. Her complex and fallible characters make it thrillingly difficult to know whom to trust, leading us to deliciously surprising conclusions. The same can be said about the work of Alice Feeney, the New York Times bestselling author of several well-received novels. Her psychological thriller His & Hers is sure to captivate Ware readers with its intertwining dual narrative. In the tiny village of Blackdown, a woman is murdered. Newscaster Anna Andrews’ reluctance to cover the story draws the suspicion of Detective Jack Harper, until the detective himself becomes a suspect. In this he-said, she-said showdown, people are keeping secrets, and someone else may have to die for it.
The Perfect Stranger
By Megan Miranda
With her carefully crafted characters, women-centric stories, and smartly twisting plotlines, any book by bestselling author Megan Miranda is a perfect companion to a shelf full of Ware thrillers. Though any title from Miranda’s catalog makes for a satisfying read, we’re suggesting The Perfect Stranger for its deep character study and dark twists and turns. Leah is desperate for a reset, so she moves to rural Pennsylvania to live with an old friend, Emmy. But when Emmy disappears and the police can’t find any evidence that she even existed, Leah begins to question everything she thought she knew about her friend…as well as the stability of her own mind.
Not a Happy Family
By Shari Lapena
Shari Lapena is the author of multiple bestselling thrillers, and we think Ware fans will love her sharp-witted characters, propulsive pacing, and smart and suspenseful plots. The author’s instant New York Times bestseller Not a Happy Family boasts Ware-like thrills as it takes a close look at a dysfunctional family of complex players. In the rich upstate New York enclave of Brecken Hill, the obscenely wealthy and thoroughly unhappy Merton family gathers for a tense Easter dinner. By the time the sun rises, parents Fred and Sheila Merton are dead. With their parents gone, the three grown children stand to inherit millions. So did a homicidal intruder victimize the Merton family? Or is one of the siblings more unhinged than anyone knew?