Mountaineer 2020 book recommendations: suspense and psychological fiction

This is a great time to get lost in an exciting novel


Cassie Oppelt

Multiple books, some based on horror, are pictured above.

Cassie Oppelt, Staff Writer

With all the challenges this year has presented, keeping many of us stuck in our homes, why not take advantage of the opportunity to pick up a good book to read. Reading an intriguing novel can be both fun and fulfilling. Here are a few recommendations from the Mountaineer.  These suspenseful novels can help you escape your current reality.

No Exit, by Taylor Adams

One of the most gripping thrillers I have ever read, this novel is about four strangers, a kidnapped girl, and a case of cold-blooded murder. Darby Thorne gets caught in a massive blizzard. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop.

Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers. She soon finds herself face to face with a kidnapped child, with no way of leaving the rest stop or calling for help, she must find out which one of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. Risking her own life to help the child, Darby must face increasingly dangerous situations to get help. 

Playmates, by Andrew Neiderman

A woman driving with her five-year-old daughter finds herself broken down in a rainstorm in a rural area she is not familiar with. When seeking shelter and help from a nearby farmhouse, they soon become “Playmates” for the deranged family and end up in a whirlpool of unrelenting terror. 

Room, by Emma Donoghue

This novel is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack, who is being held captive along with his mother in a tiny shed he calls room. The room is all he has ever known, and all that he thinks exists. He plays all day, exercises with his “Ma”, and then is locked away in the wardrobe at night where he is meant to sleep while “Old Nick” visits. The room is seen as a home to Jack, but a prison for his mother, as she has been there a lot longer than him and knows it is not enough for a growing boy. She devises a plan for an escape, and you follow along from Jack’s perspective and watch as this brave boy does the unbelievable.

The Queen’s Gambit, by Walter Tevis

This novel (my personal favorite for the year) is not only increasingly suspenseful but also heartwarming and incredibly emotional. It follows eight-year-old, orphaned Beth Harmon as she goes from being quite the ordinary, unremarkable girl until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control.

By the age of sixteen, she’s competing for the U.S. Open Championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting. This novel covers everything from a troubled coming of age story to addiction and dependency. 

Also you are encouraged to Dm us on our Instagram page ShsMountaineer to share suggestions of your own.


Some places you can find these books are