10 Mystery Crime Books Like The Lovely Bones

Mystery Crime Stories

In the hauntingly beautiful narrative of “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold, readers are taken on an ethereal journey that transcends the boundaries between life and death. This captivating novel, told from the perspective of a young girl watching over her family from the afterlife, explores themes of loss, redemption, and the indomitable spirit of love that connects us beyond the veil of mortality.

For those who were moved by the poignant storytelling and the delicate exploration of the afterworld in “The Lovely Bones,” there exists a treasure trove of literature that echoes these themes. These books, like delicate threads woven from the same tapestry of human emotion and ethereal wonder, invite readers into worlds where the veil between life and death is thin and the soul’s journey is as profound as it is enlightening. Let us go on this literary journey, where each page turn reveals the resilience of the human heart and the endless possibilities that lie in the realm of the beyond.

10 Books Like The Lovely Bones (Mystery Crime Thriller)

The Lovely Bones” raises philosophical questions about life, death, and the existence of an afterlife, which can be intellectually stimulating for readers. If you enjoyed “The Lovely Bones,” you will love books with similar themes, such as “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom, “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman, “Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver, or “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. These books touch on themes of life, death, love, and the human experience in ways that resonate with fans of “The Lovely Bones.” Let’s discuss them in detail and solve many cases.

NameKey FocusTropes
False Witness by Karin SlaughterA complex relationship between two sisters, Leigh and Callie, who share a dark secret from their past.Legal thriller, dark past secrets, sibling dynamics, moral ambiguity, psychological depth, crime and justice, traumatic experiences, survival and resilience, ethical dilemmas, tension-filled narrative.
Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent by Jennifer Anne GordonA gothic horror novel that intertwines the lives of a grieving widower, Adam, and a century-old ghost, Anthony, at a haunted seaside estate.Gothic atmosphere, haunted estate, ghostly encounters, psychological horror, mourning and grief, intertwining timelines, eerie mystery, tragic romance, supernatural elements, the thin veil between life and death.
Come Closer by Sara GranA a psychological horror novel that tells the story of Amanda, a successful architect who begins to experience disturbing changes in her behavior and thoughts, suggesting a demonic possession.Demonic possession, psychological descent, identity crisis, supernatural horror, inner demons, marital strain, eerie transformation, unreliable narrator, existential dread, battle for control.
The Fisherman by John LanganA cosmic horror novel that centers around two widowers, Abe and Dan, who take up fishing as a way to cope with their grief.Lovecraftian horror, cosmic dread, supernatural folklore, grief and loss, cursed places, mythical stories, time distortions, deep-sea terror, exploration of the unknown, intertwining destinies.
Pitch Dark by Courtney AlamedaA thrilling blend of science fiction and horror, set aboard a derelict spaceship adrift in space.Space horror, derelict spaceship, ancient evil, survival horror, claustrophobic tension, cross-cultural alliances, futuristic archaeology, haunted space, interstellar mystery, race against time.
Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeesterA dark and unsettling novel that delves into themes of feminism, body horror, and societal expectations of women.Feminist horror, generational trauma, body horror, societal critique, supernatural menace, mother-daughter relationship, dark fairy tale elements, psychological terror, rebellion against patriarchal norms, the monstrous feminine.
The Overnight Guest by Heather GudenkaufA suspenseful thriller set in a remote farmhouse in Iowa, where true-crime writer Wylie Lark finds herself snowed in.Isolated setting, multiple timelines, true-crime writer, mysterious child, small-town secrets, survival against elements, past and present narrative, psychological suspense, hidden truths, interconnected mysteries.
Dead Silence by S.A. BarnesA gripping science fiction horror novel that follows Claire Kovalik, a deep-space technician nearing the end of her career, who stumbles upon a distress signal from the Aurora, a luxury space liner that disappeared over twenty years ago.Space horror, derelict spacecraft, psychological terror, survival thriller, ghost ship, cosmic mystery, haunted past, team dynamics under duress, claustrophobic suspense, unraveling sanity.
Echo by Thomas Olde HeuveltA horror novel that intricately weaves together themes of nature, trauma, and the supernatural.Psychological horror, supernatural influence, nature’s menace, survival trauma, disfigurement and identity, eerie transformation, mountain climbing peril, love and loyalty tested, creeping dread, inexplicable phenomena.
The Haunting of Las Lágrimas by W.M. CleeseA ghostly tale set against the backdrop of a mysterious and sorrowful place known as Las Lágrimas.Haunted location, tragic past, loss and redemption, psychological.
Books Like The Lovely Bones List

1. False Witness

This story is told from the perspective of a woman (Leigh Coulton) who is a successful defense attorney. She has a daughter and has a fairly successful life. However, you find out that she is running from the past. Her sister did something as a younger teenager and has been running from the consequences since then. In the beginning, Leigh gets hired to take on a client who has been accused of an awful rape case.

When she meets the client, she realizes that it’s possibly a personal connection, and he might know something about what happened all those years ago. The two sisters are very complex. They are flawed and very relatable. There are some beautiful dynamics between the sisters as well. Like The Lovely Bones, It is a pretty average standard thriller. Also, the ending was fantastic. So, you have to go back and reread the prologue to understand what it was even talking about.

False Witness

Author: Karin Slaughter
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Psychological Thrillers
Number Of Pages: 440
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

2. Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent

The story is told from a few perspectives and a few timelines. Primarily, we’re following a young man whose wife and child died tragically in a car accident. Then he’s turned to alcoholism to cope with it. Also, it is a bit of a ghost story, but it’s a very intimate one. It’s very slow, haunting, and character-focused, similar to The Lovely Bones.

Suppose you enjoy a horror story focused on grief, a common theme in the genre. Admittedly, it is slightly more slow-burning than the horror books I typically lean towards, but I did accept it for review because the author piqued my interest. Many of you will enjoy that if you love those themes and want a quiet story that will hit you in the emotional feels.

Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent

Author: Jennifer Anne Gordon
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Gothic Horror Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

3. Come Closer

This is a horror novella that was reread for me. It is a first-person perspective on a possible possession story. A woman starts to notice that she is blanking out and doing strange things that she can’t explain. Then, a book that shows the signs of being possessed comes in the mail, and she starts worrying that she is possibly checking too many of the boxes.

I loved this one the first time I read it, but I loved it even more the second time and bumped it up to five stars. The theme of the story is highly feminist. Like The Lovely Bones, It talks in very nuanced ways about mental health. You could argue that I wish it were longer! You will love the relationship between husband and wife; the story has a fantastic ending. So, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Come Closer

Author: Sara Gran
Average Rating: 4/5
Category: Psychological Thrillers, Supernatural
Number Of Pages: 194
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

4. The Fisherman

The story follows two men who are both widows and go off fishing. Before fishing, they stop at a diner where they’re told this fantastical tale. Then they go on to fish, and terrible things ensue. The relationship between these two widowers is fantastic, and they connect over their grief.

This book is highly emotional and has some incredible character work. You can relate many mental issues with The Lovely Bones. The first section pulled me right into the story. However, the book’s middle section was larger and difficult for me. Historical fiction mixed with cosmic horror is two subgenres of horror that I don’t typically get along with very well. I had trouble staying immersed in the story. I love the ending, but the middle section was boring. I would still recommend it because it’s a very literary book.

The Fisherman

Author: John Langan
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Sea Adventure Fiction, Lovecraftian
Number Of Pages: 266
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

5. Pitch Dark

This is a young adult sci-fi horror book that follows two teenagers. One of them wakes up, finding himself in a hibernation chamber. He’s woken up, and things are not quite right. Then, we also follow a young woman. Soon enough, their storylines get woven together as they meet. The plot initially had some good horror moments and great suspense in The Lovely Bones. This young man wakes up in this cryogenic state, knowing things aren’t wrong. So it’s a creepy feeling you’re looking for when picking up space horror.

However, I didn’t entirely love the book, and it comes back to the fact that it was Young Adult. My biggest issue is that the book is all plotted around these eco-terrorists trying to end humanity, and their motivations didn’t make sense to me. The author brings up some interesting, diverse elements in her story. But as a story, the plot was weak, and I cautiously recommend it. If you’re looking for space horror and reading Young Adult, you might enjoy this one.

Pitch Dark

Author: Courtney Alameda
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Thriller Fantasy
Number Of Pages: 384
Available: Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

6. Such a Pretty Smile

This is a story set in a town where some entity is hunting down and murdering girls. Particularly, it focuses on girls that won’t behave. The story is told from two perspectives of two women whom the men in their lives are always dismissing. So, this sounds like a unique, fierce feminist book.

The tagline is a book intended for women who have been told to sit down, shut up, and smile pretty. It has a high potential to become a new favorite. Kristi DeMeester is one of my all-time favorite horror-crime authors. I love her debut novel, Beneath, and her short stories. It is perfect for your list if you are looking for a book like The Lovely Bones.

Such a Pretty Smile

Author: Kristi DeMeester
Average Rating: 3.9/5
Category: Women’s Psychological Fiction
Number Of Pages: 312
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

7. The Overnight Guest

This is a thriller about a true-crime writer who goes off to work in a cold, isolated area in a farmhouse. It is blizzarding outside, and they’re all right with that. However, you find out that the farmhouse where they are staying was the place of a double homicide. A young girl also disappeared that same night. Then, the true-crime writer has someone knock at their door, and it appears to be a young child.

This book is pitched as a thriller but sounds supernatural, like The Lovely Bones. I’ve read the author before and liked their work. So this one is a thriller that will appeal to me because it leans into horror.

The Overnight Guest

Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Kidnapping Thrillers
Number Of Pages: 337
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle | Audio CD

8. Dead Silence

The story follows a group of salvagers who receive a distress call for a luxury liner that disappeared 20 years ago. They are excited to find a ship and believe they will get rich. However, when they go to do the salvage job well, things don’t quite go right. There are strange sounds and whispers in the dark. The lights are flickering, and the ship is haunted.

I am very excited about this one because I’m always looking for more space horror, and this one is a fantastic video game. The tagline is that it is The Titanic Meets The Shining. Also, it has so much potential. You will find many themes and atmospheric similarities with The Lovely Bones.

Dead Silence

Author: S.A. Barnes
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Science Fiction Adventures
Number Of Pages: 343
Available: Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook

9. Echo

This book follows a man climbing in the Alps with his best friend. However, something goes wrong, and the man wakes up in a coma. He finds out that his friend was never recovered from the sight and is now believed to be dead. The man also begins to suspect that something within himself has awoken. So, It sounds incredible!

I love horror stories that involve mountaineering and cold weather. The idea of an ancient entity waking up inside him seems like a possession. This one is high on my list again. If you like The Lovely Bones, you must try it.


Author: Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Average Rating: 3.8/5
Category: Dark Fantasy Horror
Number Of Pages: 379
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

10. The Haunting of Las Lágrimas

This is the story of an English gardener who moves to South America to work on a beautiful mansion. However, the mansion is possibly haunted. I usually steer clear of haunted house stories. However, this one is compared to Mexican Gothic, which interests me.

The author has lived in South America, and this book is on my radar because of the author. So I’m interested in seeing what this take will be. It has potential, and I will certainly give it a try. As a reader/fan of The Lovely Bones, you should never miss it.

Author: W.M. Cleese
Average Rating: 5/5
Category: Historical Thriller
Number Of Pages: 355
Available: Paperback

These stories, each a beacon of light in exploring loss, love, and the enduring human spirit, remind us that beauty can be found in the soul’s journey, even in the face of the greatest mysteries of existence. May the books we’ve journeyed through inspire you to look beyond the veil, find comfort in the interconnectedness of all things, and cherish the love that transcends the boundaries of life and death.

Until we meet again in the pages of another story, may the echoes of these tales resonate within you like a whisper from the beyond, reminding you of the endless cycle of life, death, and the eternal bonds that hold us together.

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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