10 Mystery Crime Books Like The Lovely Bones

Mystery Crime Stories

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a crime-thriller fiction with mystery, drama, and psychological aspects. We follow a 14-year-old girl named Susie. At the beginning of the book, she is brutally assaulted and murdered. The beginning was interesting, which sounds horrible because it’s about a small child being murdered. But how the family reacted was the most interesting part of the story.

This book is interesting in dealing with grief and how the family grieves. Some exciting family dynamics end up happening. People don’t talk about a lot of grief because we can experience grief, but life still happens. We can still care about the person we lost, but somehow life will continue. The other thing that bothered me about this book writing-wise had flashbacks, and it wasn’t clear that they were flashbacks.

There is still going to be pain from that loss. The other thing the story lacked in terms of grief was that there was no guilt expressed by the family. But guilt is a very normal part of a grieving process. So the fact that the killer never felt any guilt does not make sense to me. Overall this book has many unique plots and characters. If you want to read books like The Lovely Bones, follow me!

10 Books Like The Lovely Bones (Mystery Crime Thriller)

The Lovely Bones does a good job of creating a mystery while the reader knows what’s happening, but the characters don’t, which was an interesting take on a whodunit-type story. I want to reread it because when I reread it, I discover something new.

As it has a complex plot, many readers don’t like it. But if you give a proper time and reread every sentence, you will enjoy it. Now, I will review 10 mystery-thriller books similar to The Lovely Bones. If you’re interested in picking these books up, please use my referral link to get a discount. Let’s go!

1. False Witness

This is a story 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 of that 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

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

This is one I loved the first time I read it, but I loved it, even more the second time around and bumped it up to a full of 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-wife, and the story has a fantastic ending. So if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Come Closer

Author: Sara Gran
Average Rating: (4.0 /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 they go 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 awesome, and they had a connection over their grief.

This book is highly emotional 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 struggled 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

It 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. In the beginning, the plot had some good horror moments great suspense in The Lovely Bones. Here, this young man wakes up in this cryogenic state, knowing that things aren’t wrong. So it’s a very creepy feeling that 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

Like The Lovely Bones, it 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 who 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 ever 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, as well as her short stories. If you are looking book like The Lovely Bones, it is perfect for your list.

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

It 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 it 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 very excited to find a ship and believe that 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 again high up on my list. 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

It is a story of an English gardener who goes and 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, making me very interested in it.

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

Author: W.M. Cleese
Average Rating: (5.0 /5)
Category: Historical Thriller
Number Of Pages: 355
Available: Paperback

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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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