(Claustrophobic) Thrillers to Help you Escape!

orangutan list

I don’t know about you, but I’m lapping all the lists about *distracting books* to read right now- so I thought I’d throw (another) one into the mix! Today, I’m going for some claustrophobic thrillers to help you escape- let’s get stuck in!

the guest list

The Guest List– this was pure escapism and I loved it! A bunch of people (most of whom have beef with each other) stuck on an island together at a wedding- that’s an unmissable event! 😉 And speaking of feeling trapped…

lock every door

Lock Every Door– just about anything by Sager will do! But for some reason, being cooped up, I find my mind drawn to this claustrophobic gothic (maybe it’s a case of schadenfreude- no matter how bad quarantine is- at least it’s not as bad as staying at the Bartholomew!)

death of mrs westaway

Death of Mrs Westaway– if you’re looking for something else with a gothic atmosphere, then look no further! I personally love this for how it takes inspiration from Rebecca, while not being a direct retelling. And it’s got some killer twists and turns to boot!

turn of the screw 2

Turn of the Screw– of course, if you want to go more of the classic route, then this is one of my favourites and the best scary story I’ve ever read (incidentally, Ware’s Turn of the Key is an excellent take on this, it just happens to have a trope for the final twist that I don’t like- but I still recommend it!)

the woman in black

The Woman in Black– likewise, this may be an older read, but it never fails to shock and chill readers to the core!


Dark Places– and if you can deal with going to a very dark place right now, then this is worth a look. Plus, it’s written by Flynn, so the writing’s top notch!

sometimes I lie

Sometimes I Lie– get tangled up in this for a few hours and I guarantee you’ll be transported to a very different kind of dark place. You’ll go on a journey through the dark recesses of the mind, until you won’t be able to trust your own interpretations. You’ll be stuck in someone else’s brain- and that person is likewise trapped in their own mind. I’m still not sure what to entirely make of it- but I know that it took me out of my own head for a bit and that’s always a good thing!

evelyn hardcastle

Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle- this one will transport you much further you think- into something of a supernatural realm (you’ll see once you get started!). This is a bit of a head spinner, so it’s not going to be for everyone and you’ll have to figure out for yourself what you make of this groundhog day murder mystery- but one’s thing for sure, you won’t be able to think about the real world until you get to the end of it.

the martian

The Martian– for more of an out of this world experience, you can’t go wrong with this surprisingly funny stuck-on-mars story. Now’s the perfect moment to lose yourself in this race against time!

big little lies

Big Little Lies– closer to home, this murder mystery will take you to a (seemingly) quiet seaside town. Utterly absorbing, this was more than a simple thriller to me. I felt like I bonded with the characters and really entered their world.


The Godfather– I may be one of the few people on the planet who happens to like the book as much as the movies, but there’s a reason for it! It’s a delightfully distracting read and completely took me out of my comfort zone.


Nemesis– this YA series combines a whole bunch of different thrills- amnesia, small towns, crime, a great BIG mystery… it’s got it all! If you’re looking for sheer entertainment, this’ll hit the spot!

So, have you read any of these? And what thrillers help you escape? I could definitely do with some recommendations right now! Let me know in the comments!

18 thoughts on “(Claustrophobic) Thrillers to Help you Escape!

  1. That’s a great list! 🙂 I was literally JUST thinking that I’ve been reading more thrillers lately … action-filled edge-of-your-seat escapism!

    Would suggest checking out the Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong! (I just started Book #2!) — It’s an easy-to-read supernatural thriller, and is highly distracting 🙂


  2. 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and The Martian are two of my all time favourites. Got so addicted to Hardcastle that I just decided to sleep less and got sucked into the audio book.


  3. An incredible list! I’m wanting to read more of the genre, so it’s perfect, thank you! ❤️
    Adding Death of Mrs Westaway to my TBR and I’ll be reading Seven and a Half Deaths this year, I CAN’T WAIT! 😍👏🏻


  4. The Martian seems like a perfect book to read right now! (I just read it earlier this year, though, so I won’t be re-reading it so soon. 😉 ) I haven’t read either of the Ruth Ware books you mentioned, but I have read her The Woman in Cabin Ten, and it was one that I had trouble putting down, so it would also be a great addition to this list.


  5. There are some really good picks on this list! I just got The Guest List from Book of the Month, and I’m thinking I need to read it soon. Great post!


  6. I’m not super into thrillers but the Martian has been on my TBR for ages! I absolutely loved the movie. I read the first sentence of the book and knew I had to buy it. I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I hope I enjoy it just as much, if not more, as the movie!!

    Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages


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