Book List

5 Books Where the Love Interest Might Be Guilty

July 10, 2017
Casey Nugent
Riveted Editorial Board

In Rachele Alpine’s A Void the Size of the World, protagonist Rhylee has several problems. The first is that her sister, Abby, has disappeared. The second is that Abby disappeared because she caught Rhylee kissing Tommy — who’s Abby’s boyfriend. The third is that Rhylee likes Tommy, but the police strongly suspect that he might have had something to do with Abby’s disappearance. What’s a girl to do when her love interest might be the person who hurt her sister?

Rhylee isn’t the first protagonist to deal with the age-old question — what if the person I like is guilty of something horrible? It’s a particularly common question in mysteries, where anything is possible and anyone could be lying. It’s also fascinating because, as pretty much everyone learns at some point, you can’t just turn your feelings off, even if you wish you could. After I finished A Void the Size of the World, I started thinking about other stories that have love interests who might not be as innocent as they seem. Here are some of my favorite books that keep you guessing until the very end.

I tried not to blow any big twist endings, but this post does have minor plot spoilers for all of the mentioned books. You have been warned!

Dangerous Girlsby Abigail Haas

Paradise in Aruba quickly gets gruesome in this “ripped-from-the-headlines thriller (Kirkus Reviews)” with a twist that defies the imagination.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine...

Liarby Justine Larbalestier

Micah is a liar. That's the one thing she won't lie about. Over the years, she's duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend Zach dies under brutal circumstances, Micah sets out to tell the truth. At first the truth comes easily-because it is a lie. Other truths are so unbelievable, so outside the realm of normal, they must be a lie. And the honest truth is buried so deep in Micah's mind even she doesn't know if it's real.

The ultimate unreliable narrator takes readers on a thrill ride in this highly acclaimed novel. Prepare to grasp for truth until the very last page.

Three Truths and a Lieby Brent Hartinger

A weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie go horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.

Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeve.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.

This is Our Storyby Ashley Elston

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won't say who fired the shot that killed their friend, Grant; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino's senior year internship at the District Attorney's Office isn't exactly glamorous-more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys' case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won't let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has personal reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she investigates with Stone-the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot-she realizes that nothing about the case-or the boys-is what it seems. Grant wasn't who she thought he was, and neither is Stone's prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all-and if Kate doesn't uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line including her own.

Before I Go to Sleepby S.J. Watson

“As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I am still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me. . . . ”

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love—all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.