7 of the best female revenge novels
Killing Eve, Gone Girl and Kill Bill have one thing in common – they revolve around women taking revenge. Whether it’s a bad-ass spy or a betrayed wife wanting to get even, there is something compelling about a character who will stop at nothing to enact their revenge. Whether it’s in a film or a book, we often find these characters the most fascinating to follow.
Here, we round-up seven of the best page-turning novels putting women and their vengeance centre stage.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
If you’re a fan of Gone Girl and messy family dynamics, then this twisty thriller is for you. A husband-and-wife duo appear to have the perfect life – with their idyllic house and great kids, they are the envy of those who know them. But festering beneath the surface of their happy life is a dark secret involving the kidnap and murder of a woman. As the unnamed male narrator becomes more involved in his wife’s meticulously planned scheme, he realises there is more to her motives than meets the eye.
Keeper by Jessica Moor
Keeper by Jessica Moor (2020)
When a woman’s body is pulled from a river, the police rule it as suicide – an open-and-shut case. But the residents of Widringham’s Women’s Refuge where the woman worked don’t agree. Even though no one believes them, they are sure it’s murder and they are ready to band together to make sure her death, and other cases like these, are taken seriously. Powerful and shocking, this is a brilliantly written novel with important issues at its core.
A Kiss After Dying by Ashok Banker
A Kiss After Dying by Ashok Banker (2021)
Hannah has spent years of her life keeping track of the people who have destroyed her family – and when she meets handsome playboy billionaire Ricky, she is ready to set into motion her detailed revenge plan. Hannah knows she has to make Ricky fall in love with her for real in order for her plan to work. But Hannah soon realises she isn’t the only one playing deadly games. Perfect for fans of How to Kill Your Family, this is evil, ingenious fun at its very best.
The End of Her by Shari Lapena
The End of Her by Shari Lapena (2020)
Stephanie knows she has it all – two beautiful babies and a loving husband. Until a woman turns up out of the blue claiming her husband murdered his first wife. Is he telling the truth or is this woman jut a persuasive liar like he says she is? Unpredictable and compelling, the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Couple Next Door returns with another page-turner.
The Dead Ex by Jane Corry
The Dead Ex by Jane Corry (2019)
How can you prove your innocence if you’re not even sure of it yourself? When Vicki is diagnosed with epilepsy her husband David is quick to end their marriage. Years later, the police turn up at her door and tell her he has gone missing – and it isn’t long before she’s a suspect in the case. Fighting to prove her innocence against a man that has already ruined her life once, Vicki must use everything in her power to find the truth. This book will delight fans of Lisa Jewell’s Then She Was Gone and Cara Hunter’s Close to Home.
Tell Me Your Secret by Dorothy Koomson
Tell Me Your Secret by Dorothy Koomson (2019)
Ten years before the novel begins, Pieta survived a weekend with a sadistic serial killer. She never told anyone about what happened and chose to move on with her life. But now the man who kidnapped her is back, hunting down his old victims. Policewoman Jodie made a terrible mistake all those years ago which resulted in a serial killer walking free. When she discovers Pieta is one of his living victims, Jody hatches a plan to catch him and see justice done – but that will mean putting her Pieta’s life in danger.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012)
This book hardly needs an introduction – it’s sold over 20 million copies worldwide and is perhaps one of the most successful female revenge stories across literature and film. Even if you’ve already seen the film starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck, this is definitely worth a read as it is a masterclass in a brilliantly plotted and intricate revenge plan that you will not see coming.
What are your favourite female revenge novels? Let us know in the comments below!