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9 Mystery Books To Read Before They Become Movies In 2016

Few books are more enthralling than a good mystery, because the false leads, plot twists, and fast pace make you want to get to the ending as quickly as possible. And modern mysteries are far more compelling than simple stories in which “the butler did it;” they are intense, psychological reads with plots as intricate as clockwork. And because Hollywood loves a good mystery too, there are plenty of mystery books to read before they become movies. Featuring international cat-and-mouse games, the resolution of a decades-old murder case, and one protagonist who just might be a complete sociopath, these mysteries run the gamut.

But why read the book first? Well, you get to experience the full force of the author’s unexpected plot turns and surprise endings. When you read the book after watching the movie, chances are you’ll already know most of the surprises. Although some people like to know the ending of a mystery before they start reading (it’s one way to better appreciate the author’s real clues and false leads in the narrative), most readers like the shock of a did-not-see-that-coming twist. Plus, when you do see the movie later on, you can be all smug for having read the book first.  

So before stepping foot into a theatre this year, consider downloading one of these nine mystery reads to your kindle.

1. 'The Light Between Oceans' by M.L. Stedman

When a boat washes up on the shores of an Australian island town — with a dead man and a living baby as its only passengers — the Sherbourne family decide to raise the child as their own. But when the child's true parentage comes into question, M.L. Stedman's The Light Between Oceans gets even more interesting.  

Film Release Date: Sept. 2, 2016

2. 'The Girl On The Train' by Paula Hawkins

While reeling from multiple personal tragedies, Rachel thinks she witnesses something from a train that could serve as crucial evidence in a murder case. But will anyone in her small London suburb actually believe her? Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train is a gripping mystery that addresses small-town secrets, a confounding murder, and the fragility of memory.

Film Release Date: Oct. 7, 2016

3. 'A Monster Calls' by Siobhan Dowd and Patrick Ness

When thirteen year old Conor encounters a monster in backyard, he is faced with the task of answering its impossible questions. While he faces the impending death of his mother and copes with the monster, Conor's struggles in A Monster Calls by Siobhan Dowd and Patrick Ness will grip you for the entire read.

Film Release Date: Oct. 14, 2016

4. 'Inferno' by Dan Brown

After a Harvard professor wakes up in Italy with no knowledge of the past two days, he has to piece together a series of codes to understand the mysteries of Dante Alighieri's The Inferno. Oh, and he's being hunted by an assassin the whole time, because Inferno is, after all, a Dan Brown novel.

Film Release Date: Oct. 28, 2016

5. 'Yearly Harvest' by Ryan Callaway

An investigative journalist travels to the remote Midwestern town of Selah, which is thought to be the key to many Christmas tradition origins. But the town shows no signs of celebrating the holiday, and its residents are absolutely resistant to discussing Christmas at all. The truth about Selah in Ryan Callaway's Yearly Harvest is far stranger than anticipated.

Film Release Date: Dec. 1, 2016

6. 'The Scent Of Rain And Lightning' by Nancy Pickard

Nancy Pickard's The Scent of Rain and Lightning follows Jody Linder as she copes with the release of her father's alleged murderer from prison. But when secrets about her family's past emerge, she has to come to terms with what really happened on that fatal night.

Film Release Date: TBD

7. 'The Kind Worth Killing' by Peter Swanson

When two strangers on a plane offhandedly plot to murder one of their spouses, the twisted story has only begun. Filled with suspense, plot twists, and devious characters, Peter Swanson's The Kind Worth Killing is almost impossible to predict.

Film Release Date: TBD

8. 'The Darkest Minds' by Alexandra Bracken

When ten-year-old Ruby is sent to a rehabilitation camp, she joins the groups of children who have developed strange — and uncontrollable — new abilities. But in Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds, this is only the beginning: Ruby has to confront government forces, a mysterious band of resistors determined to fight the government, and her own place in the world.

Film Release Date: TBD

9. 'Luckiest Girl Alive' by Jessica Knoll

Following in the footsteps of Gone Girl, Jessica Knoll's Luckiest Girl Alive follows a seemingly perfect woman who has a dark secret that could destroy her desires to have it all. Filled with plot twists and surprises, this book stars a love-to-hate protagonist who will hold your interest until the last page.

Film Release Date: TBD