Every author likes to keep their readers on their toes. Surprise endings, plot twists, and unexpected developments are almost an expectation nowadays – gone are the days when you could safely guess every plot beat of a book. Readers expect more from their writers, and one of those things is to be left thinking and contemplating the end of a novel long after they have read it.
The mystery and convoluted endings create suspense and provide ample fodder to discuss with other book fans. Readers can have detailed discussions on forums where everyone shares tidbits about what the end means.
Read on to learn how the perfect surprise endings can be crafted in a way that both blindsides readers and sensibly connects to the plot.
Why Surprising Endings Create Suspense
When it comes to weaving a tense, unexpected climax, there are many ways of going about it. There are subtle, surprising endings that give you an “aha!” moment where suddenly everything makes sense. And then there are the jaw-dropping extraordinary endings where you are left speechless and unsure of what happened.
Either way, for your readers to be surprised and impressed with your endings, it must make sense and flow naturally. Tying up all the loose ends along the way is an integral part of a surprise ending. It must make sense and tie in with the events occurring in the rest of the book. Books with suspenseful and unique endings also make great films, but as they say, ‘the book is better.’
Here is a list of five beloved books that had some unsuspecting surprise endings:
5 of the Best Unexpected Plot Twists of All Time
Some of these are classics, and others are relatively new. All have an ending that leaves readers in disbelief and awe—warning that there may be some spoilers in the brief descriptions below.
1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
A classic and one that laid the foundation for thrilling crime page-turners to come, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is a novel that beautifully captures how detectives have to work to their conclusions backwards – in this case, to find out why ten bodies are mysteriously found dead on an island. The book also has an epilogue which explains what happened before the ten bodies were found that leaves readers guessing how will the next victim be killed.
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The book had everyone talking even before the film came out. The book follows a husband and wife who seem to be loving and caring to the outside world, but deep fissures and cracks are present between them. When the wife goes missing, it is evident that the husband is the number one suspect because the author directs readers to believe the obvious. Only towards the novel’s end do we realise what exactly is happening.
3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This novel follows a train passenger named Rachel Watson who becomes transfixed with a couple she sees frequently travelling on the same train. But as she observes them, she soon learns things are not as they seem. As she learns more about the couple, she unravels secrets that may have been better left unknown.
4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Another classic novel where things don’t seem to be what they are. Pip is in love with Estella, a cold-hearted girl who has been taught to break the hearts of young men. The novel never gets old and has many plot twists that will keep you guessing from one page to the next.
5. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller that details the exciting case presented to psychologist Theo Faber of a mute patient. He soon learns that this quiet patient murdered her husband and, since that day, has not spoken. Knowing the truth of what took place will take time as the patient starts to tell, and what she says will surprise readers.
Check Out These Books with Surprising Endings
If the list above has made you look for a suspenseful, twisty book, then the list below is just for you. Without giving spoilers, these books all have surprising endings, and you can purchase them from the Austin Macauley website.
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