7 Books to Read With Murderous Love and Serial Killers

Often, when we think of a serial killer or true crime story, what comes to mind are horror or thriller books. But did you know there are romantic suspense books with Murderous Loves’ in them? They are the type of books that combine a little romance with the mystery of a serial killer. 

Here at the MRC, we are somewhat fascinated by all the different subgenres that have developed in recent years. So, this month, we are diving into the sub-genre of Romantic Suspense with Serial Killers involved. For more information on the psychology of serial killers, we suggest checking out our recent recommendations that helped us in our understanding of them. 

According to the FBI’s definitionSerial killers differ in many ways, including their motivations for killing and their behavior at the crime scene. However, attendees did identify certain traits common to some serial murderers, including sensation seeking, a lack of remorse or guilt, impulsivity, the need for control, and predatory behavior.

How does one include a serial killer in a book with romance and love stories? Well… these authors managed to do it with a New York Times Bestseller to boot! 

Murderous Love Romantic Suspense Books with Serial Killers involved

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7 Murderous Love books with Serial Killers

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: 

Most famously, Agatha Christie is known worldwide for her Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot characters. One of her most famous murder mysteries And Then There Were None involves a serial killer. This book is a classic, and in many classrooms is required reading. It’s full of red herrings, mysterious deaths, dark secrets, and foul play that will keep you guessing. The plot is a typical Agatha Christie signature mystery. How could it not be on our list?

First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a little private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion:

Ten little boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there then there were seven. Seven little boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in half and then there were six. Six little boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale? Only the dead are above suspicion.”

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, and Barnes & Noble.

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason: 

A real life in danger, but who is the intended victim? Combining that intriguing plot with a love story and I was hooked. 

Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. The new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case. As evidence mounts up and more victims are found, Kit and Noah realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The problem is, he’s hunting one of them too.

With nail-biting suspense, clever plot twists, and a hint of sweet romance, A Killer Among Us is the latest thriller from Lynette Eason. It will keep readers up late as they race to discover the killer–and whether Kit and Noah will live to tell about it.

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, and Barnes & Noble.

Haven of Swans by Colleen Coble:

Without a doubt this is one of the best books I’ve read so far by Colleen Coble. 

A beautiful woman stands by the side of the road, barefoot and bleeding, a child in her arms. Someone just tried to kill her, but she wouldn’t recognize him if she saw his face. She doesn’t even remember her own name.

A suburban cop surveys a kitchen in disarray—a woman and child missing, a chilling note. This crime scene is unlike any he has ever seen.

The man who calls himself Gideon waits and plans. He sees himself as a destroyer of evil, one who rids the world of abominations. He has already killed five. He will kill again.

And somewhere in the wilderness, in a secret geocache near where the wild swans gather, lies the unspeakable clue that links them all together.

Michigan’s rugged and beautiful Upper Peninsula is the setting for this absorbing tale of love and loss, beauty and terror, grievous sins and second chances. A deftly woven thriller from the bestselling author of the Rock Harbor novels

*NOTE: This book was previously published as Abomination.

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, and Barnes & Noble.

Edge of Peril by Christy Barrett

I’ve been a fan of Christy Barrett since I read her debut novel, Hazardous Duty. She has a wonderful way of weaving in different character personalities and in the case of Edge of Peril, a bit of romance in the midst of finding a serial killer. 

When evil descends like fog on a mountain community, no one feels safe.

After hearing about a string of murders in a Smoky Mountain town, journalist Harper Jennings realizes a startling truth. She knows who may be responsible—the same person who tried to kill her three years ago. Now Harper must convince the cops to believe her before the killer strikes again.

Sheriff Luke Wilder returned to his hometown, determined to keep the promise he made to his dying father. The sleepy tourist area with a tragic past hadn’t seen a murder in decades—until now. Keeping the community safe seems impossible as darkness edges closer, threatening to consume everything in its path.

As The Watcher grows desperate, Harper and Luke must work together in order to defeat him. But the peril around them escalates, making it clear the killer will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, and Barnes & Noble.

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Jaime Jo Wright is a true wiz at keeping people on the edge of their seats. You never know quite where she will take you. 

For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls.

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, and Barnes & Noble.

Her Darkest Secret by Jessica R. Patch

I discovered Jessica R. Patch last year when I read Her Darkest Secret, and I was instantly hooked. A clean thriller of a book? Check. Edge of your seat where is this going feeling? Check. A highly involved case, that you can actually follow? Check. 

When a cold-case serial killer returns, FBI special agent Fiona Kelly has one last chance to stop him before he claims the prize he’s always wanted—her.

The sight of a goose feather at a murder scene modeled after a children’s poem is enough to make FBI special agent Fiona Kelly’s blood turn to ice. Almost two decades ago, a feather was left with her sister’s body—and with every subsequent victim of the Nursery Rhyme Killer. Now he’s back. Only this time, his latest gruesome murder is a message to the only one who ever got away: Fiona.

Finding “Rhyme” is an obsession that’s fueled Fiona’s career—and destroyed her marriage to fellow FBI agent Asa Kodiak. Now Fiona and Asa have to put their past tensions aside and work together one last time. But Rhyme is watching, and catching this killer may force Fiona to reveal her biggest, darkest secret…the one only he knows.

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, and Barnes & Noble.

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Talk about a whirlwind. Carrie Stuart Parks writes a thriller like no other. She is a true FORESTIC ARTIST guys! And it shows in the level of detail she includes in her books. 

When her twin sister was murdered, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and may be back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The memory that Murphy was asked to draw was from an Alaskan hunter who discovered five bodies on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago, but has only shared the information with the police now that he’s dying of cancer. When they go to the island to investigate, no skeletons remain but there is evidence that the bodies may have been deliberately destroyed. But the big discovery is of a World War II Quonset hut.

As one by one the people who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much deeper at stake. What happened there during WWII? And who is willing to kill to keep those secrets buried?

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub, and Barnes & Noble.

These are just a few Romantic Suspense books that involve the heroine being the target of a serial killer or catching a serial killer. I would love to hear from you about other books that SHOULD be on this list, let me know your recommendations!

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