After You See 'Us,' Read These 15 Unsettling Books About Doppelgangers
Jordan Peele's latest horror movie is still terrifying audiences across the U.S., but you won't be able to enjoy the thrills and chills of Us in the privacy of your own home for a while yet. Luckily, I've got 15 books about doppelgängers to read after you see Us, because there's no reason you can't keep the horror high going for weeks to come.
The follow-up to Peele's 2017 directorial debut Get Out, Us stars Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke as a married couple who find themselves threatened by mysterious doubles of themselves and their children. Who are these people who look so much like Adelaide and Gabe, and why do they want to kill their entire family? Us has left many audiences with more questions than answers, but I think that's what makes for an excellent horror movie that will continue to terrify you long after you leave the theater.
If you've seen Us in theaters and want to keep the twinned suspense alive, you've got to check out the 15 books on the list below. They're all horror novels, mysteries, and thrillers that feature twins and doppelgängers at the heart of their narratives, and you're going to love them. Take a peek at my recommendations below:
'3:59' by Gretchen McNeil
Every morning at 3:59 A.M., Josie dreams about a girl named Jo, who lives the exact life Josie wants to have. Jo lives in a world parallel to Josie's, and the two girls' lives overlap every morning at 3:59. When they finally decide to swap places, Josie thinks she's finally found the life she always wanted, but Jo's dream world turns out to be more of a nightmare than she could have ever imagined.
'The Lie' by Petra Hammesfahr
When her wealthy lookalike, Nadia, asks Susanne to take her place at home for a weekend Nadia intends to spend with a lover, the unemployed Susanne can't afford to turn down the offer. These swaps become more frequent, but Susanne finds herself falling for Nadia's husband, and Nadia's affair could put everyone in danger.
'You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine' by Alexandra Kleeman
Three people named A, B, and C take center stage in this novel from Intimations author Alexandra Kleeman. A attempts to find herself as she reckons with her disintegrating relationship with boyfriend C, who is addicted to sugar, television, and pornography. But B wants to be A, and as she presses closer while C slips away, A begins to think that disappearance might be the way out.
'The Likeness' by Tana French
The second novel in Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, The Likeness follows Cassie Maddox as she investigates the murder of a woman who looks exactly like her, and whose ID bears the same name Cassie once used undercover.
'Lost Futures' by Lisa Tuttle
In this novel from The Silver Bough author Lisa Tuttle, the dissatisfied, 33-year-old Clare discovers that she can travel to any of her might-have-been lives. But she soon discovers that the other selves she may have been are no happier than she is, and, what's more, challenging the identities of all those other Clares has consequences.
'The Scapegoat' by Daphne du Maurier
When the English John and French Jean happen to meet at a station, they're immediately struck by their resemblance to one another. They spend the night pleasantly drinking and chatting, but John wakes up the next day to find that Jean has stolen his identity, leaving him no choice but to disguise himself as the French man and track him down.
'The Similars' by Rebecca Hanover
The six new students at Darkwood Academy are all anyone can talk about, but Emmaline just wishes they would go away. One of the Similars, Levi, looks exactly like Oliver, Emmaline's recently deceased best friend, and she doesn't want to see anyone who looks like him but isn't. As she begins to develop feelings for Levi, however, Emmaline discovers that Darkwood Academy has bigger mysteries than the clones.
'The Poor Clare' by Elizabeth Gaskell
While searching for a lonely woman's estranged daughter, the unnamed narrator of this gothic tale falls in love with Lucy, his neighbor's ward, who has been cursed to live with a terrible doppelgänger that prevents her happiness.
'Brat Farrar' by Josephine Tey
Recently returned to England, foundling Brat Farrar finds himself poised to inherit a large estate when an actor and con man convinces him to pass himself off as a long-lost heir named Patrick Ashby. Once the Ashbys have accepted Brat as the returned Patrick, the story of what really happened to their eldest son begins to reveal itself.
'The Evil Twin' by Francine Pascal
The climax of a six-volume mini-series, this Sweet Valley High book follows twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield as they battle Margo, a newcomer who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Wakefield twins, and who intends to kill one of them and take her place.
'The Night Strangers' by Chris Bohjalian
Traumatized by a plane crash that killed 39 people, Chip moves his wife and their twin daughters into an old Victorian house to start a new life. The move brings more questions than answers, however. Why are there 39 bolts on the basement door? And what do the family's herbalist neighbors want with their twin daughters?
'The Thirteenth Tale' by Diane Setterfield
From Once Upon a River author Diane Setterfield comes this novel about Vida, an aging author who wants to tell her true life story after decades spent spinning wild tales about herself. Vida reveals the mysterious and ghastly details of her past to a biographer, but will the other writer believe in a truth that is stranger than fiction?
'The Sisters' by Clare Douglas
Twinless after the death of her sister, Abi tries to start a new life among the ashes. New beginnings lead to a meeting with twins Bea and Ben, who take the lonely Abi under their collective wing. But all three of them have secrets to keep, and new mysteries cropping up in Abi's life threaten to ruin them all.
'The Silent Companions' by Laura Purcell
Accompanied by her late husband's cousin, pregnant widow Elsie Bainbridge moves into the dead man's ancestral home, a place cursed and feared by the local villagers. There, she discovers a collection of painted wooden figures, known as the "silent companions," including one that bears an uncanny resemblance to her childhood self.
'Mist of Midnight' by Sandra Byrd
After losing her family in India, Rebecca Ravenshaw returns home to England, where she stands to inherit her family's estate. When she arrives, she learns that another woman, who claimed to be Rebecca Ravenshaw, had already taken control of her family's wealth, and died only a few months later. Now, Rebecca must prove her own identity to people who believe her to be a fake.