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Without further ado, here are 5 mystery books turned into movies in 2014. If you haven’t read the books yet, now it’s your chance to read them before the premieres will be airing later on this year. I have to say 2014 will really be an exciting year for books and their respective movie adaptation!
It is usually said that books are better than their movie adaptations and I think most of us will agree. However many readers do enjoy seeing their favorite novels brought to the big screen. Each year there are new movies made based on popular books in every genre, and films based on mystery novels are no exception.
Interesting that this year dystopia seems to take center stage with movies like Divergent, The Giver, The Maze Runner and Mocking Jay, however the crime and murder mystery genre has created a few movies worth watching as well. Some great mystery novels have also taken center stage this year with films that have the ability to really become block busters and not only due to the actors playing the main roles (Liam Neeson, Ben Afleck, etc).
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Dark Places is one of the two mystery books by Gillian Flynn to be brought to the big screen in 2014. The novel, published in 2009, tells the story of Libby Day who lost her family (mother and sisters) when she was only 7 years old in a fire at their farmhouse. Due to her testimony her brother, Ben, got a lifetime prison sentence.
The story alternates between the past and the present, where Libby meets with a group called the Kill Club, of which members believe Ben to be innocent. At first Libby doesn’t even take them seriously, however as time goes by she starts to have doubts about what actually happened 25 years ago.
Dark Places is really a dark mystery novel and I’m intrigued to see how this will be translated to the motion picture. The movie is to be released September 1 with Charlize Theron playing Libby.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is the second mystery novel written by Gillian Flynn to be brought to the big screen later in 2014. The book was initially published in 2012. This second stand alone novel is again written from two alternative perspectives, this time from both the husband and the wife’s point of views.
Nick and Amy Dunne are celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary when Amy disappears on that very morning. Nick is, of course, considered a suspect right away. The story is just as dark as Dark Places, and maybe even darker, and kind of twisted too in a way. It is a great psychological thriller with some humorous moments, including a bit of strong language, so it might not be the perfect read for the sensitives at heart.
The movie will be released October 3, so plenty of time to read the book beforehand. Btw if you like Ben Afleck, you’ll be pleased to hear that he will be playing the role of Nick, with Rosamund Pike playing the role of Amy.
The Switch by Elmore Leonard
The Switch is a classic mystery novel by the now deceased Elmore Leonard (deceased August 2013), which was first published in 1978. The story is almost comical in nature: two convicts get together again once they’re out of prison to do a big hit this time: kidnap the wife of a rich real estate developer in Detroit and ask for ransom money.
Things to utterly wrong, however, when the husband decides he doesn’t want his wife back due to his mistress that he wants to spend his time with from now on. To add salt to their injury, the wife doesn’t want to go back to her previous cardboard life as a phony wife of the guy either. Things, however, really turn around when the wife decides to join forces with the crooks to exact revenge on her estranged husband.
The movie with the name Life of Crime already premiered on the big screen in Toronto in September 2013, however it will be released in the US in 2014.
Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman
Every Secret Thing is a 2003 mystery novel by the popular mystery author Laura Lippman. The story is as chilling as any other book written by this author. Two 11 years old girls, Alice and Ronnie, are thrown out from another girl’s birthday party because of their bad behavior. As they walk home, they find a baby in a baby carriage, and decide to take it. Some days later the baby is found dead.
Fast forward to the present day: the girls are released after spending 7 years in juvenile prison for kidnapping and killing the baby. Soon after, however, another baby disappears, and naturally the suspicion falls on the two previously imprisoned friends. In order to solve the new crime, the girls now have to go back in time walking down the memory lane to sort out what really happened back with the first kidnapping.
It is an interesting psychological thriller that looks promising in the upcoming movie.
A Walk Among the Tombstones by Laurence Block
A Walk Among the Tombstones is the 10th book in the Mathew Scudder hard boiled mystery series with an initial publication date of 1992. I remember reading the first few books in the series back in the day and quite liking them. I don’t think I’ve read this book, however, so I’ll catch up to it before the movie with Liam Neeson (yay!) is released.
Matthew Scudder is an ex-NYPD cop turned unlicensed private eye who is also a recovering alcoholic. He is asked to find who kidnapped and killed the wife of Kenan Khoury, a drug lord who distributes heroine. If it stands faithful to the style the other books by this author with scary villains and really bad guys, this book will have some gruesome murders and episodes in it as well. Can’t wait to see the movie with Liam Neeson, whom I really enjoy watching ever since I saw his two Taken movies (with a third on apparently on the way as well).
If you’re looking for more film adaptations from books, you might check out my earlier post on 7 great mystery books turned into movies.