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5 Real-estate themed thrillers you need to read

BY Lisa Gray

15th Jul 2023 Must Reads

5 Real-estate themed thrillers you need to read

Love Selling Sunset? Love thrillers? Author Lisa Gray shares the perfect reading list for you, full of books where real estate and murder cross paths

You’ve just binged every episode of Selling Sunset season six but you’re still craving gorgeous properties, big money deals, and lots of drama. So, how do you fill that real estate hole in your life while you wait for the next instalment from Chrishell and co?

Author Lisa Gray picks out five novels where real estate is central to the plot. Read on for books that have everything from creepy estate agents and disastrous open houses to stunning ultra-modern smart homes and luxury penthouse apartments.

Our House by Louise Candlish

Our House by Louise Candlish - 5 real-estate themed thrillers

Selling your house is a stressful business. What if you no one likes it? What if there are no offers? What if it lies on the market for months, the "For Sale" sign outside a constant reminder that nobody thinks your home is worth buying? 

Thankfully, that’s not the case with 91 Trinity Avenue, the gorgeous red-brick double-fronted Edwardian at the centre of this novel, which is quickly snapped up by David and Lucy Vaughan.

"If you think the opening of Candlish’s twisty bestseller is good, just wait until you get to the book’s final sentence"

The only problem is that current owner (or should that now be former owner?) Fi has no idea her home was even for sale until she discovers complete strangers moving their stuff in. Now that really is stressful. 

If you think the opening of Candlish’s twisty bestseller—which was recently turned into a TV series starring Martin Compston, Tuppence Middleton and Rupert Penry-Jones—is good, just wait until you get to the book’s final sentence. Wow. 

Death on the Beach by Steph Broadribb 

Death on the beach by steph broadribb - 5 real-estate themed thrillers

Jessie Beckton is a young and ambitious realtor who’s about to make it big in the Florida real estate game if she can find a buyer for a luxury penthouse apartment. 

So, why would she jump from the eighth-floor balcony just minutes before she’s due to host a brokers’ open?

That’s what the cops believe happened, but her parents aren’t so sure, so they call on the help of the four-strong Retired Detectives Club to get to the bottom of Jessie’s mysterious death

Think Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club but with a lot more sunshine, retirees with a law enforcement background, and the cut-throat world of luxury real estate as the glam setting for this third instalment in the series. 

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The Girl Before by JP Delaney - 5 real-estate themed thrillers you need to read

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Jane should probably be mindful of that old adage when she lands the rental opportunity of a lifetime as the new tenant of a stunning smart home that’s surprisingly within her limited budget. 

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is"

There are a lot of conditions (no pictures, plants, ornaments, books…) that come with living at One Folgate Street as set out by the house’s enigmatic architect owner. But, hey, it’s worth making some sacrifices if it means getting to live in such a swanky pad, right? 

However, Jane soon discovers her new modern home has a very dark past that involves the previous tenant. 

The Open House by Sam Carrington 

The Open House by Sam Carrington - 5 real-estate themed thrillers

Soon-to-be-divorced Amber is desperate to start a new life in Kent with recent beau Richard and her two sons but there’s one big hurdle standing in her way—selling her house in Devon. 

The terraced property on Apple Grove—which once belonged to Amber’s meddling mother-in-law Barb—has been on the market for two months and has had no viewings. That’s right. Not a single viewing. 

So, when the estate agent suggests an open house to boost interest, Amber reluctantly agrees. She’s not keen on nosy neighbours snooping around her home but, really, what could possibly go wrong? 

Quite a lot actually. Thirteen people enter the house but only twelve leave in this fast-paced, twisty thriller. 

A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan

A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan - 5 real-estate themed thrillers

William Heming is a mild-mannered estate agent who has been selling homes to prospective buyers in a sleepy, leafy English town for the last seventeen years. 

He has orchestrated hundreds of sales during that time, and he also harbours a sinister secret—he has kept the keys to every single one of those properties. 

"Darkly comic and creepy as hell"

Does he actually use the keys after the new owners have moved in? Spoiler alert: of course he does.

Darkly comic, creepy as hell, and with an unforgettable antihero protagonist, Hogan’s A Pleasure and Calling offers a very different take on the business of real estate. 

To Die For by Lisa Gray

To Die For by Lisa Gray, about five Los Angeles real estate agents and the lengths they’ll go to for one million dollars commission, is published August 1 by Thomas & Mercer. 

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