Unpredictable books to keep you guessing

When we look for an unpredictable book we want to be surprised by the twists and turn of the plot or by the behaviour of a character. The phrase - ‘I would never have guessed that in a million years’ is the nirvana for this kind of reading experience. These are the books we race through – revelling in the unexpected and eager to discover the truth.

Unpredictable books offer a huge reading adventure – where anything and everything is possible. These are the ones that rip up the rules – it’s their raison d’etre and their dangerous attraction. Anything is up for grabs with character, plot and language. These are the books that buck the system – and if you’re a rebel at heart, they may be crying out for you. And if you’re more conventional in real life – these books offer a safe opportunity to live life on the edge. Chancy – yes. Thrilling - double yes. And if it’s step too far, close it up and walk away.

Search for books by Mood & Emotion

What They Do in the Dark

Amanda Coe

The Singer

Cathi Unsworth


Susan Irvine

Answering Back

Carol Ann Duffy

The Quantum Thief

Hannu Rajaniemi


Daniel Price


Arthur Mauritz

The Book of Proper Names

Amelie Nothomb

Loop of Jade

Sarah Howe

The Last Queen

C W Gortner

The Good Son

Paul McVeigh

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis

The Body Snatcher

Patricia Melo

The Pale King

David Foster Wallace

Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

Mohammed Hanif

Beatrice and Virgil

Yann Martel

Ducks, Newburyport

Lucy Ellmann

City of Veils

Zoe Ferraris

Stone and Sea

Graham Edwards

The Elephant Vanishes

Haruki Murakami

The Guard

Peter Terrin


Stig Saeterbakken

Strictly Casual: Fiction by Women on Love

Amy Prior

The Rest of Their Lives

Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Beneath the Skin

Nicci French


Thomas Enger

The Adjacent

Christopher Priest

The Orphan Master's Son

Adam Johnson

The Testament of Yves Gundron

Emily Barton


Susanna Clarke


Benjamin Myers


Torsten Krol

One Part Woman

Perumal Murugan

Secret Passages in a Hillside Town

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Deepa Anappara

What Lot's Wife Saw

Ioanna Bourazopoulou

All the Devils are Here

David Seabrook

Snitch Jacket

Christopher Goffard

Voltaire's Calligrapher

Pablo De Santis

Under the Skin

Michel Faber

Rory's Boys

Alan Clark

Landor's Tower

Iain Sinclair

Trigger Warning

Neil Gaiman

The Clothes of Nakedness

Benjamin Kwakye

The End of Mr Y

Scarlett Thomas

Sealed in Stone

Toni Maraini

The Murder of Halland

Pia Juul


Thomas Wharton

The Psychology of Time Travel

Kate Mascarenhas

The Years of Rice and Salt

Kim Stanley Robinson