The Intimate Moment

Why suspense between partners is so juicy and 3 timeless novels that do it justice

This weekend I finally got to return to the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a year of shutdowns. I made a beeline for the tremendously well organized exhibit of Dutch masterpieces.

Several paintings, like the one above by Pieter de Hooch, show intimate household moments. At a time when most artists were commissioned to paint portraits, mythological allegories, or religious paintings, these psychological studies are a fascinating window into past lives. Light and dark, doors and windows, faces turned away, these moments invite questions.

Some of the best fiction also explores moments of intimacy, shows us relationships between people that are chilling as a result of that intimacy.

In no particular order, here are my favorite thrillers featuring two people locked in a struggle where love, hate, possession and obsession blur.

by Caroline Kepnes

This one grabbed me from the first sentence. A young man becomes obsessed with an aspiring writer and proceeds to quietly stalk and manipulate her, stopping at nothing to create a perfect, loving relationship.

The Talented Mr. Ripley
by Patricia Highsmith

This one is on a lot of lists, and deservedly so. A story of possessive obsession, it’s about a man reforming himself into someone else’s skin, even though the someone else is still wearing it.

by Stephen King

The ultimate tale of two people locked in a room. An author’s number one fan is so obsessed with him and his creations that she can’t, CAN’T let him kill off her favorite character. So she makes sure he writes the next novel. For his own good.

What novels of obsessive love would you add to this list? Continue the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

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