Lisa Unger – also known as Lisa Miscione – is an internationally bestselling American author of psychological thrillers focusing on character-driven stories exploring the psyche of protagonist and villain alike.
She is known for Confessions on the 7:45 which will soon become a Netflix TV show, but also for the Hollows series, the House of Crows, The Whispers, Ridley Jones, and more.
How to read Lisa Unger’s Books in Order?
Reading the House of Crows series in order
A four-part serial – Amazon Original Stories – about friends with a shared history of darkness. That long-ago summer, four friends came face-to-face with strange, dark events they couldn’t explain away. As they grew up and left town, they all tried to forget. Instead, their secrets shaped their lives, haunting each of them in their own way.
- All My Darkest Impulses (2021) – What really happened to the girl who walked into the woods and vanished forever? It’s a never-forgotten mystery that clings like a shadow in a short story about dark memories and inescapable fears. For disgraced professor Matthew Merle, the inheritance of his grandfather’s crumbling mansion is both a burden and an offer of safe haven. His childhood friend Claire, a psychiatrist, desperately needs a haven of her own after one of her patients unleashes his dark side. At turning points in their lives, it’s inevitable that they should return to the past. And to Merle House. It’s been waiting for them.
- Fog Descending (2021) – A grief-stricken spiritualist thought his faith in life after death was broken. Until the ghosts of his past come calling in this short story of believing in what can’t be seen. Driven by an uncanny mystery from his youth, Ian Randall became a “spiritual cleanser,” ridding disturbances from homes. But his belief in the beyond was challenged by his wife’s death. Merle House, the root of Ian’s obsession, could change that. The woods are restless again. Maybe here, Ian will find what he needs-if he’s willing to make a deal with the dark.
- Circling the Drain (2021) – Is it a hoax, or is it something unspeakably real? In this short story about evil games and spiraling secrets, whatever bargain you strike, there’s a price to be paid. Mason Brandt dropped out of seminary and found a job at a spiritual center offering guidance to troubled teens. Mason was one himself years ago-a suspect in a young girl’s disappearance. When a female student is found murdered, Mason is dogged by suspicion and flees. He hopes Merle House will offer him sanctuary once again.
- Love the Way You Lie (2021) – What’s drawn four damaged people back to Merle House? The answer could destroy them all in a gripping short story of the truths we bury and the lies we tell ourselves. Matthew, Claire, Ian, and Mason haven’t set foot on the Merle family property since the summer they were sixteen. They tried for years to put their history behind them, to forget the mystery of the girl who vanished so long ago. But a powerful force from their past is still at play. This time, there’s no hiding from it.
Reading The Hollows Series in Order
As Lisa Unger explained it: “These novels are not a series in the traditional sense, because they feature different people and stories. However, they chain link to one another. Each can be read as a standalone.” Also, The Whispers series takes place in The Hollows, it’s a series of three short stories featuring psychic Eloise Montgomery collected in “The Whispering Hollows“.
- The Whispers (short story, 2014) – On an ordinary day in The Hollows, a terrible accident claims the lives of Eloise Montgomery’s husband and oldest daughter and leaves Eloise in a coma. While recovering, she experiences her first psychic vision. Struggling to understand her frightening new abilities, Eloise is torn between helping her grief-stricken younger daughter move on and the work she feels compelled to do now–heed the tortured whispers of lost women and girls calling for her.
- Fragile (2010) – Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case–and also dangerous. The investigation has her husband, Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely. Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn. In a town where the past is always present, nobody is above suspicion, not even a son in the eyes of his father.
- Darkness, My Old Friend (2011) – Jones Cooper is at loose ends. He is having trouble facing a horrible event from his past and finding a second act. He’s in therapy. Then, on a brisk October morning, he has a visitor. Eloise Montgomery comes to him with predictions about his future, some of them dire. Michael Holt, a young man who grew up in The Hollows, has returned looking for answers about his mother, who went missing many years earlier. He has hired local PI Ray Muldune and psychic Eloise Montgomery to help him solve the mystery that has haunted him. What he finds might be his undoing.
- In the Blood (2014) – College senior Lana Granger has told so many lies about her past that the truth seems like a distant, cloudy nightmare. But she meets her match when she begins babysitting for a volatile, manipulative eleven-year-old boy. Soon after Lana takes the job, her close friend Beck mysteriously disappears. Lana instantly begins fabricating stories – to friends, to police, to herself. Why doesn’t her account jibe with those of eye-witnesses? Lana will do anything to bury the truth about that night … and about her life. But someone else knows her secrets. And he’s dying to tell.
- The Burning Girl (short story, 2015) – Ten years on, Eloise is a renowned working psychic who has resigned herself to her role in The Hollows and to “The Work.” She’s discovering some disturbing things–secrets about her genealogy and the dark history of The Hollows, and that her granddaughter, nine-year-old Finley, has her own powerful gifts. Most disturbing of all, Eloise realizes that not all of the whispering voices are calling for help. Some of them are looking for trouble.
- The Three Sisters (short story, 2015) – When Finley, now nineteen, comes to live with Eloise, Eloise’s abilities transform. Her load is somehow lighter, and rather than chasing down people she needs, they are coming to her. She teams up with a detective to help a desperate father bring his daughter’s killer to justice. Meanwhile, Finley has bigger problems than she’s willing to admit. Can Eloise help her see the difference between justice and revenge–and the dark truth that nothing stays buried in The Hollows?
- Crazy Love You (2015) – Darkness has a way of creeping up when Ian is with Priss. Even when they were kids, playing in the woods of their small upstate New York town, The Hollows, he could feel it. Still, Priss was his best friend, his salvation from the bullies who called him “loser” and “fatboy”… and from his family’s deadly secrets. Now that they’ve both escaped to New York City, Ian no longer inhabits the tortured shell of his childhood. He is a talented and successful graphic novelist, and Priss…Priss is still trouble. The booze, the drugs, the sex–Ian is growing tired of late nights together trying to keep the past at bay. Especially now that he’s met sweet, beautiful Megan, whose love makes him want to change for the better. But Priss doesn’t like change. Change makes her angry. And when Priss is angry, terrible things begin to happen…
- Ink and Bone (2016) – Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams she has never been able to control or understand, Finley is terrified by the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle–and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices–she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.
Reading The Ridley Jones series in order
- Beautiful Lies (2006) – What if your family was a lie? What if your name was a lie? What if your whole life was just a pack of Beautiful Lies? If Ridley Jones had slept ten minutes later or had taken the subway instead of waiting for a cab, she would still be living the lie she used to call her perfect life. Instead, she’s in the wrong place at the right time to unleash a chain of events that begins with a mysterious package on her doorstep. A package that informs her that her entire world is just an illusion. Forced to question everything she knows about herself, Ridley wanders into dark territory, where everyone is hiding something.
- Sliver of Truth (2007) – Ridley Jones is just trying to get on with her life when another seemingly mundane act–picking up some prints at a photo lab–sends her on a mission to find a ghost from her past. A figure of the same man appears in too many pictures she’s taken in the last year, lurking just far enough away to make identification impossible. But, she is not the only one who wants to know who the man is, and soon finds herself in the middle of a deeper investigation and unsure who to trust.
Reading Lisa Unger’s Standalone Novels
- Black Out (2008) – On the surface, Annie Powers’s life in a wealthy Florida beach neighborhood is happy and idyllic. Her husband, Gray, loves her fiercely; together, they dote on their beautiful young daughter, Victory. But the bubble surrounding Annie is pricked when she senses that the demons of her past have resurfaced and, to her horror, are now creeping up on her. These are demons she can’t fully recall because of a highly dissociative state that allowed her to forget. Disturbing events trigger strange and confusing memories for Annie, who realizes she has to quickly piece them together before her past comes to claim her future . . . and her daughter.
- Die for You (2009) – Isabel Raine thought she had everything–a successful career, a supportive family, and a happy marriage to the man she loved. Then one ordinary morning, her husband, Marcus, picks up his briefcase, kisses her good-bye, and simply vanishes. That day, all her calls to him go straight to voice mail; the messages she leaves at his office go unreturned, too. Panicking after finally receiving a call from his cell phone in which all she can hear is a man’s terrified cry, Isabel calls the police. But they aren’t interested. Men leave, they tell her. They leave all the time. Desperate to find her husband, Isabel races to his office. But instead of finding him, she finds herself in the middle of an FBI raid. Hours later, she awakens in the hospital with a severe concussion and a homicide detective by her bedside waiting to question her about Marcus Raine-the real Marcus Raine.
- Heartbroken (2012) – Kate has written a novel based on a tragic love story from her family’s past. Emily is a struggling waitress whose toxic relationship with the wrong man has led her to make a horrible, life-altering decision. Without knowing each other, and with lives that couldn’t be more different, they head to the same point on the map: Heart Island. It’s an idyllic place in the middle of an Adirondack lake, and home to harsh and unyielding matriarch Birdie Burke. These three women find themselves on a heart-wrenching collision course–with dark memories, restless ghosts, and one another. And unbeknownst to them all, Heart Island has a terrifying history of its own.
- Inherit the Dead (2013) – A collaboration between twenty bestselling mystery novelists who have joined forces to create a spellbinding story of love, betrayal, and intrigue–with C J Box, Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, John Connolly, Charlaine Harris, and Jonathan Santlofer.
- The Red Hunter (2017) – Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house–one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets.
- Under My Skin (2018) – It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack? The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts, unable to distinguish between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death.
- The Stranger Inside (2019) – When former journalist Rain Winter was twelve years old, she narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. The abductor was eventually found and sent to prison, but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice–and killed him in cold blood. Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, spending her days as a stay-at-home mom. But when another criminal who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case, forced to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?
- Confessions on the 7:45 (2020) – Selena Murphy is commuting home on the train when she strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat. The woman introduces herself as Martha and soon confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again. Then the nanny disappears. As Selena is pulled into the mystery of what happened, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, she begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover…
- Last Girl Ghosted (2021) – She met him through a dating app. An intriguing picture on a screen, a date at a downtown bar. What she thought might be just a quick hookup quickly became much more. She fell for him-hard. It happens sometimes, a powerful connection with a perfect stranger takes you by surprise. Could it be love? But then, just as things were getting real, he stood her up. Then he disappeared-profiles deleted, phone disconnected. She was ghosted. Maybe it was her fault. She shared too much, too fast. But isn’t that always what women think-that they’re the ones to blame? Soon she learns there were others. Girls who thought they were in love. Girls who later went missing. She had been looking for a connection, but now she’s looking for answers.
- Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six (2022) – What could be more restful, more restorative, than a weekend getaway with family and friends? An isolated luxury cabin in the woods, complete with spectacular views, a hot tub, and a personal chef. Hannah’s loving and generous tech-mogul brother found the listing online. The reviews are stellar. It’s his birthday gift to Hannah and includes their spouses and another couple. The six friends need this trip with good food, good company, and lots of R & R, far from the chatter and pressures of modern life. But the dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare. A deadly storm is brewing. The rental host seems just a little too present. The personal chef reveals that their beautiful house has a spine-tingling history. And the friends have their own complicated past, with secrets that run blood deep.
- Unknown Caller (2023) – Charlie Kroft’s job at the crisis center means she’s often seen as a hero: she’s helped countless people climb out of the deepest pits of personal despair. But when one phone call thrusts Charlie into the spotlight, she must contend with the hidden pain that drives her…and with the mysterious stranger who knows the truth.
- Christmas Presents (Novella, 2023) – Madeline Martin has built a life for herself as the young owner of a thriving business, The Next Chapter Bookshop, despite her tragic childhood and now needing to care for her infirm father. When Harley Granger, a failed novelist turned true crime podcaster, drifts into her shop in the days before Christmas, he seems intent on digging up events that Madeline would much rather forget. She’s the only surviving victim of Evan Handy, the man who was convicted of murdering her best friend Steph, and is suspected in the disappearance of two sisters, also good friends of Madeline’s, who have been missing for nearly a decade. It’s an investigation that has obsessed her father Sheriff James Martin right up until his stroke took his faculties.
Reading The Lydia Strong Series in Order (as Lisa Miscione)
- Angel Fire (2002) – The childhood murder of her mother has turned Lydia Strong into a woman obsessed with bringing brutal killers to justice. The reclusive, bestselling true-crime writer and investigative consultant now spends her life chasing monsters. When three adults–loners, drifters–go missing, no one seems to notice except for Lydia. Enlisting the help of her friend, former FBI agent Jeffrey Mark, Lydia starts an investigation of her own.
- The Darkness Gathers (2003) – Fresh from a tour promoting her last case, reclusive true crime writer Lydia Strong receives an anonymous cry for help, begging her to find and protect Tatiana Quinn, “and all the other girls in need of rescue.” Maybe the plea strikes close to her heart; maybe her investigator’s intuition starts buzzing. She takes it on. But this simple case of a missing teenager soon becomes much more. Someone wants Lydia to drop the case, someone powerful, someone anxious enough to engineer the reappearance of one of Lydia’s first–and most dangerous–adversaries.
- Twice (2004) – Acclaimed artist Julian Ross has just been found standing over her husband’s bloody corpse in their New York City apartment. Julian claims that she slept peacefully beside him while he was violently stabbed in their bed. But police are skeptical, especially since Julian’s first husband was killed and mutilated in exactly the same way. Julian turns to the tough-as-nails crime writer Lydia Strong, who plunges into the case with her signature grit and the help of her partner, P.I. Jeffrey Mark.
- Smoke (2005) – An NYPD detective visits Lydia and her husband, P.I. Jeffrey Mark, to inform them that Lily, one of Lydia’s former writing students, has been missing for more than two weeks. Before she disappeared, Lily had tried to get in touch with Lydia, seeking her help. Could this have had something to do with the death of Lily’s brother, which Lily refused to accept as a suicide?
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