They exude sex appeal and elegance, are seductive, but viciously guard dark secrets and hold their cards close to their heart. Here are our top picks for the best femme fatales in literature.
1. Heloise Lane from “And when she was Good” by Laura Lippmann
On the surface, Heloise appears to be a suburban mum with a young son and an ex on death row, but she is actually a former escort and cunning businesswoman with a few tricks up her sleeve and many a dark secret that she is fiercely guarding.
2. Elsa Hazliett from “The Hothouse by the East River” by Muriel Spark
Our protagonist Elsa is a deeply troubled and confused, depressed and restless person who only chooses to open up to her trusted psychoanalyst. Set in 1970s New York, this book is an unsettling read into the psyche of a person whose complete disregard for others possibly stems from something more sinister.
3. Amma from “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn
Recently adapted for the small screen as a mini series, this novel from the author of yet another femme fatale novel ‘Gone Girl’ revolves around Camille Preaker, a reporter who returns from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, only to be faced with her biggest and possibly most traumatic assignment yet- the murder of two preteen girls in her own hometown. As she takes on the case from the safety of her Victorian mansion, Camilla also deals with a neurotic hypochondriac mother and a half sister whom she barely knows, while also fending off the murderous attempts of the psychopathic and antagonistic femme fatale- Amma.
4. Annie Wilkes from “Misery” by Stephen King
This classic centres around the unhinged fanatic Annie who rescues her favourite author Paul Sheldon from a car crash, but soon her kindness makes way for an unhealthy, bordering on violent obsession after it is revealed that Sheldon has killed off one of her favourite characters in his books. From then on, Sheldon is forced to give in to the whims of his femme fatale captor.
5. Joan Medford from “The Cocktail Waitress” by James M Cain
Joan is a beautiful young widow, who after the mysterious death of her husband is now trying to make ends meet as a server at a cocktail lounge, while also fighting to regain custody of her young son. One fine day, she encounters two men who simultaneously pursue her- One is a young and seductive con artist while the other is an older but ill man who promises Joan a $50,000 tip in return for her services and to top it off, an unconventional offer of marriage as well!
6. Kate Moore from “The Expats” by Chris Pavone
Kate Moore, an expat mother who is well settled in Washington DC is forced to face up to the deceit of a suspicious husband and her own dark secrets that could bring forth the fall of their marriage and family life. Adding to her problems are an American couple who are equally capable of raising suspicions in the already convoluted and fear-frought mind of femme fatale Kate who is walking on eggshells throughout this thriller.
7. Amy Dunne from “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
In this bestseller that was also adapted to the big screen with successful results, we are introduced to ‘cool girl’ Amy who is missing without a trace. But as the novel progresses, one realizes that this might have been an elaborate ruse all along by a devoted wife to frame a husband who could care less to remain loyal to her.
Thank you for taking the time to read our list and we hope you found it enticing enough to check out our other posts on here. If you enjoyed what you read here, do follow us on Instagram so we can keep you updated about our upcoming content so you don’t miss out on anything! Until then, stay clear of the femme fatale…