[[caption-width-right:288:A guilty conscience will always confess, the novel.]]
One of the first novels of Émile Zola, published in 1867 before he began his magnum opus, the ''Rougon-Macquart'' series, ''Thérèse Raquin'' tells the story of an adulterous young woman who kills her husband and marries her lover. It doesn't go well.

Thérèse is the daughter of a French captain and an Algerian mother. Her father brings her to France to be brought up by his sister Madame Raquin alongside her son Camille, after which he is never seen again. Thérèse grows up extremely repressed because her desires are always secondary to Camille's demands, wishes, and physical limitations. When she is twenty-one, Madame Raquin marries her to Camille, a marriage without affection on both sides. Camille decides to move the family to Paris so he can start a career.

In Paris, Camille finds work with the railroad while Mme. Raquin and Thérèse set up a hat shop. He also finds Laurent, a childhood friend of his who has grown up to be tall, handsome, and a hedonist. Laurent begins an affair with Thérèse because she is lonely and because he can't afford prostitutes anymore. He visits her daily, until his boss doesn't let him skip out of work anymore, and the lovers must come up with a new plan. They resolve they must [[MurderTheHypotenuse murder Camille]] and then Thérèse will be free to marry Laurent.

Unfortunately for them, they didn't really consider what life as secret murderers would be like, and their crime [[SanitySlippage slowly starts to drive them mad]].

Was loosely adapted by Creator/ParkChanWook as ''{{Thirst}}''.

[[folder: This novel provides examples of: ]]

* AndIMustScream: Mme. Raquin literally can't scream anymore when she realized Thérèse and Laurent have killed her child. She does try to rat them out, but fails, which makes this even worse.
* ArrangedMarriage: Camille and Thérèse
* AssholeVictim
* BreakTheCutie: Madame Raquin
* ButNotTooBlack: Thérèse has an African mother, but doesn't look any different from women of European ancestry.
** Algerians are frequently not very dark--it's ''North'' Africa; their historical allegiance and kinship is to the Mediterranean, not the continent.
** After WWII during the long-drawn fight for independence, Algerian women in Algiers were apparently able to pass for Frenchwomen by cutting and curling their hair and wearing the latest fashions, so as to get through checkpoints without having their bags searched--and place bombs.
* CantHaveSexEver: After Camille dies, Laurent and Thérèse find they are unable to have sex. Partly because they keep imagining they see him in their bedroom.
* CantLiveWithThemCantLiveWithoutThem: Life with Camille was actually a lot better than life without him, even though both Laurent and Thérèse couldn't stand him. His death means they can't reset anything, though.
* DespairEventHorizon: Madame Raquin when she learns that Thérèse and Laurent murdered Camille.
* DisappearedDad: Camille's father is nowhere in the story. His mother raises him alone. Thérèse too, because Mme. Raquin's brother disappeared as well, leaving his daughter behind.
* DoomedMoralVictor: [[spoiler: Mme. Raquin watches Thérèse and Laurent die and gets satisfaction that her son is avenged. However, the ending is ambiguous as to her fate. The implication is she died not long after, but even if she didn't her paralyzed and silent state means that she is completely dependent and will die unless someone finds her.]]
* DownerEnding: Hoooooo boy.
** [[spoiler: DrivenToSuicide]]
* EmotionlessGirl: Thérèse, for her entire childhood. She is incredibly repressed because it's the only way to make life with her aunt and cousin bearable.
* FinishingEachOthersSentences: The least romantic example possibly ever. [[spoiler: Thérèse and Laurent each realize the other was going to kill them and have a very honest conversation about it before committing suicide.]]
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: The four main characters.
** Sanguine: Laurent
** Choleric: Madame Raquin
** Melancholic: Thérèse
** Phlegmatic: Camille
** The author actually ''did research'' on the four temperaments while writing the novel and deliberately wrote the main character's personalities with this trope in mind.
* HeroAntagonist: Mme. Raquin, who is oppressive of Thérèse in her youth and later determined to expose her as a murderer.
* ISeeDeadPeople: Thérèse and Laurent see Camille all the time, though this is a manifestation of guilt and madness. Instead of his ghost, though, they see his bloated, drowned corpse.
* {{Ingenue}}: Madame Raquin
* {{Jerkass}}: Laurent
* KissingCousins: Camille and Thérèse, though their marriage didn't involve much, if any, sexual activity.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: Everyone else believes that Camille fell out of a boat and drowned.
* MeaningfulName: The name Thérèse Raquin has been speculated to have something to do with the saying "You reap what you sow." Thérèse meaning "to harvest" and Raquin coming from the colloquial verb ''raquer'' meaning "to pay" or "to cough up."
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Thérèse and Laurent together kill her husband, Camille.
* MyBelovedSmother: Madame Raquin, though she doesn't really mean to be. But she babies Camille and rules over Thérèse.
* OneNameOnly: Laurent. We're never told if that's his first or last name.
* ParentalAbandonment: Thérèse's father leaves her with Madame Raquin because he doesn't believe he's fit to raise children and her mother is dead.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Camille and Thérèse's marriage.
* SanitySlippage: The more time passes, the more Thérèse and Laurent are haunted by memories of Camille.
* TheSpeechless: Madame Raquin, as her health deteriorates, leaving her with locked-in syndrome. Ironically, the worse she gets, the more she realizes what happened to her son.
* SpoiledBrat: Camille was cosseted so much as a child, that he's completely intolerable to everyone but his mother.
* SpookyPainting: ''Everything'' Laurent does after the murder.
* VillainProtagonist