Welcome to an exhilarating exploration of the best thriller books ever written. If you crave heart-pounding suspense, nail-biting plot twists, and characters who will stay with you long after you turn the final page, then you’re in for a treat. In this blog post, we embark on a thrilling journey through the world of suspense and mystery, uncovering captivating tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
From psychological thrillers that delve into the depths of the human mind to crime novels that unravel complex conspiracies, the genre offers a wide range of stories that play with our emotions and challenge our perceptions. Each book we’ll encounter in this post is a masterwork in its own right, immersing readers in worlds of danger, secrets, and relentless pursuit.
Prepare yourself for encounters with iconic characters like the enigmatic Lisbeth Salander, the unforgettable Amy Dunne, and the tormented Jack Torrance. We’ll dive into the psychological mazes created by authors such as Alex Michaelides, Gillian Flynn, and Stephen King, who leave us questioning our sanity.
As we navigate the labyrinth of suspense and intrigue, we’ll discuss not only the gripping plots but also the brilliant writing styles, the meticulously crafted settings, and the art of creating compelling and unforgettable characters. Get ready to embark on a rollercoaster ride through psychological depths, historical conspiracies, and spine-chilling revelations.
So buckle up and join us on this thrilling adventure through the pages of some of the best thriller books ever penned. Whether you’re a seasoned thriller fan or new to the genre, this blog post will be your guide to discovering captivating tales that will keep you up late into the night, flipping pages with eager anticipation.
Now let’s dive into some of the best thriller books you can consider for your reading list.
1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
One of the best thriller books out there is Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. This psychological thriller unfolds on the fifth wedding anniversary of Nick and Amy Dunne when Amy mysteriously disappears. As Nick becomes the prime suspect, he’s forced to investigate what happened to his beautiful wife, unveiling a series of dark secrets along the way.
Flynn’s debut novel is a complex and riveting exploration of marriage, manipulation, and the dangerous games people play in the name of love. From the book cover to the final page, this is a non-stop chilling narrative. The successful film adaptation of Gone Girl further underlines the gripping nature of Flynn’s tale.
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2. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Another fantastic addition to the list of best thriller books is The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. This psychological thriller book follows a criminal psychotherapist, Theo Faber, who becomes fascinated with his patient, Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who shot her husband five times and never spoke a word again. Theo is determined to get Alicia to talk and unravel the mystery of why she committed such a terrible crime.
However, this quest becomes an obsession that threatens to consume him. The torn design of the book cover is as haunting as the story within. The Silent Patient is a truly thrilling read, full of fantastic twists that will keep you guessing till the very last page.
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Stieg Larsson is a master of the modern classic in the world of the best thriller books. This book follows the intertwined lives of disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, a young woman with a secret and some extraordinary hacking skills.
When Mikael is hired to solve the 40-year-old disappearance of a rich industrialist’s niece, he finds himself crossing paths with Lisabeth. As they dive deeper into a complex web of intrigue and danger, they discover a side of Sweden’s high society that’s far from glamorous.
4. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
For fans of crime novels featuring serial killers, Red Dragon by Thomas Harris is a must-read. The book introduces the world to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist, and cannibalistic serial killer who assists the FBI in catching other killers. The protagonist of the story, former FBI profiler Will Graham, is pulled out of retirement to track down a terrifying serial killer known as The Tooth Fairy.
The story unfolds in a small Louisiana town, where the lives of an ordinary family become intertwined with a horrific murder mystery. This chilling psychological thriller book is just the start of the Hannibal Lecter series, which goes on to include three more books.
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5. The Night Shift by Stephen King
From acclaimed author, Stephen King comes The Night Shift, a collection of stories ranked among the best thriller books ever published. Showcasing King’s mastery of the macabre, this compilation includes tales of a woman with a deadly vendetta against her own father, a man ensnared by a killer plant, and a night shift worker at a sinister laundromat, among others.
These stories are beautifully written and truly capture the essence of Stephen King’s thrilling imagination. Every story features a gripping narrative, compelling characters, and unexpected plot twists, making it an essential read for thriller fans.
6. Darkwater Cove by Dan Padavona
Darkwater Cove by Dan Padavona is a heart-stopping psychological thriller featuring former FBI profiler Darcy Gellar. After a near-fatal encounter with the Full Moon Killer, Darcy moves to the tranquil oceanside village of Genoa Cove to rebuild her life.
However, when a dead woman is found on the beach, pointing to a potential mistake in the previous arrest, Darcy must protect her children from a suspected madman while facing the distrust of the local police. In this gripping tale of suspense, Darcy races against time to uncover the truth and confront a relentless killer.
7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Hugely popular, The Da Vinci Code is an action-packed thriller that weaves real-life art, history, and religion into a fast-paced narrative. This suspense novel follows symbologist Robert Langdon and cryptographer Sophie Neveu as they unravel a centuries-old mystery that begins with a brutal murder in the Louvre Museum.
As they dig deeper, they find themselves caught in a dangerous game involving a secret society, an ancient conspiracy, and a quest for the Holy Grail. It’s got a lot of critics, and Brown’s writing isn’t for everyone, but it’s got a great book cover and some surprising revelations within its pages. Love it or hate it, The Da Vinci Code is a thrilling tale that has captivated millions worldwide.
8. Misery by Stephen King
Stephen King’s Misery is another psychological thriller that belongs high on the list of best thriller books. The story unfolds when successful author Paul Sheldon suffers a car accident and is rescued by Annie Wilkes, who claims to be his biggest fan. However, as Paul recovers under Annie’s care, he realizes he’s not so much a guest as a prisoner.
As the line between fan adoration and psychotic obsession blurs, Paul must devise a desperate plan to escape his captor. King’s exploration of the terrifying depths of human psychosis makes Misery an unforgettable thriller.
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9. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent is an enthralling legal thriller following the story of a prosecutor, Rusty Sabich, who finds himself on the other side of the legal system when he’s accused of an evil crime — the murder of his colleague and mistress. As Rusty fights to clear his name, he unearths shocking truths and faces unexpected twists that will keep readers hooked till the very last page.
Turow’s debut novel showcases a deep understanding of the legal system and human nature, making it a must-read for fans of thriller fiction.
10. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré
For those who enjoy thrillers set against the backdrop of international espionage, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré is an excellent choice. This classic Cold War-era thriller follows British agent Alec Leamas, who is tasked with one final assignment before he can retire.
Of course, things go terribly wrong, leading him into a world of deception and betrayal. Le Carré’s gritty thriller offers a realistic, darkly captivating portrayal of the world of spies, where trust is a luxury and survival is the ultimate victory.
11. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
One of the best thriller books in recent years, Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train introduces readers to Rachel, a young woman with a troubled past who becomes embroiled in a shocking event. Every day on her train commute, Rachel watches a seemingly perfect couple from her window. One day, she sees something that will send her down a terrifying path of intrigue and suspense.
As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that Rachel’s life is much more complicated and darker than it appears. With its compelling narrative, complex characters, and shocking twists, this psychological thriller will keep readers engrossed from the first page to the last.
12. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
The second novel in Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Lecter series, The Silence of the Lambs is one of the quintessential psychological thriller books. In this chilling story, a young FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, is assigned to extract a profile of a serial killer from another serial killer, the brilliant and manipulative Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
This grim narrative not only provides an in-depth view of the hunt for a serial killer but also explores the dark secrets hidden in the mind of one of literature’s most iconic villains. The book’s film adaptation, featuring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, has only solidified its position in popular culture.
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13. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
“It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid-October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.” So begins The Big Sleep, a classic crime novel merging mystery with noir. Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired to deal with a case of blackmail against the wild and rebellious daughter of a millionaire.
However, he finds himself embroiled in a murder case and a web of lies, betrayal, and crime. A beautiful and resonantly written novel, this debut by Chandler has had a lasting impact on the genre of crime fiction, and of course, having Bogart play the archetypal hard-boiled gumshoe hasn’t done it any harm.
14. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
In Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner are sent to investigate the disappearance of a murderer from a hospital for the criminally insane located on a remote island. The eerie atmosphere of the island and the secrets hidden within its facilities make for a chilling tale that will leave readers questioning reality.
From the haunting book cover to the chilling plot twists, this psychological thriller is a masterclass in suspense and unexpected revelations. And it’s significantly better paced than the film version.
15. The Firm by John Grisham
There are plenty of legal thrillers around, but Grisham is the undisputed master. The Firm perfectly showcases this, blending suspense with elements of classic crime tropes. The story follows a young man, Mitch McDeere, who is seduced by the promise of wealth a successful law firm offers.
When he discovers the Firm’s malevolent secret and involvement with the mob, his new life takes a deadly turn. As Mitch attempts to escape the Firm’s clutches without falling foul of the FBI, readers are treated to a gripping narrative exploring the depths of corporate corruption.
16. The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
The Bone Collector is a riveting thriller that introduces us to the brilliant but disabled forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme. After a tragic accident leaves him bedridden, Rhyme gets back into action when a terrifying serial killer begins leaving clues only he can decipher.
Paired with a young woman, a street-smart police officer Amelia Sachs, Rhyme must track down this methodical murderer who’s recreating gruesome torture techniques from the past. This fantastic thriller draws readers into the disturbing world of a serial killer and keeps them on the edge of their seats until the very final page.
17. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
It’s hard to beat The Talented Mr. Ripley, the debut novel by Patricia Highsmith, which introduces us to Tom Ripley, a man with a talent for deception, forgery, and impersonation. The plot follows Ripley, who is hired by a wealthy businessman to retrieve his wayward son, Dickie, from Italy.
As the story progresses, Ripley becomes obsessed with the lavish lifestyle and Dickie himself, leading to a dangerous game of deceit, identity theft, and, eventually, murder. Highsmith’s novel is a classic in the genre, offering an in-depth psychological profile of a fascinating yet chilling protagonist.
18. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is one of the most chilling true crime novels ever written. It chronicles the grotesque murder of the Clutter family in a small Kansas town in 1959. Capote reconstructs the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers and provides a deeply moving, finely detailed portrait of the victims, the murderers, and the community impacted by the shocking crime.
Despite being a work of nonfiction, In Cold Blood reads like a suspenseful crime novel, blending elements of thriller books with real-world horrors.
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19. Long Bright River by Liz Moore
In Long Bright River, two sisters lead drastically different lives. While Mickey is a police officer patrolling the neighborhood ravaged by opioids, Kacey lives on those very streets, struggling with addiction. When Kacey disappears at the same time a series of mysterious murders begin in the district, Mickey becomes obsessed with finding the perpetrator and her sister before it’s too late.
This gripping tale blends elements of thriller books, mystery novels, and domestic dramas, offering a heart-wrenching insight into the opioid crisis and the bond of family.
20. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
An absolute powerhouse and an all-time classic, The Day of the Jackal is a riveting crime novel by Frederick Forsyth depicting a nearly successful assassination attempt on French President Charles de Gaulle. The narrative is a cat-and-mouse chase between the anonymous English hitman, known only as the Jackal, and the French detective, Claude Lebel, who is tasked with stopping him.
The meticulous planning of the assassination, the chase, and the climax make it a thrilling read. With an iconic book cover and a story inspired by the real-life case of Carlos the Jackal, this novel is sure to keep readers turning pages until the end.
21. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Woman in the Window is a psychological thriller revolving around an agoraphobic woman, Anna Fox, who believes she’s witnessed a crime in her neighbor’s house. Living alone and spying on her neighbors, her life takes a dramatic turn when she sees something she wasn’t supposed to.
The tale is a suspenseful journey through Anna’s mind, examining what’s real and what’s imagined. The book cover, a view of a cityscape through a foggy window, aptly hints at the obscured vision and mystery within the pages.
22. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Another of Dan Brown’s divisive thriller books, Angels and Demons, introduces readers once again to the character of Robert Langdon, a renowned symbologist. When a physicist is murdered, and a mysterious symbol is seared into his chest, Langdon is called upon to decipher the sign and prevent a deadly plot against the Catholic Church.
Set against the backdrop of real landmarks in Rome and the Vatican, this book blends religious history, art, science, and a thrilling tale of conspiracy and vendetta. It’s not as popular as Da Vinci Code, and critics are extremely hard on this book, but it remains popular.
23. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
This is a case where, if you like The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, then you’re going to love the entire series by Alexander McCall Smith. It’s a delightful mix of mystery and drama set in Botswana. The book introduces us to Precious Ramotswe, a proudly hefty, independently-minded woman who decides to use her inheritance to open Botswana’s first and only detective agency for the benefit and protection of ladies.
From book cover to blurb, the series is an excellent introduction to a different culture and a fresh take on the mystery genre. Highly recommended — do not miss out on this fantastic story.
24. Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
If you like your thrillers loaded with action and set pieces that will have your heart in your throat, Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy is something worth picking up. It’s a stunningly gripping tale following Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who is thrust into a dangerous covert war against a Colombian drug cartel.
With an intricate plot involving politics, military strategy, and espionage, this book is an essential read for thriller readers. The crime fiction blends real-life political tensions with fast-paced action, making it one of the best thriller books by Clancy.
25. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
The Cuckoo’s Calling is a great little crime novel penned by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, famous for her Harry Potter series. The narrative revolves around Cormoran Strike, a down-on-his-luck private investigator who lands a high-profile case when a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony.
Her brother refuses to believe it was suicide and hires Strike to investigate. Of course, this book (and Rowling in general) has a lot of critics, and they’ll slam everything from the book cover to the character development. But if you’re looking for a dark and gritty thriller with atmosphere, it could be worth trying.
26. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
In The Secret History, acclaimed author Donna Tartt delivers an exceptionally written tale of friendship and deceit set within a New England college’s privileged circles. When a close-knit group of six classics students murders one of their own, the reasons why lead to an exploration of morality, beauty, and the corruption of the human soul.
This book, both a suspense tale and a coming-of-age story, keeps the readers on edge as they plunge into the students’ complex world.
27. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Terry Hayes smashed it out of the park with his debut novel I Am Pilgrim, immersing readers into a world of espionage, secrets, and murder. Our hero, code-named Pilgrim, is a former intelligence agent who wrote the definitive book on criminal forensics.
But when a copy of his book is found at a bloody murder scene, Pilgrim is drawn back into the secret world to investigate a lethal biological warfare threat. The book’s cover doesn’t really reflect the globe-trotting nature of this brilliant thriller, so if you’re looking for something with an international flavor, this could be the perfect thriller for you.
28. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Is there a scarier place to be than in a submarine? In The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy introduces readers to the captivating world of underwater naval warfare. The suspense novel tells the story of a Lithuanian submarine captain who wants to defect to the United States with his officers and the Soviet Union’s newest nuclear missile submarine, Red October.
A game of cat and mouse ensues in the dark depths of the ocean, with the potential to ignite a full-scale war. Clancy’s mastery of technical details and suspenseful plotting makes this one of the best thriller books in modern literature. And the film version isn’t bad, either.
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29. The Outsider by Stephen King
The Outsider, a fantastic thriller book by Stephen King, blends the author’s signature horror elements with a tense and meticulously plotted crime story. The narrative kicks off with the brutal murder of a young boy. The evidence leads to a beloved town figure, but as the investigators dig deeper, they are plunged into a disturbing murder mystery far beyond their understanding.
This is one of those thrillers where there’s not a step wrong. Everything from the first paragraph to the final sentence and everything in between the book covers is like watching a master at work. Truly excellent stuff.
30. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
In The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco crafts a masterful and thrilling narrative set in a 14th-century Italian monastery. When a series of mysterious deaths occur within the cloistered walls, Brother William of Baskerville is tasked with uncovering the truth. As he delves deeper, he finds himself in a labyrinth of secrets, heresies, and the power of forbidden knowledge.
This book’s cover is gorgeous, with its symbol-laden imagery teasing the profound and enigmatic narrative within, making it one of the best thriller books for those who love a challenge.
31. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Big Little Lies is a modern classic, a psychological thriller revolving around three women whose lives intersect in unexpected and dangerous ways. It begins with a terrifying crime at a school trivia night, but who is dead and how it happened is the mystery that unfolds throughout the book.
The three women, all mothers with kindergarten-aged children, harbor secrets and bear the strain of maintaining their picture-perfect suburban lives. The original book cover, featuring a shattered lollipop, gives a glimpse of the deceptive innocence that gives way to a dark thriller.
32. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
If it’s a classic thriller you’re looking for, look no further. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is an iconic heroine tale in the genre of psychological thrillers. The unnamed protagonist marries a wealthy widower, only to find herself living in the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca. The chilling tale unfolds in Manderley, a grand manor where Rebecca’s influence still lingers.
The suspense builds with the protagonist’s growing obsession with Rebecca and the realization that her husband may be hiding a dark secret. From the haunting book cover to the final page, du Maurier perfectly captures the gothic and suspenseful tone of the story, making it a compelling read from start to finish.
33. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
If you enjoyed Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects, might just hit the spot. This crime novel tells the gripping tale of Camille Preaker, who returns to her small hometown to cover the frenzied murders of two pre-teen girls. As a journalist, she’s seeking answers, but as a former resident with a complicated family history, she’s also seeking personal closure.
What makes this psychological thriller so engaging is Flynn’s ability to craft complex and deeply flawed characters. The novel is razor-sharp, and there are plenty of dreadful discoveries lying within its pages.
34. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Thriller fans looking for a mix of suspense and science fiction might enjoy The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. The story revolves around Melanie, a young girl who turns out to be a “hungry” — a zombie. Despite her condition, she possesses human intelligence and emotions, making her a subject of interest for scientists trying to find a cure for the disease.
This is a delightfully written thriller exploring themes of survival, hope, and what it means to be human. It also slyly uses classic zombie tropes to create a thrilling narrative driven by the question, what happens to humanity next?
35. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn’s novel Dark Places once again showcases her talent for creating gripping, psychologically intense stories. In this chilling thriller, protagonist Libby Day revisits the horrendous murder of her family, for which her brother was controversially convicted when she was just a child.
Years later, she’s pulled back into the investigation by a group obsessed with solving notorious crimes. From its explorations of class issues in rural America to its look at intense poverty — and even a Satanic cult — this is a pitch-black journey to embark on.
36. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
For readers who enjoy tight, claustrophobic settings and plenty of twists, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a must-read. This gripping tale unfolds aboard a luxury cruise ship where travel journalist Lo Blacklock believes she’s witnessed a murder.
However, all passengers are accounted for, leading everyone to question her reliability. Ware’s ability to create a sense of unease and unpredictability will leave you breathless, eagerly turning the pages to uncover the truth behind the enigmatic woman in Cabin 10. The intricately woven plot, combined with Ware’s skillful writing, guarantees a riveting reading experience that will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished the book.
37. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
The Couple Next Door is a tightly written thriller exploring the secrets hidden behind closed doors. When Anne and Marco’s baby daughter goes missing during a dinner party at their neighbor’s house, they become embroiled in a heart-pounding search for the truth. As secrets are unraveled, and suspicions arise, the couple’s seemingly perfect life begins to unravel.
If you enjoy domestic thrillers with gripping narratives, morally complex characters, and a relentless plot, The Couple Next Door is a must-read. Lapena’s ability to keep readers guessing and her talent for crafting surprising twists will leave you breathless and eager for more of her captivating storytelling.
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38. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
In Before I Go to Sleep, Christine Lucas suffers from a rare form of amnesia that erases her memories each time she falls asleep. As she wakes up every morning with no recollection of her past, she relies on a journal to piece together her identity and unravel the truth about the traumatic event that caused her condition.
This psychological thriller delves into the complexities of memory, trust, and the blurred lines between reality and deception. If you enjoy psychological thrillers that delve into the complexities of memory, trust, and self-discovery, Before I Go to Sleep is a must-read. Watson’s masterful storytelling and relentless suspense make it a captivating and unforgettable journey into the depths of the unknown.
39. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
The Good Girl is a deep, disturbing psychological thriller delving into the complexities of identity and the aftermath of a kidnapping. When Mia Dennett, a young woman from a prominent family, goes missing, the investigation takes unexpected revelations, twists, and turns.
Told from multiple perspectives and alternating timelines, the story explores the blurred lines between victim and captor and the shocking truths that emerge along the way. Kubica’s writing style is both atmospheric and evocative, creating a palpable sense of tension and unease that keeps you engaged from start to finish. The story unfolds with calculated precision, building suspense and delivering shocking revelations at every turn.
40. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
If you’re looking for a gripping and atmospheric thriller set in a small English town, check out The Chalk Man. In 1986, a group of friends used coded chalk figures as secret messages. However, when a mysterious accident leaves one of their classmates injured, their innocent games take a dark turn. Decades later, the past resurfaces, and the group is forced to confront their shared secrets and the deadly consequences.
With its dual timeline narrative and eerie atmosphere, The Chalk Man keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the final revelation. The clever and intricate plotting will keep you guessing until the final pages, as Tudor expertly crafts a narrative that is as much about the complexities of human relationships as it is about solving a chilling murder mystery.
41. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Behind Closed Doors is a psychological thriller that delves into the darkest secrets of a seemingly perfect marriage. Jack and Grace Angel appear to have it all — wealth, beauty, and a fairytale-like relationship. However, as the story unravels, it becomes clear their life together is far from idyllic.
Told through alternating timelines, the book explores the sinister truth behind closed doors. The relentless pacing and skillful character development keep you on the edge of your seat as you become deeply invested in the fate of the protagonist, Grace, and her desperate struggle for freedom. If you enjoy psychological thrillers exploring the darker aspects of human nature and keep you guessing until the final revelation, Behind Closed Doors is a must-read.
42. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
The Girl Before is an excellent psychological thriller centered around two women living in the same house at different times. Both Emma and Jane rent the enigmatic 1 Folgate Street, a minimalist architectural masterpiece.
However, the house comes with a strict set of rules set by its controlling architect, and as the women delve into the house’s history, they discover its dark and dangerous secrets. The classic book cover, with its sleek and stark design, reflects the modern aesthetics and the chilling atmosphere of the story.
43. The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
In The Perfect Wife, readers are immersed in a mind-bending and thought-provoking thriller that blurs the lines between artificial intelligence and humanity. Abbie Cullen wakes up with no memory of how she died or how she came to be resurrected as a perfect replica by her brilliant and enigmatic husband, Tim.
As Abbie tries to piece together her past, she realizes not everything is as it seems, and the truth she uncovers is both shocking and devastating. The character development in The Perfect Wife is superb, too, with each individual carrying their own secrets and motivations. Delaney keeps you engaged with unexpected twists and revelations that will make you question everything you thought you knew about the characters and their intentions.
44. The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
Taking the concept of family and relationships and turning it into a thrilling psychological game, The Other Woman by Sandie Jones is some exceptional work. Emily falls deeply in love with Adam and is excited to start a life with him, but there’s one problem — his mother, Pammie. Pammie will stop at nothing to undermine their relationship and drive a wedge between them.
As Emily battles against Pammie’s manipulative tactics, she realizes this mother-in-law from hell is more dangerous than she ever imagined. The exploration of toxic family dynamics and the complexities of motherhood add depth and emotional resonance to the story. Jones delves into the lengths we go to protect our loved ones and the secrets we are willing to keep hidden.
45. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
The Family Upstairs is a tight, atmospheric thriller exploring the dark secrets of a dilapidated mansion and the complex lives of its inhabitants. Libby Jones, who recently inherited the house, discovers her true identity is tied to the mysterious deaths that occurred within its walls years ago.
The atmospheric setting and richly drawn descriptions create a palpable sense of unease as the dark history of the house and its inhabitants come to light. You’ll find yourself engrossed in a chilling and atmospheric tale that lingers in your mind long after you’ve turned the final page. As the story unfolds, the twisted connections between Libby and the other characters are revealed, leading to a shocking and suspenseful climax.
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46. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
The Silent Wife is a character-driven psychological thriller that delves into the complex dynamics of a failing marriage. Jodi and Todd seem like the perfect couple, but beneath the surface, their relationship is crumbling. When Todd embarks on an affair, the consequences spiral out of control, leading to a suspenseful and devastating climax.
The book explores themes of betrayal, loyalty, and the lengths people will go to protect their own interests. Harrison’s compelling writing style immerses you in the minds of Jodi and Todd, offering a nuanced portrayal of two flawed and fascinating characters. As their marriage unravels, you’ll find yourself drawn into their world, questioning the boundaries of loyalty and the consequences of choices made.
47. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Exploring the lasting effects of a terrible secret shared among four friends, The Lying Game is a tightly written and absorbing psychological thriller. Isa, Kate, Fatima, and Thea were inseparable during their boarding school days, bound together by a game of lies. Years later, when a dead body is discovered near their old school, the friends are forced to confront their past and the consequences of their actions.
Ware’s atmospheric writing and skillful character development keep readers engaged as they unravel the mysteries of the past. The immersive storytelling and skillful characterization make the bond between the four women feel palpable and real as they navigate the consequences of their lies and the chilling events that unfold. Ware’s ability to craft a suspenseful and evocative narrative will keep you enthralled until the final revelation.
48. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
Liv Constantine (who is actually two sisters in real life) has created a twist-filled psychological thriller that takes readers on a rollercoaster ride of deception and manipulation in The Last Mrs. Parrish. Amber Patterson is determined to be part of the glamorous and wealthy Parrish family. She schemes her way into their lives, befriending the beautiful and seemingly perfect Daphne Parrish.
However, not everything is as it appears, and Amber soon realizes the Parrish family has secrets of its own. Constantine’s writing effortlessly balances the glamorous facade of high society with the dark underbelly of manipulation and deceit, creating a deliciously addictive tale of psychological suspense.
49. The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
Diving into the deadly consequences of corporate greed The Escape Room by Megan Goldin is an incredibly suspenseful thriller that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned. Four high-flying Wall Street colleagues are trapped in an elevator escape room, where tensions rise, and secrets are revealed. As they fight for their lives, the story alternates between their harrowing present and the events that led them to this fateful moment.
Goldin expertly weaves together a tale of ambition, betrayal, and revenge in the cutthroat world of finance. The exploration of cutthroat corporate culture and the lengths people will go to protect their own interests adds depth and relevance to the story, making it a compelling commentary on the price of ambition and the consequences of unchecked power.
50. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
This is an outstandingly chilling and twist-filled psychological thriller exploring the dangerous allure of an unethical psychological study. Jessica Farris signs up for a morality study conducted by the enigmatic Dr. Shields, but she quickly finds herself caught in a web of manipulation and deceit.
As the study takes increasingly sinister turns, Jessica becomes entangled in a cat-and-mouse game with Dr. Shields, unsure whom she can trust. The tightly plotted storyline and skillful character development make for a thrilling and immersive reading experience. As the stakes escalate and secrets are revealed, you’ll be unable to put the book down, eagerly turning the pages to uncover the truth.
51. Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson
Before She Knew Him is an outstanding psychological thriller exploring the dark secrets hidden beneath the surface of suburban life. Hen and her husband, Lloyd, have recently moved to a quiet neighborhood, where they meet their new neighbors, Matthew and Mira Dolamore. But when Hen discovers a clue that suggests Matthew may be connected to a notorious unsolved crime, she becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth.
Swanson masterfully weaves together suspense and intrigue, blurring the lines between guilt and innocence. If you enjoy twisty and unpredictable modern thrillers that explore the dark recesses of human nature, Before She Knew Him is a must-read. Prepare to be captivated by Peter Swanson’s sharp prose and his ability to keep you guessing until the shocking truth is revealed.
52. The Girl Before You by Nicola Rayner
This is an excellent and captivating psychological thriller that explores obsession, betrayal, and the haunting power of the past. Alice has just married the man of her dreams, but when she discovers her husband’s first wife died in suspicious circumstances, doubts and secrets begin to surface.
As Alice becomes increasingly consumed by her husband’s past and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his ex-wife’s death, she uncovers shocking revelations that threaten to shatter her world.
53. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
A truly powerful and thought-provoking thriller that tackles issues of sexual assault, justice, and the power of storytelling. Rachel Krall, a popular true crime podcaster, travels to a small town to cover a high-profile rape trial. As she investigates the case, she receives a mysterious letter about an unsolved drowning from decades ago.
The story weaves together multiple perspectives, including Rachel’s podcast episodes and the experiences of the protagonist in the past, creating a compelling narrative that keeps readers hooked until the final revelation. Dive into the powerful and suspenseful world of The Night Swim and let Megan Goldin’s gripping storytelling take you on a journey of justice, redemption, and the relentless pursuit of truth.
54. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
The Wife Between Us is an absolutely terrifying psychological thriller that challenges readers’ perceptions and keeps them guessing until the very end. The story follows Vanessa, a jilted ex-wife, and Nellie, a woman set to marry Vanessa’s former husband.
As the narrative unfolds, the complex web of relationships, secrets, and manipulations becomes increasingly tangled, blurring the lines between victim and villain. With its surprising twists and turns, the book explores themes of obsession, revenge, and the power dynamics within relationships.
55. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The Turn of the Key is a chilling and atmospheric psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Rowan Caine takes a job as a live-in nanny at a luxurious and isolated smart home, only to find herself accused of a heinous crime. As she struggles to unravel the mysteries of the house and prove her innocence, horrifying secrets and supernatural occurrences come to light.
Ware’s mastery of suspense and her ability to create a sense of claustrophobia make this a captivating read. The exploration of paranoia, isolation, and the fragility of sanity adds depth and psychological depth to the story, immersing you in a world where nothing is as it seems.
56. The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne
This is an incredibly exhilarating thriller that combines high-stakes action with underwater exploration. Sloan McPherson, a former police diver turned private investigator, is hired to investigate a crime scene at the bottom of a Florida sinkhole. As she delves deeper into the case, she uncovers a web of corruption and danger that threatens her life and those she cares about.
If you enjoy exhilarating and intricately plotted thrillers with a captivating blend of mystery, action, and scientific intrigue, The Girl Beneath the Sea should take the top spot on your TBR pile. Andrew Mayne’s seamless fusion of marine biology and crime investigation creates a compelling and unforgettable reading experience.
57. The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
The Sanatorium is a gripping and atmospheric thriller set in a secluded luxury hotel that was once a sanatorium. Elin Warner, a detective on leave, reluctantly joins her boyfriend for his brother’s engagement celebration at the hotel. But when a blizzard cuts them off from the outside world, and guests start turning up dead, Elin finds herself in a race against time to uncover the dark secrets hidden within the hotel’s walls.
Pearse’s vivid descriptions and skillful pacing create a sense of unease and suspense that will keep readers guessing until the final pages. The book cover, featuring a snow-covered mountain peak and the silhouette of a building, captures the chilling and isolated setting of the story.
58. The Whisper Man by Alex North
Alex North’s The Whisper Man is a truly haunting and wonderfully atmospheric thriller delving into the darkness of a small town plagued by a serial killer. Years after the Whisper Man murders, a father and his young son move to the town, unaware that evil still lurks in the shadows. As the son starts hearing whispers outside his window, the past and present intertwine, and the father must confront the secrets and horrors that have haunted the town for decades.
If you enjoy atmospheric and psychologically rich modern thrillers that delve into the darkest corners of the human psyche, The Whisper Man is well worth picking up. North’s ability to blend spine-tingling suspense with profound emotional depth makes this novel an immersive and haunting experience.
Related Reading: The Five Most Chilling Serial Killers
59. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, The Guest List is a brilliant, captivating, and atmospheric thriller. The story revolves around a glamorous wedding that turns deadly when a storm traps the guests on the island and a murder takes place. Told from multiple perspectives, the narrative weaves together secrets, lies, and hidden agendas, keeping readers guessing until the shocking reveal.
Foley’s descriptive prose and skillful characterization create a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere that adds to the suspense. If you enjoy atmospheric and character-driven mysteries that keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat, The Guest List is a must-read. Foley’s knack for building tension and her ability to deliver a satisfying and unpredictable ending will leave you breathless.
60. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
The Maidens is a tightly written and thoroughly gripping psychological thriller exploring the secrets of the elite Cambridge University. Mariana, a group therapist, becomes entangled in a series of murders targeting the students of the university. As she investigates the sinister connections between the victims and an enigmatic professor, she finds herself drawn into a web of obsession, manipulation, and Greek mythology.
Michaelides’ skillful storytelling and intricate character development keep readers on the edge of their seats. The excellent blend of academia and mystery truly defines the story, which is likely to stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
61. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
Looking for a thrilling contemporary twist on the classic tale of Jane Eyre? Set in an upscale neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama, The Wife Upstairs follows Jane, a young woman with a troubled past, who crosses paths with Eddie Rochester, a wealthy widower with a dark secret. As their relationship intensifies, Jane becomes entangled in a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal.
Hawkins’ clever reimagining of the beloved classic creates a gripping and suspenseful narrative that will keep readers guessing until the final pages. With its addictive and fast-paced narrative, The Wife Upstairs will keep you hooked as you unravel the tangled web of deceit and suspense.
62. The Silent House by Nell Pattison
The Silent House is a gripping mystery novel that takes place in a small town where secrets and lies run deep. The story follows Hannah, a sign language interpreter, who is called to translate for a deaf family during a police investigation. Trapped in the isolated house with a detective and the family members, Hannah soon realizes someone in the house knows more than they’re letting on, and their lives are in grave danger.
As tensions escalate and the truth becomes more elusive, Hannah must use her skills to unravel the mystery before it’s too late. Nell Pattison weaves a complex web of suspense, keeping readers guessing until the shocking conclusion.
63. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
This is a brilliantly captivating psychological thriller that explores the mysterious secrets of a summer camp. Fifteen years ago, Emma Davis was a young camper at Camp Nightingale, where three girls went missing and were never found. Now an acclaimed artist, Emma returns to the camp as a painting instructor, hoping to uncover the truth behind the disappearances.
As she delves deeper into the camp’s history and reconnects with old acquaintances, Emma realizes someone is still hiding secrets and will do anything to keep the past buried. Riley Sager’s skillful storytelling and atmospheric writing create a sense of unease and tension that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
64. The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James
A haunting and atmospheric novel, The Woman in the Mirror unravels a dark family secret spanning generations. Set in a grand estate called Winterbourne Hall, the story follows two women: Alice, who arrives at the hall as a new governess, and Rachel, a former governess who mysteriously vanished years ago.
As Alice delves into the history of the house and its inhabitants, she becomes consumed by the enigma surrounding Rachel’s disappearance. With eerie happenings and a pervasive sense of unease, Rebecca James masterfully builds suspense, leading readers through a twisted labyrinth of hidden truths and unexpected revelations.
65. The Other People by C.J. Tudor
The Other People is an atmospheric thriller that peers into the darkness beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary lives. The story follows Gabe, a man whose life was shattered when his daughter was abducted on a dark and lonely road. Determined to find her, Gabe spends years driving the same stretch of highway, searching for any clue that might lead him to her. But when he sees a face on a passing billboard that looks eerily like his daughter, he becomes convinced she is still alive.
As Gabe embarks on a dangerous quest for the truth, he uncovers a web of secrets, deceit, and a terrifying organization known as The Other People. C.J. Tudor’s masterful storytelling and skillful blending of supernatural elements with psychological suspense make this book a thrilling page-turner.
66. The Lost Village by Camilla Sten
Looking for a chilling and atmospheric thriller combining elements of horror, mystery, and psychological suspense? The Lost Village by Camilla Sten is the answer. The story follows documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt and her crew as they venture into the remote and abandoned mining village of Silvertjärn. Decades ago, the entire population of the village vanished without a trace, leaving behind only eerie legends and unsettling rumors.
As Alice delves deeper into the history of Silvertjärn, she begins to unravel dark secrets and faces the haunting presence that still lingers in the village. With a blend of past and present narratives, Camilla Sten crafts a gripping tale of terror and survival.
67. The Family Plot by Megan Collins
The Family Plot by Megan Collins is an emotional, psychological thriller that explores the twisted dynamics of family secrets and the lengths one woman will go to protect her loved ones. When Dahlia Lighthouse receives a cryptic letter claiming her deceased mother is still alive, she is thrust into a web of deception and betrayal.
As Dahlia digs deeper, she uncovers shocking truths about her family’s dark past and the sinister forces at play. Megan Collins weaves a suspenseful narrative filled with twists and turns, blurring the line between past and present, truth and fiction.
Unveiling the Ultimate Collection of Best Thriller Books
Explore the exhilarating realm of thriller books, where heart-stopping suspense, spine-chilling mysteries, and jaw-dropping twists await. In this comprehensive guide, we have revealed an extraordinary selection of the best thriller books that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.
From pulse-pounding crime novels to mind-bending psychological thrillers and gripping murder mysteries, these captivating tales will transport you into a world of relentless tension and unyielding excitement.
Not sure where to start? Why not try Dead and Buried by Dan Padavona? You can read Dead and Buried for free right now and find out for yourself why the Darkwater Cove series has been called one of the best serial killer thriller series ever written.