New psychological thriller books

New psychological thriller books DEFAULT

The best thriller books of


6 minutes to read

Here we share our edit of the most exciting thriller books to come in , from historical crime thrillers to gripping psychological page-turners, the best thrillers of , and the very best thriller novels of all time.


6 minutes to read

City of Vengeance, Can You See Me Now, People Like Her, Daughters of Night and EVEN book covers

From edge-of-your-seat psychological thrillers to gripping crime novels, is set to be a nail-biting year for thriller books. Ellery Lloyd’s smart social media thriller People Like Her will have you turning the pages through the night, while D. V. Bishop’s explosive debut City of Vengeance is perfect for fans of historical crime thrillers. Here, we’ve curated our edit of the best new thriller books of , we look back at the best thrillers of and round up the very best thriller novels of all time.

The best new thriller books of

Now a major Netflix film for Halloween , from the producers of Stranger Things

After a sudden move from Hawaii, Makani Young is the mysterious new high-school student in small-town Nebraska. She's doesn't get long to settle into her new life before a masked killer begins killing off her classmates one by one, intent on exposing their darkest secrets. As the number of gruesome murders begins to rise, Makani struggles to find out who's next on the killer's list – all while protecting her own secrets from the past and pursuing a fiery relationship with the school outcast. 

This school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally.

There’s Someone Inside Your House | Official Trailer | Netflix

State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.

This high-stakes thriller of international intrigue features behind-the-scenes global drama informed by details only an insider could know.

Bestselling thriller writer Ken Follett is back after over a decade, with a compelling novel featuring a stolen army drone, a hidden stash of highly toxic chemicals, a genius Chinese spymaster and a US president with a populist rival hot on his heels. 

Never is a terrifying look at how international and diplomatic peacetime is only a few missteps away from a chain reaction of catastrophic consequences, with only three very different protagonists able to prevent disaster by working in the shadows.

In , a group of six students come to Uppsala, Sweden, and slowly become three couples during their time at university. But after a summer trip behind the Iron Curtain to Eastern Europe, everything changes for them. 

Back in Sweden, one of the students is found dead at the bottom of a cliff in a wood near Kymlinge. And years later, a lecturer at Lund University is found dead at exactly the same spot. The fourth in a series of novels featuring Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti, The Lonely Ones follows the inspector on one of his gravest investigations yet.

‘The godfather of Swedish crime’
Metro on author Håkan Nesser

Is the hunt finally over?

Thriller writer David Baldacci's series featuring Special Agent Atlee Pine continues, with the detective still searching for her twin sister Mercy, who was abducted when they were just six years old. As she uncovers the incredible truth about her lost sister and her parents, Atlee and her assistant Carol must take on their most deadly challenge yet.

This gripping read from bestselling author Dr Robin Cook sees a family fall victim to a rare and lethal virus. Brian Murphy is enjoying a summer break with his family when his wife Emma comes down with a mild flu. Back in New York, her condition worsens with terrifying speed: she has come down with a mosquito-borne viral disease, and Brian and Emma's young daughter is falling ill too. 

When the family's health insurer refuses to pay their vast hospital bills, Brian vows to take on an industry that preys on the sick and vulnerable. Meanwhile the virus is spreading, and nobody seems interested

Connecting the dots between a daring escape from a Cairo prison, an assassin who kills with a single touch and a vicious drug war enfolding on the streets of America, ex-MI6 officer Scott Pearce uncovers a plot to unleash a devastating toxin on the world. Pearce doesn't abide by the the espionage rulebook and he's in a desperate race against time to stop this deadly threat. 

Red Wolves is the second stunning novel in the Scott Pearce series from bestselling author Adam Hamdy.

Twenty-year-old Lilja is in love. He is older and beautiful, a Derrida-quoting intellectual. He is also a serial cheater, gaslighter and narcissist. Lilja will do anything to hold on to him. And so she accepts his deceptions and endures his sexual desires. She rationalizes his toxic behaviour and permits him to cross all her boundaries. In her desperation to be the perfect lover, she finds herself unable to break free from the toxic cycle. And then an unexpected ultimatum: an all-consuming love, or the promise of a life reclaimed.

Rabbits is a secret, dangerous and sometimes fatal underground game. The rewards for winning are unclear, but there are rumours of money, CIA recruitment or even immortality. Or it might unlock the universe’s greatest secrets. But everyone knows that the deeper you get, the more deadly the game becomes – and the body count is rising. Since the game first started, ten iterations have taken place . . . and the eleventh round is about to begin.

Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperate to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong. So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for. Her employer lives by a set of rigid rules and she soon sees that he is hiding secrets of his own.

Near the dying English seaside town of Ilmarsh, local police detective Alec Nichols discovers sixteen horses’ heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the low winter sun. After forensic veterinarian Cooper Allen travels to the scene, the investigators soon uncover evidence of a chain of crimes in the community – disappearances, arson and mutilations – all culminating in the reveal of something deadly lurking in the ground itself.

In the dark days that follow, the town slips into panic and paranoia. Everything is not as it seems. Anyone could be a suspect. And as Cooper finds herself unable to leave town, Alec is stalked by an unseen threat. The two investigators race to uncover the truth behind these frightening and insidious mysteries – no matter the cost.

Sixteen Horses is the debut literary thriller from an extraordinary talent, Greg Buchanan. A story of enduring guilt, trauma and punishment, set in a small seaside community the rest of the world has left behind . . .

The Imposter – Anna Wharton's debut thriller – is a compelling story of obsession, loneliness and lies. Newspaper archivist Chloe lives a quiet life until one day at work she reads about the long-forgotten cold case of Angie Kyle, a girl who went missing as a child. When an unexpected turn of events finds her living as a lodger in Angie's parents' house, Chloe soon learns that the case of the missing girl is not as simple as it first seemed and becomes obsessed with finding out the truth.   

When Claire is just seven years old, her teenage sister Alison vanishes while they are on holiday with their parents on the Carribean island Saint X. When Alison’s body is found days later two men are arrested, but the evidence is slim, and they’re later released without charge. As the story hits the tabloids, the lives of Claire and her parents are changed forever.

Years later, Claire is living in New York when she unwittingly gets into a taxi with one of the men accused of her sister’s murder. Sure this is fate, she engineers another meeting and begins an obsessive search for the truth. This moving, atmospheric novel has all the tension of a crime thriller novel as it hurtles towards a devastating end.

This tense mystery from Jenny Quintana is a must-read for thriller fans. Marina was adopted as a baby after she was found wrapped in a blue shawl in a shared house in London. The press nicknamed her Baby Blue, but the circumstances around her birth are still unknown.  Marina longs to uncover the truth about her birth, so when a flat in the house where she was found is put up for rent, she seizes her chance.  But what if it's not just the house hiding secrets? What if someone knows what happened that day,  and wants to make sure the truth never comes to light?

Available now in hardback, and in paperback from August 19th.

Black 13 is the exhilarating first spy thriller book in Adam Hamdy’s Scott Pearce series. Radical extremists are rising and governments, the military and intelligence agencies are outmanoeuvred, borders are breaking down and the people in power are puppets. In this new world, one man will make a difference. That man is Ex-MI6 agent in exile, Scott Pearce.

This smart debut thriller from husband-and-wife writing team Ellery Lloyd takes a compelling look at the dark side of social media and influencer culture. Emmy Jackson is better known to her online fans as Instagram sensation Mamabare, famous for telling it like it is when it comes to modern parenthood. But not everything you see online can be believed, and someone out there knows the truth about Emmy and intends to make her pay . . . 

Dr Richard Carter and his wife were murdered in what was one of the most infamous double murders of the modern age. Their daughter, ten-year-old Sara Carter, spent eight years in a children’s secure unit for the crime, and is now living a quiet life under an assumed name.  with a family of her own. On the anniversary of the crime, journalist Brinley Booth is tasked with tracking down Sara and her older sister Shannon. But Brinley isn’t just a journalist – she’s also the sisters’ childhood friend. And confronting what really happened on the night of the murders will have consequences for them all. This is another gripping read from thriller writer Fiona Cummins.

Florence, When a prominent Jewish moneylender is found dead, Cesare Aldo, an officer of the criminal court, is tasked with solving his murder. Over the course of his investigation, Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the unstable ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. Aldo is caught in a frantic race against time to solve the murder and stop the conspiracy, while keeping his own secrets safely locked away. This historical crime thriller is an exciting debut from D. V. Bishop.

This historical crime thriller is the second from Laura Shepherd-Robinson, following her award-winning debut Blood & Sugar. Set in London in , it’s the story of Caroline Corsham, who is determined to seek justice for a string of murders of high-class prostitutes – crimes that the police are all too happy to ignore. As she delves deeper into the darkest, hidden corners of Georgian society, Caroline soon finds that much more than her reputation is at stake. . .

This dark, sexy and frightening novel explores ambivalent female friendship against the otherworldly backdrop of London’s liminal world of nightshift workers. When twenty-three-year-old Meggie meet the enigmatic Sabine she realizes that Sabine is everything she herself would like to be. She quickly gives up her daytime existence for the chance of working the same nightshifts as Sabine, and her obsession soon gains a momentum all of its own. 

The Darkest Evening is the ninth novel in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series, a critically-acclaimed series of detective novels that follow Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, and now a major ITV drama in its tenth series.

A classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, Vera's latest case begins, when, driving home through a thick blizzard, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her and finds a young toddler, alone on the back seat.

Fearing for the child's safety, Vera takes the child and drives on to the nearest house, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home to find a party in full swing, but outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead . . .

In a classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, this is a crime thriller to savour.

Discover all of the novels in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series here.

The best new thriller books of

The third book in the Atlee Pine series from bestselling thriller writer David Baldacci sees Atlee teaming up with her old friend, military investigator John Puller. As they work together to investigate Ito Vincenzo, the man responsible for kidnapping Atlee’s sister, they uncover the lies and deceit that strike at the very heart of democracy. And the truth of what happened to Atlee’s sister will shock her to her core.  

Discover all of David Baldacci's books in order.

This dark psychological thriller book from debut author Rebecca Whitney is one of the best thriller books of Ruth is a new mother recovering from postpartum psychosis, and after months of hearing voices she’s no longer sure of her own judgement – and neither, it seems, is anyone else. When she hears a scream from a petrol station one night, she thinks it must be her mind playing tricks again, and the police and her husband agree. But what if there was a scream? Someone could be in trouble. They could need Ruth’s help . . . 

As a teenager in the s, Elizabeth was clever and overweight, a perfect target for bullies. Then Rachel and her family moved to town, and everything changed. She was drawn to bright, beautiful Rachel like a moth to a flame. Their friendship wasn’t exactly equal, but Elizabeth would do anything for Rachel. Then the first body was found . . . When, twenty years on, another body is found, Elizabeth is desperate to keep the secrets of her teenage years secret. But she can’t keep running from her past. Can she? This intelligent crime thriller book is a must-read for fans of Jenny Quintana’s The Missing Girl.

Award-winning crime thriller writer Peter James is back with a gripping new Roy Grace book.  A Brighton gangster is on trial for conspiracy to murder, and on the first day of the trial, there is one person in the gallery observing the jurors with keen interest. The gangster’s henchmen need to influence two of the jurors if he is to be found not guilty – but which two? When Roy Grace is called to investigate a murder with links to the trial, he realises how powerful the accused really is. 

Discover all the Roy Grace books here.


The Best New Thriller Books of Fall

Caution: The best new thriller books are so addicting you’ll find yourself glued to the page. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Fall is probably my favorite season: gorgeous leaves, crisp air, and plenty of spooky reads.

Of course, my fall reading list is full of all the best new thriller books I could find.

If you are a fan of page-turning mysteries, you’ll love this list of all the fall thrillers of On my search for the best thrillers books of the year, I’ve included all the best thriller books I could find.

Whether you are looking for the best new psychological thriller books or prefer a good domestic mystery, there’s something for everyone!

Don’t Miss a Thing

New Psychological Thriller Books

book cover The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

The Night She Disappeared

Lisa Jewell

One night in , a teen mom has her mother watch her baby girl so she can attend a party in the nearby woods, only to disappear without a trace. Two years later, Sophie is wandering the woods near her boyfriend’s new job as a teacher when she finds a note attached to a tree saying, “Dig Here.” Lisa Jewell’s dark stories are always top of my list for best new thriller books, so expect plenty of harrowing twists in her new release.

Publication Date: 7 September
Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover Sleepless by Romy Hausmann


Romy Hausmann

After serving a prison sentence for a cruel crime, Nadja Kulka wants nothing more than a quiet, ordinary life. When Laura, Nadja’s friend and the wife of her boss, kills her lover, Nadja finds herself dragged into covering it up. As the plan to bury the body in the woods falls apart, Nadja realizes she has unwittingly set herself up as the perfect scapegoat for the murder.

Publication Date: 5 October
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book cover Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger

Last Girl Ghosted

Lisa Unger

Wren met Adam on a dating app. But what starts as a quick hook-up quickly turns to something more. Which is why Wren is shocked when Adam ghosts her. As Wren investigates, she learns that she is not the only woman Adam has ghosted. The more she digs the more obsessive she becomes, blurring the lines between predator and prey.

Publication Date: 5 October
Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

You’ll Be the Death of Me

Karen M. McManus

If you are looking for the best new thriller books for young adults, you can never go wrong with Karen M. McManus. At Carlton High, Cal, Ivy and Mateo used to be close, but have drifted apart. When they find themselves all running late to class, they decide to skip and go to the city together. Soon, they find themselves witnesses to another student’s murder, a student they all want to hide their connection to. 

Publication Date: 30 November
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ICYMI: Psychological Thrillers From Summer

Save for Later

Best New Thriller Books Fall


New Mystery Thriller Novels

book cover A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning

Paula Hawkins

When a young man is murdered on a London houseboat, police investigate three women: his one-night stand Laura, his grieving aunt Carla, and his nosy neighbor Miriam. Even though Miriam spotted Laura leaving the houseboat that night covered in blood, she is loath to say anything. For Miriam knows exactly what it’s like to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Publication Date: 31 August
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book cover State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny

State of Terror

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton teams up with acclaimed mystery novelist Louise Penny in one of the most-anticipated best new thriller books of Fall Years of American withdrawal from the world stage have left a power vacuum that its enemies have been more than happy to fill. After a series of terrorist attacks, novice Secretary of State Ellen Adams, under the administration of her rival, must unravel a deadly global conspiracy.

Publication Date: 12 October
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book cover Never by Ken Follett


Ken Follett

Pauline Green, the United States’s first female President, tries to avoid war when an act of aggression escalates and the world’s greatest powers are caught up in a tangled web of alliances. With the aid a young intelligence officer, an undercover spy, and a Chinese spymaster, Green must use all her political saavy to save the world in this epic political thriller that lands a spot among the best new thriller books of

Publication Date: 9 November
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book cover The Judge's List by John Grisham

The Judge’s List

John Grisham

After taking on a criminal syndicate that was paying off a federal judge in The Whistler, Florida Board of Judicial Conduct investigator Lacy Stoltz returns in Grisham’s latest thriller. In her latest case, the crimes are even worse than before. Instead of taking bribes, a corrupt judge is taking lives with his own hit list.

Publication Date: 19 October
Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

ICYMI: Mystery Thrillers From Summer


New Domestic Thriller Books

book cover Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Apples Never Fall

Liane Moriarty

It should be the golden years for Stan and Joy Delaney now that they’ve sold their tennis academy and settled into retirement, so why aren’t they happy? When they welcome a bleeding stranger into their home, her arrival begins a cascade of events. Now Joy is missing, and the four grown Delaney children wonder if their father might have done it. Liane Moriarty’s books always make for exciting reads, so you’ll want to keep your eye out for her latest novel on any list of best new thriller books.

Publication Date: 14 September
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book cover Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Rock Paper Scissors

Alice Feeney

After winning a trip to a remote Scotland getaway for the weekend, Adam and Amelia try one last-ditch effort to save their marriage. Amelia is tired of Adam putting his work as a screenwriter before her and Adam is just tired of Amelia. As things start to unravel and their past is revealed through secret anniversary letters Adam has never read, you find that someone is lying and someone doesn’t want them to end happily ever after.

Publication Date: 7 September
Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover The Replacement Wife by Darby Kane

The Replacement Wife

Darby Kane

Elisa Wright is convinced her brother-in-law is a murder. Not only did Josh’s wife die, but his fiancee disappeared. Now Josh is dating again, and Elisa suspects the worst. As Elisa gets to know the new girlfriend and digs into the past, she can’t tell if her panic attacks and mysterious illness are signs of a breakdown, or warnings that she’s getting too close to the truth.

Publication Date: 28 December
Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight

Friends Like These

Kimberly McCreight

A group of college friends reunites on a trip to the Catskills. Although they’ve grown apart, they find themselves bound together by the death of their friend Alice ten years ago. As a mysterious individual starts prying into their secrets, they struggle to keep a united front and maintain the secrets that they desperately need to keep hidden.

Publication Date: 7 September
Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

ICYMI: Domestic Thrillers From Summer


Save for Later

Best New Thriller Books Fall


Bestselling Mystery & Thriller Series


Best Thriller Fiction of Winter

book cover The Maid by Nita ProseThe Maid by Nita Prose

January 4, – An orderly maid discovers a wealthy guest dead in his hotel bed and must investigate the murder to prove her own innocence.  Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover Reckless Girls by Rachel HawkinsReckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

January 4, – A woman and her boyfriend are hired to sail two women to a remote Pacific island, where the perfect vacation turns deadly.  Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy WillinghamA Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

January 11, – While a teen, Chloe’s dad was arrested as a serial killer. As her wedding approaches, Chloe fears the past is repeating when teen girls start vanishing.  Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover The Paris Apartment by Lucy FoleyThe Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

February 15, – Looking for a fresh start, a woman moves into her half-brother’s Paris apartment to find him missing and realizes the neighbor’s know more than they are telling.  Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah PekkanenThe Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

March 8, – After cheating on her husband, Marisa Bishop tries to save her marriage by turning to a rogue therapist who claims to be able to fix anything in 10 sessions. Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. JamesThe Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

March 15, – A true-crime blogger gets more than she expects when she interviews an eccentric woman who was acquitted of two cold case slayings in the s.  Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


book cover The Resting Place by Camilla StenThe Resting Place by Camilla Sten

March 29, – A woman with face blindness, who witnessed her grandmother’s murder but can’t identify the killer, inherits her grandmother’s estate and the dark secrets that come with it.  Amazon | Goodreads | More Info


Which of the best new thriller books are you most excited to read?


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23 Best Psychological Thriller Books That Will Mess With Your Head

23 Best Psychological Thriller Books That Will Mess With Your Head

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Blog – Posted on Friday, Dec 21
23 Best Psychological Thriller Books That Will Mess With Your Head

Here’s an experiment: pick the name of a New York Times bestseller, HBO limited series, or Ben Affleck-starring blockbuster out of a hat. Chances are, it’ll be a psychological thriller book. If there’s one genre having its moment in , it’s this one. And aside from capturing the attention of the cultural zeitgeist, this genre is affectionately called “horror lite” (or “grip lit,” or “horror except it’s too good for the genre”) for a reason.

Be it a backwoods murder mystery, a gothic period piece, or a prestigious drama that just happens to be about an arsonist, these are the best psychological thriller books that dive into the brain of the bad guy… and make you question your own brain along the way.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of great psychological thrillers to read, you can also take our second quiz below to narrow it down quickly and get a personalized thriller recommendation 😉


Which thriller should you read next?

Discover the perfect thriller for you. Takes 30 seconds!

1. I Know Where She Is by S.B. Caves

A lot of people here are probably just looking for the next Gone Girl. Well, look no further. Ten years after her daughter's disappearance, Francine receives a mysterious note bearing just five words: I know where she is. With her life once again turned upside down, she goes back on the hunt for the truth behind the abduction. Things get dark, and you might find yourself calling in sick just so you can stay home and finish this heart-stopping debut novel from British author S.B. Caves.

2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Or, you might simply be looking for the next title from Gone Girl’s author, Gillian Flynn. Whether that’s the case or not, Sharp Objects is a must-read for any fan of the tightly-structured thriller. It was recently adapted into an HBO Limited Series, but if you haven’t yet caught Amy Adams’ award-worthy performance as a traumatized investigative journalist hunting down a murderer in her hometown, do yourself a favor: hold off until you’ve read the book first.

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3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Speaking of HBO adaptations, Liane Moriarty’s story of a group of Monterey housewives banding together made waves when Reese Witherspoon turned it into a rousing feminist miniseries. Five women in a picturesque coastal town realize that their Instagram-perfect lives are not all they appear to be as they uncover the undercurrents of domestic abuse and assault running through their community. Given Moriarty’s knack for believable characters and compelling prose, this thrill-filled take on First Wives Club is a must-read.

4. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

If Netflix is more your speed, this book has spurred a TV adaptation, too. But with an author like Margaret Atwood at the helm, refusing to read the book first is inexcusable. Alias Grace tells the true story of mild-mannered servant Grace Marks and the double murder she’s been accused of. It’s told through the eyes of a doctor struggling to understand criminal behavior — and to reconcile Grace’s nature with the nature of her crime. In other words, it's like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in a meticulous period setting that will delight fans of historical fiction.

5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Just like Alias Grace, this is another thrilling period piece by an all-time great female author that's resurfaced thanks to Netflix. But that's where the similarities end. Aspiring ghostbuster Dr Montague rents an infamous haunted house for the summer, along with three other guests who’ve experienced the supernatural. Predictably, things get scary.

Published in , Shirley Jackson’s masterpiece harks back to the gothic horror of the nineteenth century, but ultimately settles into psychological thriller territory as Jackson creates ghosts that mirror the trauma of her troubled protagonists.  

6. The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

Norway’s first serial killer has a very specific modus operandi: he only hunts married mothers, and he always leaves a snowman at the scene of the crime. Fans of Thomas Harris will be eager to join Nesbø’s Detective Harry Hole as he unravels this bizarre mystery to stop the killer in his tracks.

The Snowman was recently adapted into a critical and commercial flop starring Michael Fassbender but don’t let that put you off. There’s a good reason why Nesbø has sold over 33 million copies worldwide.

7. Misery by Stephen King

Thanks to this hit novel (and its film adaptation), “I’m your number-one fan” is now officially the creepiest thing you can say to any author. Blame Annie Wilkes, the nurse who tends her favorite author Paul Sheldon back to health after a car crash in rural Colorado. She’s obsessed with his character Misery Chastain — so how will she react when she realizes that he’s killed Chastain off in his latest novel?

Stephen King is undoubtedly best known for his horror novels, and let’s be clear — this seminal work about the dark side of fandom, is pretty darn horrifying. But at its core, Misery is a tale of obsession, madness, and isolation: the perfect mix for a good dose of thrills.

8. Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

Psych thriller buffs might already be familiar with The Girl On The Train, but Paula Hawkins’ sophomore effort (and highly anticipated follow-up to her first New York Times bestseller) weaves a mind-warping tale told by 11 (yes, 11) different characters. Jules Abbott returns to her hometown after the mysterious death of her sister to care for her newly orphaned niece.

Fans of Hawkins’ cinematic prose and Hitchcock-esque influences will find this novel just as gripping as her smash-hit debut.

9. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

When your novel’s been out for only a year and is already being optioned for a motion picture, you know you’re doing something right.

The Woman in the Window stars Anna Fox, an agoraphobe living alone in Manhattan. She has two best friends: her wine and her window. As she gets to know (i.e. starts spying on) her neighbors, she witnesses a violent undercurrent to their happy facade… but who will believe a homebody wino? Both a riveting spin on the psych thriller craze and a meditation on mental illness and agoraphobia, there’s no question that the time is right for this contemporary take on Rear Window.

 We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

A genre that deals exclusively in themes of murder and mental illness can get pretty heavy, but it doesn’t get much heavier than We Need to Talk About Kevin. When her son is arrested for killing nine classmates, Eva Khatchadourian looks back on his childhood for warning signs she might have missed. Published in , this story about a fictional school shooting has taken on a new poignancy as these tragedies become increasingly commonplace. There’s nothing common, however, about this vivid portrait of the psyche of a sociopath and a shattered mother trying to come to terms with it.

Room by Emma Donoghue

In fact, like Lionel Shriver’s book, many great psychological thriller books find traction in pulling their plots straight from headlines. This is certainly the case with Room, a mind-blowing take on the Fritzl abduction case. Trapped for seven years in her captor's basement, life has been hell for the character we know as 'Ma'. But for her son, Jack (from whose perspective the story is told), the room is all he's ever known. This thriller doubles as a heartbreaking coming-of-age saga about learning to see the world in a different way (and is now an Academy Award-winning movie to boot).

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Amber Patterson’s plain upbringing renders her invisible in the upscale community of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut. She watches her neighbor, Daphne Parrish, with her perfect marriage and life of luxury — and decides that she wants in on it. Did you ever wish to read The Talented Mr. Ripley, only newer, timelier, and scarier? If so, this posh, feminist homage to the classic is the thriller for you.

Sin by Josephine Hart

Psych thrillers are certainly having a moment today, but they were inescapable in the ‘90s. While the late Josephine Hart might be best known for the film adaptation of her debut novel Damage, her Sin is the quintessential ‘90s thriller: when her family dies in a car accident, Elizabeth is adopted by her aunt and uncle — but her cousin Ruth has other plans.

Lust, envy, and just about every other sin take the forefront in this novel that’s perfect for fans of… well, any movie Sharon Stone ever starred in.

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Sentenced (and then pardoned) for the murder of her husband, Polly abandons her family for a waitressing job in small-town Delaware. There, she meets the charming traveling salesman Adam, who also decides to take a job at the restaurant with her. But why did he decide to hang up his hat in the middle of nowhere?

A modern east coast spin on the private detective genre, this pageturner is one part psychological thriller, one part classic noir, and the perfect read for the flight back to your parents’ place this Thanksgiving.

The Elizas by Sara Shepard

This novel by Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) doesn’t have a long-running TV show on Freeform, but maybe it should.

Eliza Fontaine nearly drowns for the fifth time. The first four were suicide attempts, so who could blame her parent for not believing her when she tells them she was pushed. Not to mention that Eliza is a novelist who's working on her debut novel, which gives this alluring tale of memory loss and attempted murder a wickedly meta layer. For any aspiring psych thriller writer, this is the place to start.

Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill

Jean Mason leads a pretty normal life right up to the point when she's alerted to a doppelgänger roaming about the city park. And to make things worse, the two strangers who inform her then turn up dead. This release sticks to the “grip lit” script at first before flipping the audience’s expectations upside down and turning into a beast all unto its own.

Saying any more would spoil it, but this is a must-read for fans of mistaken identity, murder writers, and (okay, fine) the supernatural.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Family buys home. Home lights on fire. Family blames daughter? When the Richardson family’s house burns down, the people of Shaker Heights suspect an inside job, and all eyes are on Izzy, the black sheep of the family. But the next door neighbors are so close they might as well be family, too…

This is the aforementioned arson-mystery-meets-family-drama, and you’d be hard-pressed these days to find a library without a copy of Little Fires Everywhereon the hold shelf. But its popularity is anything but unearned, and if you’re a thriller lover who hasn’t yet plunged into Celeste Ng’s fiery novel, it’s high time you did.

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

This is not your mother’s Secret Garden. In the courtyard of a remote mansion, a man known as “The Gardener” keeps flowers, trees, and a group of kidnapped women he calls his “butterflies.” This one comes with ample social proof: at the time of writing, The Butterfly Garden is the #1 bestselling psychological thriller on Amazon. This is for a good reason: it’s simply original. In a market oversaturated with cookie cutter thrillers, there’s just nothing else out there about a man who treats his imprisoned women like specimens in a bug collection.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Spinning a true story into a captivating thriller is easier said than done…  especially when that story occurred in Protestant New England in the late 19th century.

Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were murdered in Massachusetts in , in what was eventually dubbed The Fall River Axe Murders. Lizzie was the primary suspect but was eventually acquitted. Since then, the murders have been the subject of countless books but none strike quite so chilling a tone as Sarah Schmidt’s powerful work of historical fiction.

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

Perhaps the most surreal (in the true sense of the word) psychological thriller on the market, Fever Dreamdistances itself from the pack in almost every way. It’s a slim, play-like novel with magical realist undertones, crisply translated from the Argentinian original.

Still, at its heart it is a thriller, and an excellent one: a woman wakes up in a hospital bed, and a mysterious boy (not hers) kneeling beside her unravels how she got there. This mind-bending novel is perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Gabriel Garcia Marquez alike.

The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

Science fiction and thrillers don’t always go hand-in-hand, but when synthesized correctly, the results are stunning. Such is the case with The Gone World, in which Shannon Moss, a time travelling NCIS agent, uncovers a conspiracy across multiple decades. Think Michael Crichton meets Stieg Larsson in this fusion of classic noir, dystopian fiction, and pure psychological thrills.

Idaho: A Novel by Emily Ruskovich

Idaho is another decade-spanning thriller, though this one is much more grounded in reality. Because of her savior complex, Ann is drawn to a shattered and broken man named Ward, who she quickly marries. But Ward’s trauma stemming from his first marriage runs deeper than usual — his first wife Jenny murdered their 6-year-old daughter.

It’s more literary than your average thriller, but check this one out if you want an unapologetic look at a family crumbling under the weight of dementia, distance, and, of course, murder. It is a thriller, after all.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is known for popularizing the murder mystery, but there’s an argument to be made that she invented the psychological thriller, too — and with her best selling novel, no less.

Ten people, all guilty of crimes they were never punished for, find themselves on an island under mysterious circumstances… and then start to die one by one. Though its structure resembles a classic whodunnit, the meat of And Then There Were None is pure psychology: a collection of criminals grappling with the guilt of their crimes, the motivations behind them, and the knowledge that their pasts are about to catch up to them.

In the Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a dark, dark wood

There was a dark, dark house

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

And in the dark, dark room

Well, you'll have to keep reading to find out the rest.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

From the outside, Alicia Berenson's life looks perfect. She lives in a big house in London with her famous painter-husband. But when Alicia murders her husband late on evening when he comes home from work, all illusions of perfection are gruesomely shattered.

Years after the crime, Alicia hasn't spoken a single word. She now lives in a secure forensic unit in North London, hidden away from the world that's hungry to know the truth behind this domestic tragedy. Especially eager is criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber, who is finally getting his chance to talk to Alicia after years of trying to unravel her mysterious case. Why did she do it? Why won't she talk? As Theo delves deeper and deeper into the Berenson file, his own motivations begin to warp, and his search for the truth threatens to consume him.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The morning of Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing, and Nick becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. The ensuing investigation reveals cracks in the seemingly gleaming foundation of the Dunne's marriage: Nick seems to be obsessed with the shape of Amy's head, and Amy's journals reveal a level of perfectionism that could drive any partner to the edge.

Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel is about all the lies beneath the underbelly of a marriage, asking the question: how well do we really know the ones we love?

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

As with most domestic thrillers, My Lovely Wife features what appears to be a normal couple who've gone down the path of convention: they got married and moved to the suburbs, where they raised their children. All was well. Until they got bored.

After fifteen years of marriage, the nameless narrator and his titular wife are looking for ways to inject some excitement into their relationship. While some couples might go on a trip or decide to learn a new skill together, Downing's protagonists have opted for something decidedly more sinister. As they embark on a murderous new hobby, one question begins to loom: can they get away with it?

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Everyone deals with grief differently. After Julia goes missing her mother goes on to create a new life for herself. The father becomes obsessed with looking for clues about Julia's disappearance, only to turn up perennially empty-handed. Her two sisters, Claire and Lydia also become estranged from their family.

Now, twenty years later, another young girl has gone missing, and her case contains haunting echoes of Julia's. The connections between this new disappearance and their sisters' causes Claire and Lydia to reunite, and they soon embark down a chilling path as they discover secrets that change everything they thought they knew about their sister, and the past.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

When Maggie Holt was a child, her parents packed her up and fled from their home, Baneberry Hall, in the dead of night. Their reason for fleeing was eventually document in a book by Maggie's father, called House of Horrors — a recount of the ghostly encounters with malevolent spirits at Baneberry Hall.

While the book is nonfiction, Maggie doesn't believe a word of it, and, frankly, she's tired of being asked about it. She's also not phased in the slightest when, 25 years after their escape, Maggie returns to Baneberry Hall to restore it. Of course, the secrets of Baneberry Hall don't wait too long before beginning to reveal themselves to Maggie, and she starts to realize that maybe House of Horrors really was more fact than fiction.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

If you were morbidly captivated by the Netflix series You, you'll likely enjoy Hidden Bodies: it's the sequel to Kepnes' debut book that the TV show was adapted from.

Joe Goldberg is now thirty-something and has been hiding his murdered victims in New York City for the past ten years. But he's determined to put his sinister past behind him and get a new fresh start in Los Angeles. And things seem to be off to a good start in the city of angels: Joe gets a job in a bookstore and spends his spare time eating guacamole and flirting with his journalist neighbor.

Finally, it seems like Joe might get was he's always wanted: to be in love, and be loved in return. The thing about love, Joe learns, is that it has a way of shining a light onto the parts of yourself you'd rather keep hidden — in Joe's case, hidden at all costs.


Hungry for more? Check out the 43 best true crime books of all time to discover how truth really can be stranger than fiction.

Thriller Book Recommendations For Beginners 🔪

Some of us like to escape with a romance novel, living vicariously through happy couples frolicking off into a beautiful sunset or gettin' steamy afterward. Some like to live vicariously through historical fiction, or think about what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes while reading a revealing memoir. Others tend a bit more toward the macabre — diving into a story that's rife with ghosts and ghouls, murder and mayhem and the kind of creeptastic plots that run through your mind as you lay awake at night. These hair-raising psychological thriller books are perfect for those of us in the last category.

While giants like Stephen King and Agatha Christie usually come to mind when we reach for a suspenseful book, they're definitely not the only ones mastering the genre. Writers like Ruth Ware, Liane Moriarty, Gillian Flynn and Riley Sager are all putting out the kind of thrilling reads that may keep us from being able to sleep through the night ever again. And if ghost stories aren't for you, there's plenty of variation within the thriller category. Whether you like realistic stories about friends or family members gone bad or things that go bump in the night, we bet you can find your next favorite spine-tingling read on this list. Oh, and don't forget to browse our guide to the best books of , if you need a lighter come-down to help get to sleep.


Books thriller new psychological

Sometimes you get in the mood for a little suspense, and there's no better way to scratch that itch than with a killer book—literally. Thrillers never fail to get your heart pumping, making you turn the page at warp speed while also delivering an oddly satisfying uneasiness about what's to come. Naturally, the gripping psychological thrillers on this list make for excellent beach reads or Halloween books as the spooky season approaches.

You might recognize one in particular that has been adapted into a Netflix show: You, which is returning for a third season in If you want to read the novel that started it all, check out Carolyn Kepnes's tale below. Or, for another piece of juicy fiction that'll be getting the small screen treatment, read Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers.

New to the genre? Beginners might enjoy The Last Thing He Told Me which is as captivating as it is page-turning. No matter what, you won't regret spending a few afternoons with these thrilling books.

2021 MYSTERY THRILLER RECOMMENDATIONS - best mystery thriller books to read in 2021

That summer day, our old friend Nadia came to visit us. She, then was 25 years old, she was a short blonde, 175-180 cm (with my 205 cm, she really was short), she had a pretty face, she had perfect. Breasts (size 3), waist, butt and cool, wide hips. On that day, she was wearing tight leggings.

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Came to my apartment. For the sake of appearance, I asked to move some bedside table, then another, while under the pretext of getting something from the bottom shelf, I bent down. And since I wasnt wearing panties, I think Roma appreciated my nakedness.

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