Are you lovers of heart pounding tales? If so, it cannot disagree that there’s nothing that makes for a much better escape from reality than a fantastic thriller book. Luckily for these men and women, we have kept tabs on the best. For this honor of the genre, Penn Book compiled a listing of the 100 most excellent thriller books ever.
Employing bestseller on thriller and suspense on Amazon ranks piled up a few of the greatest names and presented them in no specific order. Let us have a deep look for more valuable info concerning the best thrillers of 2022 and the very best thriller books ever.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Suspense Books Ever
- 1.1 The Imposter by Anna Wharton
- 1.2 Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
- 1.3 The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana
- 1.4 Our Dark Secret by Jenny Quintana
- 1.5 A Gambling Man by David Baldacci
- 1.6 Black 13 by Adam Hamdy
- 1.7 People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd
- 1.8 City of Vengeance by D. V. Bishop
- 1.9 Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson
- 1.10 Nightshift by Kiare Ladner
- 1.11 When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins
- 1.12 The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
- 1.13 Witness by Mandasue Heller
- 1.14 Daylight by David Baldacci
- 1.15 The Hidden Girls by Rebecca Whitney
- 1.16 The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson
- 1.17 Walk the Wire by David Baldacci
- 1.18 The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
- 1.19 Find Them Dead by Peter James
- 1.20 If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin
- 1.21 Sisters by Michelle Frances
- 1.22 The Last Trial by Scott Turow
- 1.23 One Good Deed by David Baldacci
- 1.24 Recursion by Blake Crouch
- 1.25 Blood in the Water by Jack Flynn
- 1.26 A Window Breaks by C. M. Ewan
- 1.27 Tell Me Your Secret by Dorothy Koomson
- 1.28 Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
- 1.29 Absolute Power by David Baldacci
- 1.30 The Trap by Melanie Raabe
- 1.31 The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin
- 1.32 My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
- 1.33 A Simple Favour by Darcey Bell
- 1.34 American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
- 1.35 The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
- 1.36 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- 1.37 Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
- 1.38 Absolute Proof by Peter James
- 1.39 Misery by Stephen King
- 1.40 Tell No One by Harlan Coben
- 1.41 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- 1.42 The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
- 1.43 The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- 1.44 The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
- 1.45 The Widow by Fiona Barton
- 1.46 Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
- 1.47 The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
- 1.48 Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena
- 1.49 Those Bones Are Not My Child by Toni Cade Bambara
- 1.50 Where Are The Children? by Mary Higgins Clark
- 1.51 Expensive People by Joyce Carol Oates
- 1.52 The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley
- 1.53 All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
- 1.54 The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan
- 1.55 We Had To Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets
- 1.56 The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- 1.57 In The Woods by Tana French
- 1.58 The Firm by John Grisham
- 1.59 Girl Missing by Tess Gerritsen
- 1.60 The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong
- 1.61 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
- 1.62 Win by Harlan Coben
- 1.63 Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
- 1.64 Strangers by Dean Koontz
- 1.65 Killing Floor by Lee Child
- 1.66 Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
- 1.67 The Dinner by Herman Koch
- 1.68 Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- 1.69 A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
- 1.70 Live And Let Die by Ian Fleming
- 1.71 Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
- 1.72 A Time to Kill by John Grisham
- 1.73 Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
- 1.74 The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
- 1.75 The Adventures of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
- 1.76 The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
- 1.77 Flood by Andrew Vachss
- 2 Other Best Thriller Book Series Of All Time Considered:
Best Suspense Books Ever
The Imposter by Anna Wharton
The Imposter Anna Wharton’s debut thriller is a compelling story of obsession, lies, and isolation. Newspaper archivist Chloe lives a quiet life until a day at work; she reads about the long forgotten chilly instance of Angie Kyle, a woman who went missing as a kid.
As soon as an unexpected turn of events finds her living as a lodger at Angie’s parents’ home, Chloe soon finds the instance of the missing woman isn’t relatively as straightforward as it initially appeared and becomes obsessed with discovering the facts.
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
When Claire is only seven years old, her teenage sister Alison vanishes while on vacation with their parents around the Caribbean island. When Alison’s body is discovered days after, two guys are arrested, but the evidence is slender, and they are later released with no charge. Since the story hits the tabloids, the lifestyles of Claire and her parents have been changed forever.
Years after, Claire resides in New York when she gets into a cab with a few of the guys accused of her sister’s murder. Sure that is destiny, she engineers yet another assembly and begins an obsessive search for the facts. This shifting, the atmospheric book has all of the strain of a crime thriller book as it hurtles towards a catastrophic ending.
The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana
This stressed puzzle from Jenny Quintana is a must read for thriller fans. Marina was embraced as a baby after discovering wrapped in a blue shawl at a shared home in London. The media nicknamed her Baby Blue, but the situation around her arrival continues to be unknown.
Marina longs to uncover the truth about her arrival, therefore when a flat in the home where she had been discovered is set up for lease; she seizes her opportunity. However, what if it is not merely the home hiding secrets? Imagine if somebody understands precisely what happened that day and wishes to be sure that the truth never comes to light?
Our Dark Secret by Jenny Quintana
As a teen in the 1970s, Elizabeth was intelligent and obese, an ideal target for bullies. Then Rachel and her family moved into the city, and everything changed. She had been attracted to glowing, beautiful Rachel just like a moth to a flame. Their friendship was not precisely equivalent, but Elizabeth would do anything to get Rachel.
Then the very first body was discovered… When, twenty years on, another body is discovered, Elizabeth is desperate to maintain the secrets of her adolescent years confidential. But she can not continue running from her past. Can she? This brilliant crime thriller publication is a must read for lovers of Jenny Quintana’s The Missing Girl.
A Gambling Man by David Baldacci
Evoking the golden era of crime writing using its 1940s California setting, David Baldacci’s most up to date thriller is a must read for lovers of the previous novels and fans of historical crime thrillers. Set among the players and gangsters of this seedy underbelly of America’s casinos and the next installment in his brand new series starring ex-jailbird Aloysius Archer, A Betting Man will transfer you directly to the smoke filled burlesque clubs and slot machines of Reno and Bay Town.
Black 13 by Adam Hamdy
Black 13 is the exhilarating first spy thriller publication in Adam Hamdy’s Scott Pearce series. Radical extremists are climbing, and authorities, the army, and intelligence agencies are outmaneuvered, boundaries are breaking down, and the men and women in power are puppets. In this new universe, one person will make a difference. That guy is an Ex-MI6 representative in exile, Scott Pearce.
People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd
This wise debut thriller from husband and wife composing team Ellery Lloyd looks at the dark side of social networking and influencer culture. Emmy Jackson is much better known for her online lovers as Instagram feeling Mamabare, famous for telling it as it comes to contemporary parenthood. However, not what you see on the internet can be considered, and a person out there understands the facts about Emmy and plans to make her cover…
City of Vengeance by D. V. Bishop
Florence, 1536. Every time a prominent Jewish moneylender is found dead, Cesare Aldo, an officer of the criminal courtroom, is tasked with resolving his murder. Throughout his analysis, Aldo uncovers a scheme to overthrow Florence’s shaky ruler, Alessandro de Medici. Aldo is captured in a frantic race against time to solve the murder and stop the conspiracy while maintaining his very own keys securely locked away. This historical crime thriller is an exciting introduction in D. V. Bishop.
Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson
This historical crime thriller is the next from Laura Shepherd Robinson, after her award winning introduction Blood & Sugar. Place in London in 1782; it is the story of Caroline Corsham, who’s determined to find justice for a series of murders of high class prostitutes offenses that the authorities are all too pleased to ignore. As she delves deeper into the darkest, concealed corners of contemporary society, Caroline soon discovers that much more significant than her reputation is at stake…
Nightshift by Kiare Ladner
This dark, chilling and sexy book investigates ambivalent female friendship contrary to the otherworldly backdrop of London’s criminal universe of night shift employees. When twenty three years old Meggie meets the enigmatic Sabine, she realizes that Sabine is what she would love to be. She immediately gives up her day presence for the odds of working the identical night shifts as Sabine, along with her obsession, soon gains momentum all on its own.
When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins
Dr. Richard Carter and his wife were killed in the most notorious double murders of this contemporary age. Their daughter, ten-year-old Sara Carter, spent eight years at a children’s safe unit to its crime and is now living a quiet life under an assumed name. With a household of her own.
On the anniversary of this offense, journalist Brinley Booth is tasked with tracking Sara and her older sister Shannon. However, Brinley is not only a journalist. She is also the sisters’ childhood buddy. And facing what happened on the night of the murders will have consequences for them all. This is just another gripping study from thriller author Fiona Cummins.
The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
One of the best books of 2022 the Darkest Evening is the ninth book in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series, a critically acclaimed set of detective books that follow Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, and a leading ITV play in its tenth collection.
A timeless country house puzzle with a modern spin, Vera’s most up to date situation begins when driving home via a thick blizzard; she sees a car slewed off the street before her and finds that a young toddler, alone on the rear seat.
Fearing for your child’s security, Vera requires the youngster and pushes on to the closest home, coming at Brockburn, a run-down stately home to discover a celebration in full swing, although out in the snow, even a young girl lies dead… At a timeless country house mystery with a modern twist, this is a crime thriller to savor.
Witness by Mandasue Heller
Holly Evans is constantly on the move with her over protective mother. When they move to an illegal sublet in Manchester, Holly feels dependent for the very first time in her lifetime, but is she forbidden to venture out, or perhaps shut the door when her mum isn’t there? This gritty thriller paints a dim picture of Manchester’s underworld and will have you gripped until the previous page.
Daylight by David Baldacci
The following publication in the Atlee Pine series from bestselling thriller author David Baldacci sees Atlee teaming up with her older buddy, army investigator John Puller. As they work together to explore Ito Vincenzo, the guy responsible for kidnapping Atlee’s sister, they uncover the lies and deceit that hit the heart of democracy. And the fact of what occurred to Atlee’s sister would jolt her into her heart.
The Hidden Girls by Rebecca Whitney
This dark psychological novel from debut writer Rebecca Whitney is one of the greatest thriller novels of 2020. Ruth is a new mum recovering from postpartum psychosis, and following months of hearing voices, she is no longer convinced of her conclusion and, it appears, is anybody else.
If she hears a shout from a gas station one night, she believes it should be her head playing tricks, and also the authorities and her husband concur. However, what if there was a shout? Someone may be in trouble. They might need Ruth’s aid…
The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson
When Mary McIntyre vanished, it tore the neighborhood community apart. When a kid’s remains are found in a peat bog decades afterward, it would appear that the mystery might eventually be solved. Her friend’s disappearance had ruined Karen Marshall, but did Karen have a role to play precisely what happened? Rhona MacLeod should use all her abilities to ascertain what happened all those years ago and that was responsible.
Walk the Wire by David Baldacci
Amos Decker and Alex Jamison are known as to the distant North Dakota Badlands if a female’s remains are discovered on the Great Plains. The female was a teacher in a school handled by a mysterious male run sect, and nobody appears to understand who she is or where she came out.
As they seek advice from London, the local city in the middle of the fracking business, they discover that jealousy and deep rivalries exist between its wealthiest investors. Nonetheless, it’s the classified Air Force facility near which will hold the replies… Fans of David’s Memory Man series will adore this new Amos Decker thriller.
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The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
Sandie Jones’s debut novel is a gripping combining the thriller and psychological fiction genres and a Reese Witherspoon x Hi Sunshine Book Club Pick.
When Emily matches Adam, she knows he’s the One, that collectively they could cope with anything that’s thrown at them. But lurking in the shadows is just another girl, Pammie. There is nothing like a mother would not do for her child, and now Emily will learn just how much Pammie goes to get what she needs…
Find Them Dead by Peter James
Award winning crime thriller author Peter James is back with a new Roy Grace novel. A Brighton gangster is on trial for conspiracy to murder, and about the first day of this trial, there’s one individual from the gallery watching that the jurors with keen interest.
The gangster’s henchmen will need to affect two of those jurors if he’s to be found not guilty but that two? When Roy Grace is called to investigate a murder linked to the trial, he realizes how strong the accused is.
If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin
When Constance Little matches Samuel, a physician in the GP surgery where she works as a secretary, she understands he’s the one. Samuel appears less certain, but when Constance has learned anything in existence, if you love somebody, you never let them go. When I Can’t Have, You are an all-consuming book about loneliness, obsession, and how much we go for those we love.
Sisters by Michelle Frances
The sibling rivalry runs deep between Abby and Ellie. They were not close as kids, and much has changed since then. Abby always resented Ellie to be their mother’s favorite, although Ellie is jealous of Abby’s ideal husband and a beautiful house on the Italian island of Elba.
If Abby invites Ellie to remain, they expect they can eventually put aside their differences, but using their mom additionally their simmering tensions soon burst. And Abby begins to suspect her sister and mother are maintaining a dangerous secret… This psychological thriller publication provides perfect escapism.
The Last Trial by Scott Turow
Kindle County’s most revered court urge, Sandy Stern, was convinced to defend his older buddy Kiril Pafko, despite being eighty five years old and in precarious health. The prior Nobel prize winner was charged in a federal racketeering indictment with fraud, insider trading, and murder.
Since Stern begins to question what he thought he knew about his buddy, he discovers his obligation to protect his client and believes in the judicial process facing a dreadful final evaluation. This masterful legal thriller unfolds with page turning suspense.
One Good Deed by David Baldacci
Murder, secrets, revenge, and only a little romance unite in this noir inspired crime thriller with a twist that is guaranteed to keep you gripped until the very final page. Aloysius Archer would like to begin a brand new, quiet life in Ponca City after serving a prison sentence for a crime he did not commit.
However, he takes on more than he bargained for when he begins working for a debt collector for local small business tycoon Hank Pittleman and becomes more concerned with a number of the city’s most dangerous inhabitants.
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Barry Sutton is on a quest for the facts. Across the nation, people are waking up with memories of a life they haven’t lived. Are they victims of a mysterious brand new disease affecting memory? Or is something terrible happening to the fabric of truth? Recursion is your follow up to this time twisting science fiction thriller Dark issue.
Blood in the Water by Jack Flynn
Homeland Security representative Kit Steel is committed to fighting terrorism. And she is following the blood of her nemesis, Vincente Carpio, among the world’s most callous and dangerous offenders. He had been accountable for her husband and young son’s passing, and Kit decided to keep him behind bars indefinitely. Nevertheless, the manipulative Carpio still influences the exterior, and he is only waiting for the ideal moment to hit…
A Window Breaks by C. M. Ewan
If your family was targeted in the middle of the night, what could you do? Following a dreadful tragedy, a family escapes to rural Scotland to get a much needed escape. However, in the dead of night, a bunch of strangers split in the home. As the household fights for their own lives, long-kept keys are shown, and everything may be missing. This nerve shredding thriller publication will keep you up at nighttime.
Tell Me Your Secret by Dorothy Koomson
Ten decades back, Pieta lived a weekend using a serial killer. She never told anybody what happened, but today he is back, and remaining alive might signify showing her deepest secret. Fifteen decades back, Jody, a policewoman, made a mistake that caused the killer to move free. If she discovers Pieta’s narrative, she realizes she currently has the means to grab him.
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
Raven Black is your first novel in Ann Cleeves’s Shetland crime fiction collection, which is currently a hit TV show on BBC One starring Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez.
In the first installment in the series, a teenage girl’s body is discovered by a neighbor on a bitterly cold January morning. The neighborhood is quick to guess loner Magnus Tait, and feeling and dread soon engulf the tiny island. Directed by Detective Inspector Perez, law enforcement must look for the killer before they strike.
Absolute Power by David Baldacci
Adapted to a movie directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, Total Power is a gripping story set in the center of Washington DC’s political ability. When professional thief Luther Whitney gets trapped at work, he witnesses something which destroys his faith. Can he uncover a political conspiracy to move all of the ways into the President of the USA?
The Trap by Melanie Raabe
Twelve decades back, Linda’s little sister had been murdered. Linda watched the murderer, but he was not captured. And now she has seen him on TV. He is a well known writer, and Linda is convinced nobody will believe her, so she lays a trap. She writes a novel about a girl who’s murdered and whose killer is not captured. When it’s printed, she agrees to provide an interview to only one reporter…
The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin
Inspired by a true story and set against the heady history of jazz filled, mob-ruled New Orleans, The Axeman’s Jazz is the first installment at Ray Celestin’s gripping City Blues Quartet, a page turning historical crime fiction collection. New Orleans, 1919. A serial killer stalks the town and issues an ultimatum: play jazz or risk becoming another victim.
Since the fearful city complies with his requirements, three people ignore the killer’s identity. The Axeman’s Jazz is a story of gruesome murders, lies, and secrets, set against the background of a violent and vibrant town.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Korede has always been a fantastic big sister, helping her little sister clean her up. Regrettably, Ayoola’s masses tend to be fatal. In reality, she has discharged her last three boyfriends in self-defense’. Family comes first until Ayoola begins dating the physician in the surgery where Korede functions…
A Simple Favour by Darcey Bell
When her very best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick her up from college, she says. Their kids are classmates and best friends. As a widow and stay at home programmer mommy, Stephanie was lonely till she met Emily, a glamorous and practical PR executive.
The problem is that Emily does not return. Regardless of what the authorities state, Stephanie understands that she’d not abandon her son. Terrified, she reaches out to her fellow mummy bloggers. And she reaches out to Emily’s husband to provide her aid.
However, what Stephanie has not contributed are the secrets buried in a muddy past.
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Wall Street from the eighties; the American dream in overdrive. On the outside, Patrick Bateman is living the dream: a job as a stockbroker, dinner dates nightly in the most recent restaurant in the town, a series of admirers aided by his charm and good looks. But supporting the pristine façade lurks a psychopath.
A man addicted to his shallow life, Bateman brings us into a shadowy underworld where the American Dream turns into a nightmare. Among the most controversial books ever, American Psycho (adapted into a film of the same name in 2000) is a disturbingly vibrant black satire concerning the darkest side of human character.
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
This shocking and brilliant domestic thriller is the debut book by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Unstable Vanessa is obsessed with her ex-husband along with his new, younger fiancé, and she will stop at nothing to be sure they don’t get married. However, what’s driving her obsession is jealousy or something different?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This twisty psychological thriller turned into a phenomenon also known as the best suspense novels ever. It was released, selling more than twenty million copies worldwide and being adapted into a hit movie starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. When Nick Dunne wakes up on the dawn of the fifth wedding anniversary to locate his wife missing, he immediately becomes the police’s chief suspect.
Amy’s friends reveal she had been fearful of him; you will find strange searches on his pc and persistent calls for his cell phone; however, Ben declares he knows nothing about any of them. So what happened to Amy Dunne?
Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
This wartime suspense thriller is bestselling author Ken Follett in his gripping. It is 1944, and the Allies are likely the D-Day invasion. Should they succeed, they will get the upper hand in the war, but Hitler’s prize undercover agent has discovered the strategies.
After his cover is blown off, it is a race against time to return to Germany safely. However, MI5 is hot on his tail. Along with also a remarkable young woman might be the secret to stopping him…
Absolute Proof by Peter James
When investigative reporter Ross Hunter answers the telephone into Dr. Harry Cook, his life changes forever. Harry claims he’s been granted complete proof of God’s presence, and he needs Ross’s aid to find the entire world to take him seriously. The authenticity of all of the world’s religions is in danger if Ross can endure sufficiently to present the signs…
Misery by Stephen King
I am your greatest fan was an innocent compliment till Misery: a book about an acclaimed writer, Paul Sheldon, being held captive by a deranged fan, Annie Wilkes. Obviously, in a narrative populated by two people at a remote Colorado cottage, the suspense must be pretty damn great.
Fortunately, King delivers. From Wilkes’ inconsistent outbursts and innovative procedures of Misery to Sheldon’s rising desperation, you will end up simultaneously transfixed and terrified up into the very final page.
Tell No One by Harlan Coben
Eight decades back, Dr. David Beck lost his spouse after tragedy struck during an anniversary party. David is told that she is dead and it is time for him to proceed. But a mysterious email arrives one day insinuating that Elizabeth is still very much alive, together with directions to tell nobody. And David knows that he can not rest until he buys down her… even if this means evaporating himself.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Perhaps, the best known murder mystery of all time, And Then There Were Not, epitomizes suspense. Ten strangers meet within a British British isle at the behest of the strangely scattered hosts. But when they start dying off one by one in disturbing parallels into some children’s nursery rhyme, they recognize this is no holiday, however, a collective implementation.
Christie brilliantly immerses the reader in the dread and paranoia of their guests as they attempt to ascertain who among them is the killer… before their time runs out.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
If you liked The Girl on the Train (Number 13 up high, if you will need a refresher!), The Woman at Cabin 10 is its nautical remix. Traveling journalist Lo Blacklock has only been assigned to write about her weeklong stay on a luxury cruise boat. That is a reasonably sweet gig till she sees a girl being chucked. However, when most of the guests around the boat have been all accounted for, Lo believes she should be imagining things… or is she?
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
In Paula Hawkins’ novel The Girl on the Train, Rachel Watson struggles with her obsessive affections for her ex-husband. Rachel manages to sort through her emotions and concerns during her daily trip by train from Oxfordshire to London as she attempts to recover after their relationship ends. Every day on the journey, the train passes by the home she shared with her ex.
Rachel redirects her focus to a residence near her previous home, inhabited by a man and a woman she imagines are happy and profoundly in love, to distract herself from the reality of their separation. Rachel’s life is turned upside down when the lady goes missing, and her absence makes news in the local media. The Girl on the Train is a thrilling look at one woman’s incapacity to deal with the past, and it articulates a disturbing reality about violence and love.
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Whether it’s Norman Bates in Psycho or Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter, the serial murderer with good intentions, you might feel frighteningly sympathetic after spending time with them. Highsmith was well aware of this, and possibly her most famous creature, Tom Ripley, played with our emotions throughout five novels.
“The Talented Mr. Ripley is unquestionably one of, if not the finest, thrillers,” novelist Karin Slaughter says.
“Tom Ripley isn’t just a typical antihero; he’s a forerunner to a slew of damaged guys we’re supposed to cheer for, from Don Draper to Tony Soprano.” Highsmith portrays him as a constant underdog, a striver who is more accessible to the reader than the affluent snobs he yearns to be a part of.” It’s a delightful contradiction at the core of so many crime novels: you’re not meant to cheer for the criminal or appreciate someone vicariously killing those who “deserve it.” Nonetheless…
The Widow by Fiona Barton
Fiona Barton’s first book, The Widow, is a wonderful example of how troubled marriages have always proved to be fantastic material for psychological thrillers. When her husband was accused of a heinous crime, Jean remained by him, projecting the image of a faithful and faultless wife into the dark corners of their marriage. But now that her husband is gone, there’s no need for her to keep silent about her secrets… or the falsehoods she’s told herself.
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Atwood, one of our generation’s most celebrated authors, despises labels. Despite writing a number of dystopian stories that included anything from a climate changed planet to genetically engineered animals such as the pigeon, she despised the term science fiction.
Even when Atwood reluctantly accepted the title, she preferred the more hifalutin designation of speculative fiction. Well, that’s insane. We believe Atwood should embrace her roles as a sci-fi writer and a crime/suspense author. She’d probably prefer it if we called Alias Grace a piece of historical fiction.
Atwood retells the actual tale of a lady convicted of killing her boss and his servant in 1843. Atwood has returned to this subject many times, first in poems, then in a 1974 TV movie, and ultimately in her book (which became an acclaimed miniseries in 2017).
Whether the actual Grace was guilty or not has been a point of contention for Atwood over the years, but the answer remains tantalizingly ambiguous here. It’s undoubtedly an art, whether historical fiction, a crime thriller, or a murder mystery. As a result, you don’t always receive a neat label—or a neat conclusion.
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
When one of their own is murdered at Cambridge University, a secret society of female students known as The Maidens is distraught. Mariana, certain that the beloved Greek Tragedy professor is a murderer, gets obsessed with establishing his guilt and is prepared to go to any length to prevent another murder.
Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena
Fred and Sheila Merton, rich, gather for Sunday family dinner with their three adult children, unaware that it would be their last. The children look to be horrified when the couple is brutally slain. This gripping thriller becomes virtually difficult to put down, with their fortune on the line and myriad buried mysteries.
Those Bones Are Not My Child by Toni Cade Bambara
Published posthumously, Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, edited and praised this magnificent work. The latest work by Bambara is about a woman whose greatest dread comes true when her teenage son goes missing. Bambara investigates the late 70s Atlanta child murders. Rather than delving into the perpetrator’s psyche or following the police as they attempt to apprehend them, Bambara depicts the families whose lives have been wrecked by the abduction or death of a kid.
She depicts women banding together to seek justice. She depicts the world of Atlanta and, indeed, the United States of America. She also demonstrates how the color of your skin affects fairness. Bambara’s posthumous book gets it all, from disco to the Iran hostage crisis to the poison of class and racism. When colon cancer took her life at 56, it became her legacy.
Where Are The Children? by Mary Higgins Clark
The late Clark dubbed the Queen of Suspense, was tremendously famous in the United States for nearly 40 years. Still, she loomed even bigger in France, which has regard for the policière that the United States has been hesitant to accept. Before working in radio, Clark, who once posed beside a teenage Grace Kelly, penned short tales.
However, when she tried a suspense novel in 1975 with Where Are The Children? she had instant and lasting success. With the narrative of a lady whose life is torn apart by the horrific murders of her two children, this book sets the bar high. She assumes a new name, relocates across the country to avoid the spirits, and starts a new life with a new husband and children, only to discover the children have vanished one morning when she looks out the window.
Again. How can you not want to know what happens next if you don’t read?
Expensive People by Joyce Carol Oates
Expensive People was published in 1968, and it was just the third book in a spectacular career. Her following book would win the National Book Award, and Oates would certainly never look back. Here, Oates presents a Gothic story through the eyes of a fat, unwanted youngster from an upper middle class household who informs us calmly that he is a killer. Otessa Moshfegh (Death In Her Hands) remembers the exhilaration of reading it for the first time.
When I was a young writer, this was one of the most exciting novels I picked up, and it had the finest start of all time, Moshfegh adds.
It’s a fictitious memoir/confession of a killer who happens to be an 18-year-old lad with an extraordinary intellect and the profound anguish that arises from prosperity and neglect, says the author. Oates can undoubtedly do it everything, even thrillers, with 60+ books, 40+ short story collections, 11 novellas, and more.
The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley
James Crumley was a writer’s writer, which meant that his works didn’t sell much, but they were fantastic. Even the great novelist Ray Bradbury named the investigator Crumley after the guy when he penned three mystery books! [The Last Good Kiss] is the finest private detective book I’ve ever read, novelist Dennis Lehane, one of many, adds. Best first sentence, most satisfying ending, most beautifully written from beginning to end.
Investigator C.W. Sughrue has tempted away from his employment at a topless club to discover a missing writer but instead finds a lady who has been missing for almost a decade. Crumley died in 2008, but not before receiving much praise for his late-career achievements. Getting to meet Crumley and telling him that his masterwork permanently transformed my vision of what a crime fiction might be, Lehane adds, was one of the great joys of my life.
All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
All Her Little Secrets follows Ellice Littlejohn, a lawyer who gets herself into a lot of trouble after discovering her employer shot dead one frigid January morning. Ellice is promoted to his post almost as quickly as she was announced, and everything she had hoped for seems to be coming true. She walks away from the murder investigation to escape the attention, but she soon discovers she can’t get away from her history, her secrets, or the weird theories swirling around her for long.
The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan
Can you tell me what the 39 steps are? The 39 Steps are a spy organization. BANG! We’re citing an Alfred Hitchcock film about an innocent guy on the run, probably the classic Hitchcock thriller. Robert Towne, an Oscar winner, claims that the great film is where all escapist pleasure originated.
And (are you still with us?) that film was based on John Buchan’s novel Thirty Nine Steps, published in 1915. It was an immediate success because of widespread anti-German emotions during World War I, a cliffhanger plot that revealed its origins as a magazine serial, and a gripping story about spies infiltrating Jolly Olde England.
Surprisingly, the novel has been adapted multiple times, although only sometimes accurately, beginning with Alfred Hitchcock’s film, numerous radio adaptations, and even a comedic stage production that was a long running success in London and Broadway. A new Netflix adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch will certainly take as many liberties as the original and will almost certainly be just as enjoyable.
We Had To Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets
Translated by Emma Rault
Kayleigh is in desperate need of funds. That is why she accepts a position at a social media site whose identity she is not permitted to reveal. Her work entails sifting through objectionable videos and images, rants, and conspiracy theories to determine which should be eliminated. Kayleigh is excellent at her job, and she finds a group of friends, even a new girlfriend, among her coworkers and for the first time in her life, Kayleigh’s future seems bright.
However, the task quickly seems to transform them all, causing their worlds to twist in disturbing ways. When her coworkers start to crumble; when Sigrid, her new lover, becomes more distant and fragile; when her pals begin to espouse the same conspiracy theories they’re supposed to be debating; Kayleigh starts to question whether the job is too much for them. But she’s still perfectly OK or is she?
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Every now and again, it seems as everyone you know has read, is reading, or is going to read the same book without notice. The Nightingale, a World War II story about two estranged sisters battling the Nazi invasion of France, was that book in 2015. One covertly conceals Jews, including a neighbor’s kid, whom she raises as if she were her own.
The other becomes a member of the French Resistance and devises a scheme to transport trapped Allied pilots to neutral territory. You’re drawn in not by narrative twists or the great drama of battle but by the people who become so real that their destiny becomes comparable to your own, as in the finest thrillers.
In The Woods by Tana French
Why the unwieldy moniker best thriller/crime/suspense books for this list? Because French’s initial piece combines all three elements. Detectives Maddox and Ryan investigate the death of a 12-year-old girl, which is linked to Ryan’s past (as is often the case in crime novels). Author French is intensely concerned about her characters’ inner lives, which makes sense given that she was a performing actor when this book was published in 2007.
What distinguishes her Dublin Murder Squad series and stand alone works from mere thrill rides while they are thrilling. Those hoping for large scale action sequences or to add up the clues should go elsewhere. Those who recognize that comprehending our closest relationships, or even ourselves, might be a lifelong mystery? You’re going to have a great time.
The Firm by John Grisham
Nobody has ever owned the legal thriller quite like Grisham. Despite countless works on themes as diverse as baseball and Christmas, the law is his bread and butter. What made The Firm, his second novel, such a success? Is it a poisoned fruit that the too good to be true ideal job turns out to be? Is it the action that builds slowly and steadily but always convincingly? Maybe it’s simply the sweet satisfaction of learning that even attorneys can’t trust one other.
In several of his books, Grisham champions the underdog (and in real life, by supporting the Innocence Project). So, although the legal system might sometimes function poorly and creakily, you can always count on it to work for the bad guys in The Firm.
Here are the books of John Grisham we recommend the most: Top 23 Best John Grisham Books of All Time Review 2022
Girl Missing by Tess Gerritsen
The body of a lovely young lady is discovered abandoned in a garbage strewn alley. An unidentified corpse is now laid out in the office of medical examiner Kat Novak, revealing no secrets except for a matchbook gripped in one stiff palm, with seven digits are written within. When a second victim is found, Kat fears that a serial murderer is haunting the streets, carrying out his heinous deeds with the aid of lethal medication.
The cops aren’t convinced. The mayor is deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly. Kat’s main suspect is one of the town’s most influential inhabitants, who also has a missing daughter. Kat rushes to uncover a dangerous predator near enough to touch her as the death toll increases.
The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong
The unreliable narrator is a hallmark of suspense fiction. When 25-year-old Yu-jin wakes to discover his mother’s dead body at the bottom of the stairs of their sleek apartment, he realizes that he has no recollection of the night before other than the vague memory of his mom calling his name. Yu-jin unearths certain family secrets that can’t be reburied as he urgently hunts for the truth of what occurred that night.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
This was a sensation, and it was a passionate predecessor to the #MeToo movement—remember, this book was originally named Men Who Hate Women in Sweden. In it, a journalist hooks up with Lisbeth Salander, who isn’t a victim but an avenger, to expose the corruption of Swedish billionaires, fanatical covert Nazis, rapists, drug cartels, and a few more bad guys for good measure.
Larsson based his legendary heroine on everyone from Pippi Long stocking to Modesty Blaise before he died before any of the novels were released. It’s possible that the girl with the dragon tattoo drove readers to more of the works on this list since he interspersed his books with allusions to other mystery authors (including Sara Paretsky, Val McDermid, and, of course, Agatha Christie).
Win by Harlan Coben
When a man is discovered dead with two things that connect the killing to a cold case and an abduction from more than two decades ago, the FBI investigates Windsor Win Horne Lockwood III, who has no clue how these personal items from his and his family got up with the slain guy. Win uses his own brand of vigilante justice to solve the crime, thanks to a personal link and untapped riches.
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
A fiendishly amusing yarn of robberies, con-artists, and shakedowns in 1960s New York, from the prize winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys.
Despite Ray’s cousin sometimes assisting him with a less than honest business that helps keep his family financially comfortable, Ray Carney is a respected furniture salesperson. Ray is divided between his upstanding status as a businessman and his ever-growing reputation as a skilled thief when a potentially intricate theft goes awry for his cousin.
Strangers by Dean Koontz
Strangers, published in 1986, was Koontz’s first hardcover bestseller after more than two decades in the trenches of science fiction and horror fiction.
The story follows a group of people drawn to a motel in the Nevada desert from thousands of miles away, united in an escalating sense of terror that manifests differently in each of them. This page turner marks the beginning of Koontz’s widespread recognition as an undisputed expert on the art of suspense building.
If you’re enjoying this article, be sure to also check out our collection of Top 18 Best Dean Koontz Books Of All Time Review 2022
Killing Floor by Lee Child
The novel secured Child’s position among the genre’s best authors by establishing roaming ex-military investigator Jack Reacher as a force to be reckoned with in the criminal underworld and spawning not one but three prequels (The Enemy, Night School, and The Affair).
Reacher is a bolder, more energetic protagonist than you’ll find elsewhere according to his creator, he’s an unstoppable force, which the body count in Killing Floor appears to corroborate.
Don’t forget to also check out these Best Jack Reacher Books of All Time Review 2022
Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
Sure, Thérèse Raquin by Emile Zola, a much older work with a comparable storyline, might have been included. However, Cain’s hard boiled classic has that one beat when it comes to arsenic laced speech. The toxic suspicion of two persons implicated in a heinous crime was caught by Zola.
But, when we witness a lady persuade a stooge of an insurance agent to help her murder her husband so they can both receive the payoff, Cain captures the bleak cynicism. Imagine Barbara Stanwyck in the lady’s role in possibly the best noir film of all time.
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Dinner, by Dutch author Herman Koch, is a worldwide bestseller that opens ominously with two families meeting for Dinner to discuss their teenage boys, who are cousins. But what have the lads gotten themselves into this time? Let’s just say this isn’t your typical case of class cutting. Like other popular thrillers, The Dinner uses an unreliable narrator and often dislikeable characters to tease the reader. But, in the end, whether the reader likes it or not, the novel is a mirror of modern politics.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Suspense may take many different shapes. Is your youngster at school bullying another student? Will you make friends with the new parents you encounter on your way to school with your child? Will you be interested in doing so? These common fears peel back to uncover far deeper realities in Moriarty’s big book, which became a tremendously successful HBO miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.
Domestic abuse, rape, an agreement to keep a quick moment of violence hidden, and those huge small lies grow enormous before you realize it. It’s one of those works that delightfully broadens the scope of the genre.
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
When a man is discovered killed, the police interview three women from his life: a one night stand, a bereaved aunt, and a nosy neighbor, all of whom have grudges against him. Thanks to its untrustworthy and unlikeable characters, this complicated thriller starts a slow burn but quickly picks up with lots of interesting twists and turns.
Live And Let Die by Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming’s James Bond series is more savage and raw than its inspired films—at least until Daniel Craig’s period returned to the source for inspiration. The novels and films about the spy with a license to murder, which was given an early push by President John F. Kennedy, have frequently been a tantalizing entrée to the world of grownups for generations of children.
Ken Follett (Never), a well known novelist, was no exception. “I had read everything in the children’s library by the age of 12 and was accepted to the grownup section,” recalls Follett, who started with his favorite Bond novel, Live And Let Die.
Follett recalls asking his father, “What is a martini?” “‘Some type of drink,’ he grumbled, obviously clueless. I was very excited to find out.”
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Waters is a best selling and critically renowned novelist in the United States, but she has an even more significant following in the United Kingdom. And fans of crime fiction from all across the world should start with Fingersmith. This Victorian-era thriller is an excellent blend of a traditional cliffhanger with a current sensibility, romantic tension, Dickensian twists, etc.
Oliver Twist, a young orphan who is taught thievery, a heroin addiction, and a young woman who is seduced into a marriage, drug addiction, and a madhouse all play to extraordinary effect. Fingersmith works like the best thrillers. It’s not only clever plotting that makes it so good, but also because it has real characters.
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
The unquestioned king of the legal thriller is John Grisham. He offers a compelling feeling of reality to the high stakes plots that litter his thrillers as a former practicing attorney and politician. While The Firm earned him a household name, A Time to Kill was where Grisham indeed found his stride. This harrowing story of racial tensions, vigilante justice, and heinous crime is as thought provoking and disturbing as fascinating.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Serial murderers may be chillingly magnetic (Hannibal Lecter), delightfully hapless (Norman Bates), upwardly mobile and charming (Tom Ripley), or Dexter, a nice guy who, like Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, tries to mimic as many people’s feelings as possible. When Dexter’s drive to murder becomes excessive, he directs it towards killing genuinely horrible individuals like (other) serial killers, child molesters, and those who have eluded the long arm of the law.
What’s not to appreciate about that? Lindsay’s remarkable invention spawned eight alliterative books, an award winning eight season TV series starring Michael C. Hall, an animated series, and now Dexter: New Blood, a 10-episode Showtime reboot. Lindsay was no more successful in assassinating Dexter than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was with Holmes when he penned Dexter Is Dead. It only goes to show that great personalities never die.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Spanish Inquisition would most likely derail Monty Python’s attempt to tackle the criminal genre. But, before that, one can see their wacky minds concocting something along the lines of The Eyre Affair, a universe in which literary police guard great texts against theft, abandonment, and even murder. Sarah Young of The Raven bookshop in Lawrence, Kan., says it’s one of her favorites. “Oh, yeah,” Young warns, “buckle in when you take up this book.”
“It’s a time-traveling, surrealistic alternate world thriller that defies genre.” Thursday Next is the main character, who travels into the book Jane Eyre through the ‘prose portal,’ where a criminal from her own world kidnaps Jane and threatens to ruin the story’s finale. Yes, it’s strange and entertaining, and Jasper Fforde is a genius.
The Adventures of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Dickens is, without a doubt, one of the most significant criminal novels of all time. He has a knack for cunning people and brutal crimes that scream for punishment but don’t always receive it. The serialized book Oliver Twist, which still intrigues with its picture of a school for thieves and how poverty can trap a person (even a little boy) into thieving, is an excellent example.
While Fagin remains an anti-Semitic caricature, the narrative transcends that shortcoming. The most attractive pickpockets are the Artful Dodger, and Bill Sikes is the most awful of men. And it’s all so fascinating, suspenseful, and just plain fun that it’s no surprise, Oliver! The musical was adapted from it. Who wouldn’t want to sing a song?
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all: a happy marriage, a lovely house, and their beautiful baby, Cora. However, a dreadful crime is perpetrated next door one night when they are enjoying a dinner party. Suspicion is directed towards the parents right away. The fact, however, is a considerably more convoluted one.
A frightening description of what truly transpired emerges within the curtained dwelling. Detective Rasbach is very aware that the worried couple is concealing something. Both Anne and Marco quickly learn that the other is keeping secrets that have been hidden for years.
Flood by Andrew Vachss
And while we’re on the subject of Vachss, the late author’s ardent campaign against child abuse in the actual world has to be considered his most significant work. But that support extended to his books’ white hot intensity, and they’re all the better for it. Flood, the first book of lawyer and former juvenile jail director Barry Eisler (The Chaos Kind), was instantly seized. “I first read it in 1989 and then blew through the remainder of Vachss’ oeuvre (which was rather tiny, but is vast today),”
Eisler adds. “The only fictitious elements in Vachss’s ultrahard-boiled books are the dark, wounded individuals that populate them, and even these are clearly based on people Vachss has met.”
However, the locations (usually the seedy underbelly of New York City) and narratives (often featuring sociopaths who prey on children and their civilian acquaintances) are all based on Vachss’ own difficult road.”
Watch more: How to Write a Thriller
Other Best Thriller Book Series Of All Time Considered:
Coma by Robin Cook
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner) By Philip K. Dick
Snap by Belinda Bauer
When The Sacred Ginmill Closes by Lawrence Block
Rules Of Prey by John Sandford
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
True Grit by Charles Portis
The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
Slow Horses by Mick Herron
A Perfect Spy by John Le Carré
Conviction by Denise Mina
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
Clockers by Richard Price
The Day Of The Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Last update on 2022-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API