22 Best Thriller Books for a Mind-blowing Read

Whether you’re lounging on your sofa, flying in an airplane, or want to read a fantastic psychological fiction, these popular titles on our list of the best thriller books will satiate your need for an enticing thriller plot. Read mysterious narratives that involve suspense, crime, conspiracy, and revenge to break free from your monotonous routine. We’re sure you won’t be able to keep your hands off them for long.

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Best Thriller Books You Cant Put Down

Reading a good thriller novel will make for a great topic of discussion among friends. The best thriller books and novels unleash your inner detective that sets out to solve mysteries in your brain. We have listed down the best thriller novels of all time.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Best thriller books
The Girl On The Train

Written by Paula Hawkins, this novel is a perfect blend of thriller, suspense, crime, and murder mystery. The Girl on the Train is a story that revolves around Rachel, an emotional woman struggling through her feelings for her ex-husband. She manages to shift her attention during the daily commute by gazing at a home near her former place and their occupants, who seem happy and very much in love. Only one day, Rachel’s eye catches a shocking incident at the house that changes everything. Rachel is now a part of their lives and no more just ‘The Girl On The Train’.

One of the best thriller books, it outlines a chilling plot full of secrets, betrayal, and gruesome murders.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

best thriller novels of all time
The Silent Patient

Reviewed by famous thriller authors, it is one of the most acclaimed titles to be picked for the best thriller books.

Alicia Berenson is a renowned painter who is accused of murdering her husband, Gabriel Berenson. She shoots him five times and refuses to speak another word. Instead of being held captive at a prison, she is sent to a secure forensic unit where she meets Theo Faber, a psychotherapist. Having a keen interest in Berenson’s case, Faber tries to make Alicia speak, only to fail multiple times.

He then turns to Alicia’s cousin, who tells him about Alicia’s traumatic childhood experiences. In a last attempt to make her talk, he narrates the entire episode from her childhood, which makes her reveal she had seen a masked man enter her house and murder Gabriel. Soon after the confession, she dies. But her diary leads investigators to find the real culprit soon.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

best thriller novels
Gone Girl

If you are someone who feeds on suspense thrillers, this compelling novel on our list of best thriller books will have you covered. It covers the cynical aspects of the crime thriller genre and is a perfect noirish thriller with a shady plot.

Nick Dunne loves his wife Amy, but on the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears without a trace. A panic-stricken Nick is the main suspect. It is further revealed that Amy was afraid of him, and she kept some secrets from him. The investigation turns around when police find strange search results on the computer, and Nick claims he didn’t make them. Is Amy in grave danger?

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

best crime thrillers
Then She Was Gone

Ten years after her daughter’s disappearance, Lauren still hopes to find Ellie some day. Alongside her search, Lauren is swept off her feet by a charming and charismatic stranger named Floyd. Before its too long, Lauren finds herself staying the night at his place only to discover that his nine-year-old daughter is a spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. Will Lauren find the answers to her haunting questions? Want to know what happened after? Get yourself this psychological suspense on our list of best thriller books to find out.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

best crime thriller
The Woman In The Window

Soaked in the mysterious air, this book should be on your to-read list, if you are a patron of the best suspense books.

Written under his pen name A.J. Finn, its plot revolves around a woman Anna Fox, who has captivated herself in her old New York house for the past ten months. Soon a family moves in her neighborhood, and she is drawn towards them. She would often sit by the window, recount her memories, and watch her neighbors through a window at her house. But one evening, she witnesses something gruesome following a piercing scream. By the next morning, everything dissolves into thin air. Now, she must find the truth, but will she be able to trust what she saw?

What makes it one of the best thriller books is the compelling psychological element to the tense, twisty, and engrossing plotline.

The Shining by Stephen King

best thriller books of all time
The Shining

The Shining is an unsettling and unforgettable thriller that describes the story of a troubled man’s slow descent into madness. Jack Torrance starts a new caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel to spend time reconnecting with his family and work on his writing. As the harsh winter sets in, the idyllic location feels more sinful. Jack’s son, Tony who is a uniquely gifted five-year-old is the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces around the property.

The Outsider by Stephen King

best thriller books

The story of The Outsider revolves around the murder case of an eleven-year-old. While the eyewitnesses and fingerprints point that Little League coach, Terry Maitland committed the crime, he has a different alibi that suggests that he was out of town that day. As detective Ralph Anderson starts to investigate the case, horrifying answers begin to emerge.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

best thriller novels of all time
Then There Were None

This book by Agatha Christie is one of the masterpieces for best thriller books. The plot settles in the latter half of the 1930s at an isolated island near the Devon coast. Mrs and Mr U.N. Owen invite ten strangers in different ways to an island which is cut-off from the mainland. While the hosts are absent, they leave some instructions for their guests. On their first night, each guest is accused of committing a heinous crime and then begins a series of ruthless murders.

This book was described as the most challenging book penned by Agatha Christie and its ingenious plot, makes it one of the best thriller books to read.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

best suspense novel
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Next up on our list of best thriller books is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This is a murder mystery that combines aspects of family, love and financial intrigue into a complex yet appealing novel. The story describes how the uncle of Harriet Vanger who disappeared forty years ago is still convinced that a member of his own close-knit yet dysfunctional family killed her. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced financial journalist and Lisbeth Salander, a tattooed and truculent computer hacker to investigate the case.

Their search unravels the darkest secrets of the family’s history and other astonishing truths. The book’s title comes from Salander’s perspective who believes that hatred is the motive behind crimes against women.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

best crime thriller book
Dark Matter

A science-fiction thriller, this book narrates the struggles of a man to reach his family. But his current reality denies their existence. Written by Blake Crouch, this fictitious suspense novel introduces the reader to the bitter consequences of roads not taken, decisions not made, and second chances.

The narrative focuses on Jason Dessen – one of the most intelligent atomic physicists. He, with his wife and son, leads a happy life at their house in Logan Square. Not once did he regret prioritizing his family ahead of his possible fortune. But one fateful night turns it all around. Jason is abducted and drugged by a masked man. When he regains his consciousness, he comes to terms with his alternate life, with no family but only fame.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

best suspense novels

Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, Rebecca’s life is a reflection of everything bleak. Until on a trip to Monte Carlo, she meets a dashing widower, Maxim de Winter who swept her off her feet. Unable to believe her luck, she agrees to his proposal of marriage and together they move to his massive country estate.

Soon enough, Rebecca finds Maxim as a changed person and realizes how the large shadow his late wife has cast over their lives. This haunting story unfolds into Rebecca being consumed by love and struggle to find her identity.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

best crime novels of all time
The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us offers unnoticeable assumptions about a jealous ex-wife and her obsession with her replacement. It seems like an easy love triangle to crack. However, as you turn the pages, this tangled story becomes even more twisted and breathtaking. One of the best thriller novels, it exposes complexities of an enviable marriage and its dangerous truths and secrets.

The Complete Novels of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

best thrilling novels to read
The Complete Novels of Sherlock Holmes

Written by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this crime fiction traces the exploits of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr Watson. It is a collection of 4 novels – Study in Scarlet (1887), The Sign of the Four (1890), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) and The Valley of Fear (1915).

All the 4 novels have a gripping plotline rife with adventure as they two set out to decipher clues from footprints and blood stains coming to surprising conclusions.

Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

thriller novels to read
Murder On The Orient Express

The novel is set on a luxurious train called the Orient Express. An American tycoon who happens to be a passenger on the train nervously suspects of his life being in danger. He calls for Poirot’s help. Poirot dismisses his plea. Soon enough, Poirot discovers him dead in his compartment during a sudden snowdrift that stops the train. Now, he must find the culprit responsible for the man’s death. This gripping novel was also adapted for a film.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

best suspense novels of all time
The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code is a mystery thriller that explores religious history. The story revolves around a professor of symbology, Robert Langdon. He is framed in the murder of the Louvre Museum Curator. He teams with French cryptographer, Sophie Neveu to escape and trace the real killer. This scintillating novel was later adapted into a multi-million dollar Hollywood movie.

In The Woods by Tana French

best thriller books
In The Woods

One of the best thriller books, this novel is about tracing missing children. As dusk approaches a small suburb in 1984, mothers start to call their kids back home. However, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. The police are able to find one of them dreaded with terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall any of the details from the previous hours.

Twenty-two years later, the same boy, Rob Ryan is assigned as the lead detective for a  girl’s murder in the same woods. To his shock, the details of the case turn out to be chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Ryan now has the chance to uncover the truth for both the incidents.

Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman

best psychological thrillers
Something In The Water

Piercing insight and fascinating twists form the plot of Something in the Water. The story revolves around two lovers, Erin, a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakdown and Mark, a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionate and so in love, the couple heads out for a honeymoon in the paradise of Bora Bora. Soon enough, they discover something so shocking that it changes their lives forever.

Force Of Nature by Jane Harper

best crime thrillers
Force of Nature

Force of Nature is a tale about five women who reluctantly hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges. The corporate retreat advertises the same to encourage office colleagues to step out of their comfort zones and stimulate teamwork and resilience in them. However, only four come out on the other side of the Australian bushland and Alice goes missing.

The four returning women tell Falk, a Federal Police investigator about the fears, violence and fractured trust that they encountered during their journey. As Falk investigates the disappearance of Alice, the only person who knew secrets about the company and its people, he suspects dangers far deeper than anyone knew.

Death Of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

best thriller books
The Death of Mrs Westaway

The story unfolds when Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter dictating that she has inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother. Soon enough, she realises that the letter was sent to the wrong person. However, the money is like a dream come true for Westaway so she decides to use her cold-reading skills honed as a tarot card reader to claim the money. She finds herself at the funeral of the deceased but to her shock, it is a strange situation there.

One of the best thriller books, this novel is a great pick if you are a fan of suspense thrillers.

Tell No One by Harlan Coben

best thriller books of all time
Tell No One

Tell No One describes the story of David Beck who was knocked unconscious eight years ago while his wife Elizabeth was kidnapped and murdered. Shattered by the loss, Beck spends his days reliving the horror of what had happened. One afternoon, he receives an anonymous email instructing him to log on to a certain website with a warning to keep it confidential. When he does so, he discovers a picture of his wife and her possibility of being alive. Beck is determined to find out if his wife really is alive. But whoever he turns to for help seems to end up DEAD.

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

best thriller books of all time
The Chalk Man

The novel starts in the year 1986 when Eddie and his friends were kids and used to leave messages for each other on little chalk sticks. One fine day, a mysterious chalk man leads them to a dismembered body and nothing remains the same from that day. Cut to 2016, Eddie is all grown up and believes to have put the past behind.

But thereafter, he and his friends receive a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. Soon, one of them turns up dead making Eddie realise that the only way to save himself is to figure out what had happened all those years ago.

Strangers by Dean Kootz

best crime thriller books of all time

Strangers masterfully blends the elements of espionage, terror and science fiction. The story talks about six strangers who are unaccountably seized by nightmares, attacks of bear and bouts of uncharacterized behaviour. They are drawn towards the isolated Nevada motel seeking each other through puzzling photographs and messages. The ingeniously twisted plot of this thrilling read is bound to give you the chills.

Sanskriti Mathur
Sanskriti Mathur

Sanskriti is a creative content writer working as a Senior Content Associate with CashKaro since 2021. She has 3+ years of experience producing buzz-worthy blogs and social media posts. She specialises in writing product descriptions and lifestyle blogs and curating quality brand listicles to help users make the right purchases. She also has great expertise on writing about major appliances, electronics, and is a keen audio tech enthusiast. She completed her graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication from Manipal University Jaipur. Although a full-time content savvy, she moonlights as a metal musician and has a profound inclination toward art, food, and travelling.

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