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Best Thrillers

Get your heart racing with the most exhilarating thrillers ever written, standing out in recommendations from top crime and mystery book critics. See which novels kept readers on the edge of their seats and made it to the top of the lists on influential book blogs.

Recommendations from 77 articles, Barack Obama, Richard Branson, Mindy Kaling and 63 others.
100 books on the list
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Gone Girl book cover
Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn - 2014-04-22 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
A thrilling exploration of a marriage gone wrong from one of the most acclaimed suspense writers of our time. When the clever and beautiful wife of a small-town golden boy disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, the pressure mounts as rumors fly and suspicions rise. With razor-sharp writing and intricate plot twists, this dark psychological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Silent Patient book cover
Silent Patient
Alex Michaelides - 2019-02-05
Goodreads Rating
Unravel the mystery behind a chilling crime that left a woman silent for six years. Alicia Berenson had a charmed life until she shot her husband in the head, never speaking another word since. Discover the truth behind her tragic story in this gripping novel.
The Girl on the Train book cover
The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins - 2015-01-13
Goodreads Rating
This psychological thriller is a top-notch must-read, a gripping and enthralling journey that combines the voyeuristic thrills of Rear Window with the darkness and twists of Gone Girl. Follow Rachel, a daily commuter who becomes obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple, "Jess and Jason", until one day she witnesses something shocking that changes everything. Discover the truth about the girl on the train in this exceptional and startling novel.
Before I Go to Sleep book cover
Before I Go to Sleep
A Novel
S. J. Watson - 2011-06-14
Goodreads Rating
A woman wakes up every morning with no memory of the previous day - or the last 20 years. She must rely on her husband to explain who she is, but as she starts piecing together her past, she realizes the truth may be too shocking to believe. An intense exploration of memory loss and identity.
Rebecca book cover
Daphne du Maurier - 2013-12-17 (first published in 1938)
Goodreads Rating
An orphaned lady's maid is swept off her feet by a dashing widower's proposal of marriage. But upon arrival to his country estate, she realizes his late wife's shadow looms large, threatening to destroy their relationship from beyond the grave.
Recommended by
Glen Mazzara
The Silence of the Lambs book cover
The Silence of the Lambs
Thomas Harris - 2002-01-01 (first published in 1988)
Goodreads Rating
This thriller delves into the depths of a psychopath's mind as an FBI trainee races against time to catch a serial killer. Brace yourself for the ultimate villain of modern fiction: Hannibal Lecter. This bestselling book has sold over five million copies and will leave you silenced with fear.
Recommended by
Greg Iles
My Sister, the Serial Killer book cover
My Sister, the Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwaite - 2018-11-20
Goodreads Rating
In this blackly comic novel, Korede is constantly cleaning up after her sister Ayoola, who has a tendency to "dispatch" her boyfriends in self-defense. Korede loves her sister, but when Ayoola starts dating the doctor Korede has feelings for, she's forced to choose between them. Will she protect her sister or the man she loves?
Recommended by
Meena Kandasamy
The Guest List book cover
The Guest List
A Novel
Lucy Foley - 2020-06-02
Goodreads Rating
A lavish wedding on a remote Irish island brings together a rising TV star, a magazine publisher bride, and an eclectic cast of guests including the best man, wedding planner, and bridesmaid. But tensions and secrets lurk beneath the surface, and when a murder occurs, everyone becomes a suspect. This expertly planned and executed thriller, full of resentments and jealousies, will keep you guessing until the very end.
Recommended by
Reese Witherspoon
Shutter Island book cover
Shutter Island
A Novel
Dennis Lehane - 2004-04-27 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
A US Marshal and his partner investigate the disappearance of a patient at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane on a remote island. With a murderer on the loose and a hurricane on the way, the case takes a sinister turn with hints of experimentation and a shadow war. Nothing is as it seems on this chilling island, where no one will come out unscathed, including the protagonist himself.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book cover
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson - 2008-09-23 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
Discover a thrilling murder mystery that combines family saga, love story, and financial intrigue in one complex yet atmospheric novel. Follow journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the enigmatic hacker Lisbeth Salander as they delve deep into a dark world of corruption to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of a wealthy family scion over 40 years ago. Don't miss out on this satisfyingly entertaining read.
Recommended by
Imani Gandy
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
The Woman in the Window by A. J Finn
In a Dark, Dark Wood- 2015 Edition by Ruth Ware
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
The Shining by Stephen King
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Killing Floor by Lee Child
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
You by Caroline Kepnes
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
In the Woods by Tana French
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
The Whisper Man by Alex North
A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
The Witch Elm by Tana French
Conviction by Denise Mina
American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
Misery by Stephen King
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Out by Natsuo Kirino
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
11/22/63 by Stephen King
I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Those Bones Are Not My Child by Toni Cade Bambara
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
Coma by Robin Cook
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
The Chain by Adrian McKinty
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva
The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
Past Tense by Lee Child
Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks
Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
The Outsider by Stephen King
Defending Jacob by William Landay
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
The Push by Ashley Audrain
The Survivors by Jane Harper
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Reina roja by Juan Gómez-Jurado
His & Hers by Alice Feeney
Room by Emma Donoghue
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby
No Exit by Taylor Adams
A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson