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8 Best Thriller Books You Need to Read

Jomana is a passionate reader who loves to write about books and literature.

These are 8 of the best thriller books that will keep you awake at night reading them.

If you are someone who loves a good thrilling, thought-provoking story, you are in the right place.

1. Home Before Dark

Author: Riley Sager

Book genre: Thriller/Horror

This book follows the story of Maggie Holt, whose father—Ewan Holt—is the author of the nonfiction book House of Horrors. It is a classic horror story about a haunted house that became very famous.

House of Horrors talks about Baneberry Hall, where Ewan, his wife, and his five-year-old daughter—Maggie—moved in 25 years ago. In his book, Ewan states that he is telling a true story of what happened inside this house. He talks about that house being haunted, and he writes what he and his family had witnessed inside the house.

However, Maggie, a thirty-year-old woman now, believes that her father made up the whole story and that it was all a lie. The main reasons for that are,

  1. Maggie doesn’t remember any of the things mentioned in her father’s book.
  2. Maggie doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Maggie goes to Baneberry Hall to know the truth of what really happened there 25 years ago. However, what she discovers is beyond her belief.

This book is one of the best thriller books, actually, scratch that; this is THE best thriller book I’ve ever read. Moreover, the end was not something I expected, and it was full of twists.

2. The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Book genre: Psychological Thriller

This book is one of the best thriller/mystery books you’ll ever read. It was adapted into the thriller famous movie The Girl on the Train.

The book tells the story of Rachel Watson, an alcoholic who got divorced from her ex-husband, Tom. Rachel rides the same train every time to go to her “job.” This train passes a house that Rachel became used to watching.

She is used to looking at the couple owning this house. She calls them “Jason and Jess,” but she doesn’t actually know them. She believes they are a happy couple who have a happy life, but their life is far from that.

One day, while Rachel is having her usual ride on the train, she looks at that house, and she sees something she never anticipated. From this point, Rachel’s life changes completely.

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3. The Institute

Author: Stephen King

Book genre: Thriller/Sci-fi

This is one of Stephen King’s latest book releases. The Institute follows the story of Luke Ellis, who gets kidnapped, and his parents get murdered by cold-blooded intruders.

Luke then gets sent to an institute that runs tests on some of the most clever and gifted children, and Luke is one of them. He wakes up to find himself in this institute, and he meets the other children there.

After undergoing some horrible tests, the children start to disappear one after another. It’s only a matter of time before Luke disappears too. Luke and his friends are trying to find a way out, but getting out is far from possible.

This is another one of the best thriller books I’ve read; I recommend it to even those who’ve never read any Stephen King books before. Beware of child abuse content, though.

4. The Couple Next Door

Author: Shari Lapena

Book genre: Thriller

Anne and Marco Conti, a married couple, get invited by their neighbors to a dinner party at their house. Anne is hesitant to leave her six-month-old daughter alone at home, but her husband convinces her that nothing’s going to happen, and their daughter will be perfectly safe.

The couple goes to the party, and when they return home, they find that their daughter is gone. The mother starts to panic, and they call the police to investigate and find out where the girl is.

A six-month-old child can’t walk, so it doesn’t make sense for her to move from where she was left. Definitely, someone is behind this, but who could do that?

Many characters are suspicious, and each one has a different motive to commit this crime.

5. Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Book genre: Thriller

Nick and Amy Dunne have been married for five years. Everyone believes they are a happily married couple but are they?

Our protagonist, Nick, gets back home on the day of his and his wife’s fifth anniversary to find his wife, Amy, missing, and he sees broken objects and blood. Clearly, something is wrong. And so, he calls the police to investigate what has happened.

People believe that Amy is dead, and all the fingers are pointing at Nick, and they think he murdered her. Throughout the pages, the truth starts to unfold. Is Nick responsible for Amy’s disappearance?

6. And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

Book genre: Thriller/Crime

This book is one of the best Agatha Christie books. This one tells the story of eight strangers who go to Soldier Island, a deserted island that was recently bought by someone called Owen.

When these eight strangers arrive, they get invited to dinner, but they get welcomed by two servants instead of the host.

Then something weird happens, when the guests go to their rooms, a rhyme called Ten Little Soldiers starts playing. This rhyme describes how each one of the ten little boys died one after another; till there were none.

And the guests start dying mysteriously the same way as each little boy has died in the rhyme. The guests try to escape the island, but there’s a storm, and it would be life-risking to sail now.

There must be a killer who planned all of this, but who?

7. Bird Box

Author: Josh Malerman

Book genre: Post-apocalyptic thriller

You most probably heard about the movie, and most probably you might have even seen it, but the book is definitely worth a read.

One day, suddenly, the world becomes in chaos, and no one understands what’s happening. People are starting to get aggressive and kill themselves. It seems that they no longer have control over their bodies.

It turns out that there’s an unknown being that if you look at it, you die.

We follow the story of Malorie, who’s pregnant and found herself in the middle of this chaos. She takes shelter in a house with other strangers. They all have no idea what to do.

But what they do know is that they must not open their eyes outside in the outer world.

This book has a sequel called Malorie, I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it will be as good as Bird Box.

8. Misery

Author: Stephen King

Book genre: Psychological horror thriller

Here’s another one by the king of horror.

Paul Sheldon, the best-selling author of the book series with the protagonist Misery Chastain, has finished writing the finale of the series, and he celebrates the success of his series.

While driving, Paul gets into a car accident. He gets saved by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. However, Annie is a psychopath who isn’t satisfied with the ending that Paul wrote for the series.

And therefore, Annie kidnaps him and captivates him at her house. She tortures him and forces him to write a new book that will change the ending and the fate of her beloved protagonist—Misery.

Paul tries to escape Annie’s house, but he’s severely injured, and Annie won’t let that happen.


The mystery/thriller book genre is one of my favorite genres in books, and I’m sure I’m not alone. These are some books that I liked and believe you’ll like too. Is there another genre you want me to write book suggestions for? If yes, don’t hesitate to let me know.

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