The 23 Best Thriller Novels of Everlasting!

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  • April 12, 2024
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  • 5 min read

Novel Writing

Thriller novels uniquely pull readers into a vortex of suspense, intrigue, and relentless excitement. They tap into our deepest fears and curiosities, keeping us glued to the page until the last word. Whether it’s the dark psychological twists, the high-stakes espionage, or the classic whodunits, the best thriller novels offer something for every lover of suspense.

If you’re searching for tales that will keep you up at night, lost in worlds of mystery and danger, we’ve compiled a list of the 23 best thriller novels of all time. These picks will satisfy your appetite for the thrilling and the unforgettable.

1. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

This modern classic combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

2. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn

Flynn’s psychological thriller about a marriage gone wrong showcases her ability to craft compelling narratives and complex characters, making it one of the best thriller novels in recent memory.

3. “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

Brown’s intricate plot and fascinating historical references make this novel compelling for anyone who loves a well-done puzzle.

4. “The Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris

A masterpiece of suspense featuring one of the most memorable villains in literary history, Hannibal Lecter.

5. “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane

A brilliantly conceived tale of psychological suspense that questions our perception of reality.

6. “I Am Watching You” by Teresa Driscoll

A gripping psychological thriller that explores the dark side of human nature and the secrets we keep.

7. “Before I Go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson

An exceptional entry into the amnesiac thriller sub-genre, this novel keeps readers guessing until the shocking end.

8. “The Bourne Identity” by Robert Ludlum

A classic espionage thriller that has spawned numerous adaptations and continues to define the genre.

9. “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty

A brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

10. “The Night Manager” by John le CarrĂ©

A contemporary interpretation of the spy novel, Le CarrĂ©’s work is as much a critique of modern espionage as it is an enthralling story.

11. “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier

A gothic tale of romance and thrilling suspense set against the backdrop of a gloomy estate in England.

12. “The Firm” by John Grisham

Grisham’s ability to blend legal intrigue with pure suspense makes this novel a mainstay in the conversation about the best thriller novels.

13. “In the Woods” by Tana French

A psychological mystery with beautifully written prose and compelling characters that delve into the mysteries of the past.

14. “Kiss the Girls” by James Patterson

Part of the Alex Cross series, this novel is a fast-paced thriller that delves into the mind of a serial kidnapper and killer.

15. “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt

A mesmerizing blend of intellectual suspense and psychological insight, Tartt’s novel is a modern classic of the thriller genre.

16. “Presumed Innocent” by Scott Turow

A legal thriller that combines the intrigue of a murder mystery with the drama of a courtroom showdown.

17. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

Hawkins’ novel is a defining book in the psychological thriller genre with unreliable narrators and a compelling plot.

18. “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn

Flynn’s debut novel, a dark and intricate tale of murder and family secrets, showcases her skill in crafting compelling thrillers.

19. “Misery” by Stephen King

King’s exploration of the fan-writer relationship taken to a horrifying extreme is one of his most gripping novels.

20. “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn

A psychological thriller with a classic film noir feel, this novel keeps readers guessing until the very end.

21. “Tell No One” by Harlan Coben

A tale of love and mystery that begins with a husband’s quest to discover the truth behind his wife’s disappearance.

22. “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” by John le CarrĂ©

Another entry from Le Carré, this Cold War-era novel is widely regarded as one of the greatest spy novels ever.

23. “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo

While not a traditional thriller in the strictest sense, Puzo’s masterpiece of crime and family loyalty compels with its thrilling narrative and complex characters.

Exploring these novels offers an adrenaline-pumping experience and a deeper understanding of the human psyche and the lengths to which it can be pushed. Each book stands out for its unique approach to tone and perspective.

Whether you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, espionage, legal dramas, or classic whodunits, this list of the best thriller novels spans the breadth of the genre. It promises thrilling escapades into worlds of intrigue and suspense. For those looking to pen their thrilling tales, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a Ghostwriting Founder company to ensure your story captivates from the first page to the last.

The Appeal of Thriller Novels

Thriller novels hold a special place in contemporary fiction, offering readers an escape into a world of excitement and suspense. With their fast-paced narratives, intricate plots, and compelling characters, these books keep us hooked from the first page to the last.

Characteristics of a Great Thriller Novel

What sets a great thriller novel apart from the rest? It’s a combination of elements like suspenseful pacing, unexpected twists, complex characters, and a gripping story rising action that keeps readers guessing until the very end.


Thriller novels remind us of the excitement of the unknown and the pleasure found in solving mysteries that lie just beneath the surface of our everyday lives. They challenge our perceptions, shake us to our core, and introduce us to characters and scenarios we can’t help but become obsessed with. As you dive into the worlds created by these masterful authors, prepare to be enthralled, entertained, and unequivocally hooked.


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