The Ultimate Psychological Thriller List

Hey fellow bookworms, for today’s post I’m assembling a list of suspense books that had completely blew me away back when I first read them. If you see a similar favorite or have any other exciting titles to add to the list, don’t hesitate to share!

Verity by Colleen Hoover

A woman gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete the series of a well-celebrated, successful author named Verity Crawford. When she arrives at the author’s house, she’s shocked by the content of the manuscript; the twisted admissions within the unfinished book are unreal. Not to mention the disturbing secrets she unearths inside the house.

This insane book will disturb and unsettle you until the final frustrating, original ending. An absolute must-read for psychological thriller readers.

No Exit by Taylor Adams

“But she’d seen it. There was no unseeing it. She stepped away, leaving a handprint on the door…There’s . . .There’s a child locked inside this van.”

Four strangers are trapped inside a rest stop during a snow blizzard, and one of them is a psychopath. It’s up to Darby to uncover which one has a kidnapped child inside their vehicle.

Where did the kidnapped child come from? What is the perpetrator planning to do with her? What I love about No Exit is that it picks up from the get-go: it’s action-packed, suspenseful and twisty as heck; which makes it the ultimate psychological thriller. I fell in love with the main character Darby from page One and I didn’t realize I’ve been holding my breath until I turned the last page because I needed to know what’s going on. This book is a wild ride, guys. Get it, get it!

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

This book introduces us to Emma Davis, who was once a first-time camper at Nightingale Camp where she’d shared a cabin with three other teenage girls. They used to play a game called Two Truths And A Lieuntil the girls disappeared without a trace. But now Nightingale Camp has reopened and Emma considers this as an opportunity to go back as a counselor and find out what really happened to those girls

I have to say, this book was incredibly engrossing, unputdownable and also filled with chilling unexpected twists! When I got to the third part of the book, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It was filled with a non-stop claustrophobic feel in a way you might feel the need to retreat for a couple of minutes before continuing. The very last twist will rock you.

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover. But then they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard…Later that night, Cora is found on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora–and why?

The final pages of this book were pretty traumatizing as we’re given a full account of what really happened on the night in question. I had to re-read the ending over and over again to believe it. The author uses the girls’ texts, diary entries and therapy sessions to tell the story. Those different formats made the experience much more addictive. Highly encouraging you to pick this one up, fellow readers. The reveal will blow you away.

I’ll Never Tell by Abigail Haas

“Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?”

I’ll Never Tell is by far the best YA thriller I’ve ever read. It’s nail-biting and doesn’t cease to keep you on edge for the entire ride.

Well, to sum it up, this book is a complete mindf***. I’ve read some pretty messed up thrillers last year but none of them had messed with my head like this one did.

Dangerous Girls follows a group of teens who are spending a weeklong vacation at a luxurious beach house when one of them ends up brutally murdered in her room. Another member of the group – Anna – is the accused murderer, and so we follow her perspective during the months leading up to her trial and the jaw-dropping reveal.

We’re taken back and forth between the days leading up to the murder and the present day, which consists of Anna’s POVS, in addition to interview room questioning, and courtroom scenes. I can’t recommend this enough. I promise you, this book is all kinds of exhilarating and insane!

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David, the very married man she met and kissed at a bar the night before. And then Louise bumps into Adele, David’s wife. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong.

*sigh* Where do I start with this one? Behind Her Eyes will take you on – as one of the characters said – a “mindf*** crazy” ride: you think you know what the plot is about, but you don’t.

The concept behind the ending of Behind Her Eyes is just so bizarre and mind-blowing. It tackles a very rare condition in which people suffering from night terrors and lucid dreaming have a kind of, um, “otherworldly” superpower (but not the kind that you think). It’s evil, believable and so darn insane. The gigantic WTF ending is one you won’t be able to forget.

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

Actress Aimee Sinclair comes home one day to discover that her husband is…gone. Leaving his wallet, keys and phone behind. Aimee, as you might’ve suspected, is the prime suspect. She claims she has nothing to do with it, and while trying to figure it all out, there’s a mysterious stranger stalking her…

This book has the creepiest, most unsettling, WTF twist ending you’ll ever read. Almost as similarly twisted as Behind Her Eyes. This is a book that you’ll race through. I still have goosebumps and feel dizzy from the entire experience!

Aimee takes us back to when she was five, and my oh my, the things she has gone through. The things she has seen!! Those terrifying flashbacks make the plotline even more absorbing. The entire time, I felt both afraid of and in love with this woman. Excellent writing quality, and the character development is on point. You guys need to read this one.

Last One To Lie by J. W. Winchester

“When will I learn?”

My head was spinning by the time I finished reading this! Last One To Lie by J. M. Winchester is wicked and CRAZY. Kelsey is just about to pick up her daughter from day care when they inform her that there is no record of her little girl ever being there, then she phones her husband at the school where he teaches, only to find out that – yep, you guessed it – he never worked there!

I thoroughly enjoyed how the relationship between the protagonist and the detective offers intense Basic Instinct vibes (yes, there were definitely some erotic moments in this story). We follow the narrative through both of their perspectives. Packed with original, jaw-dropping twists and the last chapters completely messed with my head!

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

Claire can’t help but feel like she’s living under the shadow of her husband’s first wife, Colleen, who died under very strange circumstances. This woman was reported to have jumped into the water one night, presumably as a suicide attempt. Her body though, it just…vanished.

The Starter Wife is not your typical domestic thriller, it sure starts out as one and then BAM!…completely catches you off guard – that horrifying twist at the end, like a slap across your face.

The first half gives us major “The Wife Between Us/The Breakdown” vibes, and the second half -where it seems like the protagonist’s attempt to learn the truth might bring her to a sinister end – is just a pack of explosive revelations, one after the other. The book suddenly veers off in a direction you were never expecting.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

In Sharp Objects, Reporter Camille Preaker is facing a troubling assignment: she must return to her childhood home to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Sharp Objects is probably the creepiest thing I’ve ever read, and it was surprising to see that the TV adaptation starring Amy Adams captured the core of the novel so well. Gillian Flynn accumulates all these dark, real-life aspects that other authors usually shy away from and tackles them in a chillingly brilliant way. The story’s very well-executed and there’s always a bit of unease that pulls you in deeper and deeper the more you turn the pages. And brace yourself for the most sinister, unexpected ending you’ve ever read, and the scariest part is, the evil and psychopathy that leads to the shocking aftermath is in fact completely realistic.

Do you have a book that you keep recommending to others? Let me know!

12 thoughts on “The Ultimate Psychological Thriller List

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