Book Club / Culture

We’ve rounded up 10 of the best thriller books to keep you suitably scared

We don't know about you, but when it comes to sinking our teeth into a new book there is nothing better than the exhilaration of a good psychological thriller. The fast paced, heart thumping rush of adrenaline you get from a twisty page turner is one the great joys of our precious recreational down time.

Is there a greater pleasure than reaching the climax of a long novel and discovering a twist so big, you're left speechless? A plot twist so significant, you'll flip back through the earlier chapters to see how you could have been so blind. Don't worry, we've all been there, and we know the feeling is something that every great thriller should have.

These 10 thriller books are sure to be ones you will recommend over and over, and not to mention the tried and tested bunch to give you the biggest scare and exhilarating thrill of your life. Just don't blame us when you're up past 2am...


The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave 


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Ever since Big Little Lies, Reese Witherspoon has been asserting herself as the new it girl producer of the psychological thriller book to film genre. Not only has she picked this option up she has Julia Roberts attached to the film version. Not surprisingly this is an addictive page turner, the plot follows 40-something Hannah, a woodturner, who moved to Sausalito in Northern California to live with her new husband, Owen, and his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. After Owen vanished into thin air Hannah looks into why he left and if he was ever really the man she thought she married.


The Wife and The Widow by Christian White

Quite possibly one of the best literary thriller twists of the year, believe us when we say you will not see this one coming. Set on an isolated island, The Wife and The Widow is told from two women's perspectives. Kate, a widow, who is just learning about her dead husband's secret life. And Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside down when she it is revealed that her husband may be a killer.


In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware


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British author Ruth Ware is quickly making a strong case as a modern day Agatha Christie. Her bleak, twisted storylines will keep your mind searching long after you've put the book down. In A Dark, Dark Wood tells the story of Nora, who lives a reclusive life in London. She has been out of touch with her best friend Clare for 10 years, ever since Nora turned her back on her old life. Out of nowhere, an invitation to Clare's hens party arrives and Nora thinks the weekend away in isolated lodgings will be the perfect way to reconnect with her long lost friend. But then something goes terribly awry. Terrifying in all the right ways, this is one that will keep you up well into the night.


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn


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We all know and fell in love with Gone Girl, but in our view, Gillian Flynn's inaugural psychological thriller Sharp Objects is even better. The story follows Camille Preaker, a crime journalist who returns to her small Missouri hometown of Wind Gap to cover the murder of two local teenagers. While she's there, Camille is forced to face her own devastating past and learns the truth is far closer to home than she could have ever known. Not unlike Gone Girl, The book winds up with a final twist that will leave you spinning.


We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz


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Another from the Reese Witherspoon bookclub of horrors, We Were Never Here is a fast paced thriller that fuses Thelma and Louise and Single White Female into one murderous concoction. The story of 20-something Emily, who lives and works in Milwaukee. After her best friend Kristen moves to Australia they decide to meet up every year to an exotic destination to go backpacking. During a trip to Chile, Emily comes back to their hotel room to bloody and ominous circumstances. What ensures is a scintillating journey of mistrust and deadly intrigue.


Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

There isn't enough time to go on about the sheer intensity of this page turner, not to mention the absolutely mind shattering twist at the end of it all. Single mum Louise is stuck in a romantic void when she meets a man at a bar. They begin a relationship and Louise is excited at the connection . But she soon discovers the man from the bar is her new boss, David. a married man. She later bumps into and befriends his wife Adele. Shortly after she begins to question David and Adele's relationship and why they're so focused on getting close to her.


The Guest List by Lucy Foley


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Set on a remote island off the blustery Irish coast, guests have gathered for the wedding of TV star Will Slater and online entrepreneur Jules Keegan. By the end of the evening, someone is dead, and every single wedding guest is deemed a suitable suspect. Known to be one of the top picks of 2022, The Guest List is a nail biter whodunnit perfect for us fans who live to inhale Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins novels of the same vain.


The Push by Ashley Audrain


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The Push is one of those rare psychological thrillers that sticks with you months after you've read it. The book chronicles the story of Blythe Connor, a woman determined to be the loving, devoted mother she never had. But when Blythe's daughter Violet comes along, she struggles to connect with her. Once Violet grows up and begins to interact with others her age, she begins to wonder whether there's something seriously wrong with her. The Push winds up with a killer twist that will haunt you for days after you've put the book down.


People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd


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We have no doubt in our minds that if you start this book you'll finish it in a two day sitting. Emmy Jackson is a successful social media influencer with a breezy life. Everyone admires her, or so it seems. Emmy hasn’t been super honest about her life and harbours some seriously twisted secrets and while she thinks she has fooled her long term followers, the cracks soon begin to show. One of them knows her whole truth and has made it their mission to make her pay. You’ll spend a whole weekend in putting off plans just to finish this baby.


Blacktop Wasteland by S.A Cosby


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You heard it here folks, this here is the best crime thriller book of the year. Toeing the line between Breaking Bad and Drive, the parallels are there with so much more. Here, Bug is an honest mechanic with a shady past but he’s paid his dues and has the rep of being the slickest wheel guy on the east coast. But soon his old life begins to catch up with his shiny new one, only saved by a one-time job—a crooked heist with a promising payout. Bridging the worlds of petty crime and psychological thriller so well, this is one you will want to keep around on the bookshelf.

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