Psychology as we know it, is the study of the mind. And Psychological thriller is the genre that provides us with a story that gives us an element of surprise along with some chilling turn of events that completely blow our minds. As interesting as it sounds, psychological thrillers have always been stumbled upon by a majority of the audience who love such hair-raising dramas.
Most people love seeing psychological thriller movies but many would argue that the best way to experience this genre is by reading books. Interestingly enough, most of the best psychological thrillers are actually based on books.
There are some great books available on psychological thrillers that will never fail to give you chills. These books are brilliantly written by some of the great authors, who through their excellence has created a masterpiece that is still celebrated as one of the great works in the field of literature.
Following we have listed some top psychological thriller books of all times that are definitely worth your read:
1. Gone Girl
There’s a high possibility that you have already heard about this book. Gone Girl is a really famous psychological thriller book written by Gillian Flynn. The book has totally taken the world by storm and proved to be a bestseller for being so thrilling and suspenseful.
The story of the book revolves around Amy who is Nick Dunne’s wife and the whole chaos starts when she disappears. The storyline of the book moves forward to show us how their marriage turned into a dysfunctional one. With each unfolds in the story, the readers will be left surprised and thrilled.
2. The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train written by Paula Hawkins managed to remain the best selling book in New York City for 13 weeks. The book represents one of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time. Being written in the first-person narrative, the story of the book shows us the story of three women through their perspective.
The Girl on the Train is really engaging and will keep you interested in the story until the very end. The readers will experience shocking uncoilings of facts that will leave you shocked.
3. I Let You Go
I Let You Go is a story by Clare Mackintosh. It revolves around a single mother who loses her son in an accident. The mother then leaves the town and move to the Welsh coast to completely isolate herself. After sometime when she gets a feeling that she is moved on from her tragic past, her life experiences some very shocking turn of events that changes the whole story.
I Let You Go is a debut novel by Clare Mackintosh and this novel has gained the writer a lot of praise and applause by numerous reviewers.
4. The Silent Wife
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison is indeed a masterpiece that impressed the readers in large numbers. The story of the book is based on a couple named Jodi and Todd. After Jodi finds out that her husband Todd is cheating on her, instead of confronting she goes in denial and becomes revengeful.
An interesting fact about The Silent Wife is, once you start reading this book, you will get so hooked that you won’t stop until you reach the end. As per S. J. Watson, the story of the book is ‘Deeply unsettling and devastating.’
5. Sharp Objects
Sharp Objects is another masterpiece by Gillian Flynn who has again used his great intellect in this psychological thriller. The author is mainly famous for writing books in this genre and anyone who is a big fan of dark and twisted books should immediately buy all his psychological thrillers.
The book, Sharp Objects is about a reporter who is named Camille Preaker. The reporter has recently returned from a psych hospital in order to solve the murder of two young girls. The story becomes more twisted when she gets haunted by her own past and has to face her own demons.
6. The Passenger
The Passenger is authored by Liza Lutz. The writer has brilliantly depicted the story of a woman who changes her identities to move countries in order to get away from her past. Known to be one of the most racy thrillers of all time, the Passenger has all the elements that are required to give the readers a hair-raising experience.
The story moves forward as the woman manages some devious deceptions and escapes. The twisted story becomes more interesting each time you turn the page. And that’s what earned The Passenger a place on this list.
7. Before I Go To Sleep
Before I Go To Sleep is written by SJ Watson. The renowned novel is based on the story of a woman who loses her memory in an accident. The accident made her completely lose her sense of self and she doesn’t even know who she is and how she got herself in such a situation.
The woman then started keeping a journal to keep an account on what happens in her life and her journal helps her in adjoining the missing pieces together and finding out the truth.
8. The Shining
The Shining is a really famous novel written by Stephen King. The book sets a horror theme when it unfolds the nightmare of the family member and the hotel in which they were working as caretakers. The character in the story Jack Torrance starts working as a caretaker at a very mysterious hotel along with his wife named Wendy and their son Danny.
Soon the story takes a shocking turn and shows us the terror faced by the family because of the hotel. The book gets darker and twisted as you read further.
9. We Need to Talk About Kevin
We Need to Talk About Kevin is a twisted and interesting psychological thriller about a boy named Kevin. The story is written by Lionel Shriver. The novel revolves around the life of Kevin and his mother. Kevin who is a 16 years old boy becomes a serial killer.
It represents a bad example of motherhood. Eva, who is the mother of Kevin develops extreme hatred towards her son Kevin who is a serial killer and meanwhile explores her life around her marriage and her career.
10. Since We Fell
Since We Fell is a story by Dennis Lehane. A story that introduces some mind-altering truths in the lives of the characters experiences some unforeseen turn of events. The book is based on a journalist Rachel Child and how she enjoys an ideal married life with her husband. But soon everything takes a drastic turn leaving Rachel in a pit of conspiracy.
Since We Fell revolves around Rachel’s life and how she gets deceived by her family. The book moves forward as the journalist conquers her fears and becomes stronger than before.
11. Shutter Island
This is another psychological thriller book written by Dennis Lahane on this list. Shutter Island is a book about two US Marshals who investigate the case of a mentally challenged person. The person has suddenly disappeared from a hospital named Ashecliffe. The story becomes even more twisted when in their investigation, they learn that there is a serial killer on the loose.
At the end of the story, the writer has a very unpleasant secret stored for you that you would definitely not wanna know.
12. The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs is written by Thomas Harris. The author has based his book on a serial killer. A killer who is on the loose and is only after the ‘pretty girls’. His motive is to kill all the pretty girls in the area and his investigation is done by a trainee investigator. The job of the trainee investigator can only be completed if the man who is locked away in asylum helps him with it.
Explore the story that how this trainee finally investigates the case and get ready to have some thrilling experience by the numerous chilling turns.
Rebecca is authored by Daphne du Maurier. The theme of the story is gothic and the story is written in such a way that you will definitely get an adrenaline rush by reading it. The book is based upon a character named Rebecca. Rebecca falls in love with a very handsome man named Maxime de Winter who is a widower.
The woman gets married to Maxime de Winter but she is unaware of the unforeseen events that will destroy her marriage as well as her life. The former wife of the man is passionate about ruining the life of Rebecca even beyond the grave.
14. The Silent Patient
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is the New York Times bestseller that became an instant hit after its release. The New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter has called this book “Destined to go down as one of the most shocking and mind-blowing twists in recent memory”.
It is a story about a woman’s act of violence against her husband and a therapist who is dedicated to finding out her truth and uncovering her motives.
15. The Wife Between Us
The Wife Between Us is a psychological thriller novel written by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. The book is a New York Times bestseller and depicts the story of an ex-wife who becomes obsessed with the woman that his husband is about to marry.
The story becomes more complicated and dangerous as it moves forward and as called by the New York Times, the book is a fiendishly smart cat and mouse thriller.
Reading psychological thriller novels is definitely a hair-raising adrenaline rushing experience. The lovers of thrillers will know how these books are known for taking some shocking turn of events that changes the whole story and reveals some greatest mysteries. The above-mentioned books are written brilliantly by these great authors who know exactly how to keep their readers hooked until the very end.
The novels are not only famous for their excellence but also received a lot of love from the readers who were just simply not able to get over these books. I am sure there must be numerous other books of the same genre that will be as thrilling as the ones that we have mentioned.
If you have read or happen to know any other good psychological thriller books, please let us know about them in the comment section below. Also please give us your feedback on how you liked this article.