Thriller books never fail to give you the adrenaline rush from the comfort of your home on your beloved couch or a rocking chair. You can be a part of a police chase, a criminal hunt, an adventure group, an obstacle-laden journey, or a psychic phenomenon. The possibilities are endless.
One of the fascinating aspects of the thriller genre is the anticipation of how the story will end. With each page, this aspect keeps readers on the edge of their seats (or on their toes). The earliest known example of a thriller novel seems to be Homer’s Odyssey.
Over time, the genre has expanded to encapsulate multiple elements which were prevalent back then. Starting with long voyages to fairytales to treasure hunts, modern-day thrillers include espionage, spy fiction, secret codes, escapes, and much much more. The whole genre is divided into several subcategories and can be paired with any other genre, even romance.
In this list, we look at some of the best thriller books which are utterly shocking and mind-blowing.
1. The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
As a psychological thriller on the list, The Ice Twins is sure to leave you breathless. Angus and Sarah are grieving the loss of their twin daughter, Lydia, when a year later, they decide to move to a secluded place in Scotland with Kristie, the remaining twin. But unfortunately, the twins were so identical they had to rely on Kristie’s account that Lydia was the one that died.
However, all hell breaks loose when, just before the move, Kristie claims that she is, in fact, Lydia and that it was Kristie who died. The parents are shell-shocked and have to navigate how to move forward, given this earth-shattering information.
The novel transports you into a dark, visual, and moody atmosphere, and you lose the sense of space and time with delicately intertwined accounts. The book was a bestseller in multiple locations and received a warm reception critically.
2. The Girl In The Mirror by Cathy Glass
Mandy goes to live with her aunt to care for her dying grandfather. Although she used to visit there many times during her childhood, those visits suddenly stopped when she was 10. And now, it’s as if her mind completely erased those visits from her memories.
There was something that happened all those years ago that resulted in her being kept away from that place. Now, being there, her mind shows her flashbacks of the past, some of which are very disturbing. Mandy is eventually reminded of that horrible incident, and it shocks her to her core.
Cathy Glass’ storytelling is gripping and suspenseful. You won’t be able to put this down, and as reader reviews suggest, this is a pure shocking masterpiece to thrill you.
3. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
This bestselling British psychological thriller brings you the story of intertwined lies, deception, mystery, suspense, and crime. Rachel is an alcoholic, depressed with her life, blacking out, and harassing her ex-husband Tom and his new wife, Anna. She travels to and from work on the London train in the morning and evening, which passes right by her ex’s house.
When a neighbor, whom Rachel became obsessed with, goes missing, the web of lies starts to untangle. She fakes her identity to get closer to the case, and through an indirect therapy session, she understands her blackouts and flashback episodes. And she ultimately resolves the crime.
The book sold a million copies within two months of its release and retained the #1 spot on the UK hardcover book chart for 20 weeks, the longest of any book. It’s referred to as “the next Gone Girl,” another thriller novel by author Gillian Flynn because it makes use of similar themes. It had two on-screen adaptations as well.
4. The Babylon Rite by Tom Knox
The Thriller novel The Babylon Rite merges science fiction and historical legends into a gripping ride across the world. The story follows two narratives. The first one is of journalist Adam Blackwood, who sets out to uncover the secrets of the Templar Knights after a scholar mysteriously commits suicide. He is accompanied by the scholar’s daughter Nina.
The second, simultaneous narrative is of Jessica Silverton, who’s in Peru and has discovered some controversial artifacts depicting crime, killing, and eroticism. The two groups intersect and try to uncover the mystery of this evil power and mysterious drug that is evil to the core.
Tom Knox is the pseudonym of English author and journalist Sean Thomas, who has written many novels revolving around the subject of the past and the present. All of which have an element of mystery, mythology, and suspense.
5. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
The final novel on this list is The Da Vinci Code, written by Dan Brown, an author famous for making highly intricate mystery novels. This bestselling novel explores religious mysteries through art in the 21st century and is by far one of the best thriller books.
It follows Robert Langdon, a world-famous symbologist who is sought by the French police to determine the nature of the symbolic messages scattered around the dead body of Louvre curator Jacques Sauniere. Langdon and Sophie Neveu, the police cryptographer and Sauniere’s granddaughter, travel across France and beyond to connect the dots of hints left behind for them.
Massively successful despite harsh and negative reception from Catholic and Christian communities, the novel sold 80 million copies in 2003. It was outsold only by Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
I don’t think you can argue that these books are so good you won’t be able to put them down, and they are so fascinating that you’ll keep coming back to them.
Look again at this list of best thriller books; any one you pick will not disappoint you!