18 Books Thriller Authors Are Currently Loving

18 Books Thriller Authors Are Currently Loving

Personal Growth

July 10, 2020

Some people have a flair for the dramatic and that distinct group includes authors who write thrillers. If you’re looking for your next captivating, great book, we’ve rounded up the best recommendations from thriller authors. Our list includes fast-paced thrillers, powerful plots, and nail-biting, twisty page-turners from authors including Alex Michaelides, Gillian Flynn, and Ruth Ware. Note: Reviews may be edited for length and clarity.

'The Stranger' Author Harlen Coben Recommends 'Sharp Objects' by Gillian Flynn

This sinister and stylish psychological tale has been dubbed a "real winner" by Harlen Coben, author of the bestselling thriller turned Netflix series, 'The Stranger'. In Flynn's 'Sharp Objects', we follow journalist, Camille Preaker, as she reluctantly returns to her home town to investigate the disappearance of two little girls. In doing so, Camille is forced to confront her troubled past, and, as clues in the investigation turn into dead ends, Camille begins to wonder where the real danger lies.

'The Narrow Bed' Author Sophie Hannah Recommends 'Black Eyed Susans' by Julia Heaberlin

Described by Sophie Hannah, best selling thriller author, as being "one of the most gripping and haunting thrillers I've ever read', Heaberlin's 'Black-Eyed Susans' is a twisty and compelling story of trauma and betrayal. At the age of seventeen, Tessa, dubbed by the media as a 'Black-Eyed Susan', became famous for being the only surviving victim of a vicious serial killer. Years later, a Black-Eyed Susan is planted beneath Tessa's bedroom window and, suddenly, all she believed about her experience begins to unravel.

'The Couple Next Door' Author Shari Lapena Recommends 'The Turn of the Key' by Ruth Ware

Shari Lapena, in her review of 'The Turn of the Key', assures readers that "the clever unfolding of her story will hold you captive until the brilliant end." A modern take on the classic 'The Turn of the Screw', Ware's novel upends the traditions of the haunted house as Nanny, Rowan, moves to the modern and technologically advanced Heatherbrae House to care for the young daughters of a wealthy, seemingly perfect family. But when tragedy strikes, Rowan becomes entangled in a game of blame that will change her life for good.

'He Said/She Said' Author Erin Kelly Recommends 'The Wych Elm' by Tana French

Erin Kelly, the best selling thriller author, says that 'The Wych Elm', a "mystery about family, memory and the cracks in both will haunt you for a long, long time". In French's first stand-alone novel, separate from the widely popular 'Dublin Murder Squad' series, protagonist Toby moves back to his childhood home, The Ivy house, after suffering a head injury in a brutal break-in attack. All is well until a gruesome discovery is made in the garden, and Toby and his family are forced to confront the dark secrets of their past.

'The Woman in the Window' Author A.J. Finn Recommends 'The Silent Patient' by Alex Michaelides

Famous for writing the best selling thriller novel 'The Woman in the Window', A.J. Finn names 'The Silent Patient' as "the perfect thriller" and rightly so. This New York Times Number 1 Best Seller sees psychotherapist, Theo Faber faced with his toughest case yet; a young woman named Alicia Berenson who, late one evening, shot her husband five times and then never spoke another word. Theo makes it his mission to break her silence but, as dark secrets are uncovered, Theo begins to wonder that, if he can get Alicia to speak, would he be prepared to hear the truth?

'The Sisters' Author Claire Douglas Recommends "The Nanny" by Gilly Macmillan

Claire Douglas, best selling thriller writer claims that 'The Nanny' "deserves to be huge" as this "original, twisty, unpredictable and taught" thriller left her not knowing "who to trust". In the novel, Jocelyn is seven-years-old when her nanny disappears without saying goodbye, and Jocelyn never gets over the loss. Years later, Jo is forced to return home and tries to rebuild her fraught relationship with her mother. But when human remains are found on the grounds of the house, Jo realizes that her childhood memories are not what they seemed.

'Between You and Me' Author Lisa Hall Recommends 'The Roanoke Girls' by Amy Engel

Lisa Hall declared this tale of the beautiful, rich, and mysterious Roanoke girls as "seriously twisted and addictive". In the novel, these girls seem to have it all. But there is a dark and unspoken truth that lies at the heart of the unconventional family.

When Lane, at the age of fifteen, realized what it meant to be a Roanoke girl, she ran far, and fast. It is not until she is forced to return years later that she begins to question whether she is strong enough to escape a second time.

'Misery' Author Stephen King Recommends 'The Woman in the Window' by A.J. Finn

Described by Stephen King, the master of thriller writing himself, as being "unputdownable", 'The Woman in the Window' is so good, it has already been turned into a film (watch this space!). In the novel, agoraphobic Dr. Anna Fox sees something she shouldn't while keeping tabs on the family across the road from her window and is thrown into a complicated web of darkness that will force her to face her own fears in ways she never could have conceived.

'Big Little Lies' Author Liane Moriarty Recommends 'Perfect Little Children' by Sophie Hannah

Famous for her novel turned popular TV series (thanks to Reese Witherspoon) 'Big Little Lies', Liane Moriarty knows a thing or two about writing phenomenal plots. She recommends Sophie Hannah's 'Perfect Little Children', calling it both "twisted" and "suspenseful." In the novel, protagonist Beth sees her old friend Flora for the first time in years. Beth keeps her distance, not wanting a reunion, but soon realizes that something is very wrong.

Flora's children are exactly the same age as the were the last time Beth saw them, all those years ago. How can that be? Beth takes it upon herself to find out.

'In a House of Lies' Author Ian Rankin Recommends 'The Family Upstairs' by Lisa Jewell

Renowned thriller author Ian Rankin describes Lisa Jewell's novel 'The Family Upstairs' as a "twisty and engrossing story of betrayal and redemption". In a fashionable house in Chelsea, London, a baby lies awake in her cot. Downstairs are three decomposing bodies. The mystery that links them together must be unraveled in this twisty tale of two entangled families and a house with the darkest of secrets.

'The Girl Before' Author J.P. Delaney Recommends 'Darling Rose Gold' by Stephanie Wrobel

Bestselling author of 'The Girl Before', J.P.Delaney was dazzled by Stephanie Wrobel's 'Darling Rose Gold', calling it "dazzling, dark and utterly delicious." Fiesty protagonist Rose Gold Watts, for the first eighteen years of her life, believed she was seriously ill. Turns out, her mother had lied. The betrayal gets Rose Gold's mother five years in prison, but when she is released and Rose Gold takes her in, the local community is left dumbfounded by her capacity for forgiveness. But Rose Gold has a plan, because mothers may never forget, but daughters never forgive.

'The Silent Companion' Author Laura Purcell Recommends 'A Good Girl's Guide to Murder' by Holly Jackson

Talented thriller novelist Laura Purcell was suitably thrilled by Holly Jackson's YA novel 'A Good Girl's Guide to Murder', describing how it is a "fiendishly plotted mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. Dubbed the 'No.1 best selling YA thriller everyone is talking about', the story follows school girl Pippa Fitz-Amobi as she chooses to look into the solved murder case of Andie Bell as her final school project.

But as Pippa starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, a school project becomes more sinister than she could ever have imagined.

'Sawbones' Author Stuart Macbride Recommends 'The Silent Wife' by Karin Slaughter

Scottish bestselling thriller author Stuart Macbride, in reviewing 'The Silent Wife', referred to Slaughter's thriller novel as being "big, dark, rich and bloody - like a perfectly cooked steak." If that simile doesn't tell you enough, here's a brief explanation of what you can expect: a young woman is brutally attacked and the similarities between this case and an old one are too close to be coincidence. Only, the suspect of the old case is behind bars. It is left up to agent Will Trent and pathologist Sara Linton to unravel the mystery before it is too late.

'Our House' Author Louise Candlish Recommends 'Magpie Lane' by Lucy Atkins

When a thriller author as talented as Louise Candlish says we should read a book, we listen. Candlish has "highly recommended" 'Magpie Lane' by Lucy Atkins, dubbed the 'most chilling and twisty read of 2020!'. When eight-year-old almost mute Felicity goes missing, everyone turns to her nanny, Dee, for answers.

It is only when Dee begins to re-evaluate her time with the family that she realizes the extent of their dysfunction. Something sinister is happening within it and Dee begins to question all she has come to know.

'Let Me Lie' Author Claire Mackintosh Recommends 'The Guest List' by Lucy Foley

Author of the best selling thriller novel 'Let me Lie' has recommended 'The Guest List' by Lucy Foley, calling the novel "a furiously twisty thriller." When a guest is found dead at a wedding on a remote island, the other guests know that one of them is to blame. All of them have a secret. All have a motive. A storm traps the remaining guests on the island and they begin to understand that, even when the storm subsides, not everyone will return home.

'The Silent Patient' Author Alex Michaelides Recommends 'The Other People' by C.J. Tudor

Best selling thriller author Alex Michaelides describes C.J.Tudors 'The Other People' as "hugely enjoyable and deliciously creepy", suggesting that he was "hooked from the gripping opening, all the way through its many twists and turns. 'The Other People' begins with a seemingly straightforward missing-person mystery, but it soon becomes clear that there are more sinister forces at work in the form of anonymous group, 'The Other People.'

'The Silent Wife' Author Karin Slaughter Recommends 'When You See Me' by Lisa Gardner

"This twist-a-minute thriller has it all," says bestselling thriller novelist Karin Slaughter, when reviewing Lisa Gardner's 'When You See Me'. In Gardner's novel, kidnap victim Flora Dane makes it her mission to take down the man responsible for her trauma and the trauma of many like her.

Flora begins asking questions in a small town in the deep south in the hope that the information she finds will aide her quest for justice. But very quickly, it becomes clear to Flora that this is not the kind of town that likes to be questioned, particularly when dark secrets lie hidden just beneath the answers.

'This is How I Lied' Author Heather Gudenkauf Recommends 'The Perfect Child' by Lucinda Berry

Upon reading 'The Perfect Child, bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf had a lot to say in this lengthy review: “A mesmerizing, unbearably tense thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder and sleeping with one eye open. This creepy, serpentine tale explores the darkest corners of parenthood and the profoundly unsettling lengths one will go to to keep a family together—no matter the consequences. Electrifying and atmospheric, this dark gem of a novel is one I couldn’t put down.” If that in itself doesn't make you want to pick up 'The Perfect Child', nothing will!

And there you have it; 18 of the best thriller books thriller authors are loving right now. Whether you're looking for a twisty page-turner or a psychological mind-boggler, we hope you find something to satisfy your thriller novel needs in this list. Happy reading!

Louisa Smith

Writer since Jun, 2020 · 1 published articles

Louisa is a writer and blogger from England who is hoping to pursue a professional career in writing. She loves keeping up to date with the latest trends and and topics and can usually be found scrolling through Instagram and Twitter.