Six absolute must-read thrillers

Social media manager’s end all-be all list on popular literary genre


Catherine Diel

Looking for something to read? Here are 5 honorable mentions and 6 of some of the best thrillers on the market.

Catherine Diel, Social Media Manager

Last year, I recommended six must-read thrillers, but the truth is, I was somewhat new to the genre, so every thriller I read was “the best thriller”. While I still stand by some of those choices, I have since read deeper into the genre and am ready to provide better recommendations.


Honorable Mentions:


Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Thoughts: If you are someone who needs to see trigger warnings, I would definitely look those up before reading. Karin Slaughter is an incredible writer who goes into great detail with dark subject matter: murder, gore, torture, rape, and violence. Pretty Girls was the second book I read by Slaughter following my reading of The Good Daughter. I preferred this book to the prior because I was more surprised by it and engrossed by the writing. Slaughter is iconic and her books are, too. However, they are disturbing and not for everyone. I don’t know if I will read another Slaughter book for a while, but this was a good one. While I liked this book, I don’t want to think of it again for a long time, as it was very brutal.

Great Quote: “You couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing about the missing teenage girl. Sixteen years old. White. Middle class. Very pretty. No one ever seemed quite as outraged when an ugly woman went missing.”

Catherine’s Rating: 4.5 ✰✰✰✰ 


I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Thoughts: I Let You Go is atmospheric and immersive. This book is widely known and liked, so I wanted to include it for any who have not heard or read it yet. 

The first twist surprised me, but the ending less so. It is not my favorite, but it is a lot of others’. One of my favorite things about it was that it’s set in Bristol, England and the whole time I could hear the characters’ accents while reading. 

Great Quote: “I want to fix an image of him in my head, but all I can see when I close my eyes is his body, still and lifeless in my arms.”

Catherine’s Rating: 4.5 ✰✰✰✰


My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Thoughts: My Lovely Wife is a bundle of fun, following a couple who happen to like killing together. This book is fast-paced, smart, and entertaining. Oh, and, of course, there is a pretty bow of a twist to top it off. 

Great Quote: “My feelings about this are conflicted. I want my kids to feel safe. I also want them to know how dangerous the world is.”

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


Tell Me Lies by J.P. Pomare

Thoughts: This is an audible original, and it’s only 6 hours and 20 minutes.

 I listened in one sitting, because it was too engaging to pause. Tell Me Lies packs a punch in its short time. The book is fast-paced, addictive, and surprising. Many twists. Many turns. 

Great Quote: “The train driver doesn’t have time to apply the breaks. There is no time to do anything.”

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Thoughts: I have listened to every book by this duo and I love them! I remember this one shocking me like crazy, but don’t remember why, which is why this is only an honorable mention. I can’t tell you what this is about without spoiling it, only that “you will make many assumptions”. 

Great Quote: “Gaze detection, it’s called – our ability to sense when someone is observing us. An entire system of the human brain is devoted to this genetic inheritance from our ancestors, who relied on the trait to avoid becoming an animal’s prey.”

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

The Top 6


6. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Thoughts: I listened to this at first, and then had to look up the last lines online so that I could keep rereading them. It was incredible and I love it with my whole soul. 

It follows Grace’s past and present as we begin to learn the truth about her marriage. I would not say it was very shocking (some things were surprising), but it was extremely fun and I was on the edge of my seat. I remember screaming at the main character and feeling my stomach twist and turn in anticipation. And again, those last lines…perfection!

Great Quote: “When I look at him I feel dismayed as I always do at how normal he looks, because surely there should be something—pointed ears or a pair of horns—to warn people of his evilness.”

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


5. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Thoughts: Behind Her Eyes was a book I thought about every second of every day—a book I read in each spare moment of my day. It follows Louise, who finds that her new boss is a man she met at a bar, and Adele, the wife of said man, as the two ladies form a relationship and discover terrifying truths. The beginning, middle and end of Behind Her Eyes is insane, and that’s all I can say. I had heard this book had a huge twist, so I was prepared. But when the twist hit, I was no longer prepared. Oh my gosh. Not many books can surprise me anymore, but this one did. 

Great Quote: “‘Everyone has secrets, Lou,” she says. “Everyone should be allowed their secrets. You can never know everything about a person. You’d go mad trying to.’” 

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


4. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Thoughts: The Woman in the Window is fast-paced with short chapters, complex characters, and an interesting storyline…and Netflix will release it as a feature film starring Amy Adams (so bonus points!). This follows Anna Fox, who never leaves her home due to her agoraphobia. But that doesn’t stop her from spying on her neighbors and seeing something she shouldn’t. 

The twists are gasp-inducing.

Great Quote: “My head was once a filing cabinet. Now it’s a flurry of papers, floating on a draft.”

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


3. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Thoughts: I remember devouring this book. When I started The Kind Worth Killing, I read at every possible moment because I was fascinated by the story and the characters. They seemed to absorb me, but I loved it. Absolutely brilliant. This one’s about two people who meet at an airport and plot a murder. 

Great Quote: “Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended?” 

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


2. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Thoughts: “The Silent Patient” is another hugely popular novel in the thriller community, so if you haven’t yet read it, I 100% recommend. 

This was one of the first books that actually scared me. The twist was insane and I loved every minute of it. I listened through Audible, and the voice actors did an excellent job (their accents: oh my gosh). This follows the diary of Alicia Berenson, who, after shooting her husband, never speaks again, and Theo Fabor, who is a psychotherapist thrust with the opportunity to figure Alicia out.

Great Quote: “We’re all crazy, I believe, just in different ways.”

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


1. Bunny by Mona Awad

Thoughts: While this book may be considered more horror, Bunny has thriller aspects, and it’s one of the craziest books I have ever read; it’s dark academia at it’s finest. Bunny won’t be for everyone, but if you’re up for a weird ride that will leave you questioning if anything in life is even real, strap in. Awad showcases her creativity through this book that has become one of my all-time favorites.

Great Quote: “‘Why do you lie so much? And about the weirdest little things?” my mother always asked me. 

‘I don’t know,’ I always said. But I did know. It was very simple. Because it was a better story.” 

Catherine’s Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰


Happy reading!