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Best Thriller Books of all Time

Naomi Sarah Mar 19, 2020
The best thriller books of all time are those that keep you on the edge of your seat, biting on your nails as you progress from one page to the next, and ready to have a second go at it once you read it from cover to cover. Find out here which books can do just that for you...
Thriller books don't always have to let one's mind conjure images of dark, mysterious men hiding away in alleys, or women in distress after midnight. Thrillers have been known to be full of suspense, drama and bloodshed, with a somber air to every story.
Some writers can make it comical and light in some places, even adding romance to jazz up the book's structure. What counts now as a thriller, should also be the kind of book that gives you the classic chills - to let you lay wide-eyed under the sheets, or the kind that occasionally leaves you gaping.
There's nothing like a good spine tingling book to keep you up at night, or glued to all day. If we're going to go down that road where thriller equals creepy besides the usual suspicion or adventure sorts, then we're talking about the king of all that is ghastly - none other than Stephen King.
I can still recount that day back in the 8th grade when I fell in love with this odd, dark writer who spun tales that were shockingly real, with many bordering on the fictitious kind that were hard to ever take as unreal stories. The first book I ever read back then was Bag of Bones, and man did that book creep the crap out of me. It had everything from murder and mystery to rape and the paranormal - enough to turn anyone into an insomniac, and was disturbingly the best thriller book I'd read till date.
Eight years later and I'm still an ardent King fan. You'll find his works mentioned in the list of the best-selling thriller books of all time. We cover reads that have been published over the decades, but are still making it to the top as some of the best so far. Don't miss out on the best thriller books of the decade, that is enlisted at random.

Top Thriller Books - The 51 Most Collectible Reads

These are instantly some of the best books of all time that fall under the thriller genre. Be sure to stack these books up nice and tall, and get down to reading them if you've missed out on what's making it to the top among critics and readers worldwide.
1. The Bone Collector: Jeffery Deaver
2. The Shining: Stephen King
3. Mystic River: Dennis Lehane
4. No Country for Old Men: Cormac McCarthy
5. In Cold Blood: Truman Capote
6. The Likeness: Tana French
7. The Talented Mr. Ripley: Patricia Highsmith
8. Feed: Mira Grant
9. Deadline: Simon Kernick
10. What the Dead Know: Laura Lippman
11. A Simple Plan: Scott Smith
12. The Cairo Dairy: Maxim Chattam
13. The Lost Symbol: Dan Brown
14. Child 44: Tom Rob Smith
15. The First Deadly Sin: Lawrence Sanders
16. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Stieg Larsson
17. Shutter Island: Dennis Lehane
18. The Kill Artist: Daniel Silva
19. The Woman in White: Wilkie Collins
20. Carrie: Stephen King
21. Devil May Care: Sebastian Faulks
22. Jaws: Peter Benchley
23. The Poet: Michael Connelly
24. Rebecca: Daphne du Maurier
25. Intensity: Dean Koontz
26. Sweetheart: Chelsea Cain
27. Strangers on a Train: Patricia Highsmith
28. Heartsick: Chelsea Cain
29. In the Woods: Tana French
30. In the Dark: Mark Billingham
31. Jurassic Park: Michael Crichton
32. The Count of Monte Cristo: Alexandre Dumas
33. The Point of No Rescue: Sophie Hannah
34. The Silence of the Lambs: Thomas Harris
35. Dracula: Bram Stoker
36. Spook Country: William Gibson
37. The Anatomy of Ghosts: Andrew Taylor
38. The Bellini Madonna: Elizabeth Madonna
39. The Firm: John Grisham
40. The Secret Speech: Tom Rob Smith
41. The Tourist: Olen Steinhauer
42. Beat the Reaper: Josh Bazell
43. Blood Brother: J.A Kerley
44. The Vows of Silence: Susan Hill
45. Sunday at Tiffany's: James Patterson
46. Heart Shaped Box: Joe Hill
47. Fearless Fourteen: Janet Evanovich
48. Echo Park: Michael Connelly
49. The Murder at Road Hill House: Kate Summerscale
50. Saturday: Ian McEwan
51. Nineteen Minutes: Jodi Picoult
Thriller books always contain that element of factuality, where a writer's mind will only think up things that could possibly be true - giving readers a hard time when the images start to form in their mind (leaving a cloud of doubt over their heads of, 'do these things really happen?'). Whatever a story is about, it's bound to make its readers sit back and wonder.