Updated: Jan 21
It's hard to imagine that it was just last year that I read my very first thriller and yet now they're such a common and essential addition to my bookshelves!
Inspired by my Tiktok recommendations video, I'm bringing you the thirteen thrillers you need to read (with a few extras thrown in for good measure).
13. The Chain by Adrian McKinty
The Chain is guaranteed to have you gripped instantly from the first page - unfortunately the second half fell a little flat for me, otherwise would definitely be higher up this list. Still a book I want to re-read again soon and would make an incredible series!
"Your phone rings. A stranger kidnapped your child, to free them you must abduct someone else's child. Your child will be released when your victim's parents kidnap another child. If any of these things don't happen: Your child will be killed".
12. Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
"A missing local woman is found murders in a tranquil suburb. At the same time someone is breaking into local houses and discovering hidden secrets. Tension rises and suspicion mounts. Who knows more than they're telling and how far they will go to protect their secrets?"
Shari Lapena is one of my go to thriller authors. If you want fast paced, gripping thriller, she's definitely the author for you. From all of Shari Lapena's collection I'd also recommend A Stranger In The House and The Couple Next Door.
11. The Turn Of They Key by Ruth Ware
The atmosphere set in The Turn Of The Key makes it an instant recommendation. If you want a book that will play with your mind, this is the one for you.
"When Rowan comes across the advert, it seems too good to be true: a live-in nanny position, with an extremely generous salary. What she doesn't know is that she's stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with her in a cell awaiting trial for murder. She knows she's made mistakes. But she's not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is..."
10. The Other Wife by Claire McGowan
Can you really trust those closest to you?
The Other Wife deserves so much more hype within the thriller community. I adored the completely unexpected twists that truly made my jaw drop.
"Suzi did a bad thing. She’s paying for it now, pregnant, scared, and living in an isolated cottage with her jealous husband, Nick. When Nora moves into the only house nearby, Suzi is delighted to have a friend. So much so that she’s almost tempted to tell Nora her terrible secret. But there’s more to Nora than meets the eye. It’s impossible―does she already know what Suzi did?"
9. House Of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
This gruesome and captivating horror will have you desperate for more.
"Everyone knows who the Hollow sisters are. Because one day the three Hollow sisters simply disappeared. When they came back, one month later, with no memory of where they had been, it was as if nothing had changed. Apart from the little scar that had appeared in the hollow of their throats ... and a whispering sense that something is not quite right about them, despite (or maybe because of) the terrible passion to be with them that they can exert on anybody at will..."
8. The Minders & The Passengers by John Marrs
In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into - so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders - the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country's most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads.
The Passengers is a sci-fi thriller; eight self-driving cars are hacked and suddenly on a fatal collision course, all live streamed for the world to observe. The public suddenly realise that isn't their only role in this cruel event; they have to judge which of the passengers deserve to live; or which deserve to die.
FYI. Ideally read The Passengers (and The One - another exceptional sci-fi thriller with a romance twist) before The Minders.
7. The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
A sci-fi thriller that will truly mess with your mind. JP Delaney had me feeling completely lost in the best way possible. I can guarantee you haven't read a book like this before and you absolutely need to change that!
"Five years ago, Abbie suffered a terrible accident. Her return from the abyss is a miracle of science, a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that has taken her husband half a decade to achieve. But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband's motives - and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together for ever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago?"
6. Layla by Colleen Hoover
You'll have seen Verity (which I also massively recommend) all over your timeline, however I think Layla deserves way more hype than it receives!
"When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her―until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behaviour takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences."
5. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
One of the most talked about thrillers and it's 100% deserved! The first thriller I ever read and one that continues to blow my mind every time I reflect or re-read!
"Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago. When she shot her husband in the head five times. Since then she hasn't spoken a single word. It's time to find out why."
If you weren't a fan of The Silent Patient I'd recommend The Maidens - it seems most people have polarising opinions of Alex Michaelides' books.
4. Seven Days by Alex Lake
Yet another that deserves so much more hype.
"In seven days, Maggie's son, Max, turns three. But she's dreading it. Because in her world, third birthdays are the days on which the unthinkable happens, she loses her child. For the last twelve years Maggie has been imprisoned in a basement. Abducted aged fifteen, she gave birth to two sons before Max, and on their third birthdays her captor came and took them from her. She cannot let it happen again. But she has no idea how to stop it"
Closely followed by Alex Lake's After Anna!
3. Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Last year I was completed gripped by Alice Feeney's earlier novel His & Hers, yet Rock Paper Scissors achieved another level of blowing my mind. This Goodreads Choice Awards nominee is told by unreliable narrators, and is packed full of incredible plots and twists that will keep you gripped right until the final page.
"Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. An anniversary they’ll never forget. Every couple tells little white lies. Only for Adam and Amelia, the truth is far more dangerous."
2. Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies