Saturday, March 19, 2016

psychological thriller book roundup

Some of my favorite books to read are psychological thrillers. They keep me interested the entire story, the chapters typically end with cliffhangers, they have an awesome twist at the end, and these are the book I can't put down. I also like that they are typically short reads so they are perfect to squeeze into a busy schedule. 

What is a psychological thriller ?  This is hard to describe but to me it's a book where the characters have usually been exposed to a trauma or experience (such as married to a con man or serial killer, their family was murdered, husband cheated on them, kidnapped, etc.) and their psychological well-being is a little off. They are usually the characters telling the story, so the reader usually sides with them and understands from their perspective - which makes it all the more fun. 

My love for these books began with Gone Girl. If you haven't read that , I recommend starting there. The rest of Gillian Flynn's books are also really good (darker than Gone Girl, but page-turners). Her other books you can explore here.

Then came The Girl On the Train, the book that's still on the top five of the New York Times Bestseller list (almost a year on that list - also the movie comes out in September this year). 

Reese Witherspoon's book club introduced me to another good one called The Luckiest Girl Alive. This one is about a successful woman who has a bad past haunting her from high school (really bad) and has to revisit all of it in the book. 

best psychological thriller books

psychological thrillers to read

I found my latest page-turner (that I could barely put down long enough to write this post) on the shelf at Barnes and Noble and it's also been a New York Times Bestseller the past month or two. The Widow is a book centered on the wife of a monster and the press who's trying to get her to tell "her story" of living with that man. Well technically, the reader gets to decide if the husband's horrible, at this point I'm sticking with "monster" .  I'm sure something will surprise me at the end. 

The Hand that Feeds You is a page-turner that fits right in with the rest of these. The main character is finishing her thesis in psychology when she finds her husband mauled to death by dogs. She discovers her husband wasn't the man she thought he was - he's a sociopath basically- and she tries to stay alive while someone is killing all of her deceased fiancee's other fiancees that he had. 

The Good Girl is another great one that I finished in a few hours at an airport. This one has stalker elements and kidnapping - but the most fascinating part of this book is how you think you know the characters and they turn on you (like most of these books I guess). 

books like the girl on the train and gone girl

My Psychological Thriller To Read list includes:
  • Find Her by Lisa Gardner (currently on the NYT bestseller list and has been for a while)
  • In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (Reese Witherspoon bookclub pick)
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty(HBO series in the works from Reese W and Nicole Kidman)
  • The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
  • Second Life by S.J. Watson
  • Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
  • Pretty Baby by Mara Kubica

What is your favorite psychological thriller? Am I missing anything good? 


  1. Vanishing girls by Lauren Oliver is another good one. It's YA, but I loved it :)

  2. Vanishing girls by Lauren Oliver is another good one. It's YA, but I loved it :)

  3. I've got a few more for you! The Life We Bury, What She Left Behind, Somebody I Used to Know, and The Silent Sister. I finished each in a couple of days. Hope you like them!

    1. :) Always Love your book suggestions! Thanks !!


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