The best psychological suspense and thriller novels to keep you turning pages

Why am I passionate about this?

While I appreciate a variety of genres, my love of psychological suspense and thriller novels has only intensified over time. I often devour these books in one sitting—eyes darting across each page as my mind tries to guess the next pivotal twist! As an author, I aspire to create the same electrifying rush for my readers that my favorite stories give me. My debut novel, Swearing Off Stars, was inspired by my travels and received an Independent Press Award, a Benjamin Franklin Award, and an International Book Award. My writing has appeared in Harper’s BazaarHuffPostPopSugar, and Writer’s Digest. I hope you enjoy the recommendations on this list!


I wrote...

Last Liar Standing

By Danielle M. Wong,

Book cover of Last Liar Standing

What is my book about?

Vonny Kwan wakes up in a Nevada hospital, the victim of a hit-and-run accident she doesn’t remember. As she struggles to recover from her injuries, she learns that she also has no memory of the past nine years, including her marriage and what she was even doing in the West. While she’s still reeling from the shock of her amnesia, two detectives visit and inform her that her husband, John, was recently murdered. As more information comes to light, Vonny grows increasingly suspicious of everyone around her.

Vonny realizes she must piece together the last decade to uncover the truth. The missing chunk of time holds secrets about the person she became, the mysterious man she fell for, and the life she never wanted.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Your House Will Pay

Danielle M. Wong Why did I love this book?

While this novel is a suspenseful psychological thriller in its own right, the story also tackles racial tensions and contemporary family dynamics. I admire the way Steph Cha explores grief, revenge, violence, racism, and justice over the course of Your House Will Pay’s fast-paced plot. This is absolutely a must-read.

By Steph Cha,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Your House Will Pay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two families. One desperate to remember, the other to forget.

Winner of the LA Times Book Prize, Best Mystery/Thriller
Winner of the California Book Awards' Gold Medal for Fiction
Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger
Shortlisted for the Macavity Awards, Best Mystery Novel
Shortlisted for the Anthony Awards, Best Novel
Finalist for the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award

'Masterful.' Ruth Ware

'A searing examination of racial and family politics that is also an immaculately constructed whodunit.' Daily Telegraph, Summer Reads

'Writing a page-turner about racial politics in the U.S. is a delicate enterprise fraught with pitfalls, but Cha…


Book cover of Rebecca

Danielle M. Wong Why did I love this book?

Suspenseful and chilling, Rebecca is a quintessential piece of gothic literature. Daphne Du Maurier’s classic novel has gone on to inspire several retellings and adaptations in the decades since its publication. I love how the story deftly weaves together mystery and noir elements with exquisite atmospheric writing and cleverly executed twists. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked Rebecca as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Book cover of Bitter Orange

Danielle M. Wong Why did I love this book?

This book is eerie and unnerving, from its first few pages to the alarming revelations that ensue. I started reading this late one night and couldn’t resist the urge to stay up and finish it! Claire Fuller’s detailed prose will entice, grip, and haunt you well beyond the final scene. 

By Claire Fuller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bitter Orange as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An NPR Best Book of the Year


"Unsettling and eerie, Bitter Orange is an ideal chiller." —Time Magazine


 From the author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons, Bitter Orange is a seductive psychological portrait, a keyhole into the dangers of longing and how far a woman might go to escape her past.


 


From the attic of Lyntons, a dilapidated English country mansion, Frances Jellico sees them—Cara first: dark and beautiful, then Peter: striking and serious. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 in the rooms below hers while Frances is researching the architecture in the surrounding gardens.…


Book cover of Behind Her Eyes

Danielle M. Wong Why did I love this book?

Some of the most interesting psychological thriller and suspense novels have divisive endings, and Behind Her Eyes is definitely no exception. I found this novel to be compulsively readable and addictingly disturbing. Sarah Pinborough masterfully combines shocking plot points, supernatural elements, and dark twists that readers will not see coming.

By Sarah Pinborough,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Behind Her Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't Trust This Book Don't Trust These People Don't Trust Yourself And whatever you do, DON'T give away that ending...

Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets...

David

Young, successful and charming - Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife...

Adele

Beautiful, elegant and sweet - Louise's new friend seems perfect in every way. As she…


Book cover of Mexican Gothic

Danielle M. Wong Why did I love this book?

The compelling premise of Mexican Gothic drew me in instantly. Silvia Moreno-Garcia brilliantly incorporates horror, racism, and colonialism into the haunting plot of this novel. The pages are simultaneously intriguing, bizarre, and unsettling in the most memorable way possible. Moreno-Garcia’s eloquent writing and complex, character-driven storyline make for a truly fascinating read.

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Mexican Gothic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of Gods of Jade and Shadow (one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, TIME magazine) returns with a mesmerising feminist Gothic fantasy, in which a glamorous young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemi. You have to save me.

When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but…


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Lightning Strike Blues

By Gayleen Froese,

Book cover of Lightning Strike Blues

Gayleen Froese Author Of Lightning Strike Blues

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Communications officer Singer-songwriter Fan of all animals Role-playing geek Nature photographer

Gayleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

One summer night in a small prairie city, 18-year-old Gabriel Reece accidentally outs himself to his redneck brother Colin, flees on his motorcycle, and gets struck by lightning on his way out of town.

He’s strangely fine, walking away from his melted pile of bike without a scratch. There’s no time to consider his new inhuman durability before his brother disappears and his childhood home burns down. He’s become popular, too—local cops and a weird private eye are after him, wanting to know if his brother is behind a recent murder.

Answers might be in the ashes of the house where Gabe and Colin grew up, if Gabe and his friends can stay alive and out of jail long enough to find them.

Lightning Strike Blues

By Gayleen Froese,

What is this book about?

On Friday, Gabriel Reece gets struck by lightning while riding his motorcycle.

It's not the worst thing that happens to him that week.

Gabe walks away from a smoldering pile of metal without a scratch-or any clothes, which seem to have been vaporized. And that's weird, but he's more worried about the sudden disappearance of his brother, Colin, who ditched town the second Gabe accidentally outed himself as gay.

Gabe tries to sift through fragmented memories of his crummy childhood for clues to his sudden invincibility, but he barely has time to think before people around town start turning up…


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