The best psychological thrillers that delve deep into the human psyche

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by people and the life stories that shape who they are. From a young age, I’ve observed people’s idiosyncrasies closely and as I grew older, I wondered about nature versus nature debate (how much of your personality is innate versus how much life events and familial patterns shape who you become). My background in child protection social work and studies of sociology, psychology and human development have also strengthened my understanding of the theories behind each human emotion. I have almost 20 years of experience working in child protection, and as such, I have a well-rounded understanding of trauma, and the ongoing effects of this throughout the life span.


I wrote...

Primed for Vengeance

By Gill D. Anderson,

Book cover of Primed for Vengeance

What is my book about?

Butch seeks revenge towards those responsible for his suffering. He harbors intense feelings of anger and self-loathing, and blames his upbringing for this. Will he ever find a way to reconcile his past to make peace with the present?

Sarah puts her heart and soul into her role managing young people living in state care. Her intentions are good; however her life suddenly starts to unravel, and the choices she makes begin to impact on those she cares about in the most horrific way. Detective Dylan Mathews is disturbed by the sinister poems being received by a young woman and his team attempt to catch the writer who calls himself ‘The Riddler’. Will police be able to catch ‘The Riddler’ before it’s too late?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of White Noise

Gill D. Anderson Why did I love this book?

I enjoyed the pacing and tension in this gripping thriller about prison psychologist Dr. Laura Fleming. Laura finds herself in a dangerous predicament when she questions whether inmate Justin Jones has really been rehabilitated, or whether his charm is nothing but a facade.

Laura's instincts are screaming out at her to find out the truth about Jones before he is released back into society prematurely. Laura then experiences a catalogue of sinister events in her personal life that are too coincidental not to be taken as threats to her safety.

The author cleverly uses a few red herrings to ensure the reader doesn’t work out who exactly is behind the threats or why. This results in a gripping and explosive conclusion. A dark, twisty read that will keep you invested.

By Mercedes Mercier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked White Noise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A true edge-of-your-seat thriller ... A total page-turner' KELLI HAWKINS

Someone knows your secrets. Someone knows your shame. And they won't stay buried for long.

A searing, dark and dangerous thriller from an exciting new voice


When prison psychologist Dr Laura Fleming is assigned charismatic inmate Justin Jones to assess for parole, alarm bells ring. Working with some of the state's most damaged criminals, she knows Jones is too dangerous to release, but he's got everyone fooled . . . She needs proof.

Laura knows all about damage. Her own painful mistakes have destroyed her marriage and she's been refused…


Book cover of Where They Fall

Gill D. Anderson Why did I love this book?

Lachlan Harvey is a biologist who is kidnapped and taken to a secret facility. He discovers the only way to survive is to comply with the orders made by his captors which involve him using his skills to carry out unethical and inhumane experiments.

Detective Cameron Cole and Rachael Blake are assigned the role of following up on Harvey's disappearance and they become sucked into a web of lies, corruption, and the stark reality that people in high places are not who they thought they were. 

LJ Duncan cleverly intersects each scene and plot twist to encompass the looming fates of each character, adding layers of complexity to propel the plot forward, which makes the reader root for the protagonist. Duncan's build in pace to the climatic ending is impeccable.

By LJ Duncan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where They Fall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A MISSING BIOLOGIST. A CHILLING CONSPIRACY. A COP THAT WON’T BACK DOWN.

When Lachlan Harvey, a leading mind in synthetic biology, is drugged in the heart of the city, he wakes in a secret facility in the harsh Australian outback. Kidnapped for his unique skill set, he learns quickly that escape is impossible. His only chance of survival is compliance.

Detective Cameron Cole and his partner Rachael Blake are tasked with solving the sudden disappearance of Lachlan Harvey. The case throws them into a dark world of conspiracy, corruption, and cutting edge science. Just as the pair begins to make…


Book cover of The Angels Wept

Gill D. Anderson Why did I love this book?

This is a nail-biting thriller set in rural Australia that centres around the protagonist Jarrod O'Connor, a weary detective who is exhausted due to the harrowing case he is investigating. Three children lose their parents in the most brutal way and the man responsible is more dangerous than O'Connor could ever begin to imagine. The antagonist is presented as a well-rounded character whom the reader gets to psychoanalyse as we consider whether this man was simply born evil, or whether he is an abomination of human nature. From derelict farmhouses to cosy suburbia, the settings are vividly described in each scene. The cast of characters is well defined and the story unravels at just the right pace to keep the reader turning the pages which is a must!

By Jack Roney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Angels Wept as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A DEATH PACT AND SHOCKING BETRAYAL. A DELUDED KILLER. A SMALL TOWN DETECTIVE PUSHED TO THE BRINK.

A double homicide. A detective racing against time to protect three innocent lives. A madman hellbent on revenge.

This riveting suspense thriller is set in the rural Australian town of Lockyer. Detective Sergeant Jarrod O'Connor is thrust into the centre of a baffling double homicide case. A couple are gunned down inside their idyllic country homestead in the dead of night. Three children barely escape with their lives and hold the key to breaking the case wide open. In search of a motive,…


Book cover of Rapid Eye Movement

Gill D. Anderson Why did I love this book?

Rapid Eye Movement is an intense and enlightening read. The descriptive prose and carefully constructed characters stand out throughout. Jennifer and Ilan are running for their lives in Cyprus, where a car accident leaves Jennifer with a head wound. The reader is introduced to Lucy who stumbles down a rabbit hole and suffers a head injury that leaves her in a coma. The story moves on to a series of dream sequences where the two women somehow become connected. The reader becomes hooked on the intensity of their lucid dreams and becomes curious about the mystery surrounding this. Sheridan expertly weaves backwards and forwards in a seamless manner, adding depth to the story. The intensity builds as the finale approaches which creates just enough tension between the two main characters to make the book 'unputdownable'.

By Amanda Sheridan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rapid Eye Movement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Jennifer Scott and Lucy Wilson were injured in accidents near their respective homes in Cyprus and England, they had no inkling of the connection that was formed when their consciousnesses collided and linked them together within their dreams.Both are ordinary women. Living their lives. They have never met. Yet when Jennifer goes to sleep each night, she finds herself dreaming how Lucy came to be the woman she is today. She learns of the dream house Lucy found in the Yorkshire Dales, the two daughters she adores and her happy, but ordinary, life with her husband, Charlie.When Lucy’s head…


Book cover of Devil's Demise

Gill D. Anderson Why did I love this book?

I'd read mixed reviews but read Devil's Demise with an open mind. I thought it was brilliant! I could imagine each scene in great detail, it kept me frantically turning the pages, and I loved the believable Edinburgh cop camaraderie. The book is very graphic with intense scenes of sex, rape, and violence but it didn't faze me, if anything it made it more realistic albeit disturbing. This one does come with trigger warnings for the reasons above.

By Lee Cockburn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Devil's Demise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A cruel and sinister killer is targeting Edinburgh's most powerful women, his twisted sense of superiority driving him to satisfy his depraved sexual appetite. He revels in the pain and suffering he inflicts on his unsuspecting victims but a twist of fate and an overwhelming will to survive by one victim ruins his plans for a reign of terror. His tormented prey will need all her courage if she is to survive the hunt.


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Shahrazad's Gift

By Gretchen McCullough,

Book cover of Shahrazad's Gift

Gretchen McCullough Author Of Shahrazad's Gift

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a fiction writer and currently live in Cairo, where I have lived for over twenty years. I noticed that the way I started telling stories was influenced by learning Arabic and by listening to the stories of the people in the city. My interest in Arabic also led me to read Arabic literature, like A Thousand and One Nights.   

Gretchen's book list on books influenced by Thousand and One Nights

What is my book about?

Shahrazad’s Gift is a collection of linked short stories set in contemporary Cairo — magical, absurd, and humorous.

The author focuses on the off-beat, little-known stories, far from CNN news: a Swedish belly dancer who taps into the Oriental fantasies of her clientele; a Japanese woman studying Arabic, driven mad by the noise and chaos of the city; a frustrated Egyptian housewife who becomes obsessed by the activities of her Western gay neighbor; an American journalist who covered the civil war in Beirut who finds friendship with her Egyptian dentist. We also meet the two protagonists of McCullough's Confessions of a Knight Errant, before their escapades in that story.

These stories are told in the tradition of A Thousand and One Nights.

Shahrazad's Gift

By Gretchen McCullough,

What is this book about?

Shahrazad's Gift is a collection of linked short stories set in contemporary Cairo-magical, absurd and humorous. The author focuses on the off-beat, little-known stories, far from CNN news: a Swedish belly dancer who taps into the Oriental fantasies of her clientele; a Japanese woman studying Arabic, driven mad by the noise and chaos of the city; a frustrated Egyptian housewife who becomes obsessed by the activities of her Western gay neighbor; an American journalist who covered the civil war in Beirut who finds friendship with her Egyptian dentist. We also meet the two protagonists of McCullough's Confessions of a Knight…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in psyche, secrets, and revenge?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about psyche, secrets, and revenge.

Psyche Explore 24 books about psyche
Secrets Explore 245 books about secrets
Revenge Explore 109 books about revenge