The best psychological thriller books that will turn your head inside out

Why am I passionate about this?

When it comes to dark and twisted books with jaw dropping twists, I can’t get enough. I love them. I crave darkly creative books that make you think. Anything but your standard, everyday domestic thriller with the traumatized alcoholic main character. As a child I watched Law and Order and Masterpiece Theater mysteries with my mother. I loved a good British thriller. I suppose I got it from her, it was always something we shared. I veered clear of darker reading growing up, you don’t want to freak your parents out, of course. But now as an adult, I love it. No gore, no graphic shock horror for me. Psychological thrillers all the way. 


I wrote...

Crazy Love

By Rachael Tamayo,

Book cover of Crazy Love

What is my book about?

A rich and well-respected man teetering on the brink of sanity. A beautiful young woman that thinks it’s a harmless crush. An obsession for a stranger will push a man to the brink of madness and force a woman to rethink everything she took for granted as safe. By the time she realizes what has really happened, it just might be too late.

“The way this story was handled was brilliant from beginning to end. This is a dark, twisted tale of love and obsession, an intense psychological thriller, and a crazy story of mental illness and its effects on others. Truly a masterpiece of fiction.” - Picky Bitches Book Blog

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Last House on Needless Street

Rachael Tamayo Why did I love this book?

This book is a masterpiece of psychological fiction. It's brilliantly written and stunning. The weirdness of it is *chef's kiss* perfect and adds to the depth of the madness within. 

It is a bit strange, and the way it's written threw me for a loop. Especially when I came to Olivia, the cat. I had so many questions but stick with it and you will see the light in the end. This author does a perfect job of twisting small details you may or may not catch into questions that you the reader will be asking, even turning back to see if you read it right. (Weren't those Russian dolls broken? How are they whole again?) I was left thinking that maybe the timeline wasn't linear, and it left me guessing as to just what was going on. 

There is no gasp-worthy shock in this (save one) it's just like a slow unraveling where you think you can guess what is happening but, in the end, you find that you were wrong.

It's twisted, strange, dark, tragic, and heartbreaking in the best ways. It goes far, far down the rabbit hole and you will come up for air, in the end, thinking differently when it's all over. 

Trigger warning in this one, murder, abuse, and mental illness. 

By Catriona Ward,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Last House on Needless Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The buzz...is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end." ―Stephen King

Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel!
A World Fantasy Award Finalist!
An Indie Next Pick! A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
A Library Journal Editors' Pick! STARRED reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly!
Named one of the "50 Best Horror Books of All Time" by Esquire!

"Brilliant....[a] deeply frightening deconstruction of the illusion of the self." ―The New York Times

Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking…


Book cover of The Nothing Man

Rachael Tamayo Why did I love this book?

This book is so original. We follow an old man, a retired serial killer, on his journey to read his own newly published true crime story. He stumbles on the book while doing his security rounds and can't resist picking it up, and over the next week finds himself more and more obsessed with reading it, growing fears that he will be discovered after twenty years, and with the author, his only surviving victim- who was a child at the time and is now an adult twenty years later. 

I enjoyed this book, it's original in the sense that the killer is an ordinary, cranky old bastard that no one likes. He's just a guy, who doesn't stand out, hasn't been good at anything all his life, a mediocre man that falls into the crowd. The only thing he's ever been able to succeed at was being The Nothing Man, which he's really too old for now. I really enjoyed this, his descent into obsession, watching his world come apart as he reads the book. How it ends, and the impact it has on the world around him. Really, really good. True-to-life characters. I liked how the author was able to write a novel within a novel, some amazing work here. 

By Catherine Ryan Howard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nothing Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

· · THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER · ·

I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.Now I am the woman who is going to catch him...

At the age of twelve, Eve Black was the only member of her family to survive an encounter with serial attacker the Nothing Man. Now an adult, she is obsessed with identifying the man who destroyed her life.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle has just started reading The Nothing Man—the true-crime memoir Eve has written about her efforts to track down her family’s killer. As he turns each page, his rage grows. Because Jim’s…


Book cover of Sometimes I Lie

Rachael Tamayo Why did I love this book?

There are three things that I thought of while reading this book. 

1. Ok it can't be that simple, but did he really do it? 

2. I can't wait to find out where this is leading. I wonder if I've got it figured out.

3. Ok, I didn't have it figured out, what? Just What? 

Insert an audible gasp when that twist happened, I absolutely did not see that coming. This is the kind of book that inspires me to dig deeper into myself when writing my own books, and I love it. The development in this book is superb. You think you know, but you don't. Trust me, you won't figure it out. Then you will go back and realize what the author did, so simple yet so brilliant. 

Our main character is in a coma, and the things she hears while in that coma, the memories she struggles with, and the comatose nightmares all while trying to remember what happened to her and who put her in the hospital. It's a brilliantly woven stand-out thriller, this author is in my top five now. 

By Alice Feeney,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sometimes I Lie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ALICE FEENEYS NEW YORK TIMES AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Boldly plotted, tightly knotted—a provocative true-or-false thriller that deepens and darkens to its ink-black finale. Marvelous.” —AJ Finn, author of The Woman in the Window

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a…


Book cover of Still Missing

Rachael Tamayo Why did I love this book?

This is the first book that I grabbed after seeing a BookTok recommendation for it. The premise was intriguing and what the reviewer said about it left me searching to see if there was an audiobook version. 

The only thing that stopped me from listening to this book in one sitting was life. Talk about a book that will leave you aching with the character, angry, and desperate for answers. Holy hot damn! I was in tears, I was gasping, I was listening with my mouth hanging open, grimacing in horror and I loved every bit of it. 

Trigger warnings throughout this book. I won't lie, this book is dark and horrible (in a good way) but it also left me feeling down. It's haunting and the narrative pulls you so far in you feel like you are there with her, held captive right by her side. Not to mention the ending. This one does have a twisted end, and it didn't leave me shocked but I for sure wasn't expecting it if that makes sense. However, I'm a little hard to shock with twisted endings, if you've read my most recent book you will understand why.

If you're a fan of dark, twisted, Stephen King, you need to read this book. I'll be adding this author to my favorites list. This book was simply stunning, and so very haunting. It really is jaw-dropping. I highly, highly recommend it. 

By Chevy Stevens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two year old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever- patient boyfriend.

The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events…


Book cover of Verity

Rachael Tamayo Why did I love this book?

This is my first Colleen Hoover book and I hesitated for a while before picking this up. But eventually (it was inevitable) I succumbed to the pressures of dark thriller booktok and picked it up. I'm not sorry I did, now I will be reading everything, Colleen Hoover.

This book really reminds me of Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. Not the movie, since there are some marked differences between them. I really wonder if the author intended it or if it was accidental. Super curious about that. There are so many parallels between them, I'm surprised I haven't seen more mentions of this in book reviews. We have the parallels between Rebecca and Verity, Maxim and Jeremy, and the unnamed young wife in Rebecca and Lowen. The buildup is outstanding, I was not able to put it down, and it’s just a magnificent, psycho thriller at its best. 

This book is dark and has trigger warnings for child abuse (graphic and dark). One abuse scene did bother me enough that I hit the fast forward 30 seconds button to bypass it, I just couldn't do it. (I tried and failed) but this book is excellent, the characters are a thing of beauty, and the entire thing is brilliant. 

It's not going to be for everyone, but it's just outstanding psychological thriller work. 

By Colleen Hoover,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

OVER 3 MILLION COPIES SOLD - THE NO.1 BESTSELLER AND TIKTOK SENSATION, FROM THE AUTHOR OF IT ENDS WITH US
Are you ready to stay up all night? Rebecca meets Gone Girl in this shocking, unpredictable thriller with a twist that will leave you reeling . . .

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the…


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A Beggar's Bargain

By Jan Sikes,

Book cover of A Beggar's Bargain

Jan Sikes Author Of The Edge of Too Late

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Avid reader Lover of Music Astral Traveler Tarot Reader Grandmother

Jan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Historical Fiction Post WW2.

A shocking proposal that changes everything.

Desperate to honor his father’s dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the family farm.
Once the Army discharges him following World War II, Layken returns to Missouri to find his legacy in shambles and in jeopardy. A foreclosure notice from the bank doubles the threat. He appeals to the local banker for more time—a chance to rebuild, plant, and harvest crops and time to heal far away from the noise of bombs and gunfire.

But the banker firmly denies his request. Now what?

Then,…

A Beggar's Bargain

By Jan Sikes,

What is this book about?

A shocking proposal that changes everything.

Desperate to honor his father's dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the family farm.

Once the Army discharges him following World War II, Layken returns to Missouri to find his legacy in shambles and in jeopardy. A foreclosure notice from the bank doubles the threat. He appeals to the local banker for more time-a chance to rebuild, plant, and harvest crops and time to heal far away from the noise of bombs and gunfire.

But the banker firmly denies his request. Now what?

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