The best psychological thriller books with a jaw-dropping twist

Who am I?

My love of all things to do with the human mind and behaviour led me to study for a psychology degree and it was then I also became interested in criminology. When I landed my dream job in a male prison, working with offenders on rehabilitation programmes, these interests intensified. I read a huge number of psychological thrillers – as well as writing seven of them – and find it exciting trying to come up with fresh plots and brilliantly devious twists! I hope you enjoy reading my selection on this list as much as I did.

I wrote...

The Couple on Maple Drive

By Sam Carrington,

Book cover of The Couple on Maple Drive

What is my book about?

You think you’d know a killer if you met one? Think again.

When Isla McKenzie is brutally mugged, it’s her boyfriend Zach who’s there for her, who moves in to look after her when Isla can’t bring herself to leave the house. But then something else happens, right on their doorstep. And it’s almost like someone’s out to get her…Can Isla and Zach find out the truth before it’s too late? Or at least before the secrets they’re hiding from each other surface. Because those could be even deadlier

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Last House on Needless Street

Why did I love this book?

This is a “hard to describe without giving it away” book! I think it’s one of the most uniquely told stories I’ve read. It opens on the eleventh anniversary of a missing girl, and we learn that Ted, who lives with his daughter and his cat in the last house on Needless Street, had been questioned when it first happened. Slowly, in a clever and intriguing way, we come to realise things aren’t how they seem. There are secrets buried in the forest at the end of the street, waiting to be unearthed. I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on and the big twist floored me.

By Catriona Ward,

Why should I read it?

6 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 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…

I Let You Go

By Clare Mackintosh,

Book cover of I Let You Go

Why did I love this book?

The novel opens with a tragic hit-and-run. Jacob’s mother lets go of his hand for a few seconds – and in that moment, her little boy’s life is cruelly taken. Jenna, reeling from Jacob’s death, moves away for a fresh start, but her past soon catches up with her. This story completely turns on its head following the big twist halfway through the book and it made me go back to the beginning to re-read! At times harrowing, at times uplifting, this story will stay with me.

By Clare Mackintosh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Let You Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't miss the nail-biting new thriller from Clare Mackintosh - Hostage is out now.

Lose yourself in the sensational debut I Let You Go - the Sunday Times bestseller, number one ebook phenomenon and Richard & Judy Book Club pick.

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is…

Behind Her Eyes

By Sarah Pinborough,

Book cover of Behind Her Eyes

Why did I love this book?

A love triangle with a difference – this novel follows a married couple and the husband’s mistress but with added manipulation games unlike anything you’ve imagined. The fact there was a huge twist ending wasn’t a surprise as that’s how the book was marketed, but the twist itself was certainly an eye-opener and I didn’t guess what it was until I reached the shocking conclusion. This novel has since been adapted and is a Netflix series. (Also worth a watch – but I’d recommend reading the book first).

By Sarah Pinborough,

Why should I read it?

5 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...


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...


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...


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

The Silent Patient

By Alex Michaelides,

Book cover of The Silent Patient

Why did I love this book?

Right from its brilliant hook in the opening pages, this book had me firmly in its clutches. We’re told that world-renowned artist, Alicia Berenson, killed her husband in cold blood and from that moment on, never spoke again. It’s down to psychotherapist, Theo Faber, to seek answers from the silent patient. The story is filled with suspense and surprises along the way, but it’s the jaw-dropping final revelation that made this one of my favourite reads. 

By Alex Michaelides,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Silent Patient as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"An unforgettable―and Hollywood-bound―new thriller... A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy."
―Entertainment Weekly

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five…

99 Red Balloons

By Elisabeth Carpenter,

Book cover of 99 Red Balloons

Why did I love this book?

A beautifully written, cleverly constructed dual-narrative story that follows the abduction of a child and the aftermath experienced by the family, interwoven with the story of a widow whose grandchild also went missing. It’s packed with family secrets and lies and I found it enjoyable trying to untangle it all! This book is emotive and suspenseful and the killer twist at the end is just brilliant.

By Elisabeth Carpenter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 99 Red Balloons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

Eight-year-old Grace is last seen in a sweetshop. Her mother Emma is living a nightmare. But as her loved ones rally around her, cracks begin to emerge. What are the emails sent between her husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is there more to the disappearance of her daughter than meets the eye?
Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Sharples sees a familiar face in the newspaper. A face that jolts her from the pain of her…

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