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

The Books I Picked & Why

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The Last House on Needless Street

By Catriona Ward,

Book cover of The Last House on Needless Street

Why 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.

I Let You Go

By Clare Mackintosh,

Book cover of I Let You Go

Why 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.

Behind Her Eyes: A Suspenseful Psychological Thriller

By Sarah Pinborough,

Book cover of Behind Her Eyes: A Suspenseful Psychological Thriller

Why 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).

The Silent Patient

By Alex Michaelides,

Book cover of The Silent Patient

Why 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. 

99 Red Balloons

By Elisabeth Carpenter,

Book cover of 99 Red Balloons

Why 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.

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