The best thriller books that are not your typical, predictable, or snail-paced stories

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a wealth of knowledge and experience for living through tragic situations from my young adult life. I have overcome a traumatic childhood, alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental health. I find psychology fascinating; I have personally had many attempts by others to take my life. I have survived violent attacks, stalkers, and abuse. I love thriller books that have psychology embedded alongside many life lessons.  

I wrote...

The Girl from Pompey: Bloodshed in the Hampshire Cabin

By Bryony Best,

Book cover of The Girl from Pompey: Bloodshed in the Hampshire Cabin

What is my book about?

A dark and twisted psychological thriller book—based on true events. Can Bryony overcome her next challenge in life, while being surrounded by liars, stalkers, and friends who harbour dark secrets. A weekend away in a secluded cabin with six of her friends, what could possibly go wrong? 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Crucifix Killer

Bryony Best Why did I love this book?

This book had me hooked from the very beginning, it is exciting and shocking.

Many books can have slower chapters than others but there were no slow chapters in this book. The ending was not super predictable like some thriller books can be, and the characters were rich with great background stories.

I devoured this book and if you read one thriller book this year then make sure it is this one. The MC is a detective who is being taunted by a serial killer and the story felt current and not outdated. I am a fan of Criminal Minds and Psychology and if you are too then give this book a read.  

By Chris Carter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Crucifix Killer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Don't miss WRITTEN IN BLOOD, the next instalment in the compulsive Robert Hunter series from Sunday Times number one bestselling author Chris Carter - available to pre-order now!*


When the body of a young woman is discovered in a derelict cottage in Los Angeles, Robert Hunter is thrown into a nightmare case. The victim suffered a terrible death, and on the nape of her neck has been carved a strange double-cross: the signature of a psychopath known as the Crucifix Killer.

But that's impossible. Because two years ago,…

Book cover of The Girl Who Left

Bryony Best Why did I love this book?

Jenny Blackhurst is a beautiful writer who is known for different POVs and timelines.

This book is addictive and the author will have you turning more pages into the night to finish just one more chapter. The book is based in Wales which is not too far from where I live so that was interesting for me.

The MC is the daughter of a killer who is in prison for murdering her childhood best friend. Many years later another child is abducted with the same signature/patter as the MCs best friend from the past. The MC is compelled to investigate this further.  

By Jenny Blackhurst,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty-five years ago, a local girl went missing. Now, another girl comes back...

When five-year-old Elsie Button was snatched from a garden in a sleepy town on the Welsh island of Anglesey, and a local man later confessed, it sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community. How could one of their own do such a thing? Especially when his own little girl was the same age - and the victim's best friend.

Kathryn and her family left under the cloak of darkness one night, unable to bear the shame, and the anger of their neighbours. She hardly remembers that time. Now,…

Book cover of The Silent Patient

Bryony Best Why did I love this book?

This book is both disturbing and fascinating, it has twists and turns and is a beautifully orchestrated story.

This book is set in London which is only a few hours drive from where I live so it was great reading about common places of interest. The MC is a doctor in a mental health unit, and his main focus is to help a local artist who is locked up for murder and who is also catatonic/mute.

I find mental health interesting and killers in general so this psychological story is full of flare, secrecy, and plot twists. The author is also a screenwriter and his talent is obvious between the pages.  

By Alex Michaelides,

Why should I read it?

14 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…

Book cover of Like Sapphire Blue

Bryony Best Why did I love this book?

This book is a coming of age, thriller book that blew me away. I had no idea what the book was about when I read it and I did not even know which genre it was.

The storyline flicks between the past and present with the present chapters giving you a sneak peek into a troubled relationship between a lesbian couple. The past chapters are full of unanswered questions, heartache, and some truly shocking experiences.

The book is gripping and deep, it feels like you are inside the MCs mind. The traumatic life experiences she is forced to go through alongside becoming an adult is probably fascinating to others. I felt I could identify with many of the experiences so I enjoyed reading it for a comforting reason. The shocking ending is truly beautiful and satisfying.

By Marisa Billions,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Like Sapphire Blue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Your eyes are amazing. I’ve never seen a blue like that.”

Emma Landry is tough, independent, beautiful, and smart. Being an outcast unable to identify with her classmates, she was willing to do whatever it takes to climb her way out of poverty.

“What color would you say they are?”

Like Sapphire Blue

Having never known a mother’s love, her father “Bear”, raised her on the wrong side of the tracks in a wealthy town.

When success beckons, the woman she’s been in love with is, finally, within her grasp. Life is now worth living and loving.

That is, until…

Book cover of The Illusion of a Girl

Bryony Best Why did I love this book?

This book is a suspense thriller that has a theme of family drama and substance abuse.

As an advocate for mental health and addiction recovery I found this book a very worthwhile read. I found it hard to put the book down, the depth of the characters and their experiences were fearful. I assume the writer has drawn from personal experience as the storyline is too tragic to be completely fabricated.

The MC lives with her family in a household that walks on eggshells due to an alcoholic father. The story is rich and compelling with a great educational side of it that really does help others to understand issues surrounding alcoholism and mental health. 

By Leeann Werner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Perception is king, especially in a small Ohio town. Jessie Taylor seems like a normal 15-year-old girl, but she’s an illusion of what people expect her to be: a good girl, a smart girl, and most importantly, a girl from a respectable family. Her family may appear ordinary, even wholesome, but behind closed doors it’s an alcohol-soaked nightmare without reprieve. Jessie and her brother Brian, struggle bravely together as they fight to survive their violent father. Even the excitement of falling in love for the first time can’t seal the foundational cracks in her psyche. As her home life worsens,…

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Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

Book cover of Return to Hope Creek

Alyssa J. Montgomery Author Of A Spanish Seduction

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian USA Today bestselling romance author who writes contemporary romance and uses the pen name Alyssa James to write medieval romance. I think the makeover trope resonates with me because although I’m no beauty queen now, I was definitely an ugly duckling in my teens. For reasons best known to him, my father insisted on close-cropped hair, and financial circumstances dictated out-of-style hand-me-down clothing. After university, I found my own style, but it wasn’t until I was accepted as an international flight attendant that I believed that I couldn’t be all that ugly if Qantas employed me!

Alyssa's book list on makeover romances

What is my book about?

Return to Hope Creek is a second-chance rural romance set in Australia.

Stella Simpson's career and engagement are over. She returns to the rural community of Hope Creek to heal, unaware her high school and college sweetheart, Mitchell Scott, has also moved back to town to do some healing of his own.

Mitchell, a former NFL quarterback, doesn't need the complication of encountering Stella again so long after the messy end to their relationship, but as each tries to build a new life, they are drawn together and find their chemistry is just as strong as ever.

Will their love be stronger the second time around?

Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

What is this book about?

When two old flames come back to their home town, sparks are bound to ignite. A rural romance from USA Today bestselling author Alyssa J. Montgomery.

A horrific car accident ended former world number-one Stella Simpson’s tennis career, and a betrayal ended her relationship with her fiancé/coach. When a family friend offers to sell her half of a property in the rural community where she grew up, it seems like the perfect place to escape, heal and begin the next phase of her life. Until she discovers that the man who broke her heart ten years ago has bought the…

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