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10 Best Psychological Thriller Novels

Updated on February 7, 2018

Compulsive Page Turners

Psychological thriller novels have become the most popular sub genre of the thriller books category, this is because they fully captivate the reader which as well makes them compulsive page turners.

After reviewing hundreds of psychological thriller novels I have compiled this list of the top ten best psychological thrillers for you to read and enjoy.

Just allow yourself to get totally immersed in the mystery and suspense which these 10 best psychological thriller novels will provide for you.

Browse through the list and see if there are any of the best psychological thriller novels which appeal to you.

Welcome to 10 Best Psychological Thriller Novels

Introduction to the List

If you are anything like me and enjoy reading great psychological thriller novels then you are in for a real treat.

Listed below in reverse ranking order you will discover the very best psychological thriller stories, all with personal reviews which will give you an insight of what each novel has to offer you.

So with no more suspense from me, here are the 10 Best Psychological Thriller Novels.

#10 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

Dark Corners - by Liz Schulte

Dark Corners
Dark Corners

Ella Reynolds knew from the first moment she walked into the old house someone or something was watching her. Waiting. Her husband's violent murder sent her spiraling into a world of grief and isolation, but Ella isn't alone. Who or what is responsible for her husband's death is still with her. Darkness has engulfed the past year of Ella's life. Everyday reality slips a little more between her fingers as she struggles to break free from her memories. She must look deeper into her past as well as the present to discover the truth of her husband's homicide. A string of uncanny events takes place and practical explanations run thin as Ella follows the terrifying road to closure. As the past and present come to a head, Ella must decipher who or what the murderer is before it takes her as well.


#9 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

The Inquisitor - by Peter Clement

The Inquisitor: A Medical Thriller (Dr. Earl Garnet)
The Inquisitor: A Medical Thriller (Dr. Earl Garnet)

A new and vicious strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has hit America hard and is menacing the hospital like a wolf at the door. Wrapped in spacesuit-like garb to search for every possible source of infection, the hospital staff desperately tries to protect the lives of patients–and of each other. In this chilling medical landscape, no one notices the slight spike in the death rate in a palliative care ward. But when ER chief Dr. Earl Garnet gets blamed for the unexpected death of a patient, he defies protocol and opens an independent investigation. He quickly becomes suspicious that something far more sinister than disease is killing the hospital’s most vulnerable patients. With the SARS epidemic spinning out of control and a storm of suspicion, fear, and mistrust raging through the corridors of St. Paul’s, the hospital is rocked by a horrifying crime: A respected researcher is found brutally murdered. And his executioner may be ready to strike again.


#8 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

Underneath - by Kealan Patrick Burke


For Dean Lovell, the nightmare begins with a dare that comes with the promise of violence if he chickens out: Dean, new to town and to the local high school, is the kid that the jocks like to beat up. On the threat of more physical pain, he's been dared to date a girl no one else will. He must ask out on a date the school pariah, a horribly disfigured girl named Stephanie Watts. Dean agrees, and soon learns that there is more to Stephanie than anyone dared imagine, that beneath the scars, there are terrifying secrets underneath... Will he treat her as badly as others have before him, or will he be able to see behind her disfigurement and find the real person hiding behind her pain?


#7 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

No Good Deed - by M.P. McDonald

No Good Deed: A Psychological Thriller (The Mark Taylor Series Book 1)
No Good Deed: A Psychological Thriller (The Mark Taylor Series Book 1)

Mark Taylor discovers first hand that no good deed goes unpunished when the old camera he found during a freelance job in an Afghanistan bazaar gives him more than great photos. It triggers dreams of disasters. Tragedies that happen exactly as he envisions them. He learns that not only can he see the future, he can change it. Then the unthinkable happened and everyone ignored his frantic warnings. Thousands die. Suddenly, the Feds are pounding on his door and the name they have for Taylor isn't urban hero. It's enemy combatant. And, it means they can do anything they want to him. Anything at all.


#6 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

The House of the Wicked - by D. M. Mitchell

The House of the Wicked (a psychological thriller combining mystery, murder, crime and suspense)
The House of the Wicked (a psychological thriller combining mystery, murder, crime and suspense)

You are taken back to nineteenth century Britain to a place called Porthgarrow, a beautiful Cornish cove which is ravaged by a raging sea, where ancient beliefs and folklore still preside over common sense and reason; where every man, woman and child live in fear of the spirit of Baccan. Following two artists, Denning and Wilkinson through a veil of mystery where the descriptions are so vivid and colourful that it brings the characters and surroundings to life. The twists and turns are completely unexpected and by the time you finish the book you will feel as if you have lived in Porthgarrow and know all the people. It is captivating and you will not want it to end.


What is a Psychological Thriller?

A psychological thriller contains mystery and suspense with a focus on the minds of the characters involved instead of the story plot.

The dangers that the characters will have to face will be reflected in their mental understanding rather than in anything that is happening to them physically.

A psychological thriller novel gives you a great way to appreciate a more profound sense of the story and to feel more involved.

#5 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

#4 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

Twisted Truth - by Joanne Clarey

Twisted Truth
Twisted Truth

Dr. Christine McMorrow finds herself in a siuation mirroring many of her clients, the horror of being helpless and struggling to survive the power and control of a perpretator, in this case, Stephen Scott who is driven to rape and kill women to bring his twisted truth to the world. Christie McMorrow knows that she will have to fight for her life with her psychological training and skill, her knowledge of the motivations and behaviors of the ciminally insane. That is her only defense as she is tied, wounded and hidden where no one would think to look for her. Outwitting her tormentor is her only hope for survival.


#3 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

Jeremy's Loss - by Jeff Menapace

Jeremy's Loss - A Psychological Thriller
Jeremy's Loss - A Psychological Thriller

Medical student Jeremy Marsh has lost his beloved mother in a tragic accident. Just when it seems that his grief may turn into madness, a disfigured man appears and reveals to Jeremy that his mother's death was no accident: She was murdered for unearthing a deadly conspiracy. Now, if Jeremy wants to stay alive, he must trust this mysterious stranger at all costs and find a way to eliminate the impending threat--before it eliminates him. This psychological thriller will keep you totally captivated and enthralled.


#2 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted - by Andrew E. Kaufman

The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted
The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted

She only stepped outside for a minute... but a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley's world upside down--a minute she'd regret for the rest of her life. Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again. A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair. Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother's belongings. It paints his mother as the killer and her brother, a wealthy and powerful senator, as the one pulling the strings.


#1 Best Psychological Thriller Novel

Max - by D.M. Mitchell

Max: (a psychological thriller combining mystery, crime and suspense)
Max: (a psychological thriller combining mystery, crime and suspense)

This story follows the life of a famous author, Gavin Miller, and the world of Calder a man mysteriously incarcerated in a prison on an island. Both lives are connected. Calder is trying to adjust to his imprisonment with his mind screwed up. Calder relates, in his own words, his childhood and into adulthood, and how Max - a deep and creepy character comes to dominate it. It all comes to a head in a mansion on the Scottish island in a suspense-filled cat and mouse chase. Other characters like the first-edition collector and manager of the care home, and the mysterious man who's locked away there make this a story that keeps you trying to work things out all the way through.


A Few Words From Your Reviewer

Ever since I was a kid I have loved to read any book that has a psychological thriller story. You have just had the chance to explore my reviews and recommendations of these 10 Best Psychological Thriller Novels. I hope that it has provided you with the information that you were seeking so that you can make your choice of the next psychological thriller novel that you will be reading.

Which Is Your Favorite Psychological Thriller?

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    • DawnRae64 profile image


      4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thanks for this list. Only a few look familiar and psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genres.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I'm so glad to have found this list.....I now know where to start with my book search. THANKS

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      The Ripley Series, by Patricia Highsmith / Your Blue-Eyed Boy [and] Talking to the Dead by Helen Dunmore / In the Woods by Tana French / Land of the Living by Nicci French / Blackout by Lisa Unger / No Night is Too Long - Barbara Vine

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I'm more into mystery and suspense without the psychological thriller bit thrown in. I lean more toward police procedurals. :-)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      A couple of definite adds to my list

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      4 years ago from UK

      This is a genre I have just discovered. I have been a sci-fi fan all my life but picking up a thirller to make up a bundle in a charity sale has changed my reading habits. I haven't read any of the above I must try and make up for that - thanks

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Just added several of these to my "wish list." Thanks for the suggestions!

    • DawnRae64 profile image


      5 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thank you for this list! Many of these are going onto my "to read" list.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      ''Alchemy' by the UK writer, Peter James, and others by the same author.

    • LaughingLady LM profile image

      Helen Phillips Cockrell 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Very good list. I absolutely love the Foundation novels.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thankyou so much for posting this list!Its simply amazing!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      There's nothing better than a good thriller!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i love thriller movies and novels

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't really have a favorite. But I did used to love watching Alfred Hitchcock movies. This is a great Top Ten List!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The Neurosurgeon by Travis Robertson

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Now I have to expand my book shelve. I like this list!

    • ptruc profile image

      Adam Turner 

      6 years ago

      I love to read psychological thriller novel, I think Cold Blood is one of best psychological thriller novel.

    • spids1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great book list. Well put together!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Having been an attorney and avid reader for a long time, psychological thrillers are probably my favorite - I would recommend adding many of William Styron's novels (i.e. The Confessions of Nat Turner), but I am biased a bit towards the classics. Thanks for some new and interesting ideas for a great read!

    • siobhanryan profile image


      6 years ago

      Denis Lehane and Harold Coen

    • TLStahling profile image

      TL Stahling 

      6 years ago from US

      I guess I go more for the mainstream commercial such as John Grisham (legal thrillers) and Stephen King - I remember Misery was hard to put down.

    • themeaparty profile image


      6 years ago

      Great choices. Thinking of adding Houses of the Wicked to my (very large) bookshelf.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not read any of them yet.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These most definitely sound exciting!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for adding "Jeremy's Loss" in your Top Ten, James. I am very flattered, and glad you enjoyed it.

      Leonasharon, thank you so much for your kind words.

      All the best

      Jeff Menapace

    • ArthurF LM profile image

      ArthurF LM 

      6 years ago

      I love books like these, I may pick up a few for some good summer reading.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good work done.

      My favourite amongst these is Jeremy's loss

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 

      6 years ago

      amazing list.. i have bookmarked a couple of novels from your page, will grab them someday soon :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Not sure if this fits the category (probably not since it's relatively tame), but I loved The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin.

    • InternetTrekker1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great list of books, I have only read one of them 'the house of the wicked' and i really liked that one :)

    • SheilaMilne profile image


      6 years ago from Kent, UK

      I don't know any of these. I must see if I can find some. I like Ruth Rendell's books which are often described as psychological thrillers.

    • ryokomayuka profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      some very interesting novels. I love learning about new books.


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