Are you begging for a book that will make you want more but, simultaneously, confused? That is the beauty of the psychological thriller genre. 

A psychological thriller will make you think about the human psyche and how it affects us. It will take you on a wild ride of emotions, where you’ll be scared, surprised, and even feel elated.

Why are Psychological Thriller Books Popular? 

In recent years, psychological thriller novels have become increasingly popular in the publishing industry. It is because they offer readers an immersive experience not found in other genres, such as romance or science fiction.

The rise in popularity has also been attributed to the fact that these books are more accessible than ever before due to the rise of e-books and digital publishing platforms like Amazon and Kobo Books.

Seven Best Psychological Thriller Books with Unexpected Plot Twists 

The following best psychological thriller books list is an excellent place to start your journey in the world of psychological thrillers.

  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

It is a novel written by Stieg Larsson. It is a psychological thriller following the story of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. This novel has been widely translated into many languages and is one of the most popular books in the world.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has a 4.16 rating on Goodreads. You can buy this novel online; click here.

The story follows the disappearance of the scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families. It has been forty years since the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, and now her uncle, who has continued the search for truth, hires Mikael Blomkvist and his prodigy Lisbeth Salander on this quest.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is everything you’d expect from a Psychological Thriller.

  1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This is a thriller novel written by Paula Hawkins. It was first published in 2015 and became an instant bestseller.

The protagonist is Rachel, who takes the same commute every morning and night. One day, she witnesses something shocking on the train that changes her life forever. She then becomes obsessed with figuring out what happened to the woman she saw.

A gripping psychological thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been translated into 40 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. The bestseller was later adapted into a movie under the same name, starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, and Justin Theroux.

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It is a novel written by Gillian Flynn. It was published on October 16, 2012. The book follows the story of Nick and Amy Dunne, a married couple living in New York: when suddenly Amy goes missing.

The Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is one of the most popular books ever to be written based on its rating on Goodreads, with 4.13 stars out of 5 stars from over 2 million readers worldwide.

  1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

A novel by Stieg Larsson, it is the final installment of the Millennium series. In this book, we follow Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker, and vigilante, on the run from those who would kill her.

This thriller follows Lisbeth Salander as she tries to find her way out of danger while also trying to bring down an organization that wants her dead.

The novel was published in 2005, two years before Larsson died from a heart attack in 2004. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest has been translated into more than 30 languages and sold over 65 million copies worldwide.

  1. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This novel follows the story of journalist Lo Blacklock, who is finally on vacation to recover from a traumatic break-in. 

The trip on the luxury cruise ship is supposed to be the perfect vacation. But on the first night, she finds herself in a situation she could not have foreseen.

Follow the journey of Lo Blacklock as she tries to solve the mystery of the unnamed body with no records on board. 

With nowhere to go, she is now trapped on a boat with a murderer. The trip is certainly more than what Lo Blacklock would have expected.

  1. Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Codename Villanelle is a novel written by Luke Jennings. The story is about an assassin who is given the name Villanelle and her first kill. The book was released in 2017 and was well-received by critics.

With ease, this book tells the story of a woman who kills the most powerful and richest person in the world. But now her time of terror is at an end as Eve Polastri, a former MI6 operative, is tasked with the mission to bring down the Villanelle.

The story will follow a trail of international intrigue, confronting corrupt governments and powerful criminal organizations, all of which point toward a final showdown. Neither will emerge unscathed.

  1. Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

It is an Edgar-winning novel by celebrated Noah Hawley. The story opens on a small plane flying from Martha’s Vineyard to New York City when suddenly it crashes into the ocean.

Passenger Scott Burroughs struggles to get onto the surface of the ocean. Unfortunately, he finds no survivors. He and a 4-year-old boy survive the crash, but they are frayed in fear and exhaustion by their experience.


The above-listed are just some of the psychological thrillers that would leave you wanting more. Even if you are not an avid reader, these books will surely make you one soon enough.