The Best Psychological Thrillers Are Guaranteed to Keep You up at Night

Don't read these alone.

Updated 10/01/19

 

RAWPIXEL/GETTY IMAGES. GRAPHIC BY CRISTINA CIANCI

 

There's nothing like cozying up with a hair-rising psychological thriller read in one hand and a generous glass of red wine in the other, so we compiled a list of the of our favorite thriller books to add to our to-read pile. Fortunately, for fans of the genre, these psychological thrillers are so good, the pages practically turn themselves.

Ranging from a novel you just can't put down about the search for a missing child, to a twisted Moroccan-set tale of female friendship gone awry, here are 13 page-turning psychological thrillers. Trust us—no need to grab a bookmark, you won't put these thrillers down until you've turned the last page. 

Here are our picks for the best psychological thrillers you need to read.

01 of 13

Give Me Your Hand, Megan Abbott

give me your hand
Megan Abbott Give Me Your Hand $15
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One of the most anticipated thrillers of 2018, Megan Abbott's novel hinges on a life-altering secret that threatens to end a life-long friendship (and possibly, a life). Main character Kit is about to achieve everything she has ever wanted from her career, but how far will she go to make it worth it in the end? Abbott, the ever-impressive author, will leave you in suspense until the very end.

02 of 13

In the Vines, Shannon Kirk

in the vines
Sharon Kirk In the Vines $16
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Set on an isolated New England estate, Shannon Kirk's In the Vines is a psychological thriller that'll have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page. Filled with mystery, murder, and mind-blowing wealth, it's one you won't want to miss. The novel questions how well we know the ones we love, and more importantly—how well do we want to know them.

03 of 13

Baby Teeth, Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth
Zoje Stage Baby Teeth $14
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Deemed "unnerving" and "unputdownable" by The New York Times, Zoje Stage's novel Baby Teeth, about a mother locked in a battle of wills with her clever and manipulative 7-year-old daughter, is a must-read thriller with an unpredictable ending that promises to shock readers. The novel explores the frailty and falsehood of familial bonds.

04 of 13

The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window
A.J. Finn The Woman in the Window $14
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This psychological thriller about an agoraphobic woman who witnesses a crime in a neighboring home is so good that it's earned a glowing endorsement from Gillian Flynn, the author of the best-selling novel Gone Girl and the blockbuster hit of the same name, herself. It was an instant New York Times bestseller, and will soon be adapted into a movie.

05 of 13

The Perfect Mother, Aimee Molloy

The Perfect Mother
Aimee Molloy The Perfect Mother $14
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A movie adaption of this novel, about the search to find a newborn who was stolen from his crib in the night, starring Kerry Washington is already in the works, so you know it's a top shelf–worthy read. It was a New York Times bestseller, and the most anticipated book of summer 2018. You won't be able to put down this addictive thriller.

06 of 13

Then She Was Gone, Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone
Lisa Jewell Then She Was Gone $25
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In the vein of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, Jewell's thrilling novel delves into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a seemingly perfect woman with a shocking secret. Don't even bother with a bookmark—you won't be able to put this one down until you reach the very last page. It's family drama meets suspense, and you'll be hooked.

07 of 13

The French Girl, Lexie Elliott

The French Girl
Lexie Elliot The French Girl $15
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Described as I Know What You Did Last Summer meets the French countryside, Elliott's debut thriller is filled with so many twists and turns that you'll want to finish reading it in one sitting to find out what really happened. Six university students from Oxford spend a weekend together in a French farmhouse. Though it was supposed to be an idyllic, relaxing get-a-way, a person goes missing. A decade later, the case is reopened when the body is found dead behind the farmhouse.

08 of 13

The Flight Attendant, Chris Bohjalian

The Flight Attendant
Chris Bohjalian The Flight Attendant $17
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The premise of Bohjalian's latest novel is an undeniably intriguing one: When a flight attendant wakes up in a hotel room next to a dead man with no memory of what happened the night before, she starts to wonder if she was really capable of committing the crime—and if she didn't, then who did? This novel explores addiction, memory, and how life can change in a single night.

09 of 13

The Favorite Sister, Jessica Knoll

The Favorite Sister
Jessica Knoll The Favorite Sister $13
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Knoll's best-selling novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, had us on the edge of our seats, and her follow-up, The Favorite Sister, doesn't disappoint, either. In this gripping read, five successful women compete on a reality show—and it's all fun and games until one of them ends up dead. The New York Times bestselling novel explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from climbing up the ranks, making it especially poignant in today's culture.

10 of 13

Tangerine, Christine Mangan

Tangerine
Christine Mangan Tangerine $14
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Filled with deliciously duplicitous characters, the sultry imagery of Morocco, and a shocking finale you'll never see coming, we consider Mangan's page-turning novel a summer beach bag essential. The novel is so captivating, in fact, that it's; heading to Hollywood. George Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures has optioned it for film, and Scarlett Johansson will be playing the title character.

11 of 13

Sunburn, Laura Lippman

Sunburn
Laura Lippman Sunburn $15
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Deemed one of 2018's most anticipated books by Bustle, PopSugar, and The Wall Street Journal, Laura Lippman's psychological thriller about a couple locked in a chilling game of cat and mouse is a must-read. Set in a small town in Delaware, the novel explores the relationship between Polly and Adam, who are both holding dangerous, potentially lethal, secrets from each other. When someone dies, you'll be left wondering if it was an accident or part of a larger plan.

12 of 13

Invitation to a Bonfire, Adrienne Celt

Invitation to a Bonfire
Adrienne Celt Invitation to a Bonfire $11
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We highly recommend this seductive, mysterious thriller. Celt's masterfully told story about a dangerous love triangle, inspired by the infamous Nabokov marriage, has us counting down until it officially hit bookstores in June 2018. The novel investigates how identity is formed, who to love, and whether to pay the price of happiness, however complicated it may be.

13 of 13

Grist Mill Road, Christopher J. Yates

Grist Mill Road
Christopher J. Yates Grist Mill Road $5
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Yates follows up his sleeper hit Black Chalk with Grist Mill Road, a thriller about three friends bound by a devastating secret, who reunite 26 years later with dangerous results. Dark, twisted, and at times hilarious, this read will grip you from the first page. Entertainment Weekly named it a "must read," while NPR's Book Concierge called it one of the best books of the year.

Up next: We rounded up nine of the most anticipated books of fall 2018 to add to your to-read pile.

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