15 Thriller Books That'll Give You a Good Scare

Keep the lights on for these scary stories.

best thriller books - In a Dark, Dark Wood
Gallery Scout Press

If you love creepy characters, sneaky clues, and things that go bump in the night, then you're likely on the hunt for the best thriller books to add to your shelf. Full of shocking twists, surprise endings, and mystery stories, the best thrillers keep you awake long after you turn the last page. Required reading for any police procedural, horror story, or true crime fans, both timeless classic and exciting new releases in 2019 appear on this list of essential thriller books. Many of them also come as parts of a series, so you can order the next installment before you finish the first, to keep the bone-chilling fun going night after night.

'The Suspect'
Fiona Barton .com

Parents will recognize their greatest fears in this travel drama from Fiona Barton, author of The Widow.  Two girls go missing while visiting Thailand, and journalist Kate Waters decides she's going to crack the mystery. But she can't shake the way the girls' case reminds her of her own son, who she hasn't heard from since he also left to see the world. 

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Flatiron Books
'Nine Perfect Strangers'
Liane Moriarty .com
$15.81 (45% off)

With echoes of Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None, this thriller from the author of Big Little Lies follows nine people who check into a remote health resort. Some want to lose weight, some want to change their lives, and all of them are wondering if Tranquillum House really holds all of the answers they seek, or something more sinister. 

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'Freefall: A Novel'
Jessica Barry .com

A plane crashes, a daughter disappears, and a mother can't believe her child is really gone. Enter Freefall, a can't-put-down book about a mother's quest to find out what really happened after her estranged daughter goes missing. Follow Allison's struggle to get home after the plane crash and Maggie's desperation to discover the truth in this thriller about two women's unbreakable bond. 

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'The Witch Elm: A Novel'
Tana French .com
$12.25 (56% off)

Happy-go-lucky Toby's entire life changes after he encounters two burglars who beat him brutally and leave him for dead. As he comes to terms with his injuries, he moves into the family homestead to care for his dying uncle. When a skull is uncovered beneath a tree in the garden, Toby realizes his history may hold more secrets than he thought. 

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Celadon Books
'The Silent Patient'
Alex Michaelides .com
$15.99 (41% off)

Turn on the lights before you crack the spine, because The Silent Patient really brings the scares. A famous artist with a seemingly perfect life shoots her husband five times and then never speaks another word.  Her refusal to blab turns a domestic tragedy into a grand mystery, and the therapist who has to unravel the inner workings of her mind begins falling down a dark path himself. 

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Riverhead Books
'The Girl on the Train'
Paula Hawkins .com
$7.03 (30% off)

Commuters may see themselves in this bone-chilling thriller, now a major motion picture. Rachel takes the same train every day, passing idyllic suburban homes and wishing hers was that stable. But one day, she sees something disturbing. When she goes to the police, she finds herself entangled not only in their investigation, but those not-so-perfect lives she used to watch.

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Ballantine Books
'Paper Ghosts: A Novel of Suspense'
Julia Heaberlin .com

After her sister vanishes, the narrator lures the man she believes killed her on a 10-day road trip. The two of them set off to examine the sites of murdered women across Texas where he shot documentary-style photographs — does it get much creepier than that? You'll teeter on the edge of your seat all the way to the shocking surprise ending. 

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Gallery Scout Press
'In a Dark, Dark Wood'
Ruth Ware .com
$14.29 (45% off)

Most bachelorette parties generally end with nothing more horrific than some embarrassing Instagram posts, but not for Leonora. After a friend she hasn't spoken to in years invites her to one at an eerie glass cabin in the woods, she's more than a little apprehensive. She wakes up in the hospital 48 hours later, realizing someone is dead and she has to figure out, "what have I done?" 

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'The Confessions of Frannie Langton: A Novel'
Sara Collins .com

This winding historical thriller travels from a Jamaican sugar plantation to the streets of Georgian London, and will keep you in its clutches the whole way. A servant and former slave stands accused of a gruesome double murder, but can’t remember what happened. As the story unwinds, it unmasks perpetrators of even greater crimes, even all of society. 

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William Morrow
Daphne Du Maurier .com
$11.88 (26% off)

When the new Mrs. de Winter moves into the Manderly estate, she discovers a world of secrets. As she learns more about the house and her place there, she's haunted by echoes of the late Rebecca. This classic suspense story is an absolute must-buy. 

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'Gone Girl'
Gillian Flynn .com
$12.75 (51% off)

After Amy Dunne disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, suspicion naturally turns to her husband Nick. As the pressure from the police, his in-laws, and media mounts, he starts to look awfully shady. But a deceptive, bitter character isn't necessarily a killer – or is he? 

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Thomas and Mercer
'Stillhouse Lake'
Rachel Caine .com
$11.99 (25% off)

An average mom's life changes forever when a car accident reveals her husband as a serial killer. She moves into a safe house and assumes a new identity to protect her kids from the stalkers and Internet trolls, but evil finds her where she's hiding. When letters start coming from a too-familiar address, we find out just what she'll do to protect her family. 

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'Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel'
S.J. Watson .com
$10.82 (32% off)

When a woman wakes up with amnesia, she doesn't know who to trust. And because she can't form new memories or remember who she is, she has to figure it all out from scratch. Maybe avoid reading this one before bed. 

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Grove Press
'An Untamed State'
Roxane Gay .com
$12.89 (19% off)

Privileged daughter Mireille's fairytale life takes a turn when she's kidnapped and held captive at the hands of a violent gang. As her father resists paying her ransom, it becomes clear that she's going to suffer at the hands of a man who resents everything she stands for. 

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'Vanishing Girls'
Lauren Oliver .com
$10.43 (45% off)

Dara and Nick are thick and thieves, until a terrible accident leaves Dara's face disfigured and the sisters estranged. When Dara disappears, Nick doesn't think anything of it. That is, until she discovers another girl is missing too. As Nick searches for her sister, a tale of suspicion and intrigue unfolds. It'll make you want to hug your own siblings tight. 

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