21 Best Mystery And Thriller Books In 2024

21 Best Mystery And Thriller Books In 2024

Mystery and thriller novels have a special place in the hearts of readers across the globe. These genres thrill us, chill us, and keep us up late at night, turning page after page in eager anticipation of the next twist or turn. The best mystery and thriller books not only entertain but also engross us in intricately woven narratives, making us part of the decoding process as we piece together clues alongside the protagonists. With my curator’s eye, I’ve delved deep into this year’s offerings, combining critical acclaim, reader feedback, and sales figures to curate a list that promises suspense, excitement, and mystery.

In the vibrant world of literature, every year brings forth new gems that stand out for their originality, narrative excellence, and the ability to engage and mesmerize readers. As someone with a deep-seated passion for unearthing these gems, I embark on this journey annually, sifting through countless books to find those that truly rise above the rest. This year, my exploration has unearthed 21 exceptional mystery and thriller novels that not only meet the high standards of avid genre enthusiasts but also serve as gateways for newcomers to discover the thrilling world of mystery and suspense.

These selected works are more than just books; they are voyages into the depths of human psyche, explorations of the intricate dance between good and evil, and displays of the sheer ingenuity of modern storytelling. Each has been chosen for its unique qualities, including sophisticated plot twists, rich character development, and the undeniable power to captivate. Join me as we step into a world of shadow and intrigue, a world where every chapter brings us closer to unveiling secrets that lurk just beneath the surface.

Unveiling the Best Mystery and Thriller Books in 2024

Embarking on the adventure of unveiling the best mystery and thriller books this year has been nothing short of exhilarating. The books I’ve selected stand as testaments to the creative prowess of their authors, and each holds its own in a genre famed for its high stakes and intricate plotting. From enigmatic puzzles to heart-stopping suspense, these novels promise to deliver moments of intense engagement and leave readers anxiously awaiting the next twist. As we dive into the worlds these talented writers have crafted, prepare yourself for a rollercoaster ride of emotions and an unforgettable journey into the darkest corners of human imagination.

1. The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

"The House in the Pines" by Ana Reyes Book Cover

“The House in the Pines” by Ana Reyes offers a riveting journey through the tangled memories of trauma, addiction, and unresolved mysteries. With a narrative that weaves between past and present, readers are invited into the protagonist’s quest to unravel a haunting puzzle centered on the death of her best friend and the enigmatic man she believes is responsible. Reyes crafts a story that is both poignant and mysterious, delving deep into the human psyche and exploring the intricacies of guilt, grief, and redemption.


  1. The novel delivers a compelling exploration of themes such as trauma, addiction, and the impact of unresolved past events on the present.
  2. Ana Reyes shows a flair for creating suspense and a mysterious atmosphere, keeping readers engaged and guessing until the very end.
  3. The narrative’s structure, alternating between past and present, adds a layer of complexity and depth to the storytelling, encouraging readers to piece together the puzzle alongside the protagonist.


  1. Some readers may find the absence of clear time period markers between past and present narratives confusing, impacting the reading experience.
  2. The protagonist’s ability to hide her addiction from those close to her, as well as some unresolved subplots, may strain believability for certain readers.
  3. The story’s pacing feels uneven at times, with a slow build-up leading to a rushed conclusion, leaving some plot elements insufficiently explored or resolved.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re drawn to psychological thrillers that delve into complex characters and dark secrets.
  • You appreciate stories that layer past and present, inviting you to play detective.
  • You’re looking for a thought-provoking read that doesn’t shy away from tough themes such as addiction and trauma.

2. The Husbands by Chandler Baker

"The Husbands" by Chandler Baker Book Cover

In “The Husbands” by Chandler Baker, readers are ushered into a world that resonates deeply with wives and mothers. Some may initially experience resistance, as the protagonist’s narrative initially mirrors a familiar, perhaps unspoken, domestic frustration. However, patience rewards the reader as Chandler Baker peels back the layers of domesticity to reveal a narrative that’s as satisfying as it is familiar. It’s a novel that extends an empathetic, knowing nod to the juggled responsibilities shouldered by women and delves into the nuances of the household’s division of labor.


  1. Gives voice to the often silent domestic struggles of wives and mothers, connecting deeply with a significant segment of readers.
  2. Escalates beyond initial expectations, unfolding into a satisfying narrative once the story gains momentum.
  3. Tackles significant themes like the division of household labor and gender dynamics in an engaging manner.


  1. Slow to start, with an initial tone that might deter readers looking for an immediate hook.
  2. Narrative perspective might not appeal to all, particularly due to the protagonist’s socioeconomic status, which might not resonate with everyone.
  3. Target audience may primarily be women, potentially limiting its appeal.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re interested in exploring domestic and gender dynamics through a fictional lens.
  • You enjoy stories that slowly peel back to reveal depth and complexity.
  • You’re looking for a book that sympathetically mirrors the challenges of juggling domestic responsibilities.

3. Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

"Good Rich People" by Eliza Jane Brazier Book Cover

“Good Rich People” by Eliza Jane Brazier is a riveting tale that transports readers into the opulent yet sinister world of Graham, Lyla, and the domineering matriarch, Margo, whose twisted entertainment comes at the expense of their unsuspecting tenants. The book unfolds in a lavish Hollywood hills estate, setting the stage for a psychological game of cat and mouse that promises to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Brazier masterfully weaves a story that blurs the lines between the privileged and the prey, inviting readers into a fast-paced, winner-takes-all thriller that’s as unsettling as it is compelling.


  1. Fast-paced and twisted narrative that maintains suspense and intrigue.
  2. Unique plot that dives into the psychological games played by the wealthy.
  3. Richly crafted setting in a Hollywood hills estate that adds to the atmospheric tension.


  1. Contrast between characters’ backgrounds may feel exaggerated to some readers.
  2. The darker themes explored might not suit all readers’ tastes.
  3. Character development can seem secondary to the plot’s thrill, possibly leaving some readers yearning for more depth.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re fascinated by psychological thrillers and the darkness that lurks within luxury.
  • You enjoy a suspense-filled story that keeps you guessing until the end.
  • You’re intrigued by the notion of a game with deadly stakes and the dynamics of power and manipulation.

4. The Social Climber by Amanda Pellegrino

"The Social Climber" by Amanda Pellegrino Book Cover

Amanda Pellegrino’s The Social Climber invites readers into the world of Eliza Bennett, a young woman navigating the complexities of social aspirations and hidden pasts. Through a meticulously crafted narrative that alternates between her college years and her life as an adult on the brink of marrying into a prestigious family, readers are drawn into a slow-burning mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end. The structure of the story, with its dual timelines, enriches the narrative by gradually revealing the depths of Eliza’s character and the secrets she harbors.


  1. The dual-timeline narrative provides a rich, layered exploration of the protagonist’s life and growth, enhancing the mystery element.
  2. The slow-burn approach meticulously builds suspense, rewarding patient readers with a satisfying conclusion.
  3. The novel offers a deep dive into character development, particularly showcasing Eliza’s evolution from a sheltered young adult to a complex, engaged protagonist.


  1. The focus on Eliza’s weight and disordered eating may be repetitive and discomforting for some readers.
  2. The slow-burn narrative might test the patience of readers accustomed to faster-paced mysteries.
  3. The mystery element is subtle and becomes apparent only toward the end, which could confuse readers expecting a traditional thriller from the beginning.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You enjoy mysteries that slowly unfold with a strong focus on character development.
  • You appreciate stories told across dual timelines that enrich the narrative.
  • You’re looking for a book that challenges expectations and reveals its secrets gradually.

5. The Maid by Nita Prose

"The Maid" by Nita Prose Book Cover

“The Maid” by Nita Prose is a heartwarming yet intriguing narrative that introduces Molly Gray, a maid with a particular attachment to cleanliness and an unmatched dedication to her work. Molly’s life revolves around her zealous passion for restoring rooms to perfection, a trait she embraces with both pride and a sense of identity. However, Molly’s world takes a dramatic turn when she discovers a dead body in a hotel penthouse, catapulting her into an unfamiliar world of mysteries and deceit.


  1. Prose’s character-driven narrative is compelling, with Molly’s unique perspective and social challenges drawing the reader into her world.
  2. The book provides a deeply humanizing look at people who are often overlooked in society, exploring themes of dignity, friendship, and resilience.
  3. The blend of mystery with themes of social understanding delivers both a poignant and engaging reading experience.


  1. Readers looking for a conventional whodunit might find the focus on character exploration and social themes less satisfying.
  2. The pacing may be considered slow by those accustomed to more action-driven mysteries.
  3. Some may find the central mystery predictable, with the main appeal lying in character development rather than the plot twists.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You are interested in a not-quite-whodunit that delves deeply into character psyche and social nuances.
  • You value stories that spotlight the personal growth and resilience of unique individuals in challenging circumstances.
  • You enjoy narratives that explore the complexity of human relationships and the beauty of unassuming heroes.

6. The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

"The Mother-in-Law" by Sally Hepworth Book Cover

Sally Hepworth masterfully crafts a tale in “The Mother-in-Law” that weaves family dynamics with a suspenseful mystery, offering a compelling narrative that showcases her strengths as an author. The story revolves around Lucy and her complex relationship with her mother-in-law, Diana, a character whose distant and cold demeanor sets the stage for a web of family tensions. When Diana is found dead under suspicious circumstances, the family is thrust into a murder investigation that leaves everyone a suspect. Hepworth’s exploration of family, love, and loss is intermingled with a mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the very end.


  1. The plot unfolds in a manner that keeps readers engaged and guessing about the resolution.
  2. Character development is robust, providing a deep dive into family dynamics and individual motivations.
  3. Hepworth’s writing style is accessible and immersive, making it easy for readers to get lost in the narrative.


  1. Some readers may find the dialogue of the children unrealistic for their ages.
  2. Minor plot points and character decisions might annoy some readers, affecting their overall enjoyment of the story.
  3. The resolution of the mystery could be predictable for avid mystery readers, lessening the impact of the twist.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You enjoy family dramas with a mystery element.
  • You appreciate stories about complex relationships, especially those involving in-laws.
  • You’re looking for a book that provides a balance between a murder mystery and the exploration of family dynamics.

7. The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

"The Golden Couple" by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen Book Cover

In “The Golden Couple” by the dynamic author duo Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, readers are invited into a twisty psychological thriller that delves deep into the façade of a seemingly perfect marriage. The narrative intricately connects the lives of Marissa and Matthew, a couple whose perfect exterior begins to unravel, with that of Avery, an unconventional therapist committed to uncovering the truth behind the threats to their marriage. The plot is layered and complex, stirring in characters from various spheres of the couple’s life, from past relationships to current mysteries, all while maintaining a tight-knit suspense that propels the narrative forward.


  1. The multi-layered storyline enhances the mystery and keeps readers on their toes.
  2. Character development is richly detailed, providing insights into motivations and inner turmoil.
  3. The narrative introduces unexpected twists that challenge readers’ perceptions and expectations.


  1. Some subplots and characters, such as Tuna and Acelia, might feel underdeveloped or unnecessary, diluting the main thrust of the plot.
  2. The ultimate antagonist’s motivation may come across as unexpected but not fully justified, leaving some readers wanting more depth.
  3. Readers expecting every loose end to be tied may find some of the storylines to remain unresolved, potentially leading to a less satisfying conclusion.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re a fan of psychological thrillers that explore the complexities of marriage.
  • You enjoy stories with intricate plots and a diverse cast of characters.
  • You’re looking for a book that offers a fresh perspective on the genre with an unconventional therapist playing a key role in unraveling the mystery.

8. Danger on the Atlantic by Erica Ruth Neubauer

"Danger on the Atlantic" by Erica Ruth Neubauer Book Cover

For those enchanted by the charm of classic mystery novels, “Danger on the Atlantic” by Erica Ruth Neubauer will be a delightful voyage. The protagonist, Jane Wunderly, embarks on a high seas adventure that’s both a nostalgic nod to Agatha Christie and a refreshing twist in the mystery genre. Set against the backdrop of an ocean liner, Jane finds herself intertwined with spy games and gentle romantic flurries, offering readers an engaging mix of suspense and allure.

However, if you’re after the grit and breakneck pace typically associated with thrillers, you might find this title a tad gentle for your taste. The mystery unwinds in a leisurely fashion, focusing on setting the scene and developing the relationship between Jane and Redvers, rather than piling on dead bodies or offering constant twists.


  1. Successfully brings back the classic mystery feel with a strong, likable heroine.
  2. Romantic elements that complement the mystery without overshadowing it.
  3. A unique setting that adds an intriguing layer to the traditional mystery narrative.


  1. Lacks the fast pacing and high suspense some thriller enthusiasts crave.
  2. The story’s mystery elements can feel somewhat circular and predictable to some readers.
  3. Delayed action – most of the intrigue builds up without immediate payoffs.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You enjoy cozy mysteries with a historic twist.
  • You’re a fan of character-driven stories.
  • You’re looking for a mystery that blends espionage with a touch of romance.

9. Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

"Greenwich Park" by Katherine Faulkner Book Cover

“Greenwich Park” by Katherine Faulkner sweeps you into the intricate web of London’s upper echelons, where perfection is a facade, and every friend could be a foe. Faulkner’s debut is a domestic mystery that gracefully walks the fine line between suspense and the exploration of personal tragedy. Through the eyes of Helen, we’re introduced to a world where past sorrows and present fears collide with unforeseen consequences.

Yet, despite its gripping premise, the novel’s execution doesn’t always hit the mark. Some readers might find the pacing initially slow, questioning the relevance of the details laid out. Furthermore, as the narrative progresses, character flaws transform from intriguing to frustrating, making it challenging to root for anyone. Faulkner’s decision to toggle between viewpoints can leave readers disoriented, disrupting the flow of this carefully constructed mystery.


  1. A deftly crafted setting that immerses you in the story’s atmosphere.
  2. Surprise twists that keep you guessing till the very end.
  3. Complex characters and themes that delve into the dark side of maternity, friendship, and familial obligations.


  1. A slow build-up that may deter some readers.
  2. Characters can become difficult to empathize with as their flaws overshadow their development.
  3. The narrative’s structure, bouncing between perspectives, might confuse readers and dilute suspense.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You appreciate psychological depth and character complexity in your mysteries.
  • You’re patient with stories that take time to unravel.
  • You enjoy domestic thrillers that probe into the darkness lurking in suburban paradises.

10. The Family Game by Catherine Steadman

"The Family Game" by Catherine Steadman Book Cover

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman is a tantalizing venture into the world of mystery and suspense, set against the backdrop of a wealthy and powerful family. The protagonist, Harriet Reed, finds herself entangled in a web of family secrets, dangerous games, and a mysterious past that refuses to stay buried. As she navigates through the opulent and sinister world of the Holbeck family, Harriet must confront her own demons and outwit the formidable obstacles that stand between her and a future she desperately seeks.


  1. Steadman’s writing expertly weaves a compelling narrative filled with twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats.
  2. The multilayered characters, especially Harriet, are well-developed and relatable, providing a deep emotional investment for the reader.
  3. The atmospheric setting of the Holbeck’s eerie castle adds an additional layer of tension and immersion to the tale.


  1. Some readers might find the large plot twist predictable, potentially diminishing the suspense.
  2. Character motivations can occasionally seem ambiguous, leading to confusion about their actions or decisions.
  3. The pace of the story may slow down in parts, which could disengage readers looking for consistent thrill.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re a fan of family-centered mysteries charged with suspense.
  • You delight in complex, multifaceted characters embroiled in a web of secrets and deception.
  • Atmospheric settings that heighten the mood of the story captivate you.

11. A Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch

"A Novel Obsession" by Caitlin Barasch Book Cover

“A Novel Obsession” by Caitlin Barasch dives into the dark crevices of obsession and the unseen, chaotic forces it can unleash within our lives. Through the eyes of Naomi Ackerman, we’re granted access to an intensely psychological journey, exploring the fuzzy lines between adoration and obsession, and how the latter can lead to utter turmoil. Caitlin Barasch skillfully sheds light on the uncomfortable truths about our inner selves, the parts we often try to hide or reshape to fit the narrative of who we want to be, or who we think we should be.


  1. Barasch’s narrative is bold and unapologetic, delving into uncomfortable truths with raw honesty and dark humor.
  2. The character of Naomi is deeply flawed and fascinating, allowing a unique exploration of passion and obsession.
  3. The twists and turns throughout the story are far from predictable, providing an engaging and thought-provoking experience.


  1. The protagonist’s relentless obsession might be off-putting for some readers, making it hard to empathize with her choices.
  2. The ending of the novel may leave some readers unsatisfied, desiring a more conclusive resolution.
  3. The dark humor and intensity of the subject matter might not appeal to readers seeking a lighter, more uplifting tale.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re drawn to stories that explore the darker sides of human nature.
  • You appreciate nuanced characters and psychological depth in your reads.
  • Twisty narratives that challenge your perceptions and keep you guessing intrigue you.

12. All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham

"All the Dangerous Things" by Stacy Willingham Book Cover

All the Dangerous Things is a captivating domestic thriller that delves deeply into the anguish of a mother, Isabelle, whose life is shattered following the disappearance of her baby, Mason. The narrative skillfully intertwines her fraught search for answers with the eerie atmosphere of her house that carries echoes of its past as a civil war hospital. The haunting question of whether Isabelle had a role in her son’s disappearance adds a layer of suspense, making this book a riveting read from start to finish.

The intricacies of Isabelle’s relationships and the psychological depth of her character offer a richly textured exploration of grief and obsession. What stands out is the blend of Southern Gothic elements with a twisty mystery, providing readers with a compelling narrative that is hard to put down. The involvement of a true crime podcaster introduces a fresh perspective that begins to unravel the tangled truths behind Mason’s disappearance, offering an engrossing journey for the reader.


  1. Engrossing plot with several unexpected twists that keep readers on their toes.
  2. Well-developed characters, particularly the protagonist, whose complexities add depth to the story.
  3. Atmospheric setting that enhances the suspense and adds a unique Southern Gothic charm.


  1. The initially slow pace may deter some readers.
  2. Intense themes of grief and loss may be difficult for some readers.
  3. The protagonist’s instability might make it harder for some to connect with her.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re a fan of thrillers with a psychological depth.
  • You appreciate books with a strong sense of place.
  • You don’t mind navigating a protagonist’s complex emotions.

13. Fake by Erica Katz


Fake is a thrilling journey into the glitzy yet deceptive world of art, where Emma, a talented artist trapped in a mundane job, finds herself caught in a web of luxury, deceit, and family secrets. Through an unexpected opportunity, Emma spirals into the exclusive art scene, transitioning from her day-to-day monotony to a life filled with private jets and high-profile art shows. This transformative experience brings a thrilling, albeit unsettling, adventure to life.

The novel’s engagement with the art world provides a fascinating backdrop for the unfolding drama, making it a cool cocktail of suspense, ambition, and personality clashes. The protagonist’s sudden catapult into wealth serves both as a dream come true and a precarious tightrope walk over ethical quagmires. Her relationships, particularly with her supportive best friend and evolving bond with her mother, add layers of complexity to the narrative, showcasing the novel’s emotional range.


  1. Vivid depiction of the art world from an insider perspective.
  2. Dynamic character development, especially of Emma and her close relationships.
  3. Exciting plot that blends elements of glamour with a cautionary tale about authenticity and ambition.


  1. Emma’s naivety may be frustrating for readers expecting a more savvy protagonist.
  2. Suspension of disbelief required to accept Emma’s rapid ascent in the art world.
  3. A predictable element to the story’s unfolding, which might dampen the thrill for some readers.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re intrigued by the intricacies of the art world.
  • You enjoy character-driven narratives with a dose of luxury and drama.
  • You’re looking for a book that is both a fun escape and a reflection on personal growth.

14. Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

"Killers of a Certain Age" by Deanna Raybourn Book Cover

Deanna Raybourn presents a joyfully unique twist on the espionage genre with “Killers of a Certain Age”. Imagine if the Golden Girls were, in fact, highly skilled assassins facing retirement after a long career of espionage. The synthesis of light-hearted camaraderie and thrilling action makes this book a standout. Raybourn expertly navigates us through the current perilous cruise and the individual pasts of these four remarkable women, blending danger, humor, and a compelling mystery with ease.

What makes these protagonists truly endearing is their defiance of typical roles expected from women of their age, showing grace, wit, and kicka$$ vigor. Through flashbacks, the intricate web of their past operations and personal growth is revealed, enriching the present-day storyline, where they find themselves targeted for elimination. It’s a delightful mix that keeps readers on their toes, wrapped up in the warmth of enduring friendship and the cold thrill of survival.


  1. Distinctive blend of humor and thriller that’s rare in mystery novels.
  2. Empowering portrayal of older female characters, breaking typical genre molds.
  3. Engaging dual timeline that enriches character backstories and drives the plot.


  1. Some readers might find the lighter tone less satisfying for a thriller.
  2. The concept of retired assassins might stretch believability for those seeking realistic espionage tales.
  3. Less focus on deep, character-driven emotional arcs due to the broad scope of the narrative.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re looking for a thriller with a humorous edge.
  • You enjoy stories featuring strong female leads.
  • You’re intrigued by unique takes on the espionage genre.

15. Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

"Recipe for a Perfect Wife" by Karma Brown Book Cover

Karma Brown’s “Recipe for a Perfect Wife” intertwines the lives of two women, Nell in the 1950s and Alice in 2018, revealing the timeless struggles and societal expectations faced by wives across generations. The parallel stories of Nell and Alice, connected by a home and separated by six decades, offer a deeply moving and thought-provoking exploration of marital dynamics, personal discovery, and the pursuit of individuality in the face of oppressive norms.

Brown’s narrative gracefully weaves together domestic mystery and historical fiction, fueled by the discovery of an old cookbook and letters that lead Alice to uncover shocking secrets about Nell’s life. The real power of the story lies in its ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia and reflection on the roles of women in society, making readers reevaluate their perception of the traditional marriage and the sacrifices it often entails. In doing so, “Recipe for a Perfect Wife” emerges as not just a tale of two women but as a commentary on the evolving concept of womanhood.


  1. Engaging dual narratives that connect past and present through shared experiences.
  2. Offers insightful reflections on the evolving role of women in society.
  3. Compelling character development, particularly in revealing the raw, complicated layers of each woman’s marriage.


  1. Pacing may be slow for readers looking for a fast-paced thriller.
  2. Dual timelines can sometimes make the story feel disjointed.
  3. The novel’s themes might evoke discomfort for those uneasy with critiquing traditional gender roles and marriages.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re a fan of historical and contemporary fiction with deep character studies.
  • You appreciate novels that explore women’s roles and social expectations.
  • You enjoy stories with mysteries rooted in everyday life.

16. Verity by Colleen Hoover

"Verity" by Colleen Hoover Book Cover

“Verity” by Colleen Hoover emerges as a compelling read that effortlessly blends elements of thriller and romance into a concoction that is chilling, disturbing, and ultimately unforgettable. From the very first page, the story grabs hold, unveiling a complex web of secrets and lies that entices the reader to delve deeper into the enigmatic world of its characters.


  1. Offers a unique blend of thriller elements with a touch of romance, catering to a wider audience.
  2. Engaging plot that maintains suspense and intrigue, making it hard to put down.
  3. Contains unexpected twists and a bone-chilling narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seat.


  1. Includes graphic sexual content that some readers might find unnecessary or off-putting.
  2. May start off intense, potentially overwhelming readers who prefer a gradual build-up in their thrillers.
  3. The mix of genres might not appeal to purists of either thriller or romance genres.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You enjoy a perfect melding of thriller and romance.
  • Graphic content is not a deal-breaker for you.
  • You’re in search of a story that delivers shocks and surprises with each turn of the page.

17. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

"The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides Book Cover

“The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides is a riveting psychological thriller that weaves a mesmerizing tale of silence, obsession, and the dark corners of the human psyche. At the heart of this gripping narrative is Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who becomes enshrouded in mystery after she stops speaking, following her husband’s unexpected murder.


  1. Boasts a compelling narrative with a twist that leaves readers astounded, showcasing Michaelides’ mastery in plot development.
  2. Creates a haunting atmosphere, underscoring the psychological depth of its characters, especially the enigmatic Alicia Berenson.
  3. Encourages readers to question the nature of truth and guilt, propelling them into a deep, reflective engagement with the story.


  1. The intensity of the plot might be overwhelming for readers seeking a more traditional mystery.
  2. Some readers might find the psychiatric setting and exploration of mental illness as challenging or discomforting themes.
  3. The ultimate twist – while stunning – could be perceived as polarizing, leaving some readers dissatisfied if their expectations for a straightforward resolution aren’t met.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re intrigued by psychological depth and complexities in characters.
  • You appreciate a story that can challenge your perceptions and leave you pondering long after the final page.
  • You’re a fan of narratives that masterfully build suspense and culminate in a shocking revelation.

18. Long Bright River by Liz Moore

"Long Bright River" by Liz Moore Book Cover

In the heart of Philadelphia’s opioid crisis, Liz Moore delivers a compelling narrative with “Long Bright River”. This novel intricately weaves the lives of two sisters, Mickey and Kacey, on divergent paths – one a dedicated police officer, the other ensnared in addiction and prostitution. As Kacey disappears amid a series of murders, Mickey’s quest to find her sister becomes a gripping tale of suspense, familial bonds, and redemption.


  1. Rich character development: Readers will find themselves deeply invested in the lives of Mickey and Kacey, whose complex relationship is explored with sensitivity and depth.
  2. Engaging plot: The novel keeps readers on their toes with numerous red herrings and a well-executed mystery that challenges assumptions.
  3. Social commentary: Beyond being a mystery, the book offers a poignant look at the opioid epidemic, providing a backdrop that adds realism and urgency to the narrative.


  1. Slow start: Some readers may find the beginning chapters a bit slow to pick up pace, as the groundwork for the story is laid.
  2. Title confusion: The title’s relevance is not immediately apparent, which might puzzle readers initially.
  3. Complex narrative structure: The weaving of various timelines and hints can be challenging for readers who prefer straightforward storytelling.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You enjoy mysteries that probe deep into the human psyche and social issues.
  • You’re drawn to stories of familial bonds tested by external forces.
  • You appreciate narratives that challenge you to piece together the puzzle alongside the protagonist.

19. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

"The Guest List" by Lucy Foley Book Cover

“The Guest List” by Lucy Foley is a modern twist on the classic “locked room” mystery, transporting readers to the windswept coasts of Ireland where a glamorous wedding turns sinister. Set on the remote island of Inis, this story unfolds through the eyes of its multifaceted characters, each harboring secrets and motives. Amidst the celebratory chaos, a murder upends the festivities, transforming the event into a ticking time bomb of suspicion and dread.


  1. Intriguing setting: The isolated island provides a perfect, claustrophobic backdrop for a mystery, enhancing the suspense and drama.
  2. Multiple perspectives: The narrative flourishes under the skillful use of various viewpoints, offering a kaleidoscopic view of the unfolding drama and mystery.
  3. Pacing: After a deliberately careful start, the story accelerates, masterfully building tension and driving toward a compelling climax.


  1. Gradual narrative momentum: The story’s initial pace may test the patience of readers eager for immediate action.
  2. Complex timeline: The back and forth in time can be disorienting, demanding readers’ attention to detail to fully appreciate the plot’s intricacies.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re a fan of Agatha Christie-style mysteries with a modern twist.
  • You enjoy narratives that skillfully weave together multiple storylines and viewpoints.
  • You’re looking for a mystery that marries suspense with a deep dive into character psyches and motivations.

20. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

"The Other Black Girl" by Zakiya Dalila Harris Book Cover

“The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris presents a unique and compelling narrative that delves into the intricacies of race, ambition, and the corporate world through the lens of young, black, female professionals. The novel masterfully balances a mystery with poignant social commentary, making it an engaging read for those intrigued by the nuances of workplace dynamics and the sacrifices one must make to ascend in a predominantly white organization.

However, while the premise sparks great interest, the execution encounters challenges, particularly in character development and the late introduction of crucial characters. Some readers might find themselves craving more depth and context for the technically complex themes and relationships introduced.


  1. Provides a unique perspective on the complexities of being a black professional in a white-dominated workplace.
  2. Blends mystery with significant social and racial commentary.
  3. The premise and storyline are intriguing and thought-provoking.


  1. Character development could be more profound, making some relationships feel underexplored.
  2. Key characters and themes are introduced late, potentially confusing readers.
  3. Some cultural references and terminologies may go unexplained, requiring external research for full appreciation.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re interested in a mystery that doubles as a social commentary.
  • You’re looking for a novel that explores the dynamics of race and ambition in the workplace.
  • You enjoy stories with complex themes that prompt reflection on real-world issues.

21. Night Film by Marisha Pessl

"Night Film" by Marisha Pessl Book Cover

“Night Film” by Marisha Pessl is a gripping thriller that takes readers on a dark and captivating journey into the life of reclusive filmmaker Stanislas Cordova. Through the eyes of investigative journalist Scott McGrath, Pessl weaves a complex narrative that explores obsession, the nature of evil, and the blurred lines between fiction and reality. The novel’s rich detailing, supplemented by faux-documents and multimedia elements, enhances the immersive experience, making it a standout in its genre.

The ambitious scope of Pessl’s narrative and the meticulous unraveling of the plot are commendable, but the venture into paranormal themes might not appeal to all readers. Additionally, the dense narrative and over 600 pages might be daunting for some, though those willing to embark on this journey will find themselves richly rewarded with a complex and enigmatic story that challenges perceptions and keeps the mind reeling long after finishing the book.


  1. Intricately plotted narrative that keeps readers guessing.
  2. Unique incorporation of multimedia elements to enhance storytelling.
  3. Offers a deep dive into themes of obsession and the human psyche.


  1. The substantial length and complex narrative can be overwhelming.
  2. Focus on paranormal elements may not appeal to all thriller enthusiasts.
  3. Some readers may find the conclusion necessitates re-reading for full comprehension.

I recommend this book to you if:

  • You’re drawn to dark, complex thrillers with rich, immersive world-building.
  • You appreciate novels that blend traditional storytelling with innovative multimedia elements.
  • You enjoy stories that compel you to reflect on the nature of truth and reality.


1. What makes a book a thriller?

What makes a book a thriller involves its capacity to deliver intense excitement, suspense, and a high level of anticipation to the reader.

Thrillers often plunge readers directly into the action right from the beginning, keeping them on the edge of their seats with plots that are typically fast-paced, involving danger, mystery, and constant twists. Unlike other genres, thrillers strive to evoke a visceral reaction, such as excitement or fear, making the audience eager to discover what happens next. [1]

2. How do mystery books differ from thrillers?

Mystery books and thrillers each hold a unique place in the literary world. Mystery books typically involve a puzzle or problem to be solved, often centering around a crime or mysterious event. The reader is kept guessing “whodunit” until the climax reveals the perpetrator.

In contrast, thrillers are characterized by their fast-paced action, high stakes, and the constant threat of danger to the protagonist. The emphasis is on creating a suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat experience rather than on solving a puzzle. So, while mystery books focus on the “mystery” of the unknown, thrillers are all about the suspense and danger. [2]

3. Can a book be both a mystery and a thriller?

Absolutely, a book can simultaneously embody the qualities of both a mystery and a thriller. This genre hybrid often features the complex plots and puzzles associated with mysteries while also delivering the fast pace and heightened tension of a thriller.

The melding of these elements creates a uniquely engrossing reading experience, offering the best of both worlds. Readers get to engage in unraveling the mystery at hand while also enjoying the adrenaline rush that comes with a thrilling narrative.

4. Where can I find more recommendations for mystery and thriller books?

For those wondering where to find more recommendations for mystery and thriller books, exploring literary blogs dedicated to the genre is a fantastic starting point. Additionally, book clubs that focus on mystery and thriller novels can offer personal recommendations and deep discussions. Don’t forget to check out reader-curated lists on book-sharing platforms, as they often provide a wide range of beloved titles and hidden gems.


As we wrap up this literary journey through suspense and mystery, remember that each title we’ve dived into offers its own unique window into the intriguing realms of human psychology, twisted plots, and unpredictable turns. The authors of these works have meticulously crafted worlds where every detail matters, shaping stories that invite readers to step into the shoes of detectives, victims, and perpetrators alike.

The beauty of mystery and thriller books lies in their power to keep us perched on the edge of our seats, eagerly flipping pages to unveil the next revelation or shocking twist. This carefully curated list encapsulates the best mystery and thriller books of the current year, blending critical acclaim with reader adoration to guide you through the year’s most compelling narratives. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a newcomer to the genre, these selections promise hours of gripping, thought-provoking entertainment.

I hope this collection inspires you to discover new mysteries, challenge your perceptions, and maybe even find a new favorite among the best mystery and thriller books. Happy reading, and may each page bring you closer to unraveling the secrets they hold. Until our next literary adventure, keep turning the pages and delving into the mysteries that await. With all my bookish love, Emma.

1. Constructing mystery: Empirical matters in theory development …. Empirical material anchors the process of theorization in specific claims about the object under study, thus prohibiting arbitrary ideas from being put into …2. The Role of Cognitive and Affective Challenge in Entertainment …. The suspense factor reflected the tension and excitement experienced during media exposure (“I was at the edge of my seat while watching this movie”). This …

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