8+ Best Thriller Books of All Time


Hola! Welcome to the world of suspense, blood, conspiracies that’ll blow your mind, antagonists who’ll haunt your dreams and high octane pursuits. Welcome to the world of thrill, that’ll keep the adrenaline pumping in you and leave you asking for more. Worry not, as you go through this list of amazing must-read books, about where to start. Each of these books have separate journies into different realms planned for you. Pick a book your of choice and rest assured about the life-changing experience that you’ll go through. Almost every one of the names below has been turned into a major award-winning movie, but be prepared for more twists and plot bombs .

Disclaimer: These are definitely not the BEST of all the amazing books out there, but these will DEFINITELY set you on the right path towards this breathtaking and unbelievable alternate reality.

P.S : Keep your med-packs ready as you are about to begin a daunting journey into this incredible world.

This classic written by Harper Lee in 1957 deals with profane issues like rape and racism with warmth and humour. Its protagonist, Atticus Finch, a just lawyer got into the fictional books of history as a model of truth and an inspiration for modern day lawyers. Through this book Lee showed to the world the struggles of a middle class widower father of two who fights to preserve justice, the life of a black man accused of a horrendous crime and the joyous life of kids turned upside-down by events happening around them. The story is set during the era of the Great Depression in America. In such a chaotic time, the story presents the problems and trials of Finch, his family, the accused and his family and the opposition. But there is great injustice done that results in unforeseen circumstances. How Finch and everyone else involved deal with these forms the plot. During this period there are friends formed in the least expected places and enemies on the other side and by the end , the reader will be both enthralled and inspired by this story.

A father beheaded publicly in the blistering heat of Saudi Arabia, a woman found dead in her hotel room in an acid filled bathtub, an infamous biotech expert found eyeless and a dead corpse found in a remote mountainside. These seemingly unrelated murders have but one thing in common, forensic and bio-chemical attacks and a forensic book, describing the exact same ingredients as that of the murders that took place, authored by a former intelligence agent. The link to all these chilling murders is traced to a dead-end, the unknown murderer following his flawless routine of piling up even more bodies by the day and horrifyingly sticking to the book. It is upto one man called "Pilgrim", the other end of the link  to stop these aberrations . Imagine someone using your work of education for committing cold-blooded murders. It is with this feeling that Pilgrim must race against time to prevent oblivion, and he must get back to the stage as quietly as he disappeared a few years before. This suspenseful literary delight debuted by Terry Hayes will make sure you don't get out of your seat till the last page.

On the outside, they're the symbols of a great marriage. A loving and caring husband and a strong wife. They have a good home in a quiet place, they have enough money to sustain themselves for a more than decent amount of time. And the husband is an idol for any bachelor in town. But suddenly, on the day of their anniversary, the wife disappears. And as the police investigation starts and the cops dive deep into the case of the mysterious disappearance , a long thread of elaborate evidences implicating Nick, the husband, surface. To add to the wounds, a diary written by Amy, the wife, is found which shockingly reveals all the mis-happenings behind the mask of a blissful marriage that was present. Slowly, Nick starts to show his other side- his true,bitter side  - to the townspeople who quickly change their impression on things going on around them. As the investigation furthers and scandalous pieces of evidences are found, Nick takes up a stand that he is being framed.  And one day, evidence is found that might prove that Nick killed his wife. This revelation sets the town into a frenzy and Amy's doting parents attack at Nick furiously, while he, busy in his own investigation, maintains his stand. Is Nick really a murderer or is a larger game at play here? Read this amazing psychological thriller penned by Gillian Flynn to find out.

The Lion’s Game

The second book in the John Corey series , this electrifying thriller features an escaped terrorist called "The Lion", who is bloodthirsty for revenge against America for bombing his house and killing his family. Meanwhile, Corey, a first class detective and contract agent, is assigned the task to capture him. Something went horribly wrong in the flight that was transporting the criminal, and now it's upto Corey to set things right by following a bloody trail of death and smoke, along with his new beautiful and formidable partner, Kate, through a variety of locations. Filled with suspense that could choke people and twists at every turn that could put a rubber band(I feel bad for that band) to shame, this heart-stopper of a book, grâce à Nelson DeMille, is overflowing with action , just waiting to be read by thrill addicts.

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Red Dragon

Thomas Harris' masterpiece which introduced to the world Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a cannibalistic mental patient and Will Graham, an extremely capable FBI agent with a gift for catching criminals; is a perfect start for a macabre yet exciting series of novels. A glimpse into the wild and psychotic mind of Lecter and his manipulations will leave the reader stunned. For those fans of the recent highly-rated series, Hannibal, this is a very good book to read. Although this will be far different from what is shown in the series, a part of it got adapted in the recent episodes of the show. As Will Graham fights to uncover the truth behind gruesome killings with a lot of shades of cannibalism involved, little does he realize that the one he is dependent on is infact leading him astray. A mindplay so powerful that it can disturb the best of minds, the innovative and cunning Lecter strikes with all force to shatter and break the strongest of minds, with unknown and mysterious intentions.

The Day of the Jackal

Frederick Forsyth, who has a string of amazing thrillers to his credit, started his career with this book.In this modern day thriller a mysterious person, whose very existence is known to a meager few, keeping even the best of the secret service agencies in the dark has only one motive - to kill the world's most powerful and guarded man. But this assignment isn't like any other. It's a clash between a shadow and a heavily armored enemy. How this assassination attempt is brought about forms the plot. There is no one in the world who can stop "The Jackal", as he is known, from completing his mission. Adding to the mystery, the mission is so secretive that even the employers of the assassin have no idea of the identity of this shadow of a person. The course of history is in the fate of a very few hands, and these hands are about to get bloodied. This page-gripping and power-packed novel will keep the readers enthralled till the last page.

Marathon Man

Written by William Goldman in the 1970's, this is a masterpiece for those thrill lovers also fascinated by conspiracies. The plot revolves around the smuggling of diamonds out of  USA by a former Nazi SS dentist, through a secretive organisation which goes by the name "The Division". The protagonist, "Babe" Levy, a postgraduate student and an aspiring marathon runner, is unknowingly sucked into this through a series of betrayals and murders and is suddenly kidnapped and tortured for information of which he has no idea. This book creates that Nazi-era environment infamous for it's inhumane treatment and tortures of people. Drifting through a variety of aliases and clandestine activities, the story of how Levy escapes and learns about the true happening of things around him and how he avenges the death of his loved ones forms the rest of this thriller. This book which inspired a major motion picture is one that will keep the reader on his toes.

The Manchurian Candidate

For those fascinated with political thrillers, this is a good one to keep you happy. Written by Richard Condon back in 1959, don't be deceived by the date. Based during the Korean War, this tale of deception and deceit is spun along the lines the American, Soviet and Chinese participation in the war. Unseen forces use this war as a springboard for their own political motives. Amid the tensions between the Soviets, the Communists and the Americans, this story also involves a mole in the American government working with enemy forces. An infantry of soldiers including the protagonist, Major Bennett Marco find themselves brainwashed into believing they were saved by one of their own from a kidnapping, who then goes on to receive honours. Post-war  Marco keeps having recurring nightmares that shows him glimpses of a lost truth. After finding out that a fellow soldier also kept experiencing the same , Marco sets out to find the truth behind these dreams and slowly starts to uncover a ghastly plot of assassinations, puppeteering and a mysterious force called "Queen of Dreams", all the while under observation. In course, he discovers and goes on to stop an important assassination that could throw the world into the hands of dictatorship and things escalate quickly with the ending becoming quite unpredictable. This classic inspired two award winning movies, but the book contains many amount of emotions for the reader to go through and is definitely a good read for those expecting lots of ups and downs throughout this thriller.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

This classic spy thriller written back in the 1960's can serve as a very good script for spy movies made today. Set in the Cold War era, this book that launched the author, John Le Carre's career into international stardom, got famous for it's view on American espionage tactics as inconsistent with the Western tradition and ideals, morally. It features the protagonist, a British spy, with a dying career set on a last mission, which turns out unfavorably thus kicking out the last shreds of hope from him altogether. But his spymaster is not done with him yet. He sends him on an undercover mission the next time, which forces him to utilize his failure in his last mission as a stepping stone and defeat the unsuspecting enemy. A treat for all those spy fans, you could say this fatherly figure of a book to all other neo-spy movies and books, would be a special experience for those interested in witnessing a phoenix rise from the ashes.(figuratively obviously!)

The Hunt for Red October

This novel, which launched the phenomenal career of author Tom Clancy in 1984 is an action powerhouse. It is about the search for a secret soviet missile submarine, the mysterious and devastating "Red October". It is a race against time for the Americans and Soviets, who are after it, as well as a test of strength, power and resources. The ever-present enmity between the Americans and the Soviets, although concealed through fine layers of diplomacy, pushes forward both the sides for achieving world dominance. The author, himself an ex- pilot expertly blends in real-life scenarios and creates this unique piece of fictional documentation of the search for a cutting-edge piece of technology. The  life of the protagonist, Jack Ryan, a CIA Analyst, who then goes on to investigate many other cases of national and international importance in other books of the author, can be traced to it's inception here.. This military masterpiece of fiction is a must-read for those who wish to experience an incredible and adrenaline filled chase through the perilous waters of the Atlantic .


  1. Jayant Singh Jeena December 17, 2015
    • Saripalli Sreekar December 17, 2015
  2. Jayant Singh Jeena December 17, 2015

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