A great psychological thriller is one that combines mysteries and the masterful way the mind works, even in its darkest moments. Whether it’s a terrifying crime, an unreliable narrator, or a story that makes you question reality, here are some of the best psychological thrillers that will keep you engaged in their plot and up all night long reading.
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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Two sisters haven’t spoken since their teenage sister disappeared twenty years ago. When one sister’s husband is brutally murdered, the two sisters join together to see how the two cases could be connected—but neither one is prepared for the truth that destroyed their family.
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Final Girls by Riley Sager
After surviving a massacre ten years ago, the media grouped Quincy Carpenter together with two other women who survived similar horror movie situations naming them “The Final Girls.” When one other survivor is found dead, Quincy gets a visit from the other woman and the two begin to wonder: is someone picking off final girls once and for all?
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Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman
When a young woman looks forward to a fresh start during her first year of college, she meets and bonds with the perfect group of friends. Not only is she hiding a secret deadly past, but by graduation every secret the group has been harboring will be revealed—and not all of them will survive.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
After falling in love and starting a family, a husband and wife begin to grow bored of the suburban lifestyle. While they may seem like the perfect couple, they are hiding a deadly secret: they know from experience they are capable of getting away with murder.
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The Last Flight by Julie Clark
When two women decide to switch plane tickets in an airport to help each other escape from their lives, they think it’s the perfect chance to start new lives. After one of the planes crashes, one woman realizes that by taking over the other’s identity, she’s also taking on the life she was so desperate to escape.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
A criminal psychotherapist has been waiting his entire career for someone like his new patient, a beautiful woman with the perfect life, who shot her husband in the face and hasn’t spoken a word since. As his determination to find out what happened that night turns into obsession, he finds himself in a position where things will take a shocking and disturbing turn if she speaks.
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
When Chloe Davis was a child, her father confessed to the disappearances of six teenage girls and was put into prison for life. Now, as an adult psychologist, she is trying to put the past behind her. When local teenagers begin to go missing, the crimes are eerily similar to the ones her father admitted to. Could a copycat be at work?
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Jack and Grace seem like the perfect couple—young, wealthy and attractive. But when Jack installs metal shutters on their windows and neighbors notice that Grace never leaves Jack’s side, they start to wonder what is really going on behind closed doors in this seemingly perfect marriage.
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Nice Girls by Catherine Dang
Mary has just returned home after being kicked out of college, but she’s completely different than the girl she was when she left. Shortly after returning home, her old best friend goes missing and Mary begins to wonder if the disappearance is connected to another disappearance of a young woman from years ago that the police dismissed as a runaway.
In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead
Jessica Miller is returning to Duquette University for her ten-year reunion for the first time since her best friend, Heather, was murdered. Determined to show everyone, including her old friend group, that she’s a new person, someone isn’t as willing to let go of the past as Jessica is—and it’s only a matter of time before old secrets are resurrected when she connects with her old friends.
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
Chloe is a psychopath and part of an unusual clinical study with other anonymous psychopath students, but she’s arrived at the university with one goal: kill Will Bachman. When one of the other students in the study is found murdered, Chloe begins to think that this is not an isolated incident and the other students in the study are in danger as well.
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The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Rachel Krall has the hottest new true crime podcaster who has been brought to a small town that has been ripped apart by a rape trial. As Rachel begins to investigate, she starts to get mysterious letters signed by someone who claims their sister Jenny was murdered twenty-five years ago. As Rachel becomes overwhelmed with the double mysteries, she soon finds that the two cases have common threads—and may not be separate at all.
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Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Angela, Georgina and Kaiser were best of friends in high school, until Angela disappeared. Now, almost fifteen years later, Angela’s remains are found in the woods behind Georgina’s childhood home, and Kaiser—now a detective—finally learns that Angela was another victim of serial killer Calvin James. To the world, Calvin James is a monster; but to Georgina, he was her first love when the trio was in high school.
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
When Ted meets the mysterious and beautiful Lily at an airport, the two share a few too many martinis, and Ted tells Lily about his crumbling marriage to his wife Miranda, who he is sure is cheating on him. After Ted admits he wishes he could kill Miranda, Lily offers to help. Once back in Boston, the the alcohol-induced confession becomes a murder plot—but Miranda isn’t the only woman in Ted’s life hiding something.
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Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon
Oliver Park is a recovering addict from Indiana, now sober and living in DC with his wealthy partner, Nathan. One evening when Nathan is out of town, Oliver goes to a gay bathhouse and meets a man. When things go from steamy to scary, Oliver barely escapes alive. Now, hiding the truth from not only Nathan, but also the police, Oliver has buried himself in a web of lies that could shatter his perfect life.
The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott
Rebecca and Paul thought they found their happily ever after when they found each other. Now, twenty years later, the secrets of the past two decades are threatening to ruin their marriage and Paul’s mistress begins to stalk the couple. Meanwhile, Rebecca’s opiate addiction doesn’t hold her back from coming up with a plan to stop Paul from leaving her once she finds his intentions are to build a new life without her.
You by Caroline Kepnes
Joe Goldberg thinks he’s found his soulmate when the mysterious Beck enters the bookshop he works in. After meeting, Joe begins to stalk Beck’s social media, which snowballs into him trying to find ways to run into her in person, turning this chance encounter into a deadly game of obsession and love.
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Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding
When stay-at-home mom Frances, desperate for a friend, meets the beautiful and wealthy Kate, the two women quickly become friends. As the two women get to know each other more and their friendship flourishes, a mysterious past is introduced as one of these women is not who she seems: one’s real name is Amber Kunik and she is a murderer.
White Ivy by Susie Yang
As a young adult, Ivy’s grandmother taught her how to steal in order to fit in. After the plan works and Ivy meets the wealthy and handsome Gideon, her mother discovers what Ivy has been doing and sends her to China. Years later, when Ivy is back in Boston, she runs into Gideon’s sister and desperately tries to infiltrate her way back into Gideon’s life. But, someone out there knows Ivy better than anyone else and if exposed, Ivy could lose everything.
A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice
A group of friends is torn apart as they enter high school, leaving one friend as an outcast who deals with bullying and betrayal from his old friends. Following two deaths, the friends are reunited years later, but secrets and old feelings begin to bubble to the surface as deadly consequences jeopardizes all of their lives.
The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea
A year ago, senior high school students Megan McDonald and Nicole Cutty disappeared from a beach party resulting in only Megan escaping from a bunker in the woods. Now, Megan has released a bestselling book about what happened, but Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister, Livia, is a fellow in forensic pathology and is waiting for the day Nicole’s body is found so she can finally get closure. Other girls have also disappeared, which makes Livia believe this is a serial killer. But what no one knows is Megan is starting to get flashbacks of memories that are helping put the pieces of the puzzle together.
The Family Game by Catherine Steadman
Author Harriet Reed has just gotten engaged to the wealthy and handsome Edward Holbeck. Even though Edward has tried to cut ties with his eccentric family, the announcement of their upcoming wedding has the family trying even harder to be part of Edward’s life. Harriet believes Edward’s family is welcoming, until Edward’s father hands her a tape of a book he’s been working on. As Harriet listens, she realizes this is no novel, but a confession involving a murder.
Look Closer by David Ellis
Vicky and Simon seem to be the couple that has it all. They are wealthy and successful and live in Chicago, but one of them may be a killer. When a socialite is found dead, Simon and Vicky’s secrets start to slowly come to the surface, including secret affairs and a twenty-million-dollar trust fund at stake.
The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark
Depending on where she is, Meg goes by different names and can mold herself into whatever character she needs to be in order to gain someone’s trust. Meg is a con artist and will take everything she can from whomever she chooses. Kat Roberts has been waiting for ten years to expose Meg for who she truly is, but as the two women become closer, Kat finds that Meg may have some redeemable qualities after all.
My Summer Darlings by May Cobb
Jen, Cynthia, and Kittie have been friends forever in the small Texas town they call home. As the group begins to approach forty, their lives change when the mysterious and handsome Will Harding comes to town. Will is a hot topic of conversation for the trio of women. As Will infiltrates his way into each woman’s life, friendships are tested and their obsession climbs to an alarming level that will leave one of them in a forest thinking she is going to die.
The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey
In the summer of 1977 in a small town in Minnesota, best friends Heather and Brenda have a secret. One of their friends just vanished and is the second girl to disappear in a week. Heather starts to wonder if these disappearances are related to what Brenda claims she saw in the dark one night. When the police dismiss the disappearances, Heather begins her own investigation and soon finds that everyone in town – even her own family – hide deadly secrets of their own. If Heather doesn’t get to the bottom of this mystery, she may be the next to vanish.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware
When Hannah Jones attended Oxford, her best friend, April Clarke-Cliveden, was the ultimate “it girl.” The friendship was torn apart when April was found murdered and Oxford porter John Neville was found guilty. A decade later, Hannah is expecting her first child and John Neville has just died in prison. Hannah is shocked when a journalist presents evidence to her that shows that Neville may have been innocent.
Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier
Being arrested for the murder of her wealthy and much older husband is the least of Paris Peralta’s worries. The unwanted media attention is the last thing she wants and Paris feels that it could draw out someone who knows about her past. Twenty-five-years ago, Ruby Reyes was convicted of a similar crime and the media dubbed her the Ice Queen. Ruby knows who Paris truly is and now, she’s being unexpectedly released from prison.
All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
Margot Davies was six-years-old when her neighbor, January Jacobs, vanished and was later found dead in a ditch. Now, two decades later, Margot is a journalist and was never able to move on from the fact that January’s killer was never found. After returning home to care for her sick relative, another little girl from the next town over disappears and her case is eerily similar to January’s. Margot will stop at nothing to get answers to what happened to January twenty years ago and to save another little girl from the same fate.
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
On New Year’s Eve in 1999, four teenage Blockbuster employees were attacked, leaving only one survivor. The police identified the boyfriend of one of the victims as the prime suspect but are unable to locate him after he flees and is never seen again. Fifteen years later, teenage employees are attacked at an ice cream shop with only one survivor. As the lives of three people intersect including the survivor from the Blockbuster attack, the brother of the accused, and an FBI agent who is investigating the crimes, everyone is wondering if these crimes are connected or just isolated incidents.
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