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The Ultimate Thriller Guide


All thrillers are suspenseful, compelling, and intensifying, but the genre runs both broad and deep.  We  present here, a list of thrillers we recommend. We categorized them to illustrate the many variations on the Thriller genre.  

Note: Many titles fall into two or more categories. For example you might find psychological suspense with an unreliable narrator -- I'm looking at you Gone Girl and Girl on a Train, or something that is both historical and hard-boilded.

Complexities aside, this is a good primer for readers looking to find their place in the genre.

Serial Killers

Daisy Chain
Broken Monsters
Mr. Mercedes
Jane Steele








Police Procedurals

Livia Lone
Pretty Girls
The Crossing
a great reckoning









The One Man
The Ballad of Black Tom
Charcoal Joe








Hard-boiled & Gritty

The Cartel
The Son
The Fear Artist
Where It Hurts









Into the Darkest Corner
The Survivor
The Woodcutter









Palace of Treason
Red Sparrow
The Tourist
Spy Games









The Inquisitor
The Ghosts of Belfast








Stylistically Complex

The Farm
The Nearest Exit
Underground Airlines
Before the Fall








Women Sleuths

Now You See Me
Speaking from Among the Bones
The Trespasser
The Neighbor








Unreliable Narrators

Unreliable Narrator
gone girl
Girl on the Train
Before I Go to Sleep








Witty, Offbeat, Darkly Funny

Beat the Reaper
Deep Shadow








Science Fiction & / or the Supernatural

The Book of Strange New Things
In a Dark, Dark Wood
Universal Harvester








YA Appeal

The Fever
You Will Know Me
Everything I Never Told You








Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!


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