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9 Best Crime Thriller Fiction Books of All Time

Crime thrillers have a special power to grip readers and keep them on the edge of their seats. The best examples of this genre are masterful works that weave intricate plots, unforgettable characters, and shocking twists into page-turning narratives. From the brilliant minds of renowned authors emerge novels that plunge us into worlds of mystery, suspense, and darkness, challenging our assumptions and leaving us guessing until the final, jaw-dropping conclusion. Prepare to be swept away by their haunting storytelling, chilling atmospheres, and incredible ability to captivate readers with every word. These classics have earned their place in literary history, and they are must-reads for anyone seeking a truly unforgettable thriller experience.

1. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The second installment of Stieg Larsson’s acclaimed Millennium series, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” is a gripping crime thriller that delves deeper into the enigmatic life of Lisbeth Salander. When Salander is implicated in a brutal triple homicide, she and Mikael Blomkvist must unravel a dangerous conspiracy that threatens to expose dark secrets from her past. With its twisted plot, unforgettable characters, and biting social commentary, this novel is a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

AuthorStieg Larsson
PublishedJanuary 1, 2006
Buy on AmazonLink
The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium Trilogy 2) by Stieg Larsson (4-Jun-2015) Paperback
  • Stieg Larsson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/04/2015 (Publication Date) – MacLehose Press (Publisher)

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is the electrifying first installment of the Millennium series that introduced readers to the brilliant, troubled hacker Lisbeth Salander and the disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist. When Blomkvist is hired to investigate the disappearance of a wealthy businessman’s niece, he teams up with Salander, and together they uncover a web of corruption, violence, and shocking family secrets. This dark and gripping thriller has captivated audiences worldwide with its compelling characters and intricate plot.

AuthorStieg Larsson
PublishedAugust 1, 2005
Buy on AmazonLink
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: A Lisbeth Salander Novel (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Larsson, Stieg (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 658 Pages – 09/16/2008 (Publication Date) – Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (Publisher)

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” is a twisted and unforgettable psychological thriller that explores the depths of a troubled marriage. When Amy Dunne goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her husband, Nick, becomes the prime suspect. As the investigation unfolds, dark secrets and twisted revelations about their relationship come to light, leading readers down a twisted path of lies, deception, and jaw-dropping twists. This gripping novel has become a cultural phenomenon, captivating audiences with its exploration of love, obsession, and the complexities of human nature.

AuthorGillian Flynn
PublishedDecember 6, 2012
Buy on AmazonLink
Gone Girl: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Flynn, Gillian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 419 Pages – 06/05/2012 (Publication Date) – Ballantine Books (Publisher)

4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train” is a suspenseful and atmospheric thriller that follows Rachel, an alcoholic divorcee, as she becomes entangled in the disappearance of a woman she watches from the train each day. With its unreliable narrator, intricate plot twists, and exploration of domesticity and obsession, this novel keeps readers guessing until the very end. Hawkins’ masterful storytelling has earned this book countless accolades and a loyal following of fans who appreciate its gripping tension and psychological depth.

AuthorPaula Hawkins
PublishedJanuary 13, 2015
The Girl on the Train
  • Read thru once
  • Hawkins, Paula (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 07/12/2016 (Publication Date) – Riverhead Books (Publisher)

5. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” is a blockbuster thriller that combines elements of mystery, conspiracy, and religious intrigue. When Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is drawn into a deadly web of puzzles and codes linked to the works of Leonardo da Vinci, he finds himself embroiled in a centuries-old secret that could shake the foundations of Christianity. With its fast-paced action, historical references, and controversial themes, this novel has captivated readers around the world and sparked intense debates about its subject matter.

AuthorDan Brown
PublishedMarch 18, 2003
The Da Vinci Code: A Novel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Dan Brown (Author) – Paul Michael (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/2006 (Publication Date) – Random House Audio (Publisher)

6. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

“The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides is a gripping psychological thriller that delves into the minds of a psychotherapist and his patient, a woman who remains silent after committing an unthinkable act of violence. As the psychotherapist becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind her silence, he unravels a twisted tale of love, betrayal, and dark secrets. With its unreliable narration, shocking twists, and exploration of the depths of the human psyche, this debut novel has garnered widespread critical acclaim and become a must-read for fans of the genre.

AuthorAlex Michaelides
PublishedJanuary 1, 2018
The Silent Patient
  • Michaelides, Alex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 05/04/2021 (Publication Date) – Celadon Books (Publisher)

7. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

“The Cuckoo’s Calling” is the debut novel in the Cormoran Strike series, written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. This gripping crime thriller introduces readers to the brilliant yet troubled private investigator Cormoran Strike, who is hired to investigate the alleged suicide of a supermodel. As Strike delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a tangled web of secrets and lies that challenge his own beliefs. With its intricate plot, vivid characters, and Rowling’s masterful storytelling, this novel is a must-read for fans of classic detective fiction.

AuthorRobert Galbraith
PublishedApril 18, 2013
Buy on Amazon[Link to be provided]

8. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” is a timeless masterpiece of mystery and suspense. When a wealthy American is found murdered on the famous Orient Express train, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot must untangle a web of clues and motives to solve the case. With its ingenious plot, diverse cast of suspects, and Christie’s signature twists and turns, this novel has captivated readers for generations and cemented its place as a true classic of the genre.

AuthorAgatha Christie
PublishedJanuary 1, 1934
The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Galbraith, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 561 Pages – 04/30/2013 (Publication Date) – Mulholland Books (Publisher)

9. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris’ “The Silence of the Lambs” is a chilling and unforgettable psychological thriller that introduced the world to the iconic characters of Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter. As Starling, a young FBI trainee, seeks the guidance of the brilliant but twisted Lecter to catch a serial killer, she finds herself drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. With its gripping suspense, vivid imagery, and exploration of the darkest corners of the human mind, this novel has become a cultural phenomenon and a must-read for fans of the genre.

AuthorThomas Harris
PublishedJuly 1, 1988
The Silence of the Lambs
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Thomas Harris (Author) – Frank Muller (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 04/07/2011 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)
Shalini (1)
My name is Shalini and I love reading a lot. On this blog I review most of the books I have read. Hope you enjoy.
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