Hello everybody, In this article we talk about the Top 17 Best Psychological Thriller Books to Read in 2021. I have not done an article over here, in what feels like forever because it might have been basically forever, but I'm back and I have another article for you. Today I did an article once before this one and it was all about my rainbow bookshelf and some of the books that I have in my collection.
One of my big goals in December was to read a lot and I did. I read so many books about detectives, psychology, and horror. I have read an insane amount of psychological thrillers books they have been my favorite genre lately, so I wanted to share some of my favorites and not-so favorites in the psychological thriller books genre with you. I have been sharing lots about the different kinds of best psychological horror books.
I'm sharing my favorite psychological thrillers books!! I have been reading a huge amount of thriller novels lately and I wanted to share my favorite novels with you! I love twisty thrillers! The more unpredictable the storyline is the better in my books! I love a good plot twist and I'm sure you do too. We could all use a little mystery in our lives!
I've been reading over on my Instagram and by far people have been most interested in psychological thriller books. I am going to start with my favorites and tell you a little about them and why you should probably read them also all of my book recommendations will be linked down below also even the ones I don't like because maybe you'll like them.
Here are some best psychological thriller books 2021. I love (read these!), some that I think are just okay, and one that is downright terrible. Plus a few bonus books that I have waiting on my bookshelf for me to crack open and read!
So what are your favorite psychological thriller books?
What is a psychological horror novel?
People always say psychological horror, psychological horror, and psychological horror. What exactly is a psychological horror novel? What is it specifically? Does it have any meaning? Can you give a few examples of psychological horror novels and explain them?
Let me give you an example. If you go home one day, everything will be fine. When you open the door, you find that the roses on the table have been cut off, and the petals are scattered all over the place. The pets raised at home are cooked in a pot. The sheets were filled with red paint. The photo you put on the bedside table is inserted into your house's fruit knife. Although these might not pose a threat to you, you feel infinitely horrible, because there are many unknowns.
First, you don’t know how that person got in. Second, you don’t know what the purpose of the other person is and why does he do it? The unknown is the most terrifying thing in psychology. It is simple why people are afraid of death and why children are afraid of the dark because these are unknown. If you go home and find that your door has been slid open, and a person is standing inside holding a knife, the fear you feel is far less than in the previous example. The fear at this time is short-lived but the fear in the previous example is infinite.
Unknown things are the most terrifying. Things that are often scary do not pose a threat to themselves or others, but people do not understand him.
For example, some people are afraid of going to hell after death, but there is hell in the world. Is hell really terrible? No one knows.
Everyone is afraid of death because no one knows what will happen after death, (because no dead person will stand up and tell you.)
Best Psychological horror novels use people The dreams fabricated from the fear of the unknown can alleviate the psychological pressure of people in modern cities.
Best Psychological Thriller Books of All Time 2021
1. No Exit: A Novel
No Exit: A Novel by Taylor Adams
Okay I'm going to start with my favorite psychological thriller lately I've literally read it in one single sitting I could not put it down so it's called no exit it's by Taylor Adams and my gosh if you are looking for a super super super fast-paced thriller this is definitely for you it's absolutely wild.
This book from the very first page is going to keep you turning those pages because so this book is about a young girl heading home from university to see her sick mother but she gets stuck in a wild snowstorm with I believe four strangers.
I don't want to give much away but it says it in the like synopsis so I think I can she finds a girl a child locked in a cage and the story is all about getting the child out and getting down to the bottom of what the heck is going on if you like a very fast-paced thriller this is for you.
2. The Silent Patient
Next sticking in the vein of books I really liked these are all the ones I really like I loved the silent patient I think this is just an amazing book here's where we encounter the issue that I'm really bad at pronouncing things so um so the name is Alex Michaelis Micah lines so the silent patient is about a woman who randomly kills her husband she shoots him five times and then refuses to speak kind of ever again so it is about why she refuses to speak and trying to get down to the bottom of what actually happened the night her husband died she's the silent patient get it she doesn't speak this book is also super twisty it's a super journey the ending I did not expect and I love that in a thriller.
3. The Family Upstairs: A Novel
The Family Upstairs: A Novel by Lisa Jewell
Next, we're going with another book that I just read this is Lisa Jewell the family upstairs again such a good book these are all the good ones, of course, I'm gonna say that I feel like all of the books by Lisa Jewell that I've read have multiple narrators and it's the same with this one there's someone who's adopted and gets this giant house left to them by their biological family and it's figuring out the story of what the heck happened in that house in the family upstairs the main character Libby is found as a tiny baby crying in a crib by the police and everyone else in her family is either dead or missing so it's all about finding that family and figuring out also what the heck happened.
4. The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window: A Novel by A. J Finn
next a kind of a staple in the psychological thriller genre these days 'The Woman in the Window by A.J Finn. It is so good they're all so good I believe a woman in the window is about to be turned into a series if it hasn't already and I want to watch it is it a movie it's a series it's something it's going to be good the woman in the window is about a woman anna who is a recluse she lives in her apartment all by herself refuses to go outside so anna loves to spy on her neighbors and then one night she sees something that she shouldn't have seen and it is all about her unraveling and trying to figure out what actually happened across the street that night again it's a good one.
5. Into the Water
Into the Water: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
next, we are moving on to psychological thrillers that I think are pretty good. So here are some of my thrillers that are not topped here but they're pretty okay. Starting with 'Into the Water' by Paula Hawkins. This is another book that I just finished so this is another one of those books that follow multiple storylines and you're trying to put it all together and make it make sense.
In this book, you're also kind of jumping around in time also so what is into the water about so a single mother is found drowned in this body of water in the town where all of these women drown so it is figuring out what is going on with that water what happened to this woman what happened to some of the other characters that are brought up into the story that also drowned and figuring out what is going on with this water Paula Hawkins is the author of the girl on the train which is a really popular thriller and this is a pretty good one I mean I read it if I were you.
6. I Found You
I Found You: A Novel by Lisa Jewell
next, we have another Lisa jewel book it is I found you it's just okay we're getting to the just okay thrillers it is about a man who shows up on a beach and has no idea who he is he has amnesia he has absolutely no clue what's going on this woman finds him on the breach invites him into her house and wants to help him figure out who he is and why he's there.
This is another book that flashes back and forth throughout time so we're also following some other stories like one that happened like 30 years prior and putting them all together to see if you can make sense of what actually happened to this man and who is he that's the big thing can you figure out who he is this thriller is rated okay we're middle of the pile now.
7. The Couple Next Door
The Couple Next Door: A Novel by Shari Lapena
and then we have the couple next door this is a thriller that I read a while ago it is by Sheri Lapena. So it is about a couple who leaves their baby home alone while they go to a party just next door with their neighbors they needed a break they come home and the baby is missing who took the baby where is the baby oh my gosh why would they leave the baby alone this is another one of those thrillers that we're seeing it's just okay I mean I'd read all of them.
8. The Favorite Daughter
The Favorite Daughter: A Novel by Kaira Rouda
except for the next one that's what I wouldn't read but I would add this to your read list all right rounding out the books that I've read we're going to go with my absolute least favorite psychological thriller I've ever read the favorite daughter this is by Akira Ruda.
I absolutely didn't like this book. I would really recommend you read it honestly it's so predictable that's one thing. I don't like a psychological thrillers. I don't like when I can pick it up and figure it out in the first little bit what happened and this is kind of one of those books for me that's why I like them really twisty and like something happens you don't see coming this was too predictable for me.
and it was an unreliable narrator that was obviously unreliable and in a way that you were like I know not to take this woman seriously so I wasn't a fan because I think you were supposed to be taking her seriously until the end so it's a no for me.
9. The Widow
and next, we have three psychological thrillers that are on my bookshelves that I have not read yet that are on my to-read list so first, we have the widow by Fiona barton this is one Ali is currently reading my wife so I actually have no clue what this is about but I will be reading it and then I'll tell you what I think.
10. The Widow Next Door
The Widow Next Door: The most chilling of new crime thriller books from the USA Today bestseller by L.A. Detwiler
And then we have another book about a widow the widow next door. It's kind of seems like a cross between the widow and the woman in the window I think ally read this and actually didn't like it so we'll see what I think so it sounds like some people move into a house they get a new neighbor this little lady she becomes a friend of theirs and then she grows a little too interested in the couple and watches them constantly so I'm gonna read it I know my wife didn't like it but we'll see what I think.
11. The Next to Die
The Next to Die: A Novel by Sophie Hannah
and then, we have Sophie Hannah the next to die. I got this book because I was really excited I thought it sounded super interesting but I just haven't been able to get into it if we look we can see that I've started it but I found it super wordy which isn't also necessarily something.
I like a thriller, I like it fast-paced I like it like unpredictable and an easy read if I'm looking for something that's going to take more thought I'm not going to reach for a thriller that's just me personally so it's it started being a little too much a little too wordy a little too intense of a read for me for what I like to read but we'll see I'm going to try to dive into this again and see what happens.
12. Phantom Limb
Phantom Limb: A Gripping Psychological Thriller by Lucinda Berry
First up is phantom limb by Lucinda berry. Phantom limb follows the story of a pair of twins Emily and Elizabeth and they were subject to horrific childhood abuse by their mother heavily until they were eight years old and they were rescued by a foster family and they were adopted while the story begins when they're in their 20s kind of early college-age and Emily is doing very poorly and Elizabeth is kind of trying to pick up the pieces of her life and move on and make a life for herself.
Emily is really struggling with depression and a lot of other issues and she's really unable to move on with her life a series of events unfolds and one day Elizabeth wakes up in a psych ward in a hospital with no recollection of how she got there only that the last thing she remembers was finding Emily's body in their bathroom well Elizabeth is left in the hospital to figure out what happened how she got there and she also has to deal with all the events of her past and her horrible abusive childhood her relationship with her mother and kind of come to terms with everything as a whole this one is a crazy ride like so crazy.
I could not put this book down was so I was immersed and invested this is a story about the intense bond between twins and what happens when that intense bond is severed or broken in some way it's also dealing with a lot of the effects of abuse on a very small child and how that impacts someone as an adult and it just there's so many plot twists and craziness that happens that I did not see coming at all.
It's just really well done the pacing is amazing there's never a dull or slow moment I was constantly wondering what was gonna happen I just needed to turn the pages I read it so fast it is so good and completely unforgettable this book is jarring and I had chills the whole time it is just so real and raw Lucinda Berry is actually a psychologist so all of her discussions on mental illness and psychology are very informative as well as chilling and she really blurs the lines between psychology and realism and fiction and you know dramatics the way that she writes is just so entertaining but also informative and really makes you question and think and it's just mentally a journey.
13. Still Missing
Still Missing: A Novel by Chevy Stevens
Next up is still missing by Chevy Stevens. This is a story of a woman named Annie who is in her 30s and she has just been rescued from being abducted she was taken by a psychopath brought to a cabin in the woods and was held there for a year before she escaped and this story bounces between her sessions with her therapist a few after being rescued as she's trying to put her life back together and figure out where she stands in her new reality after this has happened to her and between the events after immediately after she escaped.
I really love the way this one was woven together with the two different timelines this one was extremely chilling and actually had me sobbing like literally sobbing this is the only book that has ever done that to me so that happened it's like kind of a mixture of like a train wreck you cannot look away from when she is as this captive and this crazy psycho that she stressed calling the Freak and just the wit the things that he does and then mixed with her really struggling with who is she now and her post-traumatic stress and depression and just trying to become somebody again after this horrible event and there's a plot twist at the end.
I was like what I didn't see it coming at all and it really wrapped up this story in a great way that I loved I read this one year ago and it is completely unforgettable I need to read it again.
14. The Butterfly Garden
The next book is the butterfly garden by Dot Hutchinson. This one is probably the most messed up and traumatizing to read it is about a woman who escaped from captivity by a man who has this garden like a dome-like a greenhouse kind of and keeps young women there and calls them his butterflies and he tattoos butterflies on their backs and just keeps them captive in this garden.
It's extremely graphic so I know I said I wasn't gonna talk about content warnings but this one is in a different sphere bordering on the horror genre, I would say it's impactful but it's really good it explores the kind of relationships that all the different girls develop while they're there and just the desperation that they have you know Stockholm Syndrome and just the camaraderie that they have even though that they are miserable and captive.
The story follows a woman named Maya who has escaped from the garden and survived the aftermath of it and they're trying to kind of put together the pieces of exactly what happened there and she slowly reveals more and more about it and they started trying to figure out like what is she hiding and what exactly went on here who is this and it keeps you guessing till the end the plot twist wasn't too intense I mean it was kind of left something to be desired but the rest of the book made up for it for me I really enjoyed reading this one even if it kept me up at night free.
15. Sharp Objects
the next one is sharp objects by Gillian Flynn. This is a less horrifying but still chilling book about a journalist who travels to her hometown to help investigate the murders of two preteen girls that took place in her hometown and she goes to stay with her estranged mother half-sister and stepfather and they're weird the story starts after Camille.
Our main character has just completed a stay in a psychological treatment place in a hospital and so it's kind of struggling with her past with her difficult mother and kind of her childhood and so she's returning to her hometown which is very difficult for her but she really wants to return to a normal life after her stay in the hospital and she just wants to do something right so she goes to this town starts investigating and trying to figure out what happened to these two young girls she starts to unravel different things about her mother and her half-sister and her sister that passed away when she was a kid.
This one kept me guessing I really enjoyed that the main character was very self-deprecating in both her actions and her dialogue Gillian Flynn writes very messed of characters and very fun and entertaining ways to read as weird as that might sound I love the way that they are so relatable in their voices and they also just have these deep and twisted past and insides and thought processes going on and who it's just a ride to read about.
hey someone's pretty chilling and has a lot of graphic scenes in it unraveling the puzzle was really fun with this one and I really enjoyed it and I hadn't recommended the audiobook this one has a very murder mystery feel to it trying to figure out whodunit and I love that but it also did the psychological aspect very well as well.
16. The Perfect Child
the next book is the perfect child by Lucinda berry. This is a story about a young toddler who was found in a parking lot covered in blood and screaming and they don't know where she came from who her mother is and what happened her wildest girl is in the hospital.
Her doctor starts to form kind of a very intimate bond with her and his wife is a nurse there and they take a great interest in her and offer to take her in as a fair foster child while the police kind of try and figure out where she's gonna go, this one is so creepy child done so well I have heard so many duds of like the creepy child trope and this one is the ultimate psycho child book.
I had this overhanging sense of dread the whole time I was reading like to the point where even when I stopped reading I was just anxious and freaked out just to be living my life it was so weird and I had to it like really quickly. so I could just know what happened and move on it was so good at first you just fall in love with this little girl who is just vomiting eyes and broken and then listens to Barry just build on this creepiness so slowly.
But it just is so intense and you read from the perspectives of the mother the father and their social worker so you get a very multi-layered perspective of this girl and the family and the mother is the one who is mainly dealing with the psycho child being home with her alone during the day while the dad's at work and she just is targeted by this girl and it's just so so freaky it's so freaky oh my god and I just I loved it.
I liked the ending I thought it wrapped up really good and just left me chilled it locked me really chilled not happy at all I'm just saying don't read this if you're trying to if you're thinking about adoption or just don't.
17. Those Girls: A Novel
Those Girls: A Novel by Chevy Stevens
finally, we have those girls by Chevy Stevens so this is the story of sisterhood and we followed three sisters. who are bonded together in their avoidance of their father and his Buse of rages. one night something happens that forces them to leave home and run away so the three of them rushed out in the middle of the night get into a truck and just start driving and the truck breaks down and they're forced to pull over in this unknown small town and get the help they kind of run into some troublesome people and they're thrown into this very horrific and desperate situation.
Then I won't spoil for you so after that night they are forced to change their names and run away once again and start a new life and eighteen years later they're still struggling with the things that happened that summer. when one day one of the sisters goes missing and they are forced to come back into contact with it all and confront their pasts.
So this is another very graphic a very disturbing book but I really liked it talks a lot about the bond between the sisters and their close intense ride-or-die love for each other there's a lot of mystery and just trying to figure out exactly what happened to them and where they are now and I just like it's a really good story about love and family with some jarring and chilling elements thrown into it and just the desperation and revenge and loyalty and it's really good it's freaky but it's good.
So those are my 17 best psychological thriller books recommendations.
FAQ about Best Psychological Thriller Books
Are there any psychology books recommended for people with anxiety, fear, and extreme insecurity?
Anxiety, fear, and insecurity are caused by more complex reasons. They are not only the influence of life experience from childhood to adulthood but also the things encountered in the social environment are closely related. In addition, the factors of individual character and temperament cause this aspect.
If this is the case, the best way is to read books in this area to understand the general psychological development model. It does not necessarily mean that you have to read more professional books and then guide yourself in what to do but from other people’s stories. Get some inspiration, and bring empathy and experience.
What is morbid anxiety?
Answer: Morbid anxiety is a kind of anxiety that is not in line with reality and is unnecessary. Many people themselves know that many of their annoyances are unnecessary, but they are still scared of the turmoil.
How does morbid anxiety form?
- Childhood shadows and lack of a stable sense of self, a person's negative experiences when they are weak will have a lifelong impact, which is why many rich people are still so stingy and calculating every day. In addition, the lack of the heroic image of the psychological father and the mirror image of the psychological mother will also make people lack a sense of self-worth and healthy narcissism. Therefore, such children are more likely to be in turmoil.
- The negative experience after entering the adult world with complex and changeable interpersonal relationships is a socialization problem that many people cannot complete in their lifetime.
- Personality factors. Many people are born pessimistic and sensitive. Such people are more likely to fall into negative emotions and cannot extricate themselves. Everyone's perception of the world is a belief brought by personality, so how to overcome one's innate beliefs is the homework of a lifetime.
I don't think recommending books can be cured, because the cognitive level of understanding only works on consciousness, and the perfect therapeutic effect must be felt and realized in the relationship between people.
Therefore, in addition to my explanation of pathological anxiety theory, I suggest that you watch some good movies that reflect pathological anxiety. Many protagonists' epiphany plots can directly hit the soul and see their own shadows, which can serve as a cure in the counseling relationship.
Conclusion of best psychological thriller books
So those are some best psychological thrillers books that I love or I don't love so much and some that I plan on reading. Thank you so much for reading this article. If you want me, to keep creating content over here please give this article a share, so I know that you're interested and hope you will subscribe to my site to see my next article soon. All right everybody, I want you to have a lovely day and I'll see you soon.