best-psychological-thriller-books
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This genre is one of the many captivating fiction genres, it shows the beauty of human nature dark side. Most of the twisted mind character in the novel are from the seemingly normal and ordinary people, some even fit in well in the society. This genre is terrifyingly good to read, of its unsuspected plot which will make you couldn’t stop reading until the end.

12Psycho: A Novel by Robert Bloch

First Published: 1959

Plot Summary:
Norman Bates a middle-aged bachelor runs a motel with his puritanical mother, who possessively forbid him to have a life outside of her. One day Mary Crane on the run after stealing $ 40,000 from her employer, decided to stay in Norman deserted motel. Her arrival becomes the catalyst of the murderous jealous mother that will claim her life. But when Lila, Mary’s sister come to investigate her disappearance the truth revealed. It might be Noman’s mother is innocent after all. So who is responsible for Mary’s death?

Reason for you to read this:
This novel is the most popular psychological thriller of all time which provide unparalleled insight into the deranged mind. It is not cliche, a fresh unheard story before, and has been adapted to the cult classic movies which still could chill anybody like they never knew before.

Best Quote:
“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.”

First Published: 1988

Plot Summary:
Clarice Starling a young FBI trainee enlist the help of Hannibal Lecter the brilliant forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer in Maryland mental institution to track down and capture the notorious serial killer on the loose “Buffalo Bill” to safe the daughter of a senator before time is running out.

Reason for you to read this:
If you enjoy a smart thrilling yet full of chilling macabre themes novel, this is the one you should read. Hannibal has become a popular sensation until today of his complex and unprecedented character. His intelligence, twisted dark mind, and unpredictable motives are just fascinating to read over and over. Not to mention his weird connection with Clarice who is the complete opposite of him, yet they are sympathetic toward each other in certain weirdly understanding.

Best Quote:
“When the fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin’, but not to help.”

10Misery: A Novel by Stephen King

First Published: 1987

Plot Summary:
The novel follows Paul Sheldon the famous writer of Victorian era romance which involves the character Misery Chastain. One day he involved in a car crash and rescued by Anne Wilkes a former nurse who bring him to her house and nurse him to “health”. Later she revealed she is an avid fan, who to Paul’s horror discovery she is crazy serial killer and after found out her idol character Misery is killed off in his latest novel forces him to write a new novel with a different fate and punishes him with severe tortures for misbehave. Paul then have to survive on his own and uses his will to save himself from Anne plan for their life’s end.

Reason for you to read this:
For you who loves reading psychology thriller, Stephen King novel is one you couldn’t avoid. Misery is one of the greatest of his writing and deemed as one of the greatest in 20th century. It is crazily good and leave you biting nail to the thrill yet end in good note so you wouldn’t have never ending the nightmare.

Best Quote:
“I am in trouble here. This woman is not right.”

9The Memory Game by Nicci French

First Published: 1997

Plot Summary:
The novel focuses on Jane Martello, a middle-aged woman on the verge of divorce and isolating from her large family. Then her sister in law Natalie corpse found in the garden after been missing for two decades. In order to reveal the murder Jane have to forgo a memory exercise which might lead to the danger of her own safety and unearth the dark secret of her family.

Reason for you to read this:
Human’s mind is so complex, full of memories, and sometimes it could even overpower or deceive you. In this novel it shows us how it might even bring us to our own doom. Get ready to be mesmerized and be careful not to question your own strength of memory after reading this.

Best Quote:
“And how do you undo damage that’s been built into the foundations? With houses, it’s easier to pull the whole thing down and start again. You can’t do that with people.”

This story focuses on Catherine Bailey, young, beautiful, and carefree falls in love with the gorgeous, charismatic, and mysterious Lee Brightman. He showers her with attention, spontaneous yet passionate sexual relationship, but it all are too good to be true. As he is also a jealous possessive and abusive boyfriend hiding perfectly behind blue eyes and blond good looks. Catherine friends doesn’t believe her claim and she is getting more and more isolated in her own dark world, and she have to go for the escape to save her own life and never look back. Four years later she is now Cathy building her own new life in a new city and Lee is locked up behind the cell. Cathy now still coping from her trauma and she found encouragement from her attractive new neighbor Stuart Richardon to face her fears, and the hope for a normal life and love, until one day the phone rings.

Reason for you to read this:
This novel is blending the classic psychopath hiding behind plain sight and the victim who is not letting him prevail and manage to escape to make a new life of herself. Altough this novel also have the main point of the victim who will never be free of the psychopath hands by only running away, she have to face her fear and confront him to rid of him forever. This novel also shows the hope for a better life for anybody by willing to make a change and to move on yet still have hope. The novel will certainly get you to the edge of your seat and feel chills down your spine yet will still give you a light of hope and the bravery of Cathy who at the end refuse to give up against the psychopath.

Best Quote:
“This isn’t normal. This isn’t how normal people think. Fuck off, world – what the hell is normal anyway?”

 

7The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

First Published: 2015

Plot Summary:
Rachel the main character is taking the same train every morning and night flashes past a stretch of suburban houses then stops at the signal that shows the same couple having breakfast or goes about their daily life. She nicknamed them Jess and Jason, the perfect couple she then idolizes and secretly watch everyday in contrast of her own fail marriage. But one day for a minute she saw something so shocking she reports it to the police, yet nobody believe her for her own bad record. She soon is deeply tangled in the investigation and many people are involve, but the more she dive in the more she is doubting her own memory and insanity with the truth she feel deep in her heart. Has she been imagining everything, or somebody is playing with her mind.

Reason for you to read this:
If you’re looking for another thriller of psychologicial play with a plot twist and breath of drama, this is the book you must have. The narrative will transport you to Rachel position and make you think hard of her own past actions and memories, yet the pang of truth in your heart is not to be dismissed easily. You won’t be able to stop to the last pages, so you could discover the truth and make you realize not everything is as what it seem. Yet the novel also remind us to love ourselves no matter how hard our situation might be.

Best Quote:
“Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. That’s what I’ve taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps”

6The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid

First Published: 1995

Plot Summary
The story set in a fictional english city of Bradfield, where men are kidnapped and tormented to their death using medieval techniques and the bodies dumped in a secluded areas often visited by the homosexuals. In here comes Dr. Tony Hill the criminal profiler joining forces with detective inspector Carol Jordan, despite their complicated relationship, they have to work together to uncover the serial killer who have a secret agenda out of desire to be loved before the killer come and target Tony as the next victim.

Reason for you to read this:
This story of chasing game of thrill and psychopath serial killer who have a knack for sadistic obsession is trully for not the faint hearted. But for you who are looking for this particular kind of suspense blood chilling story in the name of love, then this book is what you need.

Best Quote:
“You know, I’ve often wondered. It’s pretty clear what they were up to in Sodom, but what do you suppose the sin of Gomorrah was? Carol asked.”

5Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight

First Published: 2013

Plot Summary:
Kate Baron is a women who have everything perfect, she is a single mother and lawyer living happily with her intelligent high achieving daughter Amelia. Until one day she recieve a call from Grace Hall her daughter private school in Park Slope Brooklyn, reporting Amelia has been cheating. When she arrive with her confusion of the impossible accuse of her daughter arrive at the school and found Amelia has commited suicide and dead. Devastated by the story from the school and police, saying her daughter feel the utmost guilt for her cheating act and spontaneously jump off the school’s roof. She inadvertently believe it and grief for her loss, she even blame herself for not knowing better her own daughter. Until she receive anonymus text “She didn’t jump”. Kate than sets on investigation to finding out the real truth behind her daughter’s death.

Reason for you to read this:
This book is not only a psychological thriller with a gripping story full of mystery that will make you question your own knowledge of people near to your heart. It also reveal how a family bond doesn’t stop one of them to keep secrets from each other, or how sometimes we are just unaware of the real state of someone’s mind. A lesson to be learn to pay more attention and communicate in pace with our love one’s, so we could provide support against the cruel and vicious outsiders and bullies before it is too late.

Best Quote:
“It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been counting the minutes until I could forgiver her. But it’s a lot harder to forgive someone who’s not looking to apologize.”

42666: A Novel by Roberto Delano

First Published: 2004

Plot Summary:
This novel revolves around a reclusive German author and the unresolved current murders of women located in Santa Teresa, sets in the Eastern Front during World War II,world of academic, journalism, mental illness, and career relationship breakdown. Involving a New York reporter, widowed philosopher, and a police detective, all drawn to the city border where hundreds of women have mysteriously disappeared for over a decade.

Reason for you to read this:
With the author reputation as one of the most important Latin American writers from his era, this novel is a book to behold. With the case of murder basis from the real murders happens in Ciudad Juarez, this novel offers you the realistic murder mystery and human nature of death and violence. The book is very widely known not just of its literary quality but to the fact of it as the last novel the author written during his final year and died before the novel publishment. Despite all that the novel critical reception is very positive and won numerous award.

Best Quote:
“Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people’s ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.”

3The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson

First Published: 1952

Plot Summary:
The novel is written in the narrative of the protagonist Lou Ford, who is a young 29 year old deputy sheriff in a small town of Texas. He looks like an ordinary small town cop with mundane existence, but behind his clear calm outlook is a cunning, sociopath, with tastes for sadistic sexual relationships. She even have a normal relationship with his girlfriend, but secretly having sadomasochistic affair with Joyce Lakeland the prostitute. He blame his condition to his own unclean past and grief, and when he start an act of murder for revenge, he have to go through more murders and lies until his mask is beginning to crumble under the pressure.

Reason for you to read this:
This book is for you who are curious of the mind of a deeply disturbed man, a psychopath who have to resist his urges and put on a mask. Though it is not for the faint hearted and you must be clear of it’s fictions origin, because the book is so skillfully written and dominate in destructive qualities and the protagonist often pictured as the victim. Still this is a very thrilling and challenging to read, be prepare and beware.

Best Quote:
“There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living.”

2The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

First Published: 1930

Plot Summary:
This book tells about the story of a private investigator Sam Spade who is hired by Miss Wonderley to find her sister. When it is discovered that his client is actually the beautiful and dangerous Brigid O’Shaughnessy, while his partner is shot during the investigation. Spade realize he is the hunter and prey, while he were to track down a treasure the jewel covered bird before the Fat Mand finds him.

Reason for you to read this:
This book not only is from the psychological thriller, it also emit the detective fiction with clean prose and sharp dialogue it is a very readable novel with unannounced twists that makes you race through the pages for the clues. If you’re looking for a mix of the genre with a dash of detective story and treasure hunting, this book will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat and wishing you could read every word as fast as you could.

Best Quote:
“My way of learning is to have a wild and unpredictable monkey-wrench into the machinery.”

1Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

First Published: 2001

Plot Summary:
This book centers around three boys and childhood friends in Boston, Dave who was abducted and molested while Sean and Jimmy are around on a neighborhood street while at the end Dave managed to escape though suffer trauma. The story then move to 25 years after they live their own lifes, Sean is a homicide detective, Jimmy the ex-convict own a convenience store, and Dave who is barely living. Until one day Jimmy’s daughter is found murdered and the same night Dave comes hoe covered in blood. While Dave is assigned to investigate the case, the three of them have to face each other again.

Reason for you to read this:
This novel garnered positive critical acclaim and has been adapted to a movie and won academy award for the best actor. Considered an epic novel of psychological thriller, love, and loyalty where people’s past are always going to catch up with them and even collide with their dark secrets. If you have watch the movie, you have to read the novel. But if you haven’t then you are in for a ride of your life.

Best Quote:
“Happiness comes in moments, and then it’s gone until the next time. Could be years. But sadness settles it.”

 

CONCLUSION
This genre is uncovering and discussing the most unimaginable twisted minds that might hidden in plain sight around us, in truth the real unspeakable case around us are just as horrible but most of us would not know the secrets lies behind it. This book will give you the big picture of such cases, combined with drama or just plain violence, the intense and suspense flow will just transport you to the imaginative ride to the dark side just enough to fascinate, chills, or give you lessons to learn. All in all, these twelve novels are the top picks of the genre that you must have to inject you with that dose of thrill and psychologically challenging. 

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Dylan Jong is an editor at statree and she likes to blog on business, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and travel. When in leisure time, she prefers to spend time in traveling with friends and family. Her main interests are music, reading novels and fitness.

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