My Ongoing List Of Favorite Thriller Books

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I love thrillers. I have always loved mysteries (I got started on the Mary-Kate and Ashley detective books and show) and it’s just carried over into my current reading preferences.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner, but I finally decided to make an ongoing list of my favorite thriller books. I’ve been asked a few times and can never think of them on the spot.

So I went back through 2020 (as far back as my monthly round-up posts on here go) and compiled a list of my five-star thriller reads with a few four-stars thrown in there that I do still really like.

There are a few YA thrillers on the list, too, but it’s primarily adult. The YA ones are marked after the title by (YA) for easy identification. As I continue reading thrillers, because I probably will always read them, I’ll continue to update this list.

And just remember, this list is all personal preference. These are literally just my own favorite thrillers. I just wanted them in one spot so I can easily share them when people ask. So, here you have my favorite thrillers from 2020 to now!

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my book lists here.
  • Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!

Hidden Pictures

Mallory is fresh out of rehab at her new job as a babysitter in Spring Brook, New Jersey, and things are looking good for her. Ted and Caroline are great bosses and Teddy is the perfect child who is never without his drawing supplies.

But as time passes, his drawings go from rabbits and balloons to a woman’s lifeless body and a man burying her. The drawings become more detailed and complex, far beyond the five-year-olds ability. Mallory begins to think it’s a long-ago unsolved murder and is determined to find out what is going on before it’s too late.

Final Girls

Quincy, Lisa, and Sam all have something in common. They’re all Final Girls, the only survivors of three tragic massacres. They want to put their past behind them and despite media attempts, they never meet.

Things are looking up for Quincy until Lisa is found dead, wrist slit in the bathtub and Sam shows up on Quincy’s doorstep. Sam is insistent on making Quincy relive the past and when details of Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy is racing against the clock to unravel Sam’s truths and lies and, most importantly, what happened that night at Pine Cottage.


In this novel, a man starts investigating a series of unrelated bizarre, tragic, and horrific events throughout his childhood.  Soon he finds out that these early fragments are really all part of one terrifying story that shaped his entire life, as well as those around him.

The Mother-in-Law

Diana knew Lucy wasn’t the one for her perfect son from the moment they met. Diana always kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her attempts to win her over. No one had a bad word to say about Diana, a pillar in the community and advocate for female refugees, except for Lucy.

Five years later, Diana is dead with a suicide note near her body claiming she no longer wanted to live with cancer wreaking havoc in her body, but the autopsy only finds traces of poison and evidence of suffocation, no cancer. And Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone.

No Exit

Darby is on her way to see her dying mother back home in Utah when she gets caught in a blizzard in the Colorado mountains. She’s forced to wait out the storm at a rest stop with four total strangers.

Trying to find a signal to call home, Darby goes to the parking lot and instead finds a little girl locked in an animal crate in the van parked next to her.

Now she is determined to find a way to get the girl out of the van and escape since one of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. She has to decide who she can trust now.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Things haven’t been good for Mr. and Mrs. Wright for a while so when they win a weekend away in Scottland, it may be just what they need.

They exchange traditional gifts on their anniversary every year and every year she writes him a letter she never lets him read. Until now.

They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage. But they didn’t randomly win the trip. One of them is lying and someone doesn’t want them living happily ever after

That Weekend (YA)

When Claire wakes up alone and covered in blood on a hiking trail with no memory of the last forty-eight hours, the perfect prom weekend getaway is over.

Everyone wants answers, especially Claire since her two best friends are now missing. She remembers Friday night, but that’s it.

She knows the answers are somewhere in her memory. She knows everyone has their secrets, including her missing friends. She also knows she’s probably not going to like what she remembers.

The Perfect Stranger

Leah needs to get out of Boston so when her friend Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania together to start over, she jumps at the chance.

Everything starts to fall apart when a woman resembling Leah is assaulted by the lake and Emmy disappears days later.

Leah is determined to find Emmy but along the way, starts to wonder if she ever knew the real Emmy at all.

The Window (YA)

Anna and her identical twin were the same on the outside but inside it’s hard to believe they’re twins at all. They tell each other everything, at least that’s what Jess thought.

Jess’s life begins to unravel after Anna falls to her death from their bedroom window while sneaking out. Now Jess is determined to find out everything about her sister and learn what really happened that night.

The Cheerleaders (YA)

First, two girls were killed in a car accident, then two were murdered by their neighbor, and the fifth committed suicide. After this, the Sunnybrook cheer squad was disbanded.

Five years later, the students and staff want to remember the cheerleaders, but not Monica. She just wants to forget, but when she finds mysterious letters in her stepfather’s desk along with her dead sister’s cell phone, she has to get to the bottom of what really happened five years ago.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s senior capstone project starts out as an examination of the Andie Bell murder case but quickly turns into a full investigation with the supposed murderers brother who wants to help clear his brother, Sal’s, name.

Things start out innocent enough but quickly go downhill when someone in Fairview decides they don’t want her digging anymore. Now their lives are in danger but they’re determined to get to the bottom of everything.

Miracle Creek

A group of people in a small town in Virginia know each other because they all belong to a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber to cure a range of conditions.

One day it explodes and two people die, but it wasn’t an accident. A showdown ensues as stories are told and secrets are revealed.

Good Girls Lie (YA)

At the top of a hill in Marchburg, Virginia The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as Silent Ivy. It’s a boarding school for the daughters of the rich and influential, accepting only the best and brightest.

But now a stranger has shown up and things are changing. In a world where appearance is everything, as long as students at least pretend to follow the rules, secret societies and bad behavior are generally ignored. At least until a popular student is found dead.


It’s the murder trial of the century, a movie star killed his wife. Or so they think. But Joshua Kane knows better and is determined to get the wrong man jailed for the crime. He killed to get the best seat in the house: one on the jury so he could watch it all go down.

But Eddie Flynn, a former con man now defense attorney, is on his tail and doesn’t think his client, the movie star, is guilty.

The Perfect Child

Christopher and Hannah are happily married with everything they could hope for, except for a child. Until six-year-old Janie shows up at the hospital they work at, abandoned. Christopher forms an instant connection with her and Hannah insists they take her home to live with them, but Janie isn’t the perfect child they expect. Far from it.

My Lovely Wife

What happens when your perfect marriage gets too boring? Murder, I guess. After fifteen years with a gorgeous woman, kids, and a life in the suburbs, they shared their darkest secrets and biggest dreams.

Everyone keeps their marriage alive somehow and they just happen to use murder for that.

The Night Olivia Fell

Abi Knight is startled awake in the middle of the night when her phone rings. There’s been an accident and Olivia, her daughter, fell off of a bridge. And she’s pregnant.

Olivia is now on life support to keep the baby alive when Abi notices the bruises on her wrists. The police rule the fall is an accident but Abi wants to uncover the truth. Was it really an accident or was it something more sinister?

The Sundown Motel

Every small town like Fell, New York has a place like the Sundown Motel, especially back in 1982. Some guests are out-of-towners and others are locals trying the hide their secrets. Viv Delaney is the night clerk and is determined to uncover all their secrets, but things don’t go as planned and her niece follows her footsteps years later uncovering even more.

Other thriller book posts you may like:

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What are your favorite thrillers?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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