23 Best Twisted Psychological Thriller Books

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Break out the coffee and get comfy because these psychological thriller books are about to obliterate your sleep schedule.

When it comes to books with chilling psychological twists, nothing is better than psychological thrillers. From bestsellers that took the world by storm to page-turners that went on to become wildly popular shows and movies, this curated list features many of the best psychological thriller books out there.

Prepare for some sleepless nights and read on for the best psychological thriller books.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Lowen Ashleigh is on the brink of financial ruin when she gets the chance of a lifetime. Hired by Jeremy Crawford to complete the final books to his injured wife Verity’s successful series, Lowen uproots her life and travels to the Crawford home. 

While sifting through mountains of chapter outlines and notes, she discovers something unexpected: an unfinished autobiography penned by Verity. Within the pages of Verity’s most personal work yet, Lowen uncovers disturbing admissions and unsettling thoughts that force her to question Verity and whether she is truly injured or if it is all an act.

Disturbing, sinister, and deliciously twisted, Verity is an unputdownable psychological thriller overflowing with wicked twists and shocking turns that will make your head spin. It is, without a doubt, the best psychological thriller ever written.

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Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

While doing last-minute Christmas shopping, Miran Machado experienced every parent’s worst nightmare: Her son vanished. Over a year passed with no leads. 

Desperate to find her son, Miran hires a personal investigator and inadvertently uncovers her husband’s affair with a 24-year-old grad student – a discovery that cracks the last of Miran’s resolve.   

Suspenseful, honest, and chilling, Little Secrets is an unputdownable thriller that will keep you enraptured from start to finish. As one of the best psychological thriller books of 2020, you cannot go wrong with this page-turner. I recommend adding it to your bookshelf right away.

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

While in Monte Carlo working as a lady’s maid, a young girl of twenty years or so is swept off her feet by the dashing and mysterious widower Maxim de Winter. As their whirlwind romance comes to a close, Maxim realizes he’s not ready for it to end.

Now, as the new Mrs. Maxim de Winter, our fresh-eyed narrator is excited for what the future holds. It is only when she arrives at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow the late Mrs. Maxim de Winter has cast over Manderley and its inhabitants. 

Shrouded in lies and deception, Manderley becomes a prison . . . with Rebecca de Winter as its warden. An ominous and haunting gothic read that will send you running the other way whenever Mrs. Danvers is near. 

Rebecca is one of those spine-chilling psychological thriller books that lives on in your mind long after you turn the last page.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Following a brief stint in a mental institution, reporter Camille Preaker lands herself with a disturbing case that will force her to return to her hometown and confront the dark memories from her past. 

Darkly disturbing, deeply sinister, and utterly mind-bending, Sharp Objects is an unimaginably creepy psychological thriller that will leave you feeling slightly off-kilter and more than a little paranoid by the end. As one of the best and most disturbing psychological thriller books ever written, I recommend adding this to your TBR list.

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The Good Lie by A.R. Torre

When 17-year-old Scott Harden makes an unexpected escape from the Bloody Heart Killer’s clutches and identifies his attacker as local high school teacher Randall Thompson, the residents of California breathe easy knowing the killer is behind bars. 

As far as psychiatrist Dr. Gwen Moore is concerned, the case is cut-and-dry according to the evidence, making it all the more shocking when the sixth victim’s father, defense attorney Robert Kavin, decides to represent him. Determined to prove his innocence, Robert hires Gwen to formulate a complete psychological profile of the BH Killer and his victims.    

As Gwen and Robert wade deeper into the investigation, Gwen begins to question the lawyer’s intent and what it is, exactly, that he is hiding.

A.R. Torre is a master at weaving twists you never see coming, and The Good Lie is no exception. Realistic, suspenseful, and twisty, Torre keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you guessing until the very end. As one of 2021’s best psychological thriller books, do not hesitate to crack this open. 

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Ever since the fateful night she shot her husband in the face five times, famous artist Alicia Berenson has not uttered a word – Not until criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber enters her life. 

Determined to unravel the biggest mystery of the decade, Theo does the one thing no one else has been able to do – Find Alicia’s voice and the secrets hidden within her mind. 

Do yourself a favor and read this book. 

Shrouded in mystery and intrigue, The Silent Patient is an unputdownable psychological thriller that will take over your life and obliterate your sleep schedule. The captivating must-read from Alex Michaelides is undoubtedly one of the best psychological thriller books of all time. 

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, their marital bliss comes to a screeching halt when Amy disappears, uncovering a flurry of clues showing that their happily ever after may have all been a facade for something much more ominous.

As Nick’s life slowly unravels, everyone has the same question: Is Nick Dunne capable of murder? 

Gone Girl is a highly readable psychological thriller that topped the charts and became one of the best books of the 2010s. With an array of unforeseeable twists and shocking turns, expect to become fully immersed in this insane ride. 

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You by Caroline Kepnes

What if you walked into your local bookstore and unwittingly left with not just books but a stalker – a stalker that now has your name, social media handles, address, and schedule – all from simply paying for a couple of books with your credit card? This is the story of Guinevere Beck and her stalker, Joe Goldberg. 

Spine-tinglingly creepy, disturbingly realistic, and addictively readable, You is a masterfully written psychological thriller that shows a more sinister side to social media and the inherent dangers that come with allowing strangers a close-up look into your life. If you have yet to watch the series on Netflix, you are in for a mighty unsettling ride.

Prepare to be thoroughly creeped out.

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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Two decades ago, tragedy struck and sent two sisters spiraling down opposite paths. Now estranged and living wildly different lives, Claire and Lydia are brought back together in the wake of another tragedy: Claire’s husband’s murder. 

Forming a tenuous truth, the sisters delve back into their past and reopen old wounds to figure out the connection between the murder of Claire’s husband and the disappearance of their older sister twenty years ago.

Shockingly chilling, intensely disturbing, and incredibly well-written, Pretty Girls is a dark psychological thriller that will horrify you on many levels. As one of the best psychological thriller books from Karin Slaughter, I recommend adding it to your bookshelf and preparing yourself for one insanely twisted ride.

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

When a young woman and her boyfriend venture on a road trip to visit his parents at their secluded farmhouse, weird and inexplicable things occur.  

Throughout the ride, the girlfriend ruminates about their relationship, repeatedly expressing that she is thinking of ending things. The night takes a chilling turn once they reach the farmhouse and even more when they say their goodbyes.  

I wouldn’t necessarily call this horror, but it is deeply unsettling. Between the remote, wintry atmosphere, the unusual ramblings, and the disturbing sequence of events, the eerie stage is set perfectly for this psychological thriller. 

It just doesn’t feel right. 

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Misery by Stephen King

Sometimes beloved characters get killed off. 

It happens. 

But what happens when the author’s biggest self-proclaimed fan plays rescuer after a near-fatal accident and locks him in a remote cabin, forcing him to rewrite said character back into existence?

Terrifying, suspenseful, and addictively readable, Misery is a chilling psychological thriller that will sink its invisible claws into your head and play frightening mind games with your sense of reality.

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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

When Laurel Mack’s daughter Ellie goes missing, her world comes to a grinding halt. All search efforts are exhausted, and the investigation eventually goes cold. As her life unravels, Laurel is left with a shattered marriage, strained relationships with her two remaining children, and a daughter that is still missing. 

Ten years later, Laurel meets the charming and charismatic single dad Floyd. When she meets his daughters, specifically his youngest, Poppy, she is struck by the uncanny resemblance to her daughter. Between that and a recently uncovered clue, Laurel cannot stop herself from reopening the investigation and doing some sleuthing.   

Dark, emotional, and creepy, Then She Was Gone is a twisted psychological thriller that will disturb you on many levels. 

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Ever since witnessing their mother’s murder, Charlotte and Samantha’s lives were irrecoverably altered. 

Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte is now a hotshot lawyer, following in her father’s footsteps. When she becomes a witness to a shooting once again, old wounds resurface, forcing her to uncover buried secrets and confront memories from the past. 

Thrilling, intense, and emotionally powerful, The Good Daughter is an unforgettable psychological thriller that touches on family dynamics, trauma, forgiveness, and healing.

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Behind the perfect facades and cookie-cutter houses in the cozy coast side town of Monterey, California, lies deadly secrets, lethal lies, fracturing families, and outrageous scandals.

Welcome to Monterey, be sure to keep your secrets hidden lest you want the entire town to learn your truth.

Refreshingly witty, intricately layered, and intensely emotional, Big Little Lies is an enthralling psychological thriller that follows the lives of three moms as they traverse the precarious bridge of motherhood, married life, singledom, schoolyard scandals, and the ensuing gossips of Monterey. 

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Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Jack and Grace are the newlyweds that have it all: a perfect house, a perfect marriage, perfect looks, perfect jobs… For all intents and purposes, their life is the definition of perfect. But no one knows what happens behind closed doors. 

Chilling, disturbing, and terrifying, Behind Closed Doors is an unputdownable psychological thriller that will keep you fully immersed for hours. 

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His & Hers by Alice Feeney

There are three sides to a story: his, hers, and the truth.

Creepy, mysterious, and insanely twisty, His & Hers is a riveting psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page.

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

When Louise walks into a bar and shares a passionate kiss with a handsome stranger, she never expects to meet that stranger the next day as her new very married boss David. To make matters worse, she unwittingly befriends his wife, Adele, after bumping into her on the street. 

Soon Louise’s life becomes irrecoverably intertwined with the couple, and with that closeness, she finds that their marriage may not be so perfect after all and that there might be something sinister at work. 

With intense, jaw-dropping twists and mind-bending psychological mind games, Behind Her Eyes is in a league of its own. As one of the best and most twisty psychological thriller books ever released, prepare to be at a loss for words by the time you read that last page. 

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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Let’s paint the scene: You are a thirty-something agoraphobic psychiatrist who spends the day drinking wine, watching movies, and spying on neighbors. What happens when you become the only witness to a crime in a neighboring house – a crime that threatens to unravel the threads of your reality?

Darkly ominous, utterly mind-twisting, and paranoia-inducing, The Woman in the Window is an unputdownable psychological suspense that will turn your world upside down. As one of the best psychological thriller books of all time, you can expect to fall into a rabbit hole of paranoia, dread, and uncertainty.

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My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Face it.

Married life can grow monotonous, especially after fifteen years. In some cases, couples might turn up the heat in the bedroom, and in others, well, they might resort to a night of murderous fun.

My Lovely Wife is a darkly twisted psychological thriller that will instantly draw you in from the moment you feast your eyes on the opening page.

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The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre

At twenty-eight, bestselling romance author Helena Ross has it all: A perfect husband, a perfect daughter, a perfect house… a perfect life. 

Four years later, that perfect life has dissipated: Bethany is gone. Simon is gone. She has no one. 

With only a few months left to live, Helena knows it is time to tell her story – even if it speeds up her expiration date.

Thought-provoking, deeply emotional, and heartbreakingly haunting, The Ghostwriter is a beautifully written psychological thriller that will take you on a ride like none before. 

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Noemí Taboad is sent to the High Place, a secluded mansion in the Mexican countryside, to check on her newlywed cousin Catalina after receiving a disturbingly odd message regarding her wellbeing. Uncertain of what to expect, Noemí is weary of what she will find in the eerie estate. 

Upon her arrival, Noemí receives a frosty welcome from Catalina’s husband Virgril along with the rest of the Doyle clan and their staff. Still, Noemí refuses to be intimidated by the unusual family or their sinister home. Plagued by ghostly apparitions, bouts of sleepwalking, troubling dreams and odd encounters with the occupants of the house, Noemí must keep her wits about her before it’s too late.

Lovecraft meets Rebecca in this chilling gothic horror novel set in 1950s Mexico. If you’re looking for a slow-burn horror that will shock you with its grotesque imagery and prose, you should check out Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic

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Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Ewan and Jessica Holt were looking for their forever home when they found Baneberry Hall, a sprawling Victorian estate with a morbid history. Three weeks passed before the Holts fled in the night, never to return again. 

Baneberry Hall would soon become known as the House of Horrors in the wake of Ewan Holt’s haunting recounting of the events that transpired over their short stay.

Maggie Holt was only 5-years-old at the time. Though she has long since forgotten those three weeks, the world has not. Twenty-five years later, Maggie learns she is the new owner of Baneberry Hall upon her father’s passing. 

With hopes of renovating it and getting rid of it for good, Maggie returns. Let’s just say things fail to go as planned.

Home Before Dark is a spine-tingling psychological horror-esque thriller that will turn your bookmark into a thing of the past. Trust me when I say you will not want to put this down, especially if you love The Haunting of Hill House

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Never Lie by Freida McFadden 

Newlyweds Tricia and Ethan are ready to move into their dream home. When their search brings them to a sprawling, secluded estate during a blizzard, they find themselves unwitting dwellers in the eerie old mansion – a mansion they soon learn was previously owned by the renowned, believed-to-be-dead psychiatrist Dr. Hale. 

To say Tricia is spooked would be an understatement. That sensation only intensifies when she unwittingly stumbles upon a hidden room filled with cassette tapes of every interview Dr. Hale conducted with her patients. With each cassette, Tricia discovers a new clue leading up to her disappearance. But some secrets are never meant to be uncovered.

Disturbing, eerie, and sinister, Never Lie is a highly addictive psychological thriller that will give you whiplash with all the twists and turns. As one of the best psychological thriller books of 2022, I recommend adding it to your TBR list. 

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