Do you love disturbing psychological thriller books? If so, then this article is for you!
Here are the 20 best psychological thriller books that are very disturbing and will keep you up at night. We all like a good scare from time to time, but these disturbing novels go above and beyond the typical horror story.
Most of them have been banned in some places because they’re just too disturbing. This list includes some classics as well as newer releases. So if you want a good scare, read on!
Best Disturbing Psychological Thriller Books
If you’ve landed on this page that means you’re a psychological thriller books lover. We’ve gathered here the best psychological thriller books of all time.
Most of the books are best sellers on Amazon as well as earned customers’ ratings 4.5+ out of 5. If your heart is weak, I suggest do not read these books.
But if you’re brave enough, let’s jump into the disturbing psychological thriller books world!
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I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
“I Let You Go” is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. The story starts with Jenna Gray, who has just lost her daughter in a hit-and-run accident.
She struggles to cope with her loss, and then one day she sees the man who killed her little girl. Jenna follows him and confronts him, but he gets away from her.
This leads to an investigation where everyone involved is questioned and secrets are revealed.
Fear No Evil by James Patterson
A gripping thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author James Patterson that will keep you up all night.
A woman is found dead, strangled, and stuffed into a suitcase in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.
The police soon make an arrest—but the case only deepens as evidence emerges implicating one of their own detectives in the killing.
As Detective Michael Bennett digs deeper into this grisly murder, he discovers connections to a high-profile kidnapping case that has already rocked the city—and may be linked to even more violent crimes yet to come…
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is a psychological thriller novel. The story revolves around Camille Preaker, a reporter who returns to her hometown to investigate the murders of two young girls.
Camille has suffered from mental illness since childhood and now works as a crime journalist in Chicago.
When she is sent back to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, because of an assignment to write about the murders, she must confront her dysfunctional family and the unsolved murder of her sister when they were both children.
Sharp Objects won the British Book Award for “Book of the Year” in 2014 and was nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards for “Best Mystery & Thriller”.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
“Verity” is a story about a girl named “Colleen”. She has been through many hardships in life, but she never lets it bring her down.
She is strong and independent and knows what she wants. This book will take you on an emotional rollercoaster of events that will change your life forever.
You’ll laugh, cry, be angry, and love all at the same time!
“Verity” is an amazing novel by Colleen Hoover that you won’t want to miss out on!
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith, first published in 1955. It was adapted for the screen in 1999 by Anthony Minghella and directed by the late Minghella.
The story focuses on Tom Ripley, a young man who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy shipbuilder and his family.
He becomes friends with them all and slowly begins to get close to Dickie Greenleaf, an aimless playboy whom he envies and dislikes at the same time.
When Tom overhears an argument between Dickie’s father and another man about money that has gone missing from one of his company’s accounts, he steals it and assumes Dickie’s identity as part of a plan to escape his unhappy life.
At First Light (Dr. Evan Wilding Book 1) by Barbara Nickless
This is a book about the life of a doctor and his personal struggles. The story begins with Dr. Evan Wilding, a young doctor who has just moved to New York City from his hometown in Iowa to follow his dreams of becoming a successful surgeon.
He meets an attractive woman named Emily, who he quickly falls in love with and marries. They have two children together, but tragedy strikes when their first child dies from SIDS at the age of six months old.
This devastates both Evan and Emily, but they manage to move on with their lives as best they can.
After several years pass by, Evan decides that it’s time for him to become more independent and open up his own practice so he can be his own boss.
However, this proves to be more difficult than he thought it would be and Evan quickly becomes frustrated with the politics of running a business.
Things take a turn for the worse when Evan is diagnosed with a rare and terminal form of cancer, which changes his perspective on life completely.
He begins to focus on the things that are really important to him, such as spending time with his family and friends.
And as he struggles to accept his fate, Evan has several strange and disturbing dreams that help him come to terms with the fact that death is just a part of life.
The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry
A tragedy happened to three families. One boy died, another is in a coma, and the last one cannot speak. The mothers of these three boys are friends which makes it even worse.
They try to find out what happened on that terrible night so they know why this happened to them.
The Last One Home by Victoria Helen Stone
The Last One Home is a gripping, heart-wrenching story of three women and their struggle to survive.
The Last One Home is the first book in the series. It tells the story of Anna, a young woman who has survived an abusive relationship with her boyfriend.
She meets up with two other women, Ruth and Dinah, who have also suffered from domestic abuse, and decides to take refuge at Ruth’s house in the country.
They are unaware that they are being watched by someone who wants them dead…
This psychological thriller will keep you on your toes as you try to figure out what happens next! You’ll be on the edge of your seat right until the very end!
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.
A gripping, twisty story about a psychotherapist who falls in love with one of her patients.
She’s found dead, and he’s the only suspect. But he hasn’t said a word since their first session together.
The police are convinced they have their man – but she isn’t so sure…
From the bestselling author of THE GIRL WITH NO NAME comes another twisty, addictive tale to rival Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
Every Last Secret by A. R. Torre
It’s not easy being the daughter of a Hollywood legend, especially when your father is a man like Jack Malone.
He was handsome and charming, but he had a dark side that even his beloved wife and daughter couldn’t ignore.
When tragedy strikes, it’s up to his only child to tell the story of her family’s shocking secrets…and confront the truth about Jack Malone—a man who wasn’t always what he seemed.
Velocity: A Novel by Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz’s Velocity is a chilling, fast-paced thriller that will keep you turning the pages long into the night.
A young woman with a head injury has lost her memory and can’t remember anything about her past or identity.
Her only clues to her history are a series of terrifying dreams in which she witnesses murders – murders that seem to be happening all around her.
The police think she’s crazy, but then they discover the bodies of two women in an alley behind an abandoned warehouse…and one of them is wearing the same necklace as the amnesiac!
Now it appears that someone wants this woman dead…but who? And why? She doesn’t know, but if she can’t figure out who she is, she may be next!
The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose
The Perfect Marriage is an intriguing, complex, and thrilling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
When Jessica’s husband, James, is found murdered in their home, she becomes the prime suspect. She has no memory of the night before and can’t prove her innocence.
With the help of a private investigator, she begins to piece together clues about what happened that fateful night and realizes that it may not have been an outsider who killed her husband…
The Plot: A Novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz
The Plot is a novel about the life of a young woman who has been accepted into an elite college. She is a brilliant student and she wants to be a writer.
However, her parents have other plans for her, and they are determined to see that she marries well.
They want her to marry someone with money, so they send her to meet this man’s family at their country estate in England. This is where things start getting complicated for our protagonist.
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz is one of those books that you just can’t put down once you start reading it!
It’s full of surprises and twists that will keep you guessing until the very end. If you’re looking for a disturbing psychological thriller book to keep you up at night, then this is it!
The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice
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In the Shadow Box, Luanne Rice has written a novel of great depth and beauty. It is about love, loss, and the power of memory to heal.
The story follows three generations of women in an Irish American family as they confront their demons from World War II—a time when every family had its own shadow box filled with mementos from a lost husband or brother or son.
The story begins in present-day Brooklyn where Julia O’Rourke’s daughter is marrying her first love at age forty-four.
As she watches her mother struggle to come to terms with the past, she realizes that her mother is keeping secrets.
Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll
When Gemma falls at her graduation, it’s a moment that will forever change the course for this family.
With one shot from an unknown shooter, she is fighting for life in hospital and Rachel must try to make sense of what has happened while also being supportive towards Ed who feels guilty about not having been able to stop things from happening before they got too far along.
It seems like just yesterday when their daughter was walking across the stage finishing up a college degree but today brings new challenges as well because now there’s no telling if we can trust anyone in the outside world.
This disturbing psychological thriller book is perfect for people who loved Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
With its unreliable narrators and disturbing secrets, this book will keep you reading until the very end!
The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley
The wedding of the year is happening on an island off Ireland.
All guests are expected to arrive by helicopter, where they will be greeted with shiny cars and celebrities performing in front of them while others dance behind closed doors for those who came solo or together as couples.
The designer dresses hang beautifully from every body type; there’s no wrong way when you’re surrounded by beauty!
With only one day left until this dreamlike destination becomes reality, it feels like we’ve been given permission take a pause from our hectic lives back home-but don’t worry because everything has already been taken care of.
Unfortunately, not everything is as it seems on this beautiful island. When the guests start to arrive, they quickly realize that something is not right.
The staff seems to be acting strange, and there are rumors that the island is haunted. Soon, people start disappearing, and it’s not long before the guests are fighting for their lives.
This disturbing psychological thriller book will keep you on your toes until the very end!
The Anomaly: A Novel by Hervé Le Tellier
The Anomaly is a psychological thriller novel that will keep you turning the pages.
The story begins when an American woman and her daughter are kidnapped in front of their apartment in Paris, France. The kidnappers demand $10 million for the release of the two hostages.
A few days later, a mysterious man appears at the FBI office in New York City with information about where to find the two women.
He tells them that he is an ex-CIA agent who has been tracking this group for years. He also says that he can help them get into Syria to rescue the women and capture their captors.
But there’s more to his story than meets the eye…
The Last Flight by Julie Clark
The Last Flight by Julie Clark is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
This book is about a young girl who has been abused and neglected by her mother and stepfather.
She runs away from home, but she doesn’t know where to go or what to do next. She ends up in an airport with no money and nowhere to go.
The story takes place in the 1970s when there were no cell phones or computers, so it’s hard for her to get help.
A man named John comes into her life and helps her out, but he may not be all that he seems…
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
A murder mystery set in an elite Vermont college, The Secret History is a novel of extraordinary psychological suspense and powerful drama.
It is a story that takes place within the confines of a secluded New England college campus and involves a group of exceptionally bright but misfit students who call themselves “The Classics Club.”
They are an unlikely band bound together by their shared love for great literature and fueled by their contempt for the values of mainstream society.
Theirs is an intellectually charged friendship; they share everything including drugs, alcohol, and women – until one of them commits murder.
Search for Her by Rick Mofina
A gripping, fast-paced psychological thriller from the bestselling author of “The Calling” and “Deadline.”
A serial killer is on a rampage. He’s targeting women who are separated from their husbands or boyfriends. And he’s leaving behind a trail of bodies that point to one thing: revenge.
Detective Nick Mason has seen it all before–but not like this. The killer is ruthless and cunning, taunting the police with clues that seem to be straight out of a crime novel–a page-turner called “Search for Her.”
But when Nick discovers that his own wife was once involved with the killer, he’ll stop at nothing to find him…before it’s too late.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 20 best disturbing psychological thriller books. Whether you’re looking for a good book to read on your next flight or just want something new and different, this list is sure to have some great recommendations that will keep you up at night!
Remember to share with us any other favorite authors or books in the comments below so we can add them to our future lists. Happy reading!