The 10 Best Thriller Books for Beginners in 2024

Thriller books are a genre that has been around for decades and continues to captivate readers of all ages. With their suspenseful plots, unexpected twists, and gripping characters, it’s no wonder why thrillers have become a staple in the literary world. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming for beginners to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best thriller books for beginners.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of thrillers, including psychological, crime, and action, and provide a plot summary and review of our top 5 picks. We’ll also share tips for choosing the perfect thriller book for you and discuss the essential elements that make a thriller so thrilling, such as suspense, tension, and plot twists. Additionally, we’ll offer advice on how to stay engaged while reading a thriller and avoid spoilers. So, whether you’re a seasoned reader or just starting your literary journey, these best thriller books for beginners are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Introduction To Thriller Books: What Makes Them So Popular?

Thriller books are an incredibly popular genre that engages readers with suspenseful plots, plot twists, and unreliable narrators. For beginners looking to dive into the world of thrillers, it’s important to understand the differences between the mystery and thriller genres. While a mystery focuses on solving a crime or puzzle, thrillers build anticipation and tension through plot twists and intense action.

One of the earliest examples of a thrilling novel is Bram Stoker’s Dracula which created the archetype for vampires in literature. Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” and Jo Nesbø’s “The Snowman” are also fantastic options for beginner thriller fans with their engrossing narratives, intrigue-filled characters, and plot twists.

Other great options for beginners include “The Three-Body Problem” by Cixin Liu which explores complex science fiction concepts in an engaging way. In addition, Zigic-Ferreira books by Eva Dolan delve into nuanced social issues while keeping readers captivated with police procedural drama.

Overall, thrillers are so popular because they offer an exciting escape from reality. They provide a way to experience danger without actually being in danger. Popular thriller books like “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn and James Patterson’s Alex Cross series take this concept even further by providing unexpected plot twists that keep readers on their toes until the very end. So if you’re looking to start reading thrillers for yourself, these titles are great places to begin!

Different Types Of Thriller Books: Psychological, Crime, And Action

There are several popular types of thriller books, each with its own unique theme and style. For beginners, it can be helpful to familiarize themselves with the differences between these genres before diving in.

Psychological thrillers have become increasingly popular in recent years. These books typically focus on the inner workings of characters’ minds and emotions, often leading readers down a twisting path of deception and suspense. Bestsellers like A LINE TO KILL by Anthony Horowitz and The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager have taken this genre by storm.

Crime-thrillers, on the other hand, typically revolve around a crime or series of crimes that must be solved. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is an excellent example of this subgenre, as it explores the murder mystery at the heart of the story. These books often feature police procedural elements and focus heavily on solving the mystery at hand.

Lastly, action thrillers place a heavier emphasis on physical action than psychological or crime-thrillers do. These books often feature high-stakes situations like car chases or exciting battles against enemies. Thriller masters like Stephen King excel in this genre – Misery is a great starting point for those new to action-thriller novels.

Overall, there are many different types of thriller novels for beginners to explore based on their preferences. It’s important to consider what type of thrill you’re looking for before picking up your next book!

Top 10 Thriller Books For Beginners

For those new to the world of thrillers, it can be challenging to find the right book to start with. The best thrillers for beginners are usually fast-paced, high-stakes novels with unexpected twists and plenty of conflict. Here are ten thrilling books that are perfect for readers just starting their journey into this genre.

1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

From start to finish, this gripping psychological tale is a must-read for thriller fans! The story centers around Alicia who is responsible for killing her husband and hasn’t uttered a word in six years. To get her to open up, psychoanalyst Theo Faber is working to put together the pieces of why she has committed the ultimate crime. Though certainly a great thriller, the book deals with many triggering issues such as suicide, mental abuse, murder, and trauma. Check out The Silent Patient on Amazon.

2. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Published in 2019, this contemporary fiction mystery and thriller novel takes place on a West Irish Island isolated from the mainland. Guests are invited to the island to celebrate the wedding of a well-to-do couple, Will Slater and Jules Keegan. Before the wedding cake is cut, someone winds up dead. The suspects are thirteen guests that represent old grudges, friends, old foes, and family members. The guests are trapped in the mansion as a storm rages outside while secrets unravel. Check out The Guest List on Amazon.

3. A Mother Would Know by Amber Garza

This thriller is an uncomfortable foray into relationships and makes parents question how well they know their own children. The story starts with Valerie, a middle-aged woman with a deteriorating memory in an old Victorian mansion. She invites her grumpy quiet son to live with her, meanwhile, someone at a neighboring apartment winds up dead. Valerie’s son becomes the prime suspect in the crime and the woman must fight to keep her son out of prison. The book is filled with interesting twists and turns for the lover of thriller novels. Check out A Mother Would Know on Amazon.

4. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This iconic novel that also became a Netflix special is a must-read staple in the genre. The entire story is in a first-person narrative style by child psychologist, Dr. Anna Fox. She lost both her husband and daughter in a car accident, and receives treatment present day for her agoraphobia. Anna doesn’t go outside and a window overlooking the main street where she watches her neighbors is the only key she has to the outside world. She is instantly drawn to the Russell family when they move in next door because they seem to echo her longing for the past. A seemingly picture-perfect couple with a son, she watches from the window as something gruesome takes place that she wasn’t meant to see. Anna is compelled to prove and find out what happened that night, but will anyone believe her ramblings? Check out The Woman in the Window on Amazon.

5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This is the novel that everyone believes defined the “female” thriller character arc. The story centers around a woman’s disappearance on her fifth wedding anniversary. As Amy Dunne leaves behind her picture-perfect husband Nick, he becomes increasingly suspicious over time. Though deemed rather an obvious choice and somewhat evasive, is he truly the killer? Check out Gone Girl on Amazon.

6. The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

After having children, Myriam and her husband decide it’s time for her to go back to work. As a result, they begin their search for the ideal nanny. Discovering Louise seems like winning the lottery as she appears to have perfect manners and a devotion to children. However, as time passes, the nanny and the couple begin to unravel due to their dependency on one another. The illusion of perfection is easily shattered in this thriller, and the chilling tale explores hard topics such as motherhood, race, power, and social class. Check out The Perfect Nanny on Amazon.

7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Also a blockbuster hit movie, this book tells the story of Rachel on the commuter train as she travels home every morning and night at the same time. She catches a glimpse of a couple on their deck having breakfast every morning and she decides to call them Jess and Jason. The couple seems to lead a perfect life— that’s until Rachel discovers something disturbing happening at their home. She goes to the police to report what happened, but no one seems to believe her unlikely story. Check out The Girl on the Train on Amazon.

8. The Trespasser by Tana French

A newbie detective, Antoinette Conway is looking for a new interesting case in this novel. Instead of something compelling, she gets a seemingly open-and-shut case about a lover’s quarrel. Of course, that’s until the story starts to unfold and a stranger is lurking outside her home and her colleagues start to act differently towards her. Check out The Trespasser on Amazon.

9. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

This 2018 thriller is an easy yet highly enjoyable read. As a woman is making dinner, she receives a shocking phone call only to wake up with memory loss in the hospital later. The police start to suspect her of some type of wrongdoing, but her husband doesn’t believe it and the people around her don’t know what to think. This suspenseful novel is smart and thrilling with many different points of view that will change what readers believe at the turn of every page! Check out A Stranger in the House on Amazon.

10. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The author weaves a modern tale very reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel, but where Ware differs is her ability to create suspense in enclosed or cramped spaces. This unique story takes place aboard a cruise liner where a travel journalist witnesses a murder happening at night. Unfortunately, with a lack of evidence, no one seems to believe Lo whatsoever. As she begins to question her own sanity and discovers that her ex is also aboard the ship, the story unfolds into something quite sinister.

In summary, these thrilling novels provide enough suspenseful action than any reader getting into the genre for the first time should enjoy. Check out The Woman in Cabin 10 on Amazon.

How To Choose A Thriller Book: Tips For Finding Your Perfect Read

If you’re new to the thriller genre, it can be overwhelming to find your next great read. However, there are several ways you can choose a thriller book that suits your interests and preferences.

One way is to reach out to friends or family members who enjoy reading thrillers and ask for recommendations based on your interests. Another option is to visit local bookstores or libraries and ask workers for suggestions based on specific themes or authors.

When searching for a good thriller, consider that the genre is known for its dark, suspenseful plot-driven stories with clear and imposing threats. To keep readers engaged in the plot, successful thrillers often introduce unexpected twists and events.

One recommended thriller for beginners is “The Maidens” by Alex Michaelides. This fast-paced novel features unexpected plot twists and references classic mythology. Consider checking it out if you’re looking for an exciting read that keeps you on your toes.

Regardless of how you choose a thriller book, remember to step out of your comfort zone and try something new- who knows what gripping stories await!

Understanding The Elements Of A Thriller: Suspense, Tension, And Plot Twists

When it comes to the best thriller books for beginners, there are a few key elements that make these novels so engaging. Suspense, tension, and plot twists are typically the backbone of any good thriller. These elements can keep readers on the edge of their seats with each turn of the page.

Suspense is built by creating a sense of uncertainty or anxiety in the reader. This can be done through a variety of techniques such as foreshadowing or leaving hints about what is to come. Tension is often created by having high stakes for the protagonist or other characters in the story. This tension can make readers feel invested in what happens next and keep them turning pages.

Plot twists are another important part of any good thriller book. These unexpected turns in the story can keep readers guessing throughout the novel and add an extra layer of suspense to the overall plot. When done well, plot twists can make people want to read for hours at a time just to see what happens next.

Overall, understanding these core elements of a thriller – suspense, tension, and plot twists – can help you choose great books for beginners looking for an enthralling read. So whether you’re new to thrillers or looking for your next page-turner, keep these features in mind as you select your next must-read novel.

Tips For Reading Thriller Books: How To Stay Engaged And Avoid Spoilers

Thriller books are a popular genre of fiction that offers readers an escape into a world of suspense, mystery, and plot twists. These books are fast-paced and action-packed, making them a great way to stay engaged in the story. When reading thriller books as a beginner, it’s important to keep in mind some key tips to stay engaged with the plot and avoid spoilers.

Firstly, it is essential to focus on feeling while reading thriller novels. This is because the emotions evoked by the characters, plot twists, and revelations are what make these books captivating. As a reader, try to immerse yourself in the emotions of the main character(s) and feel their fear or excitement through each twist and turn.

Another important element when choosing a thriller book is action from the opening scene. In most cases, thrillers begin with either starting with a puzzle or survival scenario that engages readers right from the beginning. Therefore it’s essential for beginners to pick one which starts off either as survival or includes aspects of puzzles for getting hooked naturally.

Lastly, selecting best-seller titles can help attract new followers towards good-quality content without risking disappointment. Popular thrillers like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn provide exciting insights into thrilling tales without dampening enthusiasm with lousy writing techniques or inferior quality plots.

In conclusion, novice readers hoping to enjoy thrilling stories need focusing on elements such as character emotions (which evoke feelings), taking part in journeys starting with power-packed scenes filled with secret puzzles along hidden paths that ultimately add up during unfolding towards climaxes full of fun discoveries where interest remains until end credits roll away avoiding letting go even if seeming predictable at points thanks’ great storytelling skills provided within bestsellers listed above amongst their many wonders awaiting thrilled audiences readying daring expeditions!

Popular Thriller Book Series: From Jack Reacher To The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Thriller books make for a gripping read, and many find themselves hooked on the genre after their first taste. When it comes to finding good thriller book series for beginners, the choices can be overwhelming. However, several popular series are worth reading.

The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child features an ex-army officer with a strong sense of justice who often takes matters into his own hands. The action-packed books have intricate plots and exciting sequences that make for an enjoyable read.

The Millennium series by Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz feature The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and is another popular option in the genre. These books have complex characters and a captivating mystery that keeps readers engaged throughout.

For those interested in crime thrillers, the Prey series by John Sandford follows detective Lucas Davenport as he solves crimes in Minneapolis. Dead Simple by Peter James is another novel worth considering; it’s part of an extensive mystery thriller series featuring Detective Roy Grace.

Additionally, if you’re looking for suspenseful books that keep you guessing until the end, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are excellent choices.

Reading these book series should keep you engaged from start to finish while providing a great entry point into the thrilling world of crime fiction literature.

Why Thriller Books Are A Must-Read For Every Book Lover

Thriller books are a great way for beginners to dive into the world of reading. They keep readers on the edge of their seats and guessing until the very end. The genre includes a variety of topics and styles, providing readers with endless options.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, is a popular and fast-paced novel that’s perfect for those just getting into thrillers. Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies takes the concept of lying to a whole new level, while Ruskin Bond’s The Perfect Murder offers a unique take on solving crimes.

The Alex Cross series by James Patterson features an intelligent detective who solves complex cases alongside his son. For those who enjoy thought-provoking reads, The Upstairs House by Julia Fine provides an intellectual twist on traditional thrillers.

In summary, thriller books offer excitement and mystery for all types of readers. They can be easy-to-read and fast-paced or intellectually stimulating, making them perfect for beginners looking to explore different genres.


Thriller books are a must-read for every book lover, and with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. However, by understanding the different types of thrillers, the elements that make them so popular, and following some simple tips for finding and reading them, anyone can become a fan.

The top ten thriller books for beginners offer a great starting point, but there are many other great options out there. Whether you prefer psychological thrillers, crime thrillers, or action-packed adventures, there is a thriller book out there for everyone. So why not give one a try and experience the thrill for yourself?

Recent Posts