• Top 10 Best Thriller Books in the UK 2021 (Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Thriller Books in the UK 2021 (Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Thriller Books in the UK 2021 (Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Thriller Books in the UK 2021 (Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Thriller Books in the UK 2021 (Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More) 5

Top 10 Best Thriller Books in the UK 2021 (Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More)

Although we’re still a while away from being able to get our thrills from concerts, rollercoasters or other adrenaline-pumping activities, we still have one place to turn in our time of need – the bookshelf. A good crime or psychological thriller will keep the heart rate up, the pages turning and the reader engaged, meaning they can get some well-earned respite from the real world outside. 


However, with this being one of the most sought-after genres, that does mean that the finding the perfect book or two can be difficult, particularly if you’re not clued up on specific authors. So, with that in mind, we've curated some of the best thrillers from some of the world's most renowned authors to buy online from Amazon and eBay. 

  • Last updated: 04-02-2021
  • 117 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Thriller Book in the UK – Buying Guide

Finding the perfect read can be difficult even when you know what you want. That’s why we've put together this quick buying guide which delves a little deeper into the nuances of thrillers. Hopefully, by the end, you'll be able to identify what type of stories will work for you. 

Fact or Fiction? Both Are Just as Captivating

Fact or Fiction? Both Are Just as Captivating

The first factor to consider is whether you’re looking to go for fiction or non-fiction. Luckily, both are just as enthralling, exciting and interesting. 


When it comes to this genre, it would be fair to say that fiction usually contains higher-stake outcomes and you’re much more likely to have things tied up at the end for you. The characters are also made to be empathised with and understood. After all, this is what keeps us engaged.

Fact or Fiction? Both Are Just as Captivating

When it comes to non-fiction, none of this rings true. You’ll likely find books to have characters that you can’t understand or connect with. There’s also not always a solution, and the setting, while still enthralling, is generally on a much smaller scale – think local town murder rather than apocalyptic-espionage. 


Another point worth mentioning is that non-fiction thrillers often cross genres, so they can be considered both investigative and true crime by different outlets. However, we believe as long as they read as fast-paced as your average thriller, then they belong in this genre too. 

When Picking up Fiction, Consider the Sub-Genres

Within the fiction genre, there are, of course, several different sub-genres of thriller to choose from. Let’s take a look at the nuances and subtleties that separate these different styles so you can hone in on a new favourite.

Psychological Thrillers Are the Most Intimate

Psychological Thrillers Are the Most Intimate

The most popular sub-genre is easily psychological thrillers. The distinct features of this style are that the plot is usually more personal, or even more intimate. Furthermore, the hero is often considered a regular Joe, and the speed of the book reflects this – it begins by moving slowly as they get to grips with the event, then speeds up towards the end. 


As with all thrillers, twists are key. But the focus of the story is more on the creepy and spooky, rather than the horrifying and sensational. For example, you can expect dread to arrive in subtle looks from characters, as opposed to multiple explosions or shoot-outs. 

Epic or Apocalyptic Thrillers Include Plots With Much Higher Stakes

Epic or Apocalyptic Thrillers Include Plots With Much Higher Stakes

Epic thrillers (sometimes known as apocalyptic thrillers) are a different beast altogether. These novels will usually contain a threat or catastrophe that will affect whole cities, countries or even the planet. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean a total loss of human existence – something like the assassination of a leader is enough to shake things up. 


More often than not, the antagonist will range from terrorist or diabolical businessmen to your ordinary person with an oversized grudge and a desire to cause hell. As for the protagonist, they’re usually a person who possesses particular skills to overcome this, such as a soldier, a spy, or a civilian with a unique skill set. 

Supernatural Thrillers Are Out of This World

Supernatural Thrillers Are Out of This World

The supernatural sub-genre is somewhat an amalgamation of the two previously mentioned. What we mean by this is that the villain, either spiritual or psychological, poses an overwhelming threat to large populations in the long term, but during the novel, they’re focused on one or a few characters initially.

 
This thriller style can contain multiple different genres, from fantasy and horror to crime and psychological suspense. That said, one thing that runs through all of them is that the outcome will be a spooky, weird and often an unnerving read.  

Opt for a Classic Thriller or Be the First to the New Title Party

Opt for a Classic Thriller or Be the First to the New Title Party

Another tough decision to be made is whether you should opt for a tried-and-true classic or something more modern. The former will have gained a well-respected reputation and is rightly less of a gamble. However, sometimes the language and content can feel a bit dated, especially to younger readers.

 
If you’re someone who likes to venture pastures new and keep your finger on the literary pulse, then you could look to sample a new author, maybe even a debut novel of a young writer. Of course, there is more risk here, but it's more likely that the characters, settings and themes will seem more relatable, often reflecting current events and culture. 

 
Luckily, in our ranking, you’ll find thrillers that were published as early as the 60s alongside ones that were only released in the last year or two, so the choice is yours! 

Choose a Format That Suits Your Needs

Choose a Format That Suits Your Needs

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the different formats available. Nowadays you have the classic options like paperback and hardback as well as modern inventions such as eReaders and audiobooks.

 
If you like the physicality of holding a book, as well as a desire to build up an enviable thriller collection and grow your bookshelf, then a paperback or hardback (depending on your space) would likely be your format of choice. 

 
If you prefer to have all of your books in one place, such as your pocket or bag, an eBook or audio option may be better. Thrillers read by authors or actors can make an already-gripping novel even more immersive, but, of course, with all digital titles you’ll need a smart device and a subscription, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. 

Top 10 Best Thriller Books in the UK

Now it’s the time to jump into the action! In our ranking, we have books that span the decades and sub-genres, from pioneering authors to those that have recently taken on the torch. The one thing they all have in common? They’re all thrilling. 

10

Simone St JamesThe Sun Down Motel

£11.65

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreSupernatural thriller
First Published2020
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook
Number of Pages 352
9

William R ForstchenOne Second After

£9.41

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreEpic thriller
First Published2009
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook
Number of Pages 511
8

Sheri FinkFive Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

£14.74

Fiction/Non-FictionNon-fiction
Sub-Genre-
First Published2009
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audio CD, eBook
Number of Pages 578
7

Fredrick Forsyth The Day of the Jackal: The Legendary Assassination Thriller

£7.37

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreEpic thriller
First Published1971
FormatsPaperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBook
Number of Pages 416
6

Darby KanePretty Little Wife: A Novel

£9.01

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenrePsychological thriller
First Published2020
FormatsPaperback, audiobook, audio CD, eBook
Number of Pages 407
5

Brendan I. KoernerThe Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking

£9.58

Fiction/Non-FictionNon-fiction
Sub-Genre-
First Published2013
FormatsPaperback, hardback, MP3 CD, eBook
Number of Pages 336
4
Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreSupernatural thriller
First Published2019
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook
Number of Pages 469
3
Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreEpic, supernatural thriller
First Published2010
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook
Number of Pages 1008
2
Fiction/Non-FictionNon-fiction
Sub-Genre-
First Published1966
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, audio CD, eBook
Number of Pages 120
1
Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenrePsychological thriller
First Published2012
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook
Number of Pages 512

Compare the Best Thriller Books

Image
1
Gillian Flynn Gone Girl 1

Gillian Flynn

2
Truman Capote In Cold Blood 1

Truman Capote

3
Justin Cronin The Passage  1

Justin Cronin

4
Stephen King The Institute 1

Stephen King

5
Brendan I. Koerner The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking 1

Brendan I. Koerner

6
Darby Kane Pretty Little Wife: A Novel 1

Darby Kane

7
Fredrick Forsyth  The Day of the Jackal: The Legendary Assassination Thriller 1

Fredrick Forsyth

8
Sheri Fink Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital 1

Sheri Fink

9
William R Forstchen One Second After 1

William R Forstchen

10
Simone St James The Sun Down Motel  1

Simone St James

Name

Gone Girl

In Cold Blood

The Passage

The Institute

The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking

Pretty Little Wife: A Novel

The Day of the Jackal: The Legendary Assassination Thriller

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

One Second After

The Sun Down Motel

Features

From the Wonder Writer of Modern Thrillers

When Real Life Has All the Thrills You Need

A Huge Book That Combines Many Enthralling Themes and Elements

A Recent Spooky Thriller From One of the World's Best Selling Authors

Please Remain Seated Until the Captain Has Switched the Seatbelt Light Off

An Exceptional Debut Novel With Characters We Already Want to See Again

A Classic Cat-and-Mouse Page Turner

A Thrilling Investigation From a Pulitzer Prize Winner

A Novel That Takes a Very Real Look at Life Without Technology

Another Fine Release From an Author in a Rich Vein of Form

Price£6.34£7.15£8.00£4.50£9.58£9.01£7.37£14.74£9.41£11.65
Fiction/Non-FictionFictionNon-fictionFictionFictionNon-fictionFictionFictionNon-fictionFictionFiction
Sub-GenrePsychological thriller-Epic, supernatural thrillerSupernatural thriller-Psychological thrillerEpic thriller-Epic thrillerSupernatural thriller
First Published2012196620102019201320201971200920092020
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook Paperback, hardback, audiobook, audio CD, eBookPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook Paperback, hardback, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardback, MP3 CD, eBook Paperback, audiobook, audio CD, eBook Paperback, hardcover, audiobook, eBookPaperback, hardback, audio CD, eBook Paperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook Paperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook
Number of Pages 5121201008469336407416578511352
Link

Fill Your Bookshelf With More Gripping Reads

Fill Your Bookshelf With More Gripping Reads

Looking for another thrilling, can't-put-it-down book to keep you occupied at home? From spooktacular stories to thoroughly gripping weekend reads in all sorts of genres, follow the links below to discover the best of the best. 

Summary

So that concludes our carefully-curated collection of some of the best thriller books available right now. If you found your way to this page, then we're absolutely certain something in our ranking will have you captivated. Who knows, maybe even a couple will? 

Author: Lewis Clark

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