• 10 Best Thriller Books UK 2021 | Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More 1
  • 10 Best Thriller Books UK 2021 | Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More 2
  • 10 Best Thriller Books UK 2021 | Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More 3
  • 10 Best Thriller Books UK 2021 | Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More 4
  • 10 Best Thriller Books UK 2021 | Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More 5

10 Best Thriller Books UK 2021 | Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and More

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. 

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 09-12-2021
Table of Contents

Compare the Best Thriller Books

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:

  1. Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl for £5.99
  2. Truman Capote - In Cold Blood for £8.19
  3. Justin Cronin - The Passage for £7.89
  4. Stephen King - The Institute for £7.37
  5. Brendan I. Koerner - The Skies Belong to Us for £7.70

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of thriller books available and understand how our ranking was determined.

Image
Gillian Flynn Gone Girl 1

Gillian Flynn

Truman Capote In Cold Blood 1

Truman Capote

Justin Cronin The Passage  1

Justin Cronin

Stephen King The Institute 1

Stephen King

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

Brendan I. Koerner

Darby Kane Pretty Little Wife: A Novel 1

Darby Kane

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

Fredrick Forsyth

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

Sheri Fink

William R Forstchen One Second After 1

William R Forstchen

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

A Great Place to Start From the Wonder Writer of Modern Thrillers

Full of Suspense and a Must-Read for True Crime Devotees

A Huge Book Toted as the Original Post-Apocolyptic Virus Thriller

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

A Fast-Flying Look Into the Plane Hijacking Events of the 60s

An Exceptional Debut for Fans of Nuanced Characters and Twists a-Plenty

A Classic Cat-and-Mouse Page Turner

A Thrilling Investigation Into Hurricane Katrina 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£5.99£8.19£7.89£7.37£7.70£9.34£7.37£16.86£7.76£11.36
Fiction/Non-FictionFictionNon-fictionFictionFictionNon-fictionFictionFictionNon-fictionFictionFiction
Sub-GenrePsychological thrillerTrue crime Epic, supernatural thrillerSupernatural thrillerTrue crime, biography Psychological thrillerEpic thrillerTrue crimeEpic 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
Link

How to Choose a Thriller Book in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Opt for Fiction if You'd Love a Satisfying Ending
  2. Consider Which Sub-Genre Will Best Suit Your Taste
  3. If You're New to the Genre, Start Out With the Classics

1. Fact or Fiction? Both Are Captivating but Fiction Will Usually Give You a Satisfying Ending

1. Fact or Fiction? Both Are Captivating but Fiction Will Usually Give You a Satisfying Ending

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.

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. 

If you enjoy non-fiction thrillers, you'll like the titles from our true crime books!

2. When Picking up Fiction, Consider Which Sub-Genre You Want to Explore

2. When Picking up Fiction, Consider Which Sub-Genre You Want to Explore

Pick Psychological Thrillers for an Intimate Look Into the Minds of the Delusional

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. 

Love a Page-Turning, High-Stakes Plot? Try an Epic or Apocalyptic Thriller

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 a No-Brainer for Fans of All Things Spooky

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.  

If you're still not sure where to start with thrillers, take a look at our favourite Halloween books

3. Avid Thriller Readers Should Keep an Eye on the Latest Titles, While Beginners to the Genre Might Prefer to Start With a Classic

3. Avid Thriller Readers Should Keep an Eye on the Latest Titles, While Beginners to the Genre Might Prefer to Start With a Classic

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! 

10 Best Thriller Books in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.

Gillian FlynnGone Girl

£5.99

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenrePsychological thriller
First Published2012
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook

Truman CapoteIn Cold Blood

£8.19

Fiction/Non-FictionNon-fiction
Sub-GenreTrue crime
First Published1966
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, audio CD, eBook

Justin CroninThe Passage

£7.89

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreEpic, supernatural thriller
First Published2010
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook

Stephen KingThe Institute

£7.37

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreSupernatural thriller
First Published2019
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook

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

£7.70

Fiction/Non-FictionNon-fiction
Sub-GenreTrue crime, biography
First Published2013
FormatsPaperback, hardback, MP3 CD, eBook

Darby KanePretty Little Wife: A Novel

£9.34

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenrePsychological thriller
First Published2020
FormatsPaperback, audiobook, audio CD, eBook

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

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

£16.86

Fiction/Non-FictionNon-fiction
Sub-GenreTrue crime
First Published2009
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audio CD, eBook

William R ForstchenOne Second After

£7.76

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreEpic thriller
First Published2009
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook

Simone St JamesThe Sun Down Motel

£11.36

Fiction/Non-FictionFiction
Sub-GenreSupernatural thriller
First Published2020
FormatsPaperback, hardback, audiobook, eBook

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Written and researched by Lewis Clark

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