My Top 10 Books – Psychological Thrillers

I do love a list.. and I love telling everyone I know about great books, so what could be better than a list of my TOP TEN books in the genre of Psychological Thrillers?  If like me this genre is your favourite – then you might agree that in order to be a GREAT psychological thriller you need several ingredients:  a killer twist, an OMG WOW moment, some brilliant characters – unlikeable or likeable – it doesn’t really matter and that edge of your seat, stomach in throat, heart pumping feeling and these are my  TOP TEN: (Note… This list is accurate as of April 2017)

No. 1

Elizabeth Haynes – Into The Darkest Corner.

Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – Simply because in my opinion it has all the ingredients required and the added bonus of freaking me out.  I felt like I was experiencing an angina attack whilst reading it because my heart was pumping so fast.  This is an atmospheric and claustrophic look at obsession and domestic abuse.  This was also the first Psychological Thriller I read which turned my reading habits 90 degrees and I’ve never looked back.  (You always have a soft spot for your first!)

No. 2

Clare Mackintosh – I Let You Go.

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . .

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – This is perhaps the only book I have screamed OMG WTF out loud halfway through and then flicked back several chapers to see if I had misread something!  A stunning debut novel which really blew me away and left me emotionally drained for days.

No 3.

BA Paris – Behind Closed Doors

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.

You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – I think I actually inhaled this book rather than read it as it left me breathless and shaken at the end.  A very clever and disturbing book about domestic abuse and in my opinion a brilliant debut.

No 4.

Samantha Hayes – Until You’re Mine

Claudia seems to have the perfect life.

She’s heavily pregnant with a much wanted baby, she has a loving husband, and a beautiful home.

And then Zoe steps into her life. Zoe has come to help Claudia when her baby arrives.

But there’s something about Zoe that Claudia doesn’t like. Or trust.

And when she finds Zoe in her room going through her most personal possesions, Claudia’s anxiety turns to real fear …

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – Any book that still makes you think about it 4 years after you finished it deserves to be in my TOP TEN.  This is the first book I read by Samantha Hayes and again features brilliants characters, a phenomenal twist and edge of your seat tension.  Loved it and still recommend it.

No 5.

Mary Kubica – The Good Girl

I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the colour of her eyes or what they look like when they’re scared. But I will.

Mia Dennett can’t resist a one-night stand with the enigmatic stranger she meets in a bar.  But going home with him might turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life…

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – This is possibly the first book I read where I realised how much I love the “unreliable” narrator.  That moment when you are caught up in the story and realise “uh oh” is deliciously evil and satisfying.  Full of twists and turns and red herrings I thought I had been transported to a fish market!  LOVED IT.

No 6.

Lisa Hall – Between You and Me

They say every marriage has its secrets.
But no one sees what happens behind closed doors.
And sometimes those doors should never be opened…

Sal and Charlie are married. They love each other. But they aren’t happy. Sal cannot leave, no matter what Charlie does – no matter how much it hurts.

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – In my opinion the sign of a good book (or a good author) is being so consumed by the story and the characters that you are so busy “living and breathing” the characters you are swept away by their situations and when that twist is finally revealed you feel like you’ve been smacked in the head with a brick.  Unbelievable debut novel and the only book to leave me with a book hangover for 4 days after.

No 7.

Still Missing – Chevy Stevens

On the day she was abducted, thirty-two year-old Annie Sullivan had three goals – sell a house, forget a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend.

Then a van pulls up outside the house she is selling. Annie thinks it’s her lucky day.  But nothing could be further from the truth

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – I read this book in ONE sitting – again a brilliant, twisted psychological thriller which will always be in my TOP TEN.

No 8.

John Marrs – The Wronged Sons – Republished in 2017 as WHEN YOU DISAPPEARED

What would you do if the person you loved suddenly vanished into thin air?
Catherine’s cosy life as a housewife and mum-of-three is quickly thrown into disarray when husband Simon disappears without explanation.
She is convinced he hasn’t left by choice as confusion and spiraling debts threaten to tear her family apart.
Meanwhile Simon has begun a carefree new life travelling the world. And he’s determined not to disclose his past to all he meets, even if it means resorting to extreme and violent measures.
But why did he leave?
Catherine only gets her answer 25 years later when Simon suddenly reappears on her doorstep.
During their furious final confrontation, they discover the secrets, lies and misunderstandings that tore them apart, then brought them face-to-face one last time.

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – This book changed my life.. and whilst that does sound dramatic I will explain why.  I read this book in 2014 and was blown away by the story and twists, and felt compelled to let the author know how much it affected me.  I tracked him down via Goodreads and told him how much I loved his book.  He replied instantly and we struck up a friendship.  It is because of this book and my friendship with the author that I set up THE Book Club on Facebook and I will be forever grateful to John Marrs.

No 9.

Julia Crouch – Her Husband’s Lover

She stole her husband. Now she wants to take her life.

After the horrors of the past, Louisa Williams is desperate to make a clean start.
Her husband Sam is dead. Her children, too, are gone, victims of the car accident in which he died.
Sam said that she would never get away from him. That he would hound her to death if she tried to leave. Louisa never thought that he would want to harm their children though.
But then she never thought that he would betray her with a woman like Sophie.
And now Sophie is determined to take all that Louisa has left. She wants to destroy her reputation and to take what she thinks is owed her – the life she would have had if Sam had lived.
Her husband’s lover wants to take her life. The only question is will Louisa let her?

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – A brilliantly twisty, dark story that in my opinion ended too soon as I would have loved to continue reading about these characters for at least another 400 pages!  If you like your books with very disturbed characters then you will love this one.

No 10.

Liz Nugent – Lying in Wait

‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’

Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. However, needs must – because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants …

WHY THIS IS ONE OF MY TOP TEN – Simply because this is a very dry and dark psychological thriller which ticked all my personal requirements for a 5 star book.