The best thrillers and crime novels to read (2023)

There's not much better than curling up with a great book - and you can't beat a thriller for keeping you reading until the small hours! The best thrillers and crime novels are fast-paced, full of suspense with a satisfying ending.

Whether you're reading it in print, on your e-reader or listening to the audiobook, we've got some great page-turners to add to your to-read list...

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (1)

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

Viperamazon.co.uk

£14.99

£7.49 (50% off)

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

The author of the word-of-mouth hot The Appeal is back with another original, ingenious whodunnit. At its heart is the disappearance of a teacher during a class trip back in 70s that is in some way connected to the famous children’s author Edith Twyford. Her former pupils, led by ex-convict, Steve, band together to the solve the mystery.

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (2)

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

amazon.co.uk

£7.99

£4.64 (42% off)

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

This stood out among the many thrillers published this month because it focuses on the victim and her life rather her killer. With echoes of The Lovely Bones, it's narrated by Alice, a teenage girl found dead in the Hudson and Ruby, the woman who discovered her body.

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (3)

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

amazon.co.uk

£14.99

£6.00 (60% off)

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

This timely thriller whisks you into the corridors of Westminster to show the kind of scrutiny women in the public eye face. MP Emma Webster is on the up until a tabloid journalist she’s entangled with is found dead in her home. Smart and hugely compelling.

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (4)

Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka

amazon.co.uk

£16.99

£12.73 (25% off)

Notes On An Execution by Danya Kakufka

I stayed awake long into the night reading this electrifying tale of a serial killer on death row awaiting his execution and what had led him to that point. Woven into his narrative are those of three women in his life: his mother, his ex-wife and the detective who caught him.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

This murder mystery by the Pointless presenter is brilliant: smart, charming and wryly funny. When a property developer is found dead, octogenarians Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron, who all live in a luxury retirement village, band together to solve the crime. This is the first in a series and I can’t wait to read more!

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (6)

Simon & Schuster

Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly

This slow-burn thriller set in the ballet world is Kelly’s best yet. The knives are out when Ava, prima ballerina at the London Russian Ballet Company, gets the coveted role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. The storyline cleverly mirrors the ballet with switched identities, deception and multi-fold clever twists and turns.

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (7)

Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly

Hodder & Stoughtonamazon.co.uk

£14.99

£6.39 (57% off)

The House Guest by Charlotte Northedge

When Kate arrives in London to look for her missing older sister, she’s drawn into a friendship with the enigmatic Della, a life coach who runs a support group for young women. Kate ignores the warnings signs until she is fully entangled in Della’s life. This twisty thriller is jam-packed with tense moments and a growing sense of unease.

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (8)

The House Guest by Charlotte Northedge

amazon.co.uk

£14.99

£10.96 (27% off)

The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain

This clever thriller starts with a bang: what starts as a normal day for Erin and Danny, ends with him jumping from their balcony to his death, just as his Police colleagues knock on the door. 18 months later Erin is charged with murder. Just as you think you’ve got a grip on this twisty story, it goes off in another direction!

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (9)

The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain

Quercusamazon.co.uk

£14.99

£10.98 (27% off)

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

When Helen meets outgoing Rachel at antenatal classes, she gets sucked into a friendship with her until Rachel has taken over every aspect of Helen's life, including her spare room. Rachel's motives start to seem dubious but what is she hiding? There are secrets everywhere in this tense, taut thriller that pulls you along with it right to the last page.

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (10)

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

Raven Booksamazon.co.uk

£12.99

Saint X by Alexis Shaitkin

Claire is only seven when her 18 year old sister is found dead while the family is on holiday on the paradise island of Saint X. 25 years later, Claire comes into contact with one of the suspects and decides to befriend him in order to find out the truth of what happened. If you like a slow burn thriller where character, location and social issues are just as important as the crime, this is for you.

Trust Me by TM Logan

The king of the fast-paced thriller is back! I barely paused for breath as I raced through this gripping thriller about a woman who is handed a baby to look after on a train – and then the mother vanishes.

The best thrillers and crime novels to read (12)

Trust Me by TM Logan

Zaffreamazon.co.uk

£12.99

£9.98 (23% off)

House Of Correction by Nicci French

In this clever courtroom drama, Tabitha is on trial for the murder of a neighbour. The evidence against her is strong and, due to the medication she takes, she has virtually no memory of what happened, but she’s sure she’s innocent and has to build a case to clear her name.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (13)

Century

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

I absolutely love this series of fiendishly clever literary mysteries, which started with The Word Is Murder, and I wolfed this new one down. The clues to a real-life murder in a fancy hotel lie within the pages of a crime novel and its editor must work out the links to solve it.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (14)

Century

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Once again, Jewell delivers a story with characters you care about and enough twists to keep you hooked. When teen Saffyre goes missing, a teacher who’s been dismissed for sexual misconduct is the main suspect. But there are others in Saffyre’s life who have much to hide.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (15)

Quercus

Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins

It’s been a while since I’ve been as sucked in by a thriller as I was with this one. Not only does the plot keep you guessing, the characters are interesting and well-drawn and there’s a real sense of menace. When the eight-year old daughter of an Oxford University lecturer disappears in the middle of the night, the police turn to her nanny, Dee, for answers.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (16)

HarperCollins

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Her debut thriller, The Hunting Party, was a number one bestseller and Foley looks set to have another hit. Power couple Jules and Will have whisked their friends and family away to a remote Irish island for their high-profile wedding. All is going to the bride’s (highly detailed) plan, until a scream during the evening do and a body is found. Foley is brilliant at building up the tension to breaking point and the creepy setting really adds to the atmosphere.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (17)

Viking

Three Hours by Rosemary Lupton

I hardly dared to breathe as I raced through this incredible book, set in a school under siege by masked gunmen. Although it’s the very definition of a page-turner, the storyline about a pupil who is a Syrian refugee with PTSD makes it especially moving.

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The Recovery Of Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

This spine-chilling thriller tells the story of Rose who spent 18 years of her life believing she was ill. In reality, her mother was slowly poisoning her. Having spent time in prison, Rose's mother has been released and Rose agrees she can live with her. Her mother might think she can still manipulate her but Rose has her own agenda - who will win the battle of wills? Read it for the two incredibly complex central characters and the propulsive plot.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (19)

HQ

The Other Mrs by Mary Kubica

When Sadie and her husband Will return to her home town, they're hoping for a fresh start. But when one of their neighbours is killed it sends Sadie into a spiral. She becomes haunted by the old house they live in and memories from her past. Nothing is as it seems in this atmospheric, serpentine thriller.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (20)

Century


The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

When Libby turns 25, she receives an inheritance: the huge house in Chelsea where her parents were found dead in mysterious circumstances when she was just a baby. She sets out to uncover the truth about what happened. Lisa Jewell is brilliant at creating a menacing atmosphere and this is almost unbearably tense at times, with a knock-the-wind-out-of-you ending.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (21)

Simon & Schuster

The Lying Room by Nicci French

This rare standalone thriller from the crime-writing duo is a stonker. Neve, a married mum of two, has been having a fling with her boss. When he texts her to meet him at his flat, she's shocked to find him dead with a bloody hammer by his side. What she decides to do next sets off a ripple effect of deception and her lies are soon spiralling out of control. This tense and clever page-turner demands to be read in one sitting.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (22)

Faber

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty

From the author who is best known for Apple Tree Yard comes a thriller unlike anything I've read before. Part mystery, part ghost story, it follows Lisa Evans who killed herself at Peterborough train station 18 months ago and is now trapped in purgatory until she can piece together what led to her death. While the plot is gripping, it’s the well-drawn characters that make it something special.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (23)

Amazon

Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran

Harriet and Lexie are neighbours who have never met but from what they’ve heard through the thin wall between their flats, they’re deeply envious of each other's lives. Harriet is a party girl, while Lexie is settled with boyfriend Tom and desperate to be a mum. Their interest in each other soon spirals into an obsession. Some thrillers peter out, but this atmospheric read really ramps up the pace as it nears its chilling end.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (24)

Amazon

The Most Difficult Thing by Charlotte Philby

The author is the granddaughter of double-agent, Kim Philby, which gives this spy thriller set in upper-class London a real ring of authenticity. It opens with Anna walking out on her life with her husband and six-year-old twins, intending never to see them again. Compulsive and chilling.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (25)

Avon

Sleep by CL Taylor

Anna is trapped in a hotel on a remote Scottish island during a storm with seven guests, when she realises one knows more about her past than they’ve let on. Sleep by CL Taylor is everything we love in a thriller: creepy, tense and pacy enough to get your heart racing.

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The best thrillers and crime novels to read (26)

Arrow

The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz

I’m a big fan of Anthony Horowitz’s very clever mysteries. A successful celebrity-divorce lawyer is the victim in The Sentence Is Death, but which of his many enemies did it?

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