14 Suspenseful Books You Won't Be Able To Put Down

From classic novels like The Woman in White and Rebecca to more recent books like Gone Girl, suspenseful stories have been keeping readers on the edges of their seats for decades. If you're interested in turning pages deep into the night, wondering what's going to happen next, then this is the list for you. The fourteen selections we've compiled here are full of mystery and danger that will keep you enthralled. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

14 Suspenseful Books You Won't Be Able to Put Down

Title Author(s) More by the Author
1. The Widow Fiona Barton The Child
2. The Final Cut Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison The Lost Key The End Game
3. Dead Girl Running Christina Dodd What Doesn't Kill Her The Woman Who Couldn't Scream
4. Best Day Ever Kaira Rouda The Goodbye Year All The Difference
5. The Roanoke Girls Amy Engel The Book of Ivy The Revolution of Ivy
6. Hidden Bodies Caroline Kepnes You Providence
7. Consequences Aleatha Romig Truth Convicted
8. Vanished in the Night Lynette Eason Oath of Honor Her Stolen Past
9. All the Breaking Waves Kerry Lonsdale Everything We Keep Everything We Left Behind
10. Vanished T.K. Leigh A Beautiful Mess A Tragic Wreck
11. The Dry Jane Harper Force of Nature The Lost Man
12. Reckless Creed Alex Kava Breaking Creed Silent Creed
13. Killing Sarai J.A. Redmerski Reviving Izabel The Swan and the Jackal
14. Come Sundown Nora Roberts Shelter in Place The Art of Deception

What is Suspense?

Suspense is a feeling that is essentially a mixture of excitement, fascination, tension, and anxiety. It is often caused by a dramatic work, like one of the novels listed above or a film by Alfred Hitchcock. It can also arise due to real-life circumstances, although that's usually a lot less pleasant as the danger involved is actually a threat. In a book or movie, the audience knows that the villains and dark situations aren't real and can't hurt them, so they can enjoy the rush of adrenaline caused by suspense. This keeps fans of thrillers and mysteries coming back for more.

How Do Writers Create Suspense?

In Depth

There's something alluring about the suspense genre that draws readers in. It instills fear and sparks adrenaline. From the first time you encounter a mysterious danger, until you finally reach the end of the slow-burning plot, you may find yourself completely incapable of putting down the book.

In no particular order, here are 14 suspenseful books that will keep you up all night.

At #1 is "The Widow," by veteran British journalist Fiona Barton. This rich and character-driven story follows Jean Taylor, an introverted hairdresser and a widow. Glen, her deceased husband, is accused of a crime which turns Jean's life upside-down. Unlike many other heroines, Jean is surprisingly passive and almost apathetic at times. However, it's exactly these characteristics that end up drawing readers in.

However, it's exactly these characteristics that end up drawing readers in.

Next at #2 is "The Final Cut " by Catherine Coulter. This is the first installation in the "FBI" series, introducing Scotland Yard's Nick Drummond and FBI Agent Mike Kane. This action-packed title is a solid murder mystery that centers around the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, the Queen Mother's crown.

Coming in at #3 is Christina Dodd's "Dead Girl Running," which tells the story of Kellen Adams as she tries to remember the past year. A gunshot scar on the head, and the conscious hatred for a husband who tried to kill her are all she has to go on. As Kellen struggles to find a new job, live in a new home, and build a new life, tragedy follows her. She soon finds herself entangled in a web of murder, mystery, and smuggling.

At #4 is "Best Day Ever: A Riveting Psychological Thriller about the Perfect Marriage" written by Kaira Rouda. If you love "Gone Girl," you will also find this a delicious read. Gripping and suspenseful, this volume presents a well-woven tale of betrayal and deception in marriage.

Gripping and suspenseful, this volume presents a well-woven tale of betrayal and deception in marriage.

Paul and Mia Strom have a perfect life. However, this picture slowly takes a dark and sinister color as the family goes on a vacation. Paul describes it as the "best day ever," but Mia remembers the trip quite differently.

At #5 is another narrative surrounding a family, "The Roanoke Girls." Amy Engel gives us a story about the ugliest and most evil side of humans. Though dark and unsettling, you will not be able to put the book down after reading the first sentence. So, you'll have no choice but to accompany Lane as she goes home to Roanoke. Nothing seems changed in the rural estate. It still fills Lane with dread and reminds her of sinister secrets.

Coming at #6 is "Hidden Bodies" by Caroline Kepnes, the second installation of the series "You." To Joe Goldberg, hiding bodies is nothing new. And though he's good at what he does, he's smart enough to know that a body can't be kept hidden forever. What will happen if the one who finds out about his secret is the only person he truly loves?

To Joe Goldberg, hiding bodies is nothing new.

Though a bit twisted, Joe Goldberg is a character you can't help falling in love with. But you might not want to say that out loud.

Next up, at #7 is "Consequences: Book 1 of the Consequences Series." In this title by Aleatha Romig, you enter a luxurious yet unfamiliar bedroom with Claire Nichols. There with her is Anthony Rawlings, a tall and dark-eyed tycoon who has abducted her. Luckily, she has a plan; she will escape. And you can't help but try to cheer for her.

At #8 is Lynette Eason's "Vanished in the Night." Dr. Joshua Crawford tries to keep Kaylee Martin and her baby safe and away from their violent stalker. Not only is this novel full of suspense, but it's also packed with action and romance. The fast-paced storytelling will keep you flipping to the next page.

The fast-paced storytelling will keep you flipping to the next page.

At #9 is "All the Breaking Waves" by Kerry Lonsdale. The author has woven a story that deeply explores a mother's love and the lengths she would go to save her child. And though this tale is heartwarming and magical at its core, it is also filled with mystery and dark secrets.

Next at #10 is "Vanished." Written by T.K. Leigh, this fourth installation in the "Beautiful Mess" series explores the lives of Rayne Kilpatrick and Alexander Burnham. Having lost everything important to them suddenly, Rayne seeks revenge while Alexander frantically looks for clues to save his daughter.

At #11 is "The Dry" by Jane Harper. The author wants the readers to unwrap the story like an onion as they learn about Luke's murder and the accused, Falk, who tries to untangle the mystery and clear his name. The pace moves slowly, allowing you to enjoy every detail.

The pace moves slowly, allowing you to enjoy every detail.

Coming at #12 is "Reckless Creed." This is another exceptional thriller from Alex Kava. Ryder Creed aims to solve a series of mysterious deaths that have no connection at first glance. Soon, he'll find himself in the sights of one of the most prolific killers in the US. The tale is told from different points of view, allowing one to connect events from multiple perspectives.

At #13 is J.A. Redmerski's "Killing Sarai." This book pushes the boundary between suspense and crime. It introduces you to a world of cold-blooded murder, sex slavery, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. Victor, a calculated assassin who seems to have no conscience, tries to use Sarai to gain an upper hand against his enemies. But falling in love with her might complicate his plans.

Last at #14 is "Come Sundown" by Nora Roberts. This is a volume that will show you the healing power of love and how people are capable of rising from the worst experiences. You can follow Bodine Longbow and Callen Skinner as they try to uncover the truth about the death of a young woman, and the loss of an aunt.