TTT“Top 10 Tuesday” is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

Originally I wanted to take a little break from Top 10 Tuesdays and catch up on my looong review to-do-list but I just couldn’t resist participating this week because the topic is „Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre“ and since I love putting lists of my favorite books together I just had to do this one – and obviously I chose my favorite thrillers.

I know that as soon as I’ll publish this post I’m probably going to be like „Oh my God how could I forget X?“ but I really tried remembering all my favorites and I could have easily made this a Top 20 list with all the exciting and nerve-wracking thrillers I’ve read especially since I started blogging. So limiting myself to just ten books was tough but I’m quite okay with the result and I think that if you love shocking stories and unexpected plot twists then you can’t go wrong with the following ten books. I would definitely read all of them again at any time.


Der Seelenbrecher – Sebastian Fitzek
One of my oldest favorites but I’ve done a re-read of this one not that long ago and still loved it to pieces. The plot is extremely disturbing, I loved the setting (a psychiatric ward during a snowstorm) and it had one of the most shocking plot twists I can remember. Unfortunately it’s not available in English (yet).

Still – Zoran Drvenkar
This book had quite a similar tone as the one mentioned above and was at least equally disturbing and even had a similar icy setting but the plot was completely different and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I also really liked how the author experimented with first-, second- and third-person narrative to confuse his readers. Also German-only (yet).

The Surgeon – Tess Gerritsen
One of the most thrilling books I’ve ever read with a shocking story about rape and murder, incredible suspense and a really intense atmosphere in the Boston heat. I have absolutely no idea why I never continued the Rizzoli & Isles series after this fantastic first book and I think it’s definitely time to re-read „The Surgeon“ and binge-read the rest of the series.

I Remember You – Yrsa Sigurdardottir
I think I’ll never get tired of recommending this novel because I still consider it the scariest book I’ve read. It might be more of a horror novel than a typical thriller and it’s definitely not a fast-paced or action-packed book but if you have a thing for ghost stories with a really intense atmosphere then you shouldn’t miss this one.

Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
I lost count of how often I’ve seen the movie already because it’s my all-time favorite one and I watch it 2-3 times a year and the Crichton novel on which it was based on is just as awesome – which is not a real surprise, since it’s a thriller about (and with!) DINOSAURS!


Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane
I will always remember this novel for one of the most surprising and shocking plot twists I’ve ever encountered in a book or movie and I’m actually sad that I can’t unread this story and experience the full shocking impact of the conclusion for the first time again. A totally addictive mystery, a super interesting protagonist and a setting that could hardly be any more fascinating with a psychiatric hospital on a desert island (and there’s even a storm!).

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
How could I make a list with my favorite thrillers and not list a book of the Millennium series? I loved the whole original trilogy but the first book is definitely still my favorite since I found the mystery about the disappearance of Harriet Vanger the most fascinating and love the journalistic tone of this story – and could there be a more amazing and interesting character than Lisbeth Salander?

The Analyst – John Katzenbach
This book will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to and it made me fall in love with this format. The mystery is super addictive, has a few shocking surprises and a great plot twist – definitely my favorite psychological thriller of all-time.

Kill Me Once – Jon Osborne
One of the most underrated books in this genre and I’m pretty sure even most of the hardcore thriller fans haven’t even heard of it, which is a shame because it’s the perfect book if you can’t hide a certain obsession with serial killers facts because this story is full of them – since the killer in this book is trying to copycat the worst serial killers in history. Unsurprisingly this is a very violent but totally addictive thriller that also comes with a super interesting female detective. (Unfortunately the sequel really sucked.)

Shadow Man – Cody McFadyen
If you are looking for disturbing, shocking and painful thrillers then there’s no way around the Cody McFadyen books about FBI agent Smoky Barrett who’s been attacked by a serial killer that raped and mutilated her and killed her family but which didn’t keep Smoky from hunting monsters like him. This series definitely won’t win awards for most realistic crime stories but I can promise you that you won’t be able to put the books down once you’ve started them.

What are your favorite thrillers of all time?

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