The Best Thriller Books of All Time

Reading thriller books will have you at the edge of your seat fearing what will happen next. To some that doesn’t sound like a good time but to others, nothing beats that. Finding a thriller novel that is that good is rare but when you do, you will be thinking about that book for weeks. That is why we decided to make a list of the best thriller books of all time.

There have been some amazing thrillers over the years. From spy novels to psychological thrillers, the genre has something for everybody. Comparing these different types of books isn’t easy but we will take a stab at it, no pun intended. Okay, some pun intended. You can check out the list below!

The Best Thriller Books of All Time
The Best Thriller Books of All Time

The Best Thriller Books of All Time

A Lot of Books to Choose From

This list was a bit hard to make because of how diverse the genre can be. Gillian Flynn has become the go-to author for the best thriller books and she does not disappoint. But there are classics on the list like The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris and Tell No One by Harlan Coben that cannot be left off the list.

Great spy novels are hard to come by but there have been some amazing ones over the decades. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré, and The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth are amazing novels that everyone needs to read.


That is all for the best thriller books of all time list. A lot of these books paved the way for many thriller books and the genre is thriving in this day and age. What book should have been on the list that didn’t make it? Let us know in the comments below. Until next time, keep reading!

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10 thoughts on “The Best Thriller Books of All Time

  1. MI6 says:

    Add to this list Bill Fairclough’s fact based spy thriller, Beyond Enkription, the first stand-alone novel of six in The Burlington Files series. One day he may overtake Bond, Smiley and even Jackson Lamb!

    Intentionally misspelt, Beyond Enkription is a must read for espionage illuminati. It’s a raw noir matter of fact pacy novel. Len Deighton and Mick Herron could be forgiven for thinking they co-wrote it. Coincidentally, a few critics have nicknamed its protagonist “a posh Harry Palmer.”

    It is a true story about a maverick accountant, Bill Fairclough (MI6 codename JJ) aka Edward Burlington in Porter Williams International (in real life Coopers & Lybrand now PwC). In the 1970s in London he infiltrated organised crime gangs, unwittingly working for MI6. After some frenetic attempts on his life he was relocated to the Bahamas where, “eyes wide open” he was recruited by the CIA and headed for shark infested waters off Haiti.

    If you’re an espionage cognoscente you’ll love this monumental book. In real life Bill Fairclough was recruited by MI6’s unorthodox Colonel Alan Brooke Pemberton CVO MBE and thereafter they worked together on and off into the 1990s. You can find out more about Pemberton’s People (who even included Winston Churchill’s bodyguard) in an article dated 31 October 2022 on The Burlington Files website.

    This epic is so real it made us wonder why bother reading espionage fiction when facts are so much more exhilarating. Whether you’re a le Carré connoisseur, a Deighton disciple, a Fleming fanatic, a Herron hireling or a Macintyre marauder, odds on once you are immersed in it you’ll read this titanic production twice. For more detailed reviews visit the Reviews page on TheBurlingtonFiles website or see other independent reviews on your local Amazon website and check out Bill Fairclough’s background on the web.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the Lake if the Woods by Timothy O’ Brien will always be my number one book in this genre. Whatever happened to John Wade’s wife is a question that remains with me 20+ years since I first read this book. I wish In the Lake of the Woods received more recognition.


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