The Best Mystery & Thriller Adaptations Since 'Gone Girl'

Posted by Hayley on April 1, 2019
Goodreads Mystery & Thriller Week 2019

Your neighbors are hiding a body. The woman who just bumped into you is a stalker. Your husband is definitely poisoning you. (The coffee tasted a little weird, didn't it?)

Hello, paranoia! Fans of mystery and thriller adaptations know it well. While the genres used to be dominated by quirky sleuths and extravagant settings, these days the dastardly crimes are closer to home. Think murderous spouses and quaint neighborhood homes with a creepy, off-limits basement. These stories are categorized as domestic suspense, and their current popularity owes a lot to Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn's groundbreaking novel, as well as the 2014 film adaptation from director David Fincher.

For Mystery & Thriller Week, we looked at the best adaptations in our post-Gone Girl world. While domestic suspense continues to resonate with audiences, there's something for everyone, from a postapocalyptic thriller to a seductive spy caper. Click the titles for more information on the adaptations. And keep scrolling to get a peek at the books headed to the big and small screens next.

What's your favorite mystery adaptation? Tell us in the comments!



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Sharp Objects
based on the book by Gillian Flynn
Returning to her hometown to cover a violent murder, a reporter confronts her psychological demons in this atmospheric adaptation of Flynn's debut novel. The HBO miniseries earned acting accolades for both of its leading ladies, Patricia Clarkson and Amy Adams, who played mother and daughter.



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Every day Rachel watches the same perfect couple from the window of her commuter train. When she spots something amiss, she's drawn into a treacherous missing-persons investigation. The adaptation won the 2017 People's Choice Award for Best Thriller Movie.



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Big Little Lies
based on the book by Liane Moriarty
Schoolyard scandal escalates to murder as three mothers find their lives unraveling. The HBO show received 16 Emmy nominations and won eight, including Outstanding Limited Series and acting awards for Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgård, and Laura Dern. Season 2 will premiere in June.



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Bird Box
based on the book by Josh Malerman
Five years after an unseen force drives most of society to suicide, a mother and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety. The film streamed worldwide on Netflix where more than 45 million accounts reportedly watched it, a record-breaking debut for the streaming service.



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You
based on the book by Caroline Kepnes
Obsessed with aspiring writer Guinevere, bookstore manager Joe uses social media to track her. He moves from stalker to boyfriend, intent on removing all obstacles that stand in the way of their romance. The Lifetime/Netflix series currently has a 93 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.



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Red Sparrow
based on the book by Jason Matthews
A ballerina is recruited to Sparrow School, a Russian intelligence service, where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission threatens to unravel international security in this spy thriller written by a former member of the CIA. The adaptation stars Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton.



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C.B. Strike
based on the books by Robert Galbraith
War veteran–turned–private detective Cormoran Strike solves brutal murders with the help of his trusted assistant, Robin Ellacott. The series, adapted for television by the BBC and distributed in the U.S. by Cinemax, is based on the series by Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling.



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Nocturnal Animals
based on the book by Austin Wright
A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale. The adaptation, directed by Tom Ford and based on the novel Tony and Susan, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival.



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Jack Ryan
based on the books by Tom Clancy
Jack Ryan, an up-and-coming CIA analyst, is thrust into a field assignment as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit. John Krasinski, the fifth actor to portray Clancy's titular hero, stars in the Amazon Video series.



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A Simple Favor
based on the book by Darcey Bell
When her best friend goes missing, single mom Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate—and quickly becomes entangled in the woman's past and marriage. The adaptation, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, currently has an 85 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.




Upcoming Adaptations

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Release: August 16
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Release: October 4
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Release: November 1
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Release: November 15
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Potential and In-Progress Adaptations

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Status: Filming

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What's your favorite mystery and thriller adaptation? Tell us in the comments!

Check out the complete coverage of Mystery & Thriller Week:
Top 100 Mysteries & Thrillers on Goodreads
My Favorite Murder Podcast Hosts Share Their Favorite True-Crime Reads
The Top 12 Mysteries & Thrillers of 2019 (So Far)


Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Dominguez I thought "Mystic River" was a great adaptation


message 2: by Laura (last edited Apr 02, 2019 08:54AM) (new)

Laura Dam The Swedish adaptation of the Stieg Larsson´s Millenium trilogy was great. The English language one was meh.


message 3: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Oh please please please let there be a TV adaptation on the Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle!


message 4: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Harrow For anyone who has enjoyed both, how does the Red Sparrow film adaptation compare to the book?


message 5: by R (new)

R Red Sparrow doesn't even come close to Gone Girl.


message 6: by Stefani (new)

Stefani Zeiger I hope Final Girls is a movie! Such a good book, definitely compares to Gone Girl as a great thriller.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Of course Citizen Kane is the best ever adaptation with The Third Man a close second and Absolute Power right up there. Mystic River was good but the book was much better.


message 8: by Janine (new)

Janine Gaboury I wasn't impressed with Gone Girl


message 9: by Susannah (new)

Susannah I loved The Name of the Rose-Both the book and the film. Both are fantastic.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Susannah wrote: "I loved The Name of the Rose-Both the book and the film. Both are fantastic."
You're right, I forgot about that one and it's almost impossible to choose between the book or the film. 'course having Sean Connery & Christian Slater in 1986 didn't hurt the film any!


message 11: by Marvin (new)

Marvin Menjívar Gone Girl and Sharp objects are two of the best adaptations ever! Sharp Objects succeeded in giving secondary characters a richer storyline (Allan Crellin and Jacky). Gone Girl was amazing, Rosamund Pike's performance is one of the best ever as well as Amy Adams'.

I liked the adaptation of Big Little Lies better than the book itself. The ending of the book was too flat for my taste, and it was too predictable while the one in the TV series adaptation was much more compelling.


message 12: by Alysha (new)

Alysha Richard wrote: "I thought "Mystic River" was a great adaptation" I honestly thought the movie was better


message 13: by Aqsa (On Hiatus) (new)

Aqsa (On Hiatus) Loved this blog!


message 14: by Allegra (new)

Allegra Hey, GR Higher-Ups--Will these lists (and other linked pages) remain available after the week is up? Or do I need to start saving screenshots?


message 15: by Pam (new)

Pam Carmichael Richard wrote: "I thought "Mystic River" was a great adaptation"
I so agree with you Richard!


{ U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y } Sometimes I Lie would be great as a movie.
I love the book so much! I still rave about it even today.

I'm on pins and needles for the sequel.


message 17: by Beatriz (new)

Beatriz Love, love, love Sharp Objects. Both the book and the series which I think is an amazing adaptation. Compelling acting by Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson and Eliza Scanlen, and shocking ending.

I'm now looking for my next great book but I'm afraid it's going to be a hard task to find something as amazing! Help!


Madhukar Sakorkar The best adaption according to me was Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by BBC - a Le Carre novel.


message 19: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed El-afifi I like psychological thrillers best, followed probably by conspiracy mysteries.


message 20: by LYNNETTE (new)

LYNNETTE Nettedee8 I've read over 1000 books 📚 over the years.😁


message 21: by Helen (last edited Apr 18, 2019 05:31AM) (new)

Helen Swedish netflix series "Quicksand" is an excellent adaptation of an excellent novel!


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