The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

1525 views
General Chat > What is the most tense thriller or suspense novel?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 173 (173 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Tyler (new)

Tyler (alienlanes) | 18 comments I am looking to find a really tense novel that will make you read faster to just to get it over with. I want one that keeps the pressure and does not let up.

Spandau Phoenix did that for me more than other books I know of. It builds and builds and till the end. Love that one.

A Simple Plan is another great one. It does not let up on any of the characters, ever.

I thought The Blade Itself was going to be another great one but it turned really generic at the last third and let the main character off the hook a bit so it disappointed me.

Panic Attack by Jason Starr could have been a contender but I didn't care for the characters enough.

What thriller have you read that is great at building tension?


message 2: by Lobstergirl (last edited Sep 15, 2010 02:22PM) (new)


message 3: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I have to 2nd Eye of the Needle & Rebecca. Both wonderful!! I don't recall ever reading The Day of the Jackal.


message 4: by Chris (new)

Chris (mulishone) | 39 comments I absolutely loved A Simple Plan by Scott B. Smith , I wish Scott Smith would write more.

I think the following two titles would be right up your alley:
Caught Stealing (Hank Thompson, #1) by Charlie Huston
Snow Angels (Inspector Kari Vaara, #1) by James Thompson


message 5: by Vince (new)

Vince (vchile) | 163 comments Tell No One Tell No One by Harlan Coben
I read it in one sitting.


message 6: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 444 comments Intensity Intensity by Dean Koontz by Dean Koontz.

This is one of the most memorable murder thrillers I've ever read. The first chapter draws you in and doesn't let you go. I have never since been able to spend the night as a visitor in someone else's home without recalling this book.


message 7: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) Motor home travel would be a little hard, too!! The title is VERY accurate!!


message 8: by Karendenice (new)

Karendenice Absolutely Intensity. This book is a read in one day book!


message 9: by Gatorman (last edited Sep 21, 2010 01:43PM) (new)

Gatorman | 7679 comments If you liked A Simple Plan, try reading The Ruins, also by Scott Smith. I would also recommend Messiah. Great ending.


message 10: by Dorie (new)

Dorie (dorieann) | 464 comments I second Caught Stealing (Hank Thompson, #1) by Charlie Huston by Charlie Huston. It's the first of a trilogy. Great books.


message 12: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 1347 comments Oh, Gatorman, The Ruins gave me the creeps!


message 13: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 444 comments I also can't leave out Pet Sematary Pet Sematary by Stephen King by Stephen King. I still remember the horror I felt at the plot twists toward the end of the book, even if I saw at least one coming. {{shudder}}


message 14: by Gatorman (last edited Sep 22, 2010 01:48PM) (new)

Gatorman | 7679 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I also can't leave out Pet SemataryPet Sematary by Stephen King by Stephen King. I still remember the horror I felt at the plot twists toward the end of the book, even if I saw a..."

Agreed. I tend to leave out King's books because they are more horror than thriller but this is one of my top five King favorites.


message 15: by Kymberlee (new)

Kymberlee (kymba668) Creepers by David Morrell is high on my Thriller list.


message 16: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments I thought The Cabinet of Curiosities was very compelling. In fact, it made a Preston and Childs fan out of me.


message 17: by Bill, Co-Moderator (new)

Bill | 5391 comments Mod
I agree with Vinces' suggestion about Red Dragon. You may want to also consider his Black Sunday. Another suggestion is Jeffrey Deaver's A Maiden's Grave.


message 18: by Katrina (new)

Katrina | 51 comments Dorie wrote: "I second Caught Stealing (Hank Thompson, #1) by Charlie Huston by Charlie Huston. It's the first of a trilogy. Great books."

I started this awhile back, just couldn't get in to it. I may have to get it another try.

Most if not all of Huston books have been a free download on the Kindle in the past, so I have most of them.


message 19: by JudiAnne (new)

JudiAnne (judipatooti) The Cory McFaydon novels are the most tense thrillers I have ever read and I have read a lot. They are in a sequence and need to be read in order because the characters keep evolving. There are only four so far...Shadow Man, Face of Death, The Darker Side and Abandoned. They are the scariest, most unputdownable books that you will ever read.


message 20: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 444 comments Wow, there's an endoresement!!!

Judith wrote: "The Cory McFaydon novels are the most tense thrillers I have ever read and I have read a lot. They are in a sequence and need to be read in order because the characters keep evolving. There are ..."


message 21: by Vince (new)

Vince (vchile) | 163 comments Judith wrote: "The Cory McFaydon novels are the most tense thrillers I have ever read and I have read a lot. They are in a sequence and need to be read in order because the characters keep evolving. There are ..."


Cody McFadyen is the author's name. Stuff looks good,thanks.


message 22: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patricia804) Have to say that Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child together are among my top faves. Start with The Relic and go from there. I read this book when I moved into my first appartment ALONE! I could hardly sleep it was so intense! Other authors I have to give a thumbs up to that are already mentioned are Thomas Harris and David Morrell. I loved Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs by Harris but couldn't get into Hannibal. Creepers by Morrell was a 1 night read! I could hardly put it down! I've read 3 of his books (Creepers, Scavenger, First Blood)and all of them were excellent. I look forward to reading more.


message 23: by Voula (new)

Voula | 14 comments I, too, am a big fan of Cody McFadyen (thanks for the correction, Vince), but I don't know if his books are the "most tense" thrillers I've ever read. Ditto for some of the other posts in this discussion. While some really good suspense novels have been named in this thread, again, I'm not sure I'd give them the title of "most tense book I've ever read." I have read so many great ones that I unfortunately tend to forget the storylines, only just remembering how much or how little I liked the book, or how scary and tense it was or wasn't. I certainly can't claim to have forgotten the storyline in the book I'm currently reading (and if I did then I've got a big problem), and because I'm currently experiencing just how "tense" it is, I'll throw it out there as my answer: The Cold Kiss by John Rector. I'm going through this one so fast (when I can pick it up) because it's easily readable and short in length, but the tension and sense of dread is palpable. (I'm sensing that nothing good is going to come out at the end of this one.) I'm sure if I gave it some thought I could come up with some of my past reads that just stressed me out (in a good way) because they were so scary, so suspenseful, so etc. Might post some more tomorrow . . .


message 24: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patricia804) Left to Die by Lisa Jackson. It's the first in a series that's currently in the works. Book 2 is Chosen to Die. Haven't read that one yet but Left to Die is chilling!


message 25: by Tyler (new)

Tyler (alienlanes) | 18 comments Shadow Man was pretty good, for a serial killer/task force book. The dog scene was the most disturbing thing I've read in awhile. I'm pretty unimpressed with the whole serial killer genre right now though.
The Ruins was great. Impending doom.

Please keep up the recommendations.


message 26: by Vince (new)

Vince (vchile) | 163 comments Can't forget The Exorcist The Exorcist (Mass Market Paperback) by William Peter Blatty


message 27: by Bill, Co-Moderator (new)

Bill | 5391 comments Mod
Vince wrote: "Can't forget The ExorcistThe Exorcist (Mass Market Paperback) by William Peter Blatty"

Quite true. Just the reminder gives me the shudders. I couldn't read that book downstairs by myself at night. For some reason, when the priest listens to the tape and realizes it's being spoken backwards, that was one of the creepiest moments.. Blatty's Legion was also quite excellent


message 28: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patricia804) I've never read The Exorcist. Thanks for the recommentation. I'll have to check it out when I'm done with my current read.


message 29: by Joe (new)

Joe Ohlenbusch (eatatjoes90) | 19 comments Patricia wrote: "Have to say that Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child together are among my top faves. Start with The Relic and go from there. I read this book when I moved into my first appartment ALONE! I could hard..."
I'm trying to find the Pendergast books but it's hard. If you like Thomas Harris, find his first book, Black Sunday, I can never see a blimp at a football game again without wondering...


message 30: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 444 comments forgive me if I've already mentioned this but Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin was the scariest. Some chilling, hairraising moments in that one, particularly as I had no clue how it was going to evolve.


message 31: by Takipsilim (new)

Takipsilim | 5 comments Cornell Woolrich's tales are among the best. And Poe of course.


message 32: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patricia804) Joe check out their official website at http://www.prestonchild.com/index.html There is also a list of thrillers that they recommend. Good luck finding the books. Might try online at amazon or similar sights.


message 33: by Jill (new)

Jill (jillbert) | 23 comments Helter Skelter...couldn't sleep for a week!


message 34: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Oct 19, 2010 06:58PM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 444 comments Well, now, if you're going to mention true crime... I agree with Helter Skelter and will add
In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences by Truman Capote, Fatal Vision by Joe McGinnis, and anything about Ted Bundy.

Jill wrote: "Helter Skelter...couldn't sleep for a week!"


message 35: by Jill (new)

Jill (jillbert) | 23 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Well, now, if you're going to mention true crime... I agree with Helter Skelter and will add
In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences by Truman Capote,..."


Carol, we are in total accord. ICB stands up after all this time.


message 36: by Tyler (new)

Tyler (alienlanes) | 18 comments Just to revive this, Gillian Flynn's Dark Places.
Great characters, plot, resolution. One of the best mystery/suspense books I've read. The dread in this is what makes it so gripping, especially with Patty's story. Gut-wrenching.


message 37: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (janastasiow) | 16 comments To be honest, I know these most people have read, but all of Dan Brown(except Deception Point), Gerritsen Tess(rizzoli and isles series), John Sandford (Prey series), Michael Connelly (Bosch novels), The Firm, A Time to Kill, Gone, But Not Forgotten, Hellfire, and Shadows.


message 38: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Carroll | 7 comments I would have to second Tell No One by Harlan Coben I also read in one sitting.


message 39: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman | 7679 comments Tyler wrote: "Just to revive this, Gillian Flynn's Dark Places.
Great characters, plot, resolution. One of the best mystery/suspense books I've read. The dread in this is what makes it so gripping, especially..."


Dark Places was a great read, as was her first one, Sharp Objects. She supposedly has a new one coming out this year.


message 40: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Tyler wrote: "I am looking to find a really tense novel that will make you read faster to just to get it over with. I want one that keeps the pressure and does not let up.

Spandau Phoenix did that for me mor..."


The most tense thriller series I've ever read is the Patrick Bowers series written by Steven James. Special agent Bowers tracks serial killers. The plot twists are fierce and action seat of the pants and often grusome. Titles so far in the ongoing series are: The Pawn, The Rook, The Knight, The Bishop.


message 41: by Javier (new)

Javier Sasieta (javier_gimenez_sasieta) | 7 comments My favourite authors are: Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child (when they write together; The ice limit and Riptide are my favourites, as well as the Pendergast serie), Mike Connely and Stieg Larsson.


message 42: by Robert J. (new)

Robert J. Sullivan (RobertJSullivan) | 22 comments A number of Alistair MacLean's books did it for me: "Where Eagles Dare", "When Eight Bells Toll", "Ice Station Zebra", "The Golden Rendezvous"


message 43: by Doreen (new)

Doreen Dalesandro (agilecairn) | 43 comments I have to agree, Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist are truly do-not-want-to-be-alone creepy. Along the same lines: The Omen.


message 44: by Lee (new)

Lee | 181 comments God Is a Bullet by Boston Teran "A fourteen-year-old girl is kidnapped by a satanic cult that calls itself the Left-Handed Path. The leader, Cyrus,is a vicious,sadistic,& one of the scariest characters ever in a book I've read. This was an amazing debut novel." My little review on this...


message 45: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I think that Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith is an extremely creepy story....it is different from the Hitchcock film and has a much darker twist although the original premise of "exchanging murders" is the same.
I also agree with one of the members that mentioned the Cornell Woolrich books/short stories.....very depressing and nerve-wracking.


message 46: by Jerry (new)

Jerry H | 43 comments Javier wrote: "My favourite authors are: Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child (when they write together; The ice limit and Riptide are my favourites, as well as the Pendergast serie), Mike Connely and Stieg Larsson."

I just read my 1st Douglas Preston and I would agree, Impact was a 2 day read (had to sleep sometime)


message 47: by Doreen (new)

Doreen Dalesandro (agilecairn) | 43 comments This is a great discussion!! Picked up quite a few titles to add to my to-read list!


message 48: by Chris (new)

Chris Stanley (christinelstanley) | 44 comments Just finished Suspect by Michael Rowbothem, it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout!


message 49: by Bill, Co-Moderator (new)

Bill | 5391 comments Mod
Robert J. wrote: "A number of Alistair MacLean's books did it for me: "Where Eagles Dare", "When Eight Bells Toll", "Ice Station Zebra", "The Golden Rendezvous""

I totally agree. MacLean wrote some great adventure thrillers. I've been rereading books I read 30+ years ago and still enjoying. Puppet on a Chain is another that comes to mind..


message 50: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Schwartz | 5 comments Hawke by Ted Bell. This is the first in the Alex Hawke series and the best. It certainly got me going and I couldn't put it down.


« previous 1 3 4
back to top