Guide to Psychological Thrillers and the Best Psychological Thriller Books of All-Time

psychological thrillers

The psychological thrillers is a subcategory of the thriller genre. Despite this, it does have quite a few defining attributes that make it different from other genres of this niche. This includes supernatural thrillers, medical thrillers, and spy thrillers. When discussing the best psychological thriller books of all-time, note that the terms psychological suspense and psychological thrillers are used pretty much interchangeably, because they both do an excellent job of narrating the mental states of the fictional characters.

The key difference between these two is that the former kind usually involves a horrific crime, such as a murder, along with the consequences that come after the gruesome incident. Nevertheless, as they both are nearly identical, we’ll settle for the terminology of psychological thriller in today’s discussion.

Psychological Thrillers Rely on Action, Drama, and Mystery

Not only the best psychological thriller books of all-time, but all kinds of psychological thriller stories typically highlight the delusional or unstable emotional and mental state of the characters, emphasizing the very unfathomable, unimaginable, and inexplicable human mind itself. The plot often unfolds from the perspective of those fictional characters that are psychologically stressed, gradually divulging the disoriented nature of their mental perceptions, and a waning sense of reality, or a feeling of losing control over things at times.

The best psychological thriller books of all-time often rely on elements of action, drama, and mystery. The characters may exhibit some psychological aberrance, such as anxiety, agoraphobia, paranoia, or multiple personality disorder. These stories centre on the emotional states of all the fictional actors, talking about their thoughts and perceptions, as well as potential distortions, delusions, and their incapability to comprehend reality as it truly is.

Psychological Thrillers Tinker With the Reader’s Mind

Psychological thriller novels tend to be particularly suspense-centric as they exploit uncertainty over characters’ integrity, motive, and how they witness their surroundings. The best psychological thriller books of all-time just don’t play with the fictional actors’ mental state, but also tinker with your (reader’s) mind at the same time.

Most common plot devices often involve storyline twists, unreliable narrators, first-person narrative, as well as citing references to the thought process (could be delusional sometimes) of the character through showcasing one’s stream of consciousness. The characters are often found engaged in a raging war with none other than their minds, trying hard to figure out what’s real and what’s not.

Psychological thriller stories have remained in circulation for an impressively long period. The first psychological thriller fiction happened to be short stories and novels written by Edgar Allan Poe in the early nineteenth century. Daphne du Maurier also published her epic novel Rebecca in 1938. Today, with the enviable popularity of contemporary psychological thrillers, such as The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, it’s only evident that if you’ve not yet read the best psychological thriller books of all-time, you’re surely missing something!

A few of the best psychological thriller books of all-time by Brian T. Seifrit are Bloodlines, Absolute Anger, and A Blood-Stained Hammer. You can learn more of his writings and also order them online from the Amazon author page.


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