Sophie Hannah’s Six Favorite Psychological Thrillers

Sophie Hannah’s Six Favorite Psychological Thrillers

Here at Bookish, when we are looking for book recommendations, we go to the pros. For obvious reasons, Sophie Hannah is just the pro we want to steer us towards our next psychological thriller–she’s known for her gripping stories. In Hannah’s latest book, A Game for All the Family, a woman is hounded by a mysterious caller who claims to know a dark secret from her past, and then begins to threaten her family. Here, Hannah makes our dreams come true, and recommends some excellent, unputdownable psychological thrillers for Bookish readers.

There’s nothing I love more than a truly suspenseful, gripping thriller that is, at the same time, as skillfully structured and beautifully written as the kind of novel that has less plot and wins more prizes. Here are some of my recent favorites:

Black-Eyed Susans

This is the best thriller I’ve read so far this year. A woman revisits the most traumatic part of her past in order to find out who kidnapped her and left her for dead, surrounded by the bones of other dead girls, many years earlier. The writing casts a spell that doesn’t let up until the very end. I was almost panting in my desperation to get the solution to the mystery!


This novel is a brilliant portrait of a warped mind, and one of the best in-depth portrayals of romantic obsession that I’ve ever read. It’s also very clever, funny, and you can’t help liking the main character, despite his monstrous behaviour.  

Jane Doe January

This is nonfiction, but it’s as gripping as any novel. It’s a memoir about the author’s decades-long struggle to bring her rapist to justice. Moving, shocking, and full of legal twists and turns, this is a truly riveting book.

The Silent Wife

This is the best psychological thriller about a dysfunctional marriage that I have read (and I have read all the psychological thrillers about dysfunctional marriages). Subtle, plausible, horrifying—it’s a superb read, with an ending that will take your breath away.

The Ice Twins

Why isn’t this novel better known in America? In the UK it was huge, and deservedly so. It has the best plot hook ever: One of two twin daughters dies in a tragic accident, and her family is distraught. Some time later, the surviving twin confesses to her parents that she is not the sister they think she is—in fact, she is the one they believed to be dead. But is she telling the truth?  

Don’t Try to Find Me

This is a brilliant portrayal of a family in crisis. When a teenage girl goes missing, her mother will do anything to find her.  In the process of searching, she uncovers all kinds of shocking and frightening secrets. This is one of the wisest psychological crime novels I have read. The author has a background in psychology that significantly enriches the book.


Sophie Hannah is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous psychological thrillers, which have been published in 27 countries and adapted for television, as well as The Monogram Murders, the first Hercule Poirot novel authorized by the estate of Agatha Christie


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