More Book Recommendations: Psychological Thriller/Dramas

Here are more psychological thriller book recommendations.   At the risk of being accused of shameless self-promoting, I will again first recommend my own books: Saving Elijah, Flight, and A Reasonable Madness. Here are some others that can be placed only loosely in the category of psychological thriller.

Raveling by Peter Moore Smith. I loved this one. An eerie, deeply psychological, highly entertaining thriller and family drama by the brother of actress Julianne Moore. About a man who feels his sanity slipping away while he’s trying to deal with a mother who is seeing ghosts, a fastidious neurosurgeon brother , and a difficult past that includes the long ago disappearance of his sister.

Anything by Paul Auster. Auster’s books include City of Glass, Oracle Night, Leviathan, The Book of Illusions, The Brooklyn Follies, and Moon Palace. While Auster does stand back emotionally from his characters, his books are deeply absorbing page turners, intellectual thrillers. The fascinating and brilliant Auster is not to be missed, even if he is the darling of the literati.

The Witching Hour by Ann Rice I also liked Interview with the Vampire, but this one is by far my favorite Ann Rice. Written in her usual ornate style, this long, engrossing and hypnotic tale of witchcraft and the occult spans four centuries of a great dynasty of witches–a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive being.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Also The Little Friend. I include Donna Tartt’s books, which some may argue are primarily “literary,” because they read like the very best psychological thrillers. Powerful and evocative page turners about friendship, arrogance, murder, the recklessness of youth, family secrets, crime and punishment, and lots of other fascinating subjects that matter.

Blood Test, Over the Edge, Therapy, Self-Defense, Bad Love by Jonathan Kellerman. Kellerman, a psychologist himself, writes effectively and believably (although very violently) in this series, which features a crime solving psychologist named Alex Delaware and his policeman sidekick. Kellerman has millions of fans. I’ve listed some of the earlier efforts in the series as I haven’t read one recently. These books fall more traditionally in the “psychological thriller” genre.

The Key to Midnight, False Memory Phantoms, The Darkest Evening of the Year, Watchers, The House of Thunder, by Dean Koontz. Another extremely popular writer whose work falls more traditionally in the thriller genre, although this one leans more toward horror, as his plots usually involve supernatural doings. Also conspiracies, elaborate technology, and extreme violence. I especially liked The Darkest Evening, which involves a wonderful Golden Retriever. I share Mr. Koontz’s love of dogs, though my dog is a Lab. Again, I’ve listed earlier work, because I haven’t read one recently.

The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. While Atwood is a “literary” writer I list some of her books here because she’s probably my favorite writer, and her books, whatever else they are, are page turners. She’s brilliant and unique and sophisticated and her books are always psychologically sound.

The Stand, by Steven King. This is my favorite, but most of his books are amazing. He’s a great writer.

Seventh Heaven, The Foretelling, Practical Magic, Here on Earth, Fortune’s Daughter by Alice Hoffman. I’ve only listed a few of her many, many books, but I always find Hoffman’s unique magical realist page turners compelling, psychologically sound and irresistible.

Also, Jeffrey Deaver and Dennis Lehane, for more traditional psychological thriller fare.

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One thought on “More Book Recommendations: Psychological Thriller/Dramas

  1. Dear Ms. Dorf:

    I came across your blog today from a header in one of my news feeds; it’s always fun to look at reading lists, as a 60 yr. old bibliophile it’s not getting easier to find a “great” read. You have listed many of my favorites.

    I loved the Witching Hour by Ann Rice! If only I could find something about witches and their families to be that absorbing, in novel form, again. A hard act to follow. I also enjoy Johnathan Kellerman.

    One book of Kellerman’s from his early days which is still very valid today, is a masterpiece called “The Butcher’s Kitchen”. It’s a bit different from his Alex Delaware series. This story is about a serial murderer in Israel, w/a very exotic Jerusalem background. I have recommended this to others and they are always equally enthused about bk.

    I also enjoyed the Handmaid’s Tale, I’ve heard Atwood can be very complex, I do have another of her bks on my shelf waiting to be read. I’ve also heard Steven King’s last two books are especially good; Lisy’s Story has gotten good word-of-mouth. For a while his fans seemed to be complaining that he was not living up to earlier expectations, but is now coming through with more original material. I believe his last is Duma Cay which gets raves.

    Have you tried Tess Gerritson? She is absaloutely four star! My favorite current mystery writer. Many of her books are medical thrillers, as she is a physician. The Mephisto Club is my favorite, I’ve enjoyed every one of her books.

    Thanks for listing your favorites. I sure hope I find that great book soon, life is boring without a good book at the bedside table.

    Regards, Frosty7530

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