Top 10 Best Thriller Books 2017

Featuring curious crimes, sinister circumstances and deadly individuals, these adrenaline-fuelled novels are sure to get readers' hearts racing. Immerse yourself in compelling mysteries with the very best thriller books you can read in 2017.

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1. He Said/She Said

Erin Kelly

This twisted thriller follows Laura and her boyfriend Kit, who witness a brutal attack in the shadows of night. They call the police shortly after the incident, but four lives change almost immediately. Fifteen years later, the couple are still living in fear. Laura believes she was right to speak out, but knows that no-one will ever establish the truth. She also knows that someone is hiding something - but she could never have guessed what it is.

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2. Death of a Ghost

M. C. Beaton

Quick-witted but unambitious policeman Hamish Macbeth returns in this white-knuckle novel. He hears reports of a castle outside the village of Drim which some believe is haunted. Mysterious lights have been spotted at night, but Hamish expects it to be local youths gathering to take drugs. He decides to spend a night in the castle with his colleague, Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson - but when Charlie falls through the floor and Hamish finds the corpse of a boy in the cellar, things take a very sinister turn. Hamish's claims are dismissed as the words of a drunk, and he must take it upon himself to identify the body and its killer before the 'ghost' strikes again...

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3. Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie

Surely no-one can beat the master of mystery, Agatha Christie, for classic, compelling crime writing. This renowned novel begins with a snowdrift, which stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of year, but by the morning, it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment with a dozen stab wounds, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and aware that there's a killer roaming the carriages, it is up to detective Hercule Poirot to get to the bottom of this distressing case - before the killer can strike again.

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4. Try Not to Breathe

Holly Seddon

Alex is sinking. Drink has become her one true love. But when she is forced to write an article about a 15-year-old girl who is equally lost, her life is changed forever. Amy was attacked and left for dead, her attacker never found, and she has since drifted into a lonely, lifeless place. Not even her doctors are sure how much she understands. As Alex delves further into Amy's life, she realises how similar they are, having grown up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys... As she gets closer to the truth about the attack, Alex's life is increasingly at risk from the very same danger...

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5. Herring in the Smoke

L. C. Tyler

20 years ago, Roger Norton Vane went for a walk in the Thai jungle - and never returned. After years of wild speculation, he has officially been declared dead. But at his memorial service, a man interrupts proceedings, claiming to be Roger. Roger's partner, Tim MacDonald, was due to pick up his inheritance, but now 'Roger' wastes no time making himself at home in his old flat, evicting Tim and conjuring up a plan to prove his right to the money at stake. Crime writer Ethelred Tressider has been commissioned to write a biography about Roger, and finds the person claiming to be him full of vague and scurrilous anecdotes. It seems that many people would rather Roger had remained dead, his tales buried with him, but as it is, it's up to Ethelred to get to the bottom of it...

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6. The Birdwatcher

William Shaw

This dark novel follows Police Sergeant William South, who is desperate to avoid being part of murder investigations - because he is a murderer himself. His victim was a passionate birdwatcher and his only friend. Now, he's teamed up with newly-recruited Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi to crack the case of a body found violently beaten inside a wooden chest. Memories come flooding back for South, and when they track down a suspect - Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland - he's horrified to realise they knew each other in their youth. Could South's violent and aggressive past be exposed? This compelling book touches on themes of grief, guilt and humanity.

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7. Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn

When two girls are abducted and murdered in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her hometown to report on the crimes. Haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows - a precocious 13-year-old who holds an unsettling grip on the town. As Camille works to unravel the truth of the violent crimes, she finds herself relating to the young victims a little too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to confront her own past to get to the bottom of the story...

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8. Into the Water

Paula Hawkins

This absorbing psychological thriller is guaranteed to grip its readers from first page to last. In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn't pick up, ignoring her sister's plea for help. Now, Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the place she'd hoped to escape for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid of long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. Most of all, she's afraid of the water - and the place they call the Drowning Pool.

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9. The Cuckoo's Calling

Robert Galbraith

J. K. Rowling, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, turns her attention to crime in the first captivating Cormoran Strike novel. A troubled model has fallen to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony. It is assumed that she committed suicide, but her brother has doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. Psychologically and physically wounded by war, Strike is given a financial lifeline by this case - but it comes at a huge personal cost. As he delves deeper into the model's complex world, things get ever more sinister, and Strike finds himself in terrible danger...

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10. The Butcher's Hook

Janet Ellis

This engrossing novel is set in Georgian London and follows 19-year-old Anne Jaccob, the daughter of a well-to-do family, who decides to reject her arranged marriage in favour of finding love on her own terms. When Anne meets butcher's apprentice Fub, she begins to imagine a passionate life with him, but her parents have found someone they deem far more suitable. Fiercely independent, Anne decides to follow her own dreams - even if that means getting blood on her hands. This atmospheric tale will stay with its readers long after the final page is turned.

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  • AGFOV
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    When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows - a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
  • AIXSS
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    After entertaining millions of readers with her Harry Potter series and then dipping into local politics with The Casual Vacancy, J. K. Rowling - writing under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith - turns her attention to crime in the first Cormoran Stike novel, The Cuckoo's Calling.

    A troubled model has fallen to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony and it is assumed she has committed suicide, but her brother has doubts and calls in the private detective Cormoran Strike to delve into the case deeper. Psychologically and physically wounded by war, veteran Strike is given a financial lifeline by this case - but it comes at a huge personal cost.

    As he delves into the young model's complex world, things get darker - and he finds himself in terrible danger... A fine introduction to a brilliant detective character, this is a crime fiction novel set in London and full of elegance and mystery.
  • BHOK
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    The Butcher's Hook is the debut novel from former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis. Submitted to publishers anonymously after graduating from the Curtis Brown creative writing school, it's set in Georgian London and tells the story of 19-year-old Anne Jaccob - the daughter of a well-to-do family who decides to swerve her arranged marriage in favour of finding her own happiness.

    When Anne meets butcher's apprentice Fub, she begins to imagine a life of passion with him... but her parents have found someone who they deem to be far more suitable for her. Fiercely independent and idiosyncratic, she makes the decision to follow her own dreams - even if that means getting some blood on her hands.

    An atmospheric and riveting story that has plenty of dark and twisted turns, this is a page-turning novel that will appeal to fans of The Miniaturist and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.
  • TNTB
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    Compared to The Girl On the Train, The Book of You and Room, Holly Seddon's Try Not to Breathe is contemporary fiction at its finest. We expect it to be a front-runner come awards season and you can buy it today in beautiful hardback for a quite simply unbelievable Book People price.

    Focusing on a woman's search for the truth, it reveals how Alex is sinking and forcing herself into her one true love - drink. But when she is forced to write an article about a 15-year-old girl who is equally lost, Alex's life is turned upside down. Amy was attacked and left for dead in her park. Her attacker has never been found and since then she has drifted into a lonely, timeless place. She's as good as dead and not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

    As Alex researches further into the life of Amy, she realises they grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music and flirted with the same boys... As she gets closer to discovering the truth about the attack, Alex's life is increasingly at risk from the same danger.
  • Herring in the Smoke - Hardback - 9780749021863 - L.C. Tyler
    HERR
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    Twenty years ago, Roger Norton Vane went for a walk in the Thai jungle and never returned. Now, after years of wild speculation, he's officially being declared dead. At his memorial service, a man interrupts proceedings claiming to be Roger...

    Roger's partner, Tim MacDonald, who was with him at the time of his disappearance, was due to pick up his inheritance but now 'Roger' has returned and wastes no time in making himself at home in his old flat; evicting Tim and coming up with a plan to prove his right to the money on offer.

    This startling chain of events surprises crime writer Ethelred Tressider. He's been commissioned to write a biography about Roger and finds the person claiming to be him full of vague and scurrilous anecdotes. It soon becomes clear that many people wish Vane had stayed dead and that his tales had been buried with him...

    The seventh book in the Elsie and Ethelred series, L.C.Tyler's Herring in the Smoke is a mystery that will delight fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and M.C. Beaton.
  • HSSS
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    Already optioned by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment for a film adaptation, The Poison Tree author Erin Kelly's He Said/She Said is the twisted and atmospheric thriller that everyone is talking about.

    Laura and her boyfriend Kit witness a brutal attack late at night. They call the police shortly after the incident but this leads to four lives changing almost immediately.

    Fifteen years later and the couple are still living in fear. Laura knows she was right to speak out, but she's also fully aware that no one ever knows the whole truth. She knows someone is hiding something, but she'd never have guessed what it is...
  • The Birdwatcher - Hardback - 9781784297220 - William Shaw
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    The new book from William Shaw, the author of the Breen & Tozer series of crime novels, The Birdwatcher is a dark and disturbing novel about a policeman with a shameful secret.

    Police Sergeant William South is desperate to avoid being on a murder investigation. The reason being he is a murderer himself. His victim was a passionate birdwatcher who was also his only friend. Now, he's teamed up with newly recruited Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi to crack the case of a body found violently beaten inside a wooden chest.

    This discovery brings back memories for South and when they track down a suspect - Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland - he's horrified as the two knew each other in their youth. Could South's violent and aggressive past be catching up with him?

    Intelligently written and touching upon themes of grief, guilt and humanity, this is a gripping thriller that will shock and surprise you. You won't be able to put it down.
  • ASZSY
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    Agatha Christie's most famous murder mystery, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer - in case he or she decides to strike again.
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    A huge favourite with Book People customers, M.C. Beaton's beloved character, the quick-witted and unambitious policeman Hamish Macbeth returns to try and crack his 32nd mysterious case in Death of a Ghost.

    Hamish is hearing reports that a castle outside the village of Drim is haunted. Lights have been spotted at night but Hamish expects it is local youths gathering to take drugs. To get to the bottom of the rumours once and for all, Hamish decides to spend a night in the castle with his colleague Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson.

    The wind explains the ghostly noises but then Charlie falls through the floor and Hamish finds a dead boy propped up in a corner of the cellar. Chief Detective Inspector Blair arrives to investigate, but the body has disappeared. Hamish's story is dismissed as words of a drunk, so he takes it upon himself to find and identify the body and its killer before the 'ghost' strikes again...
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    "Wondering if Into the Water could be as The Girl on the Train? It's better. A triumph." (Clare Mackintosh, bestselling author of I Let You Go). The addictive new psychological thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train, the runaway Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller and global phenomenon. In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn't pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she's afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool...With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, satisfying read that hinges on the stories we tell about our pasts and their power to destroy the lives we live now. "Paula Hawkins does it again! Into the Water is a moody and chilling thriller that will have you madly turning the pages. A gripping, compulsive read!". (Shari Lapena, bestselling author of The Couple Next Door).