Friday, October 29, 2010

Top Ten Thrillers of All-Time

Here are my Top Ten Thrillers.  In my opinion these were the best of the best and if you haven't read them then you definitely should if you're a fan of the thriller genre.

10.  The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker (2010).  This was an excellent read with great characters, disturbing plot, and startling twists.  Great make-up of a top thriller.  I also have to admit that since I recently finished reading this one it's still fresh in my mind and made the list.   

9.  Along Came a Spider by James Patterson (1993).  All thriller lists will usually have at least one title of the hundreds that Patterson has written.  He is certainly one of the best writers of the thriller genre in modern times.  This was adapted into to film starring Morgan Freeman.

8.  The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1902).  Great Sherlock Holmes book that I read as a kid.  One of the books responsible for making me a fan of thrillers.

7.  State of Fear by Michael Crichton (2004).  Chrichton created a niche for scientific thrillers.  Here he didn't disappoint as he delved into the world of environmentalism.  As a result of this book he once appeared before Congress to testify on the possibilities and consequences of conducting policy on what he viewed was "junk" science. 

6.  The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon (1959).  What's there not to like?  Political thriller where a corporation brain washes a former Soldier to be an unwitting assassin.  Adapted to film twice, first starring Frank Sinatra, and then again starring Denzel Washington.

5.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (2005).  Great characters and a disturbing plot helped this thriller make the list. 

4.  The Charm School by Nelson DeMille (1988).  DeMille has written so many great books.  This one in my opinion topped them all.  Russian spies trained to infiltrate the United States.  I couldn't put this one down.

3.  Term Limits by Vince Flynn (1999).  This was Flynn's debut novel that he originally self-published that went on to make the NY Times Bestseller List.  Fed up with your Senators/Congressmen?  So were the characters in this book and they made the "Distinguished Gentlemen" pay.

2.  The Pelican Brief by John Grisham (1992).  The king of legal suspense hit a home run with this thriller.  Assassinated Supreme Court Justices, and a grad student's thesis stirs up a great book with a lot of twists and turns.  The book was definitely better than the movie that starred Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.

1.  The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (1988).  How can this not be considered the greatest thriller of all-time?  A sadistic serial killer, a locked up cannibal, and a trainee FBI Agent combine to set the standard that all thrillers can only hope to live up to.  The movie with Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins was great, but it still didn't come close to the chills you get from reading the novel. 

In my opinion those are the Top Ten Thrillers of all-time.  Let me know how your list would differ.  Did I miss any good thrillers that make your top ten? 


  1. Oddly enough, though the thriller genre is one of my favorites in films, I rarely read them. Recently I read and reviewed Stephen Tremp's Breakthrough. I enjoyed the read very much and probably should start reading more in this genre.
    Good luck to your new blog and your writing. I don't see a follow button up on your page anywhere, but I am following from the top bar.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Great recommendation Lee. I'm definitely going to have to check it out! Thanks.

  3. Thanks Arlee. I'm going to have to check out Breakthrough.