It is simple to deceive the heart, not so with the human mind. Today we are looking at some psychological thriller authors who have the rare ability to do the latter. Their stories will make you question reality; they will toy with your thoughts and may even condemn you to a few sleepless nights.

Gillian Flynn

Having been a writer for Entertainment Weekly, Flynn wrote her first novel in 2006. Aside from writing three very popular novels, she has also dabbled in short stories as well as comics. Two of her books also made it to the list of our favorite crime thriller books.

Flynn excels at creating strong female leads and exploring complicated, layered relationships. Her deep understanding and exploration of the vulnerabilities in human relationships makes her books unputdownable for her readers.

Start by reading: Gone Girl

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

Paula Hawkins

Hawkins started her career writing under the pseudonym Amy Silver without much success. It was her first novel under her original name, The Girl on the Train, that garnered profound notoriety.

She won acclaim for tackling issues that affect women and society. Paula Hawkins puts the microscope over controversial human actions, such as, cheating and abuse and explains the rationale behind these actions with utmost lucidity.

Start by reading: The Girl on the Train

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

Stephen King

Although widely regarded as a legend in the horror genre, Stephen King's horrors are born of what is the pinnacle of psychological thriller writing. Whether it was first novel - Carrie or perhaps his most celebrated work - The Shining, King has always been able to capture the psychological elements of his readers' minds.

King’s specialty lies in his sharp dialogue, passionate opinion on everyday issues, and his incredible ability to transcend genres. Apart from thrilling plots, a Stephen King book always comes with the promise of amazing world-building and believable characterization.

Start by reading: The Shining

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

Clare Mackintosh

A former police officer, Clare Mackintosh has written five novels, all part of the Sphere series, that have since been published in more than 35 languages. Her books have hit bestseller lists for crime and thriller books and earned her several prestigious, including Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2016.

Her books are notorious for shocking plot twists, believable portrayals of crime, and solid character development.

Start by reading: I Let You Go

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

Mark Edwards

A British Author, Mark Edwards has built his reputation recounting tales of extraordinary events with ordinary people. He has written more than 10 books, each, more terrifying than the other.

Edwards started out co-authoring and self-publishing his books before hitting the big time. Mark leaves his mark by making the readers wonder if the world is truly as straightforward as it seems.

Start by reading: The Magpies

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

Lucy Clarke

A psychological thriller author endorsed by the Richard and Judy Book Club, Lucy Clarke has written 5 novels that have been translated into at least 12 languages.

One of Clarke’s most favored tropes involves disappearance of people and how that impacts the close ones of those who disappear. A Lucy Clarke book is a treat to those who like to see clues come in waves to help gradually uncover the mysteries surrounding the protagonists.

Start by reading: You Let Me In

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

SJ Watson

Steve J Watson is an English writer, fondly known as SJ Watson. He created earned international acclaim with his debut novel - Before I Sleep. The book has since been published in over 42 languages. An audiologist by profession, Steve took a demotion at work to focus on writing.

Watson often explores the theme of memory loss in his books and his characterization and pacing of his stories are always on point. Watson is especially great at creating relatable characters that his readers can easily invest in.

Start by reading: Before I Sleep

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

AJ Finn

Daniel Mallory left his publishing job behind to become AJ Finn and write his debut novel - The Woman in the Window and hasn't looked back since.

Finn offers a fresh perspective in the psychological thriller genre. The Woman in the Window isn’t so much a chilling or a nail-biting but instead a gripping read that is truly hard to put down! The best quality of Finn's writing in perhaps the pacing - there is never a dull moment.

Start by reading: The Woman in the Window

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

Lisa Jewell

A psychological thriller specialist, Lisa Jewell first shot to fame with her novel - Then She was Gone. The British author has written eleven novels and continues to leave her readers short on sleep because they simply cannot put her books down!

Lisa has an innate ability to make her characters come alive. Her tales, although borrowed from classic fiction, seem unique in the telling from her perspective. Her appealing style of writing connects with all her thriller readers alike.

Start by reading: I Found You

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

Kiersten Modglin

Kiersten is a self-admitted psychological thriller fanatic and has written more than ten books in the psychological thriller and romantic suspense genres.

In her books, she enjoys exploring and showing readers the darkest parts of the human mind. Her ability to tap into the readers' minds and finding twists in the mundane make her a fitting addition to this list of amazing psychological thriller authors.

Start by reading: You Let Me In

Check out the Book on Amazon: International - India

These authors and their books should be give you a great bump to your psychological thriller books reading list! Want us to check out some other psychological thriller authors? Let us know in the comments.

  • Debarshi Kanjilal

Like most other 1980s-born kid in the then Calcutta, India, I was kind of petrified by my parents and their scolding, even thrashings every once in a while. This didn’t change greatly until I was past my teens. However, sixteen years of living in fear of people cannot possibly be an ordeal with no ups and downs or retaliation, and it wasn’t. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but surely not more than five, six years, when I performed my first act of dissent against the authorities. After dishing out reprimand abound towards me in the morning, my father had left for office. I wasn’t thrilled about the talking-to that I received but at this point, I was being raised with values like ‘you should not to talk back to your parents’. However, my ego had been hurt and I had retribution on my mind. So, in the evening, I took a piece of paper and taped it up at the entrance of our home. On that piece of paper, I had written – ‘BABA GADHA!’ [Translation – My father is a donkey!].

Both me and my old man have come a long way since that incident. I was never a smart kid, but it didn’t take me long to understand that displaying to the world a postcard that said ‘My father is a donkey’ wasn’t so much getting back at him as it was making a humongous fool of myself. That was that, and it was the only time that we had called each other donkeys! We were both maturing, so was our vocabulary I guess – so I went on to being greater things – callous, un-smart, timid, introvert, etc. – all of those could possibly have been rightful adjectives for me at various times but there was one adjective which I wasn’t too sure abt. He would often call me – HBRRRRRRRRRRRGRRRRBRR!!! In essence, this word could hold anywhere between 12 and 273 other words and had the potential of being words of advice or wisdom or just more reprimand that would have to be delivered in a hoarse, high-pitch voice. Although it was all that, all I really heard was – HBRRRRRRRRRRRGRRRRBRRR!!!

I, on the other hand, was rather kind to him throughout my life. I had stopped calling him names after calling him a donkey that one time! Even in my mind, I was very kind to him – I merely thought that he was self-obsessed, heartless, greedy, brash, uncivilized, and a stupid person for giving so much importance to education! To this day, I stand by my belief that structured education doesn’t really do as much good to the world as we’re conditioned to believe. At the time, of course, my rebellion was against education as a whole, structured or not. You see education was the biggest barrier for me to be able to do what I actually wanted to, which was to while away my time. So, the names I called my old man in my mind were pretty spot on – he was certainly all of those things, and yes, vain too!

People thought I was closer to my mother. This wasn’t true. I was equally averse to both my parents, but it wasn’t worth my time to try to correct people and their assumptions. I actually grew up to resemble my father in some ways. By the time I was in my early twenties, I could already visualize his bald head sitting atop my face in a few years! I also grew up to be just as full of myself and just as condescending towards others! I grew up to be just as vain as him, and since you’ve come to this point of the piece, I don’t exactly need to provide another example! I grew up to become terribly proud of my cutting-edge communication skills – although I never really knew the words that would tell a girl that I liked them or the body language that would tell a friend that they could come talk to me if they needed! So, when the clock made circle full, I grew to legitimately respect my old man – even if that is most likely because I’m too self-obsessed not to respect what I am!

If anything, I only fear the day when, and if, I have kids and they turn four or five years old! I can only hope that when embarking upon their march of rebellion, they choose their words more wisely than ‘BABA GADHA’!

Science Fiction films have been an essential part of the film industry even before the technological advancement in CGI. Filmmakers have never shied away from creating movies from popular Sci-fi novels.

Taking the magic of words and portraying it onto a silver screen has always been challenging. Some films did it with great success; some have been an absolute catastrophe.

Looking back to some of the biggest sci-fi films in the past, here is the list of top 10 movies based on science fiction novels.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is considered one of the most outstanding cinematic achievement of all time. 2001: A Space Odyssey, a novel by Arthur C. Clarke, tells the story of human evolution and space exploration, where Clarke beautifully weaved science, mysticism, theory, and fantasy with the story.

Both the movie and the book were written in tandem with the film. Clarke and Kubrick inspiring each other with ideas to write the story and both the film and the book were published in the same year 1968.

However, one must read the book and watch the movie to get the taste of the story because, at some points, the film overtook writing and vice versa.

The movie was received various criticism from the audience. Some people saw it as an optimistic movie for human evolution and hope, some saw it as a dark apocalyptic movie. Nonetheless, this film is widely known as the greatest and influential film of all time. It was deemed as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress in the year 1991.

2001: A Space Odyssey will likely be best remembered for the inspiration it provided to future generations.

Rating: 4.5/5.

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Netflix

The Martian

As one of the beloved Sci-fi movies of recent times, Ridley Scott's The Martian is a story of an astronaut who was left behind on Mars and survived and returned back.

The scientific facts and details are so accurate in both the book and the movie that it's hard to consider The Martian a science fiction. The author of the book Andy Weir did an incredible job writing the story giving the most accurate conditions.

Ridley Scott didn’t divert much from the book and stayed true to it. Underlined by great music and incredible actors, the film did ample justice to Andy Weir's original story.

However, the film did leave some of the processes out, which you can understand if you read it.

British physicist Brian Cox said that,

"The Martian is the best advert for a career in engineering I've ever seen."

The book is a must-read and the movie is a must-watch for science fiction lovers.

Rating: 5/5.

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Disney Plus

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park was perhaps the most fantastic science fiction book that was adapted for the screen. With the direction of Steven Spielberg, Jurassic Park made it to the list of evergreen Sci-fi classics. Published in the 1990s this is a must-watch film, even to this day.

The story follows a group of people as they try to escape from prehistoric predators on an island.

As a landmark film, Jurassic Park is a pioneer of using special effects and computer-generated imagery in movies.

Michael Crichton released the book, Jurassic Park, three years before the release of the film. Spielberg acquired the rights of the book for $1.5 million before its publication in 1990. Steven Spielberg’s brilliant cinematography made the movie even livelier than the already brilliant book.

In 2018, the film was deemed as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in the United States National Film Registry.

Rating: 5/5

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Netflix

Blade Runner

Blade Runner is one of the best Sci-Fi film released in 1982. The film is based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie has acquired a cult status among admirers.

It’s a story of a post-apocalyptic world, where a fugitive group of advanced replicates escapes back to earth, and a cop tries to hunt them down.

The film was loosely based on the book by Philip K. Dick, keeping many of the characters and the base story intact.

However, the difference between the book and the movie make it interesting enough to watch and see both forms of media to fully appreciate the story.

Rating: 4/5.

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Netflix


Ted Chiang had written some of the brilliant Sci-fi short stories that world-literature have ever seen. One such brilliant story is Stories of Your Life, published in 1998. And screenwriter Eric Heisserer and director Denis Villeneuve have adapted the story and made it into a beautiful film Arrival.

The movie was not commercially very successful unlike many other films in the science fiction genre, but the core focus on language, imagination, and human emotions made it a beautiful movie to watch.

With some strong leads like Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, Arrival manages to move the audience with its startling twists and gripping storyline.

Rating: 3.8/5

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Iron Giant

The Iron Giant has a special place on this list, not because it's a children's book but this animated movie brilliantly captivates the audience’s attention from start to finish and holds a special place in several hearts, even now.

Adapted from Ted Hughes' novel The Iron Man: A Children’s Story in Five Nights, tells the story of the friendship between a little boy and a giant robot. More than a story of friendship, it tells the story about the human spirit.

Brad Bird debuted as a director with this film and created a masterpiece out of it. Iron Giant didn't do well in the box office, but thankfully the internet and the fan base of the movie gave both the movie and the book the recognition they deserve.

Rating: 5/5

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Netflix

War of the Worlds

A classic by H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds has been adapted several times in movies and radio broadcasts. However, there are two adaptations of the film, one in 1953 and another in 2005, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, that are most talked about.

Despite being an old story, 'War of the Worlds' is still exciting to watch. The story revolves around a dock worker struggling to protect his children and reunite with them with their mother amid an extraterrestrial invasion of the earth by war robots.

While the 2005 movie fared better at the box office, the 1953 one was more true to the book. My recommendation? Read the book. None of the movies surpass it.

Rating: 4.1/5

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Netflix


Annihilation, directed by Alex Garland, is a 2018 Sci-fi horror movie that is based on Jeff Vander Meer's award-winning 2014 novel by the same name.

The story revolves around a group of four scientists who enter a strange quarantined zone called Area X, created by aliens, and brimming with mutated plants and animals.

Starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson, this movie became a massive hit in the box office. Joe Morgenstern, a Wall Street Journal, said that

""Annihilation" is new. It wants us to think and feel while we're having fun."

The movie starts slow, but as the film progresses, horrifying visuals and nail-biting storyline keep you glued to the edge of your seat.

Rating: 4/5

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Netflix

I am Legend

Loosely based on the book I am Legend by Richard Matheson, director Francis Lawrence has created a post-apocalyptic horror-thriller movie in the year 2007, starring Will Smith.

The story is set in New York. After mankind was wiped out by a virus, Neville, the last human in New York, is working to find a cure for the virus while defending himself from the mutants.

The movie became a box office hit; however, the book's story is slightly different from the film. In the book, Robert Neville is a vampire hunter by day, and at night he hides in his home.

But the best part is, there is no supernatural element in the book. The transformation is beautifully explained in the book. You will surely understand the story better if you read the book.

Rating: 3.5 /5

Check Out the Book: Amazon US - Amazon India

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

These are some fantastic science fiction books that went on to become incredible science fiction movies and set the bar for many more masterpieces that followed.

If you haven’t watched a movie or read any of the books from the list, add them to your reading list. What's your favorite science fiction book that was adapted into a movie? Let us know in the comments below.

If you loved the above list, I'm sure you will love the Top 10 Crime Thriller Books of the 21st Century!


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