The 10 Best Thriller Novels Of 2017

Ad failed to load

From missing girls and small-town murders to deadly wooded terrain and pristine apartments with (nefarious) minds of their own, the best thriller novels of 2017 left readers with clammy palms and pounding hearts — and let’s be honest, we loved them all the more for it. And in this year’s list of must-read thrillers, where debut writers stack up against bestselling scary story giants, there are definitely plenty of twists and turns you never saw coming (and maybe a few that you totally did, because you’re just that good.) Get ready to leave your bedroom lights on. All. Night. Long.

As one of my ultimate, guilty literary pleasures, it’s rare that I don’t read through a new thriller in a single day — and if you haven’t had a chance to check out some of 2017’s best thrillers, like the ones on this list, it might be time to add a few to the top of your year-end TBR pile. After all, nobody said you couldn’t enjoy a little scare with your holiday season. (And nothing says scary story like the dark of a winter’s night and logs crackling away in the fireplace.)

Here are 10 of the best literary thrillers of 2017.

Ad failed to load

'Into the Water' by Paula Hawkins

If you thought bestselling author Paula Hawkins couldn’t beat her 2015 debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, think again. Into the Water is even more haunting — transporting readers to a small town, where a teenage girl and a single mother are found drowned in the nearby river; a river that has claimed the lives of other townswomen, all considered “troublemakers”, before.

Click here to buy.

'The Dry’ by Jane Harper

A thriller that is slotted for film adaptation by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Jane Harper’s The Dry is set in the small In-Cold-Blood-style farming community of Kiewarra, which is faced with a murder/suicide committed by one of their least likely residents. When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk is brought in to clean up the mess, what he discovers leads him to believe that the deaths might not have been a murder-suicide after all.

Click here to buy.

'The Girl Before’ by J.P. Delaney

This one is super eerie — especially if you’ve got a thing for haunted houses… or, in the case of J.P. Delaney’s The Girl Before, haunted apartments. After Emma’s apartment is broken into she’s desperate for a new place to call home, and One Folgate Street seems perfect. But there’s also Jane, a woman in need of a fresh start and certain One Folgate Street is the perfect place to find it. Until she learns about the strange death of the woman who lived there before her, and the similarities she shares with that dead former-resident.

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load

'The Child’ by Fiona Barton

If this thriller didn’t make it into your beach bag this summer, be sure to check it out now. The Child by Fiona Barton returns readers to the perspective of reporter Kate Waters — from Barton’s bestselling The Widow — who is digging into the history of a working class London neighborhood, where the skeleton of a child was recently discovered during the demolition of an old house.

Click here to buy.

'A Stranger in the House’ by Shari Lapena

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena’s A Stranger in the House will have you sleeping with the lights on for weeks. Set in a suburban, upstate New York community with more secrets than they’d like their neighbors to know, A Stranger in the House zeroes in on a suspicious car accident and a local wife who can’t account for herself: why she was driving, where she was going, or how she crashed.

Click here to buy.

'Dead Letters’ by Caite Dolan-Leach

Forced to return from her beloved home in Paris to her family’s wine country landscape after the death of her twin sister Zelda, Ava Antipova is feeling anything but at home. But as Caite Dolan-Leach’s Dead Letters unfolds, the circumstances of Zelda’s death don't quite add up. Then Ava begins receiving letters from her dead twin — filled with clues about how Zelda really disappeared.

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load

'The River at Night’ by Erica Ferencik

Terrifying rivers were all the rage in this year’s thrillers, and The River at Night by Erica Ferencik will transport you to another one. Four friends in desperate need of a vacation from their complicated lives find themselves stranded in the Maine wilderness following a white water rafting accident — but when they’re rescued, they quickly realize their rescuers might be the biggest threat facing them yet.

Click here to buy.

'The Blackbird Season’ by Kate Moretti

Thrillers love their missing girls, and a missing girl from a small, Pennsylvania town is at the center of The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti. A local teen is embroiled in an alleged, scandalous affair with the high school baseball coach — until she disappears. Only one person might hold the key to the truth: the high school creative writing teacher, who has the journal of the girl, filled with entries that don’t quite add up.

Click here to buy.

‘If We Were Villains’ by M.L. Rio

Debut author M.L. Rio’s If We Were Villains takes place in the world of collegiate Shakespearean actors, featuring a group of seven thespians who find that their lives are starting to mirror their art. Following an evening in which one of their own is discovered dead, they begin putting on fictional performances off stage as well — trying to convince the police, their community, and each other of their innocence in a real-life crime.

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load

'Behind Her Eyes' by Sarah Pinborough

A New York Times best-selling psychological thriller, Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes introduces readers to Louise, a stuck-in-a-rut single mom who shares a fireworks-inspiring kiss with a mysterious man at a bar one night — a man who, the next day, turns out to be her new (and very married) boss, David. That single kiss pulls Louise into David's complicated relationship with his wife, a relationship filled with secrets, shocking revelations, and a taste of the supernatural.

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

What I Learned About Work-Life Balance After Relapsing From Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Almost two years ago, I woke up in a hotel room, groggy and dehydrated, with my clothes all over the room and my nightstand filled with mini bottles of liquor. I had spent the previous two days drinking all the alcohol in my mini bar. I'm not sure wh…
By Irina Gonzalez

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

Bustle Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale