10 Suspense Novels for Beginners

Suspense, sometimes called thriller, is described as keeping the audience at the edge of their seats. The line between suspense, thriller and crime genres have blurred over the years. This list picks some of the best from all three genres that share the same features.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Previously called Ten Little Niggers, people with crime records are taken to an island. One by one, they died in the manner similar to the song “Ten Little Indians.”

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Private investigator Philip Marlowe was hired by General Sternwood to investigate Arthur Geiger who was blackmailing one of his daughters. When followed, Geiger he saw Sternwood’s daughter Carmen enter the man’s house and later heard screams and gunshots. He found Geiger dead and Carmen drugged.

The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver

A patrol officer finds a dead body near train tracks. Its flesh was removed and a diamond ring placed on a finger. Homicide detectives ask the help of the quadriplegic forensic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme.

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins was asked by DeWitt Albright to find a woman named Daphne Monet. Later, Easy was suspected of having killed his friend Coretta and discovered that Monet had stolen money. Albright was trying to acquire the money. Easy becomes a private investigator and has appeared in subsequent novels.

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

Captain Marko Ramius defects from the Soviet Union. The Soviet navy sends out its forces to look for the submarine Red October. The Americans and British in turn call CIA specialist Jack Ryan to help them avoid conflict with the Soviets.

Intensity by Dean Koontz

When Chyna Shepard visits her friend Laura’s house, a man named Edgler Vess breaks into the house and kills all the occupants except the two women.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Bennett Marco has been suffering from a recurring nightmare where Raymond Shaw kills two of their comrades under the eye of military officials. When he learns that another soldier has also been dreaming of the same scenario, he sets out to find its meaning.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

A woman marries Maximilian de Winter and moves into Manderley estate. She’s constantly hounded by the memory of the first wife, reinforced by the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers.
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

This sequel to Red Dragon features Clarice Starling who has to report on the profiles of the serial killers so the authorities can locate the serial killer Buffalo Bill. She has to interview Hannibal Lecter, a former forensic psychiatrist and a convicted cannibalistic killer.

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Teddy Daniels and his partner arrive at Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane to inquire about the patient Rachel Solando, who escaped even when locked in a cell. Teddy thinks that there’s an experiment being done in the prison that he must unlock.

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