Skip to content

The Best American Thrillers

11 Thrilling Rides You Need to Take

By Melina Lynne • November 18, 2015

Here in the Northwest, outdoor thrill seekers hit a lull at this time of year when summer is truly over, but our ski season hasn't begun. With the November wind and rain raging outside I'm more than happy to find indoor activities for the time being, and reading is always at the top of the list. The only side-effect to your reading time when it comes to the mystery and thriller genre, is an inability to move. until you get through your chapter, you are glued to your seat The doorbell may be ringing, the kitchen timer going off, and the kids running in circles around you, but until you get through your chapter, you are glued to your seat; your fingers itching to turn the page and find out what happens. (Looking ahead is considered cheating!)

The British can build a good mystery with standouts like Ian Fleming and Agatha Christie on many book shelves with their spy and “who-dun-it” novels. However, there are some fantastic American mystery and thrill books just waiting to take you on a ride. Thrift Books is finishing up their sale soon, so check out this list of American authors and their best stories, and act fast! You don’t want the ride to leave without you!

  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett – This Hammett novel introduces private eye Sam Spade in an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery.
  • The Alienist by Caleb Carr – Check out Theodore Roosevelt in his role as police commissioner, during a time in which New York was the be-all-end-all of American high society; and accusations were not to be thrown about lightly.
  • The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy – Consider yourself debriefed as you join the action in this military thriller; the launch pad of Tom Clancy’s prolific career.
  • Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – This book joins FBI Specialist Pendergast, and poses the question, “What really does happen in a museum after dark?”
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain – A classic roman noir that was, at first publication, considered so violent that the city of Boston had it banned from its bookshelves.
  • The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart – Introducing the “Had-I-But-Known” genre into mystery writing, it seems this author proves her worth as the American Agatha Christie.
  • Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely – Join Blanche White, a domestic worker, as she becomes a reluctant but perceptive investigator in her employer’s home.
  • The Black Dhalia by James Ellroy – Follow one of California’s biggest manhunts, as a victim known only as the “Black Dhalia” turns up in an abandoned lot in LA.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – This book is as psychological as it gets! Prepare to follow an incredibly twisted story that will continue to haunt you, even when the last page has been read.
  • Kiss the Girls by James Patterson – Join Alex Cross, in a thriller that takes you from coast-to-coast, as he races against the clock to find not one, but two killers.
  • Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe – All of Poe’s suspenseful tales in one volume! One of the greatest single influencers of entertainment today; America's master of mystery and the macabre.

Read more by Melina Lynne

Leave a Comment

Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured