If you love suspense, you love the story buildup until the thrilling end. Suspense masters that come to mind are Stephen King and Dennis Lehane. We’ve put together our list of bestselling suspense thrillers. And as always, each of these books have been adapted into a Hollywood film.

Check out our top picks for Ten Best Suspense Thrillers and let us know what you would have included on the list.

1. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

No Country for Old Men

By Cormac McCarthy Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

In his blistering new novel, Cormac McCarthy returns to the Texas-Mexico border, setting of his famed Border Trilogy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. One day, a good old boy named Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men.

A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law–in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell–can contain.

As Moss tries to evade his pursuers–in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives–McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines.

No Country for Old Men is a triumph.

In 2007, Joel and Ethan Coen adapted the book into a film, also titled No Country for Old Men, which was met with critical acclaim and box office success. On January 27, 2008, the film won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. On February 24, 2008, it won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Joel and Ethan Coen), Best Adapted Screenplay (Joel and Ethan Coen), and Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh).

No Country for Old Men

Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald Buy on Amazon

2. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon

By Dashiell Hammett Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

The Maltese Falcon is a 1930 detective novel by writer Dashiell Hammett. The story is told entirely in external third-person narrative; there is no description whatever of any character’s thoughts or feelings, only what they say and do, and how they look. The novel has been adapted several times for the cinema.

Sam’ Spade is a private detective in San Francisco, in partnership with Miles Archer. The beautiful “Miss Wonderley” hires them to follow Floyd Thursby, who has run off with her sister. Archer takes the first stint but is found shot dead that night. Thursby is also killed later and Spade is a suspect. The next morning, Spade coolly tells his office secretary, Effie Perine, to have the office door repainted to read simply “Samuel Spade”.

“Miss Wonderley” is soon revealed to be an acquisitive adventuress named Brigid O’Shaughnessy, who is involved in the search for a black statuette of unknown but substantial value. Wilmer Cook. O’Shaughnessy begs for Spade’s protection while telling him as little as possible. They meet with Cairo at Spade’s apartment, and Spade again presses O’Shaughnessy for details; again she stalls but kisses Spade. The next morning, she is asleep in his bed. Leaving her there, Spade slips out to search her apartment.

Maltese Falcon

By Dashiell Hammett Buy on Amazon

3. The Ghost by Robert Harris

The Ghost by Robert Harris (2008-07-03)

By Robert Harris Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

Adam Lang has been Britain’s longest serving—and most controversial—prime minister of the last half century. And now that he’s left office, he’s accepted one of history’s largest cash advances to compose a tell-all (or at least, tell-some) memoir of his life and years of power.

As pressure mounts for Lang to complete this magnum opus, he hires a professional ghostwriter to finish the book. As he sets to work, the ghostwriter discovers many more secrets than Lang intends to reveal, secrets with the power to alter world politics – secrets with the power to kill.

Tense, gripping, and savvy, The Ghost Writer puts forth all the author’s long-term know-how about high stakes politics, journalism, and governmental deception. Set in America, on Martha’s Vineyard, The Ghost Writer is Harris’s finest foray into political fiction since Fatherland.

In November 2007 it was announced that Roman Polanski was to direct the film version of the novel. The film was a French-German-British joint production, with Babelsberg Studios near Berlin having a central role and most scenes, especially those from Martha’s Vineyard, were shot in Germany.

The Ghost Writer

Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, Eli Wallach, Olivia Williams, James Belushi, Jon Bernthal, Tim Preece Buy on Amazon

4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy)

By Stieg Larsson Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

Salander is plotting her revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. But it is not going to be a straightforward campaign.

After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in Intensive Care, and is set to face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her eventual release.

With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Once a victim herself, Salander is now ready to fight back.

With the spiky and sassy Lisbeth Salander – punkish wild child, traumatised survivor of the ‘care’ system, sexual adventurer and computer hacker of genius – Larsson created the most original heroine to emerge in crime fiction for many years – Independent

Complex, satisfying, clever, moral … a grown-up novel for grown-up readers … this is why the Millennium Trilogy is rightly a publishing phenomenon all over the world – Kate Mosse

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Blu-ray + DVD)

Starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Annika Hallin, Jacob Ericksson Buy on Amazon

5. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel, 1)

By Connelly, Michael Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

The bestselling legal thriller — and CBS TV series — has charismatic defense attorney Mickey Haller taking on a slam-dunk court case involving a Beverly Hills playboy — but as it spirals into a nightmare, he finds himself in a fight for his life.

Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers — they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it’s about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it’s even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney’s dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal — this time to save his own life.

The Lincoln Lawyer (1-Disc Blu-ray + Digital Copy)

Starring Marisa Tomei, Matthew McConaughey Buy on Amazon

6. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

Devil in a Blue Dress.

By MOSLEY, Walter Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

Set in 1948, the story begins in the Watts area of Los Angeles, with Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, a Houstonian — from that city’s Fifth Ward — who lost his job at an aviation defense plant in Los Angeles and is unable to pay the mortgage on his LA home. Easy is sitting in a bar run by Joppy, a friend who is also from Houston, when a man named DeWitt Albright walks into the bar and offers him a job finding a young white woman named Daphne Monet, who is rumored to be hanging out in bars frequented mostly by African Americans, although white women are allowed inside.

When Easy finally does find Monet, he figures out that she has stolen a large amount of money from a man named Todd Carter, who is a local wealthy businessman. Albright wanted this money for himself. Eventually, Albright finds Monet through Easy, who is trying to shield the thieving woman.

At the conclusion, Mouse returns to Houston, Easy takes up detective work, and Ruby disappears.

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.4 Import - Australia ]

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7. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (1) (A Stephanie Plum Novel)

By Evanovich, Janet Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

Discover where it all began—#1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s first “snappily written, fast-paced, and witty” (USA TODAY) novel in the beloved Stephanie Plum series featuring a feisty and funny heroine who “comes roaring in like a blast of very fresh air” (The Washington Post).

Meet Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.

She’s a product of the “burg,” a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.

Out of work and out of money, Stephanie blackmails her bail-bondsman cousin Vinnie into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures her new pal, el-primo bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook. Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. Morelli’s the inamorato who charmed Stephanie out of her virginity at age sixteen. There’s still powerful chemistry between them, so the chase should be interesting…and could also be extremely dangerous.

One For the Money

Starring Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo Buy on Amazon

8. LA Confidential by James Ellroy

L.A. Confidential

By Ellroy, James Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 American neo-noir crime film directed, produced and co-written by Curtis Hanson. The screenplay by Hanson and Brian Helgeland is based on James Ellroy’s 1990 novel of the same name, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. The film tells the story of a group of LAPD officers in 1953, and the intersection of police corruption and Hollywood celebrity. The title refers to the 1950s scandal magazine Confidential, portrayed in the film as Hush-Hush.

At the time, actors Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe were relatively unknown in North America. One of the film’s backers, Peter Dennett, was worried about the lack of established stars in the lead roles, but supported Hanson’s casting decisions, and the director had the confidence also to recruit Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger and Danny DeVito.

L.A. Confidential was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, winning two: Best Supporting Actress (Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay; Titanic won in every other category L.A. Confidential was nominated for. In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected L.A. Confidential for preservation in the National Film Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant

L.A. Confidential (Keepcase)

By James Ellroy Buy on Amazon

9. Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard

Rum Punch

By Leonard, Elmore Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

“Powerful…clever…astonishing…a delicious read.”

—Detroit Free Press

Rum Punch is classic Elmore Leonard—the electrifying thriller that served as the basis for the acclaimed film Jackie Brown by director Quentin Tarantino, starring Pam Grier, Robert DeNiro, and Samuel L. Jackson. Leonard’s story of a not-altogether-blameless flight attendant on the run from her vicious gun-running sometime employer who sees her as a troublesome loose end, Rum Punch is “the King Daddy of crime writers” (Seattle Times) at his sharpest and most ingeniously entertaining.

In fact, People magazine calls it, “Leonard’s best work. He brilliantly reaffirms his right to the title of America’s finest crime fiction writer.” Enjoy this sensational noir winner from the creator of the character of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, lately of TV’s hit series Justified, and see why the great Elmore Leonard stands tall in the company of America’s most legendary crime fiction masters: John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, et al.

The novel was adapted into the film Jackie Brown (1997) by director Quentin Tarantino, although the movie changed the setting from West Palm Beach and Miami to Los Angeles, gave the main character a different surname, and changed her race from white to black.

Jackie Brown

Starring Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Robert Forster Buy on Amazon

10. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River

By Lehane, Dennis Buy on Amazon Barnes and Noble

The novel revolves around three boys who grow up as friends in Boston — Dave Boyle, Sean Devine, and Jimmy Marcus.

When the story opens, Dave is abducted by child molesters while he, Sean, and Jimmy are horsing around on a neighborhood street.

Dave escapes and returns home days later, emotionally shattered by his experience. The book then moves forward 25 years: Sean has become a homicide detective, Jimmy is an ex-convict who currently owns a convenience store, and Dave is a shell of a man.

Jimmy’s daughter disappears and is found brutally murdered in a city park, and that same night, Dave comes home to his wife, covered in blood. Sean is assigned to investigate the murder, and the three childhood friends are caught up in each other’s lives again.

Mystic River (Widescreen Edition)

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