10 Serial Killer Thrillers For Fans of True Crime
There has been a recent boom in media featuring serial killers, but they’ve always been a subject of fascination. A copycat killer who brings to mind past infamous cases. A serial killer who uses a nursery rhyme. A systemic killer with an interest in medical experimentations. All these characters along with the detectives chasing after them will keep readers gripping their seats and are perfect for fans of shows like Dahmer, Mindhunter, and You.
Summer 1997: When Will jokes about becoming a serial killer, his friends just laugh it off. But Adeline can’t help but feel there’s something darker lurking behind his words.
Winter 2015: Years later, Adeline returns to Blythe for a reunion of the old gang — except Will doesn’t show up. Reminiscing about old times, they look up the details of his supposed murder spree. But the mood soon changes when they discover two recent deaths that match.
As the group attempts to track Will down, they realize that he is playing a sinister game that harks back to one they used to play as kids. Only this time there are lives at stake . . .
The Echo Man
Detectives Cara Elliott and Noah Deakin are on a case with a series of seemingly unconnected shockingly brutal murders, each different in method. The details echo past infamous cases and as the detectives get closer to unmasking the killer, the murders move closer and closer to home. Meanwhile, Jessica Ambrose has been implicated as the arsonist who killed her husband and injured her daughter. With Detective Nate Griffin’s help, Jess discovers a surprising link between her case and the ultimate copycat killer. Sam Holland’s debut is perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and “Mindhunter”.
James Patterson’s hero Alex Cross is back and hunting down a serial killer who is targeting entire families—coming for the Crosses next. This precise killer moves under the cover of darkness, triggering no alarms and leaving no physical evidence. Cross and Sampson aren’t the only ones on this case. Thomas Tull, the world’s bestselling true-crime author, calls the Family Man murders the perfect crime story. Tull also sees patterns everyone else misses and believes the killer may never be caught. But Cross needs to take down the Family Man before his own family becomes the next victims.
The Butcher and the Wren
In this thrilling debut novel from the co-host of the true crime podcast Morbid, we’re brought into the Louisiana bayou with a methodical serial killer who has an interest in medical experimentation. Dr. Wren Muller, forensic pathologist whose knowledge of historical crimes and years of experience working in the Medical Examiner’s office, finds herself in a game of cat-and-mouse chasing after a murderer getting more brazen by the day. Can Dr. Wren solve the case or will this be her first lost?
The Rabbit Hunter
Lars Kepler; Neil Smith (Translator)
In this installment from the series Killer Instinct, the story begins with a nursery rhyme. Nineteen minutes later, you die. Soon, the Rabbit Hunter has claimed another three victims. Joona Linna and Saga Bauer will have to untangle one of the most complex cases in their career and follow the killer’s trail before he claims another victim to reap his ultimate revenge.
Chasing the Boogeyman
Mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small town in Maryland. The police come to believe a serial killer is on the loose. A rumor soon spreads that the local teen stalker is not entirely human, but as evidence keeps turning up, the police, along with the FBI, are certain the killer is a living, breathing madman, succumbing a once peaceful community to an endless nightmare. Inspired by terrifying events, Richard writes a personal account with fresh imagination of the serial killer’s reign.
The Killer Inside Me
Foreword by Stephen King
by Jim Thompson
Everyone in the small town of Central City, Texas loves Lou Ford. A deputy sheriff, Lou's known to the small-time criminals, the real-estate entrepreneurs, and all of his coworkers—the low-lifes, the big-timers, and everyone in-between—as the nicest guy around. He may not be the brightest or the most interesting man in town, but nevertheless, he's the kind of officer you're happy to have keeping your streets safe. The sort of man you might even wish your daughter would end up with someday.
But behind the platitudes and glad-handing lurks a monster the likes of which few have seen. An urge that has already claimed multiple lives, and cost Lou his brother Mike, a self-sacrificing construction worker fell to his death on the job in what was anything but an accident. A murder that Lou is determined to avenge—and if innocent people have to die in the process, well, that's perfectly all right with him.
Carrie Lawrence doesn’t need a happily ever after. She’ll just settle for “after.” After a decade of helping her sister hide her victims. After a lifetime of lies. She just wants to be safe, boring, and not trekking through the woods at night with a dead body wrapped in a carpet.
Becca Lawrence doesn’t believe in happily ever after because she’s already happy. She’s gotten away with murder for a decade and has blackmailed her sister into helping her hide the evidence—what more could a girl want?
When thirteen bodies are discovered in their small town, people are shocked. But not as shocked as Carrie, who thought she knew all the details of Becca’s sordid pastime. When Becca swears she’s not behind the grisly new crimes, they realize the town has a second serial killer who has the sisters in his sights, and what he wants is . . . Carrie.
They Never Learn
Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.
Every year, Dr. Clark searches for the worst man at Gorman University—professor, student, or otherwise—and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself...but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Dr. Clark insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge. Everything’s going according to her master plan...until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure.
Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident—everything Carly wishes she could be—and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay...and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality.
If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…
In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.
A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer–stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.
The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?
As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.
What to Read Next
Emily Hoang is a writer and editor, who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.