When it comes to suspenseful, thrilling, and captivating crime novels, it’s the authors who create the memorable characters, gripping storylines, and nail-biting twists that keep readers hooked. From classics to contemporary works, the world of crime fiction is full of talented writers who have left an indelible mark on the genre.

Whether you’re a fan of mysteries, thrillers, or psychological suspense, there’s a crime author out there who can capture your imagination and keep you up all night reading. Here are some of the best crime suspense authors you should add to your reading list.

Agatha Christie

No list of crime suspense authors would be complete without the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. Her timeless works have been entertaining readers for almost a century and have become classics in their own right. Her most famous works, such as “Murder on the Orient Express” and “And Then There Were None,” have sold millions of copies and have been adapted into countless movies, TV shows, and plays. Christie’s attention to detail, well-crafted plots, and surprising twists make her one of the best crime writers of all time.

Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn burst onto the crime fiction scene with her 2012 novel “Gone Girl,” which became an instant bestseller and was later adapted into a hit movie. Her other works, such as “Sharp Objects” and “Dark Places,” are equally chilling and suspenseful, exploring the dark side of human nature with unforgettable characters and intricate plots. Flynn’s ability to create complex and flawed characters makes her stories all the more compelling and her writing a must-read for fans of crime fiction.

Tana French

Tana French is known for her beautifully written and intricately plotted novels that focus on psychological suspense and police procedural. Her Dublin Murder Squad series, which includes “In the Woods,” “The Likeness,” and “Faithful Place,” is a standout in the crime fiction genre, with each book focusing on a different detective and their investigation into a different murder case. French’s writing is masterful, with rich character development and an immersive sense of place that makes her novels truly unforgettable.

James Patterson

James Patterson is a prolific author who has written more than 200 books in a wide range of genres, but he’s best known for his suspenseful crime novels, particularly the Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series. Patterson’s writing is fast-paced and action-packed, with complex and compelling characters and plenty of unexpected twists and turns. His ability to write gripping, page-turning novels has made him one of the most popular crime writers of all time.

Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins burst onto the crime fiction scene in 2015 with her debut novel “The Girl on the Train,” which became a global phenomenon and was later adapted into a movie. Her other works, such as “Into the Water” and “A Slow Fire Burning,” are equally gripping, with intricate plots and unforgettable characters. Hawkins’ writing is taut and suspenseful, with an uncanny ability to create an atmosphere of unease and tension that keeps readers on edge until the very end.


Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly is known for his bestselling Harry Bosch series, which follows the eponymous LAPD detective as he investigates some of the most complex and challenging cases in the city. Connelly’s writing is gritty and realistic, with a keen attention to detail that makes his novels feel like true crime stories. His ability to create compelling characters and intricate plotlines has made him one of the most beloved crime writers of all time.

Tess Gerritsen is a former physician and a bestselling author of numerous suspense and crime novels. Her works have been adapted into popular TV series, including Rizzoli & Isles, which ran for seven seasons. Gerritsen’s books often involve medical themes and intricate plotlines that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins burst onto the crime fiction scene with her debut novel, The Girl on the Train, which spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. Her subsequent works, Into the Water and A Slow Fire Burning, have also been well-received by readers and critics alike. Hawkins’ writing is known for its psychological depth and intricate storytelling.

Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is a prolific crime writer known for her dark and gritty novels that delve into the depths of human nature. She is the author of two popular series, the Will Trent and Grant County series, as well as numerous standalone novels. Slaughter’s writing is characterized by its sharp prose and intense emotional depth.

Checklist List: Best Crime Suspense Authors

  • Gillian Flynn
  • Tana French
  • Michael Connelly
  • John Grisham
  • Harlan Coben
  • Lee Child
  • James Patterson
  • Tess Gerritsen
  • Paula Hawkins
  • Karin Slaughter


Q: What is crime suspense fiction?

A: Crime suspense fiction is a genre of literature that combines elements of crime and mystery with a focus on building tension and suspense. The stories often involve a crime or series of crimes that the protagonist must solve, and the plot is driven by the mystery of the crime and the tension of the investigation.

Q: Who are some of the best crime suspense authors?

A: Some of the best crime suspense authors include Gillian Flynn, Tana French, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen, Paula Hawkins, and Karin Slaughter.

Q: What are some of the characteristics of crime suspense fiction?

A: Some of the characteristics of crime suspense fiction include a focus on building tension and suspense, intricate plotlines, complex and flawed characters, and a focus on the investigation and solving of a crime. The stories often involve a twist or surprise ending that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

Best crime suspense authors
Best crime suspense authors