Top 10 Thrilling Novels Perfect for Your Holiday Break

The holiday season is the perfect time to get lost in a great book. Holiday thriller novels are a great choice while you are enjoying on the beach, curled up by a fire, or on a long journey. Believe me, one good novel can make your break unforgettable. Thrillers offer suspense, excitement, and a way to escape from reality. They can keep you on the edge of your seat, turning pages late into the night.

I will give you suggestions for some of the best thrilling novels that are perfect for your holiday break. These books are not just engaging. They also provide a great way to unwind and immerse yourself in a world of adventure and mystery. Believe me, your reading list this holiday season will be rich in great thrilling novels.

Classic Thrillers

1. Agatha Christie’s Timeless Mysteries

Agatha Christie's Timeless Mysteries - And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie is a name that resonates with thriller enthusiasts around the world. Her books are renowned for their clever plots and surprising twists. “And Then There Were None” is a must-read, featuring a suspenseful story about ten strangers lured to an isolated island.

“Vera Claythorne, in a third-class carriage with five other travellers in it, leaned her head back and shut her eyes.”

It is for Ages 16 years and up. With everyone having a dark secret, the mystery of their connection and the reason for their gathering unfolds in an intricate and gripping narrative.

  • You can find “And Then There Were None” on Amazon for around $10 or even less.

Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” is another classic that keeps readers guessing until the very end, with an unforgettable ending that showcases her mastery of the genre.

What is the true story of Murder on the Orient Express?

The story was partly inspired by the Lindbergh case; a shocking real-life case following the kidnapping of international hero, Charles Lindbergh’s, 20-month-old son who was held for a $50,000 ransom. The ransom was paid, but unfortunately Lindbergh’s son was never returned.

  • This book is available on Amazon for about $9.

2. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Adventures

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes Adventures

The Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle offers a mix of brilliant detective work and thrilling plots. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” is one of his most famous works, blending supernatural elements with classic detective storytelling.

What is the story of The Hound of the Baskervilles?

It is set in England, and it follows the story of the Baskerville family’s superstition that there is a demonic hound that stalks and murders them. Arthur Conan Doyle was a British author who lived from 1859 to 1930, and he is mainly famous for creating the popular detective known as Sherlock Holmes. Holmes’ sharp intellect and Watson’s steady support make for a dynamic duo that solves mysteries with ease and intrigue.

  • “The Hound of the Baskervilles” is available on Book Depository for $8.

These books are perfect for those who love a good puzzle and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing all the pieces come together.

Modern Thrillers

3. Gillian Flynn‘s Psychological Thrills

Gillian Flynn's Psychological Thrills - Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn’s novels are a great choice for readers who enjoy psychological depth and dark twists. “Gone Girl” is my favorite because it’s a super easy read. It is about a woman who frames her husband for her disappearance. She is actually in hiding and has concocted an elaborate plan to punish him for his infidelity. The story of Amy and Nick Dunne is a rollercoaster of emotions and surprises, with an ending that leaves a lasting impact.

Flynn’s writing keeps readers engaged with its intense characters and unexpected turns, making it a perfect read for a holiday break.

  • You can buy “Gone Girl” at Barnes & Noble for $12.

4. Paula Hawkins‘ Gripping Narratives

Paula Hawkins' Gripping Narratives

Paula Hawkins has made a significant impact in the thriller genre with her novel “The Girl on the Train”. I remember it was an easy read but it was bland and it wasn’t until the end that the story really picked up. The story revolves around Rachel, an unreliable narrator whose observations from a train window lead her into a complex and dangerous situation.

The book’s unique perspective and fast-paced plot make it an engaging read that keeps you hooked from start to finish. Hawkins’ ability to build tension and create multifaceted characters makes her novels ideal for those seeking an intense and thrilling experience.

  • “The Girl on the Train” is available at Target for around $11.
Book Title Author Price Where to Buy
And Then There Were None Agatha Christie $6.99 Amazon
Murder on the Orient Express Agatha Christie $10.69 Amazon
The Hound of the Baskervilles Sir Arthur Conan Doyle $4.95 Book Depository
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn $12 Barnes & Noble
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins $11 Target
One of Us Is Lying Karen M. McManus $9 Walmart
The Maze Runner James Dashner $10 Bookshop
The Paris Architect Charles Belfoure $14 IndieBound
The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides $15 Amazon
The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern $13 Barnes & Noble
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs $9 Book Depository

Young Adult Thrillers

5. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

For younger readers, “One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus is a captivating thriller that mixes mystery with high school drama.

Five Bayview High School students are in detention when one of the students, Simon, suddenly dies while the teacher is out of the room. After claims that this incident was no accident, the four remaining students in the detention all become suspects. Each of the four has motives.

Each of the survivors has a secret, and the book unravels their stories with plenty of twists and turns. This novel offers a gripping plot while dealing with themes of honesty, identity, and the pressures of adolescence.

  • You can purchase “One of Us Is Lying” from Walmart for about $9.

6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

James Dashner’s “The Maze Runner” is another excellent choice for young adults. It is written from the perspective of Thomas, a 16-year-old boy who wakes up with no memories inside an artificially produced maze but who is also the key to his friends’ salvation.

Along with other boys trapped in the maze, Thomas must navigate its dangerous paths and find a way out. The book’s intense action and suspenseful plot make it a great holiday read, keeping readers engaged with its fast-paced narrative and surprising revelations.

  • “The Maze Runner” is available on Bookshop for $10.

Thrillers Set in Exotic Locations

7. The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

For those who love stories set in fascinating locales, “The Paris Architect” by Charles Belfoure is a great choice. It is a gripping historical fiction novel set in Nazi-occupied Paris. It follows an architect named Lucien Bernard who is presented with an opportunity to design secret hiding places for Jews.

The vivid setting and historical context add depth to the suspense, making it a captivating read for those interested in history and thrilling narratives.

  • You can find “The Paris Architect” on Indiebound for about $14.

8. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

‘The Silent Patient’ by Alex Michaelides features Alicia Berenson, a mysterious patient in London who stops speaking after authorities accuse her of her husband’s murder. The novel’s gripping plot and psychological depth draw readers into a world of intrigue and suspense.

The rich London setting creates an engaging backdrop, transporting readers to another place while they experience a thrilling narrative.

  • “The Silent Patient” is available on Amazon for around $15.

Thrillers with a Touch of Fantasy

9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Night Circus is the story of love and power and what happens when those two things come together. At its core, two ancient magicians have played out a challenge for untold centuries.

The magical circus, which only opens at night, sets the stage for a competition between two young magicians, Celia and Marco. The book’s enchanting atmosphere and intricate plot make it a unique and captivating read. The suspense builds as the competition intensifies, leading to a climax that is both thrilling and magical. This is one of the best Holiday thriller novels, especially for those who love a bit of wonder mixed with suspense.

  • You can purchase “The Night Circus” from Barnes & Noble for $13.

10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs is another fantastic thriller I must say loudly YES! This book is a comedy horror movie based on teenage fiction. It is a captivating story about a very odd home for a select group of young children. When Jake’s grandfather mysteriously dies, he goes off on an adventure to find Miss Peregrine and solve the mysteries of his grandfather’s past life.

  • This book is available on Book Depository for $9.


Holiday thriller novels are an excellent choice for relaxing, offering excitement and a way to run into a world of suspense and mystery. Whether you prefer classic mysteries, modern psychological thrillers, young adult fiction, or stories set in exotic locations, there is a thrilling novel that will capture your interest. These books not only provide a great way to unwind but also offer an engaging way to experience new worlds and adventures.

So, pick up some of these novels I recommended. Trust me, thrilling moments and unforgettable stories will fill your holiday break. For a festive holiday break, there are books that can keep the festive spirit in you! Happy reading!