The 15 Best Fiction Serial Killer Books

The Best Fictional Serial Killer Books
The 15 Best Fiction Serial Killer Books 18

I have read several fiction serial killer books in the last few years and didn’t realize how much I loved them until I found myself drawn to them repeatedly. There is something so intriguing about characters who operate outside of laws and morality.

These serial killer books are often a cross between detective fiction, psychological thrillers, and mysteries. If you are an experienced reader of this genre, I am sure you will find some new books to add to your TBR. If this is a new genre for you, these books will be a thrilling ride into the world and minds of fictional serial killers

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Fictional Books About Serial Killers

The Best Fiction Serial Killer Books

kill for me kill for you

Kill for Me, Kill for You by Steve

This is such a great thriller that will keep you on your toes. Amanda and Wendy meet for drinks after attending a support group for grieving parents. They devise the perfect plan to get revenge on the men who ruined their lives. They will each kill the person the other wants dead.

Meanwhile, Ruth has suffered a trauma of her own and is trying, unsuccessfully to get her life together. What starts off as a slower-paced story, sets the stage for a fast-paced, unexpected thriller.

Why I loved It: As the stories of the women come together, the brilliant plot development becomes evident and I could not put it down. I listened to this one on a road trip and it made the time fly by #gifted

Find this book in Beach Reads 2024 / Best New Thrillers 2024 / Serial Killer Thriller Books

my sister serial killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Despite the title, this book is more literary fiction than anything else. Korede has to hide the secret that her gorgeous sister, Ayoola, is a serial dater who murders her many boyfriends.

When Ayoola sets her sights on the only man Korede fancies, Korede has to decide where her loyalties lie. More about the emotional bonds of sisters, the murder is just an undercurrent of the story forcing emotions to the surface of this book.

Why I Love It: This is one of the best murder mystery books of all time and is not to be missed. Easily one of the most unique books about sisters and books in general, I’ve ever read. This debut was fabulous.

Find This Book In African Novels / Books About Sisters / Fiction Serial Killer Books

one Perfect Couple

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware

This is an isolation thriller from one of the best there is. Five couples participating in a game shoe are trapped together on an island when a storm comes in. They are cut off from everyone without phones but that is the least of their worries.

Without power, their food and water supply dwindles quickly, the radio has a very limited battery supply, people are sick and injured, and one of them may be a murderer/ serial killer

Why I Love This Book: This is a page-turning thriller with unexpected twists and turns I did not see coming. This is a perfect beach read- it will keep you on your toes.

Find This Book In: Fictional Books About Serial Killers / Best Beach Reads of 2024 / Books Set at a Hotel / Isolation Books / Best Thrillers 2024

the maidens

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Mariana is a therapist who is still grieving the loss of her husband when she gets a call from her niece, Zoe. Zoe’s best friend Tara is missing and Zoe is afraid something has happened to her. When women start dying at Cambridge, Mariana gets deeply involved as she tries to solve the mystery. 

Why I Love It: What an amazing thriller. Alex Michaelides did it again! This secret society book was insane with twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat and my heart beating a little faster! 

Find This Book In: Dark Academia Books / Creepy Halloween Thrillers / Books Becoming TV Shows / Serial Killer Books

Bright Young Women

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll

Inspired by real events, this captivating tale takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the lives of two women determined to seek justice and bring down a serial killer. This mystery-thriller book flips the script on traditional serial killer tales, focusing on the female victims and the women impacted by the perpetrator’s horrendous crimes.

The killer is never named, instead the victims are rounded out and given depth in a way that highlights and celebrates who they were when alive.

Find This Book In: Best Books of 2023 / Fiction Serial Killer Books

Serial Killer Books: Detective Fiction

ABC murders

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

Recently made into an Amazon movie, this story is quite clever! It features a serial killer known as ABC, who murders in alphabetical order. Poirot solves the case, of course, but it was such a unique premise.

Why I Love It: Nobody does mysteries like Agatha Christie and this book is the perfect example. It is so original and smart.

Find This Book In: Fiction Serial Killer Books / Agatha Christie Books

granite harbor

Granite Harbor by Peter Nichols

When a teenager is found murdered in a sleepy, coastal town, the local detective gets involved in solving the first murder and preventing any further ones. But when his child is determined to be a friend of the victim, he begins to wonder how close the danger is to his home.

Why I Liked it: This book was certainly one of the creepier detective novels I’ve read. There is a scene with a frog and the original body, and I was gagging while reading it.

That said, as the mystery unfolded I found my anxiety ratcheting higher and higher until my heart was beating quickly at the dramatic end. This story is for die-hard mystery lovers who don’t mind a graphic depiction or two.

Find this Book In: Fictional Books About Serial Killers / Detective Fiction

The Sanatorium

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

February 2021 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Oh boy, was this a creepy haunted house book! I wish I had chosen to read it during the wintertime instead of the summer because seeing snow while reading it would have made it that much creepier.

With dead bodies piling up, and a blizzard keeping the guests of the fancy sanatorium-turned-hotel stuck inside, will Elin be able to solve the mystery before she becomes a victim herself?

Why I Love This Book: This is such a great blizzard book for mystery book lovers. It is creepy and everything else you want in a thriller.

Find This Book In: Fiction Serial Killer / Locked Room Mystery / Isolation Book /

More Fiction Serial Killer Books

The girl with the dragon tattoo

The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander is not technically a detective but she sure is a bada** investigator. She is able to use her unparalleled computer hacking skills to find information on anybody, anywhere.

Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist who has a libel conviction. He is hired to investigate a disappearance from 40 years ago and convinces Lisbeth to help him in his investigation. These two make the most unusual pairing in this list of detective books. If you have not read this book series, they are fantastic.

Why We Love It: This is also one of the best movies based on books. It was done twice: an American version and the original version with subtitles. Both are fantastic. The premise is so unique, I loved it and had no idea what to expect from these unique characters.

Find This Book In: The Ultimate List of Best Thriller Books / Detective Books / Best Mystery Books /Serial Killer Books

Survive the Night

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Riley Sager is back with a heart-pounding read about a girl who took a ride from a stranger to get home. She’s leaving college after finding out her best friend was murdered by an unknown serial killer.

But as the night progresses, she begins to think that the stranger giving her a ride is actually the serial killer. Can she survive the night? This is one of the creepier Riley Sager Books.

Why I Love This: The creep factor in this book is off the charts. I was not sure what was going to happen and I loved the feeling.

Find This Book In: Serial Killer Books / Riley Sager Books

The Family Plot

The Family Plot by Megan Collins

The Lighthouse children are named after famous murder victims. They live in a creepy house, known as murder mansion to locals, and live an isolated life.

After their father dies, Dahlia and her two siblings return home for the first time since her twin, Andy, disappeared 9 years earlier. When they bury their father, they find Andy’s body already in his family plot.

Dahlia vows that she won’t leave again until she uncovers Andy’s murderer, but the family secrets she unearths might turn her into the next victim.

Why I Love This: CREEPY THRILLER VIBES ALERT. The premise of this haunted house book is perfect for true-crime documentary fanatics. 

Find This Book In: Domestic Noir / Halloween Thrillers/ Serial Killer Books / Best Books of 2023

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

The Night Shift: A Novel by Alex Finlay

A pair of small-town murders 15 years apart are eerily similar. Employees of two stores in a small town are attacked by someone with a knife leaving only one survivor.

When the lone survivor of the first case is sent as the psychologist to help the survivor of the second set of murders, there is more to these murders than first meets the eye.

Why I Liked It: This book was unexpected and unique. I did not guess the ending which is always a bonus for me.

Find This Book In: Fiction Serial Killer Books

The Angel Maker

The Angel Maker by Alex North

Katie Shaw had everything she wanted until a stranger changed the fate of the family forever. Now, with a child of her own, Katie is having a hard time differentiating between real vs imagined threats. Then, she gets a call that her estranged brother Chris, once the victim of violence has gone missing.

Why I Like It: There are so many twists and turns in this serial killer thriller. It is one of the most disturbing psychological thriller books I have read and is completely terrifying and I have to say that I loved it. I did not know that I enjoyed scary books so much!

Find This Book In Serial Killer Books

eight perfect murders

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

This is one of the best mystery thrillers that I have read in a long time.  I loved this book from beginning to end.  Years ago, Malcolm, a bookseller, wrote a blog post that included books with the most unsolvable murders. 

One day, an FBI agent comes to his store to ask him about that post.  She believes that someone is using it as a recipe for committing murders.

Why I Love This: The book has twists and turns and is so well-written!!! I had no idea what was coming next.

Find This Book In: Fictional Books About Serial Killers / Ultimate List of Books About Books

marlow murder club

The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

Judith is a 77-year-old crossword puzzle author who enjoys her quiet life with her whiskey in her dilapidated mansion in Marlow. When she is out skinny dipping one nice in the Thames, she hears her neighbor get shot.

The police think nothing is awry so Judith takes to investigating. Soon, there are two more murders and Judith unknowingly brings two more people into the investigation with her- Suzie, the dog walker, and Becks, the vicar’s wife.

Why I Love It: This book was an absolute delight to read. It was witty and funny, and I enjoyed every minute. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Find This Book in Ultimate Beach Reads 2023/ Fiction Serial Killer Books.

Thrillers

Ultimate List of Thrillers

Love Thrillers? This list is curated and carefully divided by sub-genre. These will definitely keep you on your toes.

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