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Mystery/Thriller

10 Books for Fans of Criminal Minds

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Silvana Reyes Lopez

Senior Contributor

Silvana Reyes is a Mexican book blogger. She enjoys all types of sub-genres, but loves a good love story. Romance fiction is her heart and joy and you might find her screaming about book releases on her Twitter account.

Thrilling mystery books make you question everything. From unknown calls to whispered conversations, the mystery genre has consistently kept our attention for hundreds of years. And it’s not only mirrored in books but also in TV shows, like Criminal Minds, one of the most famous crime dramas in the world. The following books are perfect for fans of Criminal Minds and will grab your attention as soon as you pick them up.

Criminal Minds (2005-present) is an American police procedural crime drama where an elite group of profilers analyze the minds of the most dangerous criminals in the nation in order to anticipate their next moves. But the love for this show isn’t only for its stories and thrilling cases. Many viewers gravitate toward the characters and their stories as well. The interpersonal relationships between the main characters are something people love to see with each new season.

I’ve encountered many readers who want to read books similar to Criminal Minds or as close to Criminal Minds as possible. They want to experience stories that follow characters similar to the ones from the show, like Dr. Spencer Reid and Penelope Garcia, to name a couple. In the following books, you’ll find stories that will have you on the edge of your seat, characters that have the task to get inside the minds of criminals, puzzles that need to be solved, and maybe even a few romance stories as well.

Cover of A Killer's Game by Isabella Maldonado

A Killer’s Game by Isabella Maldonado

Criminal Minds meets Squid Game in this gripping and exciting thriller about an FBI agent, with a background in cryptography, who is kidnapped and locked in a subterranean labyrinth where she’ll have to solve puzzles and uncover the mastermind behind this deadly game if she wishes to survive.

Maldonado will sweep you off your seat and make you question every single interaction in A Killer’s Game.

Cover of Born, Darkly by Trisha Wolfe

Born, Darkly by Trisha Wolfe

A fascinating and hair-rising dark romance that will surely remind you of shows like Criminal Minds and Dexter.

Falling for a patient wasn’t in London Noble’s plan. Especially a patient like Grayson Pierce Sullivan, a convicted serial killer. But she is stuck with him and will have to figure out what’s inside his mind and analyze the reasons behind all the murders he has committed.

Content warning for serial killers, graphic violence, detailed murder, mental manipulation, confined spaces where the heroine is buried inside a box by the hero, breath play, mentions of sexual assault (off-page), and the heroine is locked in a cage temporarily.

Cover of The Mindf*ck series by S.T. Abby

The Mindf*ck series by S.T. Abby

Another great read, if you’re looking for books for fans of Criminal Minds, is The Mindf*ck series. This is a five-book series and each book is approximately the size of a novella (from 100-200 pages). I recommend having all the books when you are ready to read them because let me tell you…you’ll be hooked from the very first page.

FBI agent Logan Bennett is searching for a killer. Someone who is vicious, deadly, and looking for revenge. He never questions the girl he’s in love with. But Lana Myers has reasons of her own to paint everything red.

Content warning for rape, pedophilia, sexual assault, graphic violence, murder, gore, and torture.

Cover of The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes books like criminal minds

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

You might know Jennifer Lynn Barnes from her hit series, The Inheritance Games. But before Avery and the Hawthorne boys, there was Cassie.

The Naturals kickstarts a riveting YA series about a girl who is a natural at reading people. But a skill like that might not be as important as she thought. Until the FBI come knocking at her door. Now, she finds herself participating in a classified program that uses special teenagers to help them solve cold cases.

Cover of The Darkest Memories by Alyse N. Steves books for fans of criminal minds

The Darkest Memories by Alyse N. Steves

The Darkest Memories is like Marvel had a baby with Criminal Minds. This superhero thriller will deliver an electrifying story about a woman, with an affinity for telekinesis and telepathy, who can’t remember the first 21 years of her life. Eventually, this comes back to her when a serial killer starts targetting her friends and she cannot remember the face of the person who is behind these murders.

Content warning for blood, violence, death, brief descriptions of physical child abuse, and mental health topics.

Cover of The Housemaid by Freida McFadden

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden

With jaw-dropping twists and a riveting plot, this psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Criminal Minds. Fast-paced and undeniably intriguing, McFadden charms us with a novel about a woman who becomes the housemaid of a perfect wealthy family. Or are they really as perfect as they seem? Nonetheless, the Winchesters are not the only ones with secrets of their own.

Cover of Criminal Intentions by Cole McCade

The Cardigans by Cole McCade

If you’re one to enjoy crime dramas, you will adore the Criminal Intentions series. McCade has crafted a book series surrounding BPD homicide detective Matthew Khalaji and his partner, Seong-Jae Yoon.

With every new book (there are over 20 books in the series!), the suspense will keep on having you on the edge of your seat. You will not only see the protagonists solve cases but also experience their relationship evolve into something explosive.

Book cover of The Silence of Bones

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Imagine Criminal Minds but set in 1800s Korea. You totally want to read it, am I right? June Hur is sure to dazzle you with a mystery you won’t be able to forget.

The Silence of Bones is a beautifully crafted YA historical mystery story about an orphaned 16-year-old who is tasked to aid an inspector in an investigation of the murder of a noblewoman.

Content warning for gore, bodily mutilation, murder, death, corpses, and torture.

Cover of The American Boyfriend by Ivy Ngeow

The American Boyfriend by Ivy Ngeow (Sept. 19)

The American Boyfriend will remind you of an episode of Criminal Minds, with all the twisty goodness we enjoy.

Single mom Phoebe Wong, exhausted by her dead-end job and the British winter, travels to Florida to meet her long-distance boyfriend. Robbed on her first night, Phoebe doesn’t think things could get worse. Until danger arrives at her door.

Never Tell book cover

Never Tell by Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams’ Never Tell follows criminal psychologist Dr. Erin Abbott who is certain a serial killer is roaming the streets of New Orleans. While investigating, Erin meets journalist Gabriel Moss who wants to find his next big story. As they work together, they slowly realize that there’s more than meets the eye in this investigation. But one thing is for certain though: everyone’s secrets will come out by the end.

Content warning for sexual assault, graphic violence, and abuse.


One of my favorite things to do is watch TV shows. Maybe you’re like me and whenever you finish one (or catch up with the current episodes), you want to pick up a book, or another type of media, and enjoy another story that feels similar to the one you just finished. If this describes you and you’re looking for books that are similar to The Little Mermaid or apocalyptic books that resemble The Last of Us, we got you!