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20 of Your Favorite Thrillers from Around the World

S. Zainab Williams

Executive Director, Content

S. Zainab would like to think she bleeds ink but the very idea makes her feel faint. She writes fantasy and horror, and is currently clutching a manuscript while groping in the dark. Find her on Twitter: @szainabwilliams.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Hades by Candice Fox.

On a dark night in a junkyard on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Hades Archer disposes of things other people either don’t want, or cannot face. Old machinery and dead bodies are dismembered with equally cool precision, until two children are delivered for disposal, still alive. Hades nurses them back to health and raises them as his own. They are twins, a boy and a girl, whom he names Eric and Eden.

Flash forward: the twins, now adults, are detectives in the Sydney Metro Police homicide squad, when a series of bodies turn up with vital organs missing. A serial killer is stealing organs from healthy people and selling them to the desperately ill. Eric and Eden team up with Frank Bennett, a tarnished detective fighting his own demons, as they track down a madman who lives for the kill…

A good thriller quickens the pulse, compelling readers to turn the page to find out what happens next, and thrillers featuring distant settings can be transportive, inviting you to peek around the darkened corners of exciting new landscapes.

We asked you to share your favorite thrillers from around the world, and you responded. Here are 20 of your favorites!

The Voices by F.R. Tallis

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg, translated by Tiina Nunnally

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

The Wicker Man by Anthony Shaffer and Robin Hardy

The Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett

The Stand by Stephen King

The Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson

Spares by Michael Marshall Smith

JaJar City: A Reykjavik Thriller by Arnaldur Indridason, translated by Bernard Scudder

Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

The Dinner by Herman Koch, translated by Sam Garrett

The Alex Morrow series by Denise Mina

Dark Matter: A Ghost Story by  Michele Paver

Border Angels by Anthony Quinn

Alex by Pierre Lemaitre, translated by Frank Wynne

The Treasure Hunt by Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli

The Father by Anton Svensson, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel

Playing For Thrills by Wang Shuo, translated by Howard Goldblatt