10 Chilling Thrillers to Read This September

A chilling setting with a mysterious cabin in the woods
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September occupies a special place in our hearts. As the last drops of summer give way to the first autumnal chills, we begin our search for that thrilling adventure to plunge into on a cold fall night. To help you find your next big read, we have selected ten of the best thrillers, ranging from psychological mind-benders to disturbing tales of horror, that will send chills down your spine.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

image credit: Orion

Alicia Berenson had everything anyone could ever dream of — a beautiful home, fulfilling career and a loving partner. Until the unthinkable happens. The bloodcurdling details of a gruesome murder spread across bohemian London like a wildfire, giving life to rumours and speculation. What could possibly motivate a celebrated artist to tie her husband to a chair and shoot him in the face? The fascination with this high-profile case brings Theo Faber to a forensic facility for mental patients. Determined to uncover the truth, the curious psychotherapist will use every trick in the book to tap into the stream of consciousness of a criminal who has remained silent since that fateful night. 

Inspired by Greek tragedy and psychoanalysis, this exquisitely crafted novel ties multiple threads into one unsettling read, which stays with you long after you have turned the last page. 

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Disclaimer by Renee Knight

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A frightful secret that Catherine Ravenscroft has guarded with her life for twenty years has been leaked and resurfaced in a book to haunt her from her bedside table. The resemblance is uncanny down to a tiny intricate detail. Soon her entire existence begins to spin back to that crucial intersection point which redefined her future. Will Catherine find the person behind this cruel stunt threatening to pull her family apart? 

Disturbing and twisted, the story features alternating narrators and switches back and forth in time to create a complex mystery that tantalises the reader’s imagination.

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And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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A harmless minstrel song chimes through the mansion on an isolated island, where ten strangers have been lured in a grand act of retribution. Bound by the gravest of sins, the visitors are forced to relive the past they would rather forget. Soon they begin to suspect foul play as the shadow of death claims its first victims. It’s not long before the guests arrive to a chilling conclusion: the killer uses a nursery rhyme as a blueprint for murders and he is among them. One by one, an invisible hand of justice obliterates the perpetrators who have gone unpunished for so long. 

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The Room in The Dragon Volant by Sheridan Le Fanu

image credit: Duke classics

Anyone who has had the pleasure of savouring Le Fanu’s novels on a cold autumn night, knows what is lying in wait. You can fully expect a full-bodied Gothic read with a hint of horror and a dash of mystery to keep you entertained to the very end. The idea of a gullible rich Englishman who falls prey to the charms of a seductress while abroad is hardly new in literature. Yet what the tale lacks in originality, it makes up for in shocking twists complete with con artists, medieval herbalism and violent deaths.

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The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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Told by an unnamed narrator, The Tell-Tale Heart represents a murderer’s take on tragic events that led to a grisly crime. In his bid to demonstrate his sanity, the main character offers a short story as a proof. The narrator, whose visual hallucinations coupled with psychological disturbances take the better of him, becomes increasingly distressed by an old man’s cloudy “vulture-eye”. Having stalked his victim in his sleep for the entire week, the main character resorts to killing the unfortunate owner of an “evil eye”. The story explodes in a climax, when the sound of a pounding heart elicits the narrator’s confession.

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt

image credit: Penguin publishing

One of the most astonishing debuts of the twentieth century, this novel has earned an immense international audience and a worthy place among contemporary classics. Set at a private Vermont college, this story follows a group of five like-minded scholars bound by their love for classic studies. Under a watchful eye of their enigmatic tutor, they soon succumb to the allure of Ancient Greece, quoting philosophers and dreaming of immortality until the day when the shadow of death overcasts the life on campus. Exquisitely crafted, this memorable tale invites the readers to take a walk through a killer’s mind and explore a thin line between elitism and sociopathy in his shockingly nonchalant confession.

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The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins

image credit: penguin random house

When Rachel catches a train into London, she witnesses something shocking from her window. Unable to keep it to herself, the woman reports the incident to the police and becomes inextricably entwined in a mystery, setting in motion a series of chilling events that will change her life forever. 

An international sensation, The Girl on The Train will hook you up the moment you start questioning the pieces of a puzzle handed to you by a rather unreliable narrator. 

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

image credit: hot key books

Following the fire accident, a girl is washed up on the beach suffering from amnesia. One year later, Cadence returns to her family’s private island haunted by dark secrets. In her attempts to expose the lies surrounding the privileged and reckless Sinclair family, Cadence embarks on a roller-coaster ride leading to heartbreaking truths about love, friendship and sacrifice.

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Mare

image credit: gallery scout press

For Laura Blacklock, a journalist who has recently survived a home invasion, things are finally looking up again. Having received an assignment from a luxury travel magazine, she is hoping to spend a week aboard an exclusive yacht and let the sea breeze work its magic. A honeypot for rich and famous with just a handful of cabins, the cruise offers a sneak peak into the lives of the privileged, where neither champagne no conversation ever goes dry. But everything changes when one night Lo witnesses something that was not intended for her prying eyes. Being trapped on the boat with a killer on the loose soon triggers a monstrous panic that feeds on her fear of the unknown.

One of the most gripping psychological thrillers, this heart-pounding story will make you look over your shoulder every time you venture into the sea.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Image Credit: Twentieth century fox

A missing wife’s last diary entries offers a springboard into a subtle crime thriller that exposes the double life of her husband. Amy’s and Nick’s marriage is fading fast after five disharmonious years. Amy suddenly goes missing and an ever more twisted plot is revealed as husband and police unearth clues to her disappearance. The unconventional ending sneaks upon you, challenging conventional truths about love and marriage.

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Stella is a Marketing Consultant and has been writing content for Full Text Archive since 2015. When she is not writing, she is meticulously planning our social and e-mail campaigns. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian Literature, which has provided a broad foundation from which she continues to explore the written world.

She spends her free time reading, visiting old castles and discovering new coffee shops. She can be reached at stella

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