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4 Excellent Psychological Thrillers You Should Read

Omniscence Alley

Page turners are still page turners even when the pages are digital. The Kindle, which you can take anywhere, is the perfect vehicle for books like these excellent thrillers that you may not be able to put down.

The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

This venerable novel plots the development of a psychopath from his humble beginnings in the American Midwest to a comfortable spot in a glamorous mid-century Europe. Tom Ripley never really sets out to hurt anyone. Rather, he intends always to help himself, and people just keep getting in his way. Highsmith's voice is cool and perversely sympathetic to the young man who starts out weak and grows stronger by lying and killing. Ripley becomes bolder and more daring in his outrageousness as the story proceeds, and the reader expects the game to be up any minute. It is a compelling, amusing and distressing story of an odd kind of personal growth. After a breathtaking ending, it is a relief to know that Tom Ripley's further morally ambiguous adventures are also available on the Kindle.

The Passage, by Dustin Cronin (2010)

A dystopian society whose members must protect themselves from superhuman monsters serves as the setting for this first part of a planned trilogy. After an apocalyptic event, a government agency sets out to make the survivors stronger using a serum derived from a bat-borne virus. The consequences of this interference are disastrous and far-reaching. Questions of trust, issues of power and the persistence of friendship are all central themes. The action of the novel takes place in two widely separated periods, with the second occurring nearly a hundred years after the first. Both moving and riveting, with vivid characterizations and a crisp portrayal of a terrifying future, this thriller deserves to be included among the best of literature's post-apocalyptic tales.

Love You More, by Lisa Gardner (2011)

The fifth book in Lisa Gardner's popular D.D. Warren series, Love You More finds the Boston detective investigating one of her own. Yet Tessa Leoni is not a typical policewoman, nor is her husband's death a run-of-the-mill homicide. He was killed by Warren's new partner ambiguous circumstances, apparently about to murder his own wife. After the kiling, the couple's six year-old daughter is missing. To Warren, nothing seems right about he case, and nothing is. The perspective shifts chapter by chapter from Warren's own point of view to that of Leoni, a narrator whose unreliability becomes chillingly clear to the reader long before it does to Warren. As tightly plotted and smart as Gardner's other Warren books, this installment is the most bracing to date.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, by John le Carre (1963)

John le Carre's classic spy novel is a gray and rainy story of failure, frustration and great sadness that rises from particular pettinesses to a monumental statement about fear and faith. There is nothing of James Bond in these spies; they are bureaucrats and professional liars. With telling details, le Carre humanizes both his good guys and his bad guys, which makes their largely self-perpetuating predicament all the more tragic. The plot hinges on a double betrayal and examines how personal and political loyalties inflect one another in dangerous ways.

Robert Carver is a clinical psychologist and guest author at Best Online Psychology Schools, a site with guides to top-rated psychology degree programs online.

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