authors The Best Suspense Authors

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List Rules Authors who write suspense novels. Vote up the best suspense authors.

There’s nothing that keeps readers on their toes, feeling the adrenaline rush and excitement of a story quite like a great suspense novel can. The suspense genre is one of the most popular genres in the world of novels, and  some of the world’s most beloved authors of all time have contributed to the genre. Who are the best suspense authors?
 
The authors on this list have produced some of the most well-known books in the world of literature, and earned fame as the most famous authors of all time. In fact, Hollywood took note of many of these authors, adapting their writing to the big screen, or bringing them on as screenwriters to lend their talent for suspense. These authors have been ranked by voters as the best suspense authors of all time.
 
This list features the best suspense authors in history including, Harlan Coben, Thomas Harris, Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Stephen King, Robert Ludlum, Truman Capote, Ted Dekker, Dan Brown, Agatha Christie, and Sire Arthur Conan Doyle. Vote up the absolute best suspense authors below or add one who you think writes the best suspense novels but isn't already on the list.

1
+ - 54 20
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Stephen King The Shining, The Stand, Carrie

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2
+ - 38 9
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

3
+ - 30 5
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Bram Stoker Dracula

4
+ - 29 5
Patricia Highsmith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Patricia Highsmith The American Friend, Strangers On a Train

5
+ - 18 2
José Giovanni is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
José Giovanni Second Breath, The Hole, Le deuxième souffle

6
+ - 18 2
Thea von Harbou is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Thea von Harbou Metropolis, M, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

7
+ - 17 2
James Hadley Chase is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
James Hadley Chase Palmetto, The soft centre, Come Easy Go Easy

8
+ - 17 2
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsm... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir The Thirty-Nine Steps, Mr Standfast, Greenmantle

9
+ - 17 2
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes The Lodger, From Out the Vasty Deep, The Uttermost Farthing

10
+ - 23 5
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers

11
+ - 30 11
Michael Crichton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Michael Crichton Twister, Disclosure, The Andromeda Strain

12
+ - 27 10
Dean Koontz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dean Koontz Odd Thomas, Sole Survivor, Fear Nothing

13
+ - 16 2
Boileau-Narcejac is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Boileau-Narcejac Les Diaboliques , Eyes Without a Face , L'invisible agresseur

14
+ - 29 12
John Grisham is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John Grisham The Firm, The Chamber, Mickey

15
+ - 17 3
Georges Simenon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Georges Simenon The Clockmaker, Les Fiançailles de M. Hire, Maigret Hesitates

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16
+ - 17 3
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
G. K. Chesterton The Man Who Was Thursday, The Napoleon of Notting Hill, The Everlasting Man

17
+ - 26 11
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Agatha Christie The Mirror Crack'd, A Caribbean Mystery, A Witness For the Prosecution

18
+ - 21 8
Dennis Lehane is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dennis Lehane Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island

19
+ - 22 9
Thomas Harris is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Thomas Harris Hannibal Rising, Black Sunday, Red Dragon

20
+ - 23 10
Robert Ludlum is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Robert Ludlum The Bourne Deception, The Cassandra Compact, The Bourne Identity

21
+ - 24 11
Dan Brown is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dan Brown The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, Deception Point

22
+ - 20 8
Lee Child is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Lee Child Without Fail, Worth Dying For, Never Go Back

23
+ - 20 9
Harlan Coben is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Harlan Coben Play Dead, Caught, Deal Breaker

24
+ - 16 6
Tom Clancy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Tom Clancy The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, The Hunt For Red October

25
+ - 16 6
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John le Carré The Tailor of Panama, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

26
+ - 23 14
James Patterson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
James Patterson The 6th Target, Now You See Her, 3rd Degree

27
+ - 11 4
Jeffery Deaver is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Jeffery Deaver The Lesson of Her Death, Praying for Sleep, The Bodies Left Behind

28
+ - 12 5
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Truman Capote A Christmas Memory, The Innocents, In Cold Blood

29
+ - 14 7
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Daphne du Maurier Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, The Flight of the Falcon

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30
+ - 10 4
Peter Benchley is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Peter Benchley The Deep, The Island, The Great Houdini

31
+ - 11 5
Frederick Forsyth is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Frederick Forsyth The Fourth Protocol, Great Flying Stories, Privilege and Other Stories

32
+ - 10 5
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Cormac McCarthy All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road

33
+ - 11 6
Ken Follett is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Ken Follett Fall of Giants, The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions

34
+ - 10 6
Vince Flynn is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Vince Flynn Pursuit of Honor, Consent to Kill, Kill Shot

35
+ - 10 7
Dashiell Hammett is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dashiell Hammett Watch on the Rhine, No Good Deed, After the Thin Man

36
+ - 9 7
William Goldman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
William Goldman Harper, Misery, The Ghost and the Darkness

37
+ - 7 5
Wilkie Collins is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Wilkie Collins The Legacy of Cain, Basil & Little Novels, The Woman in White

38
+ - 22 21
Stieg Larsson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Stieg Larsson The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, The Girl Who Played With Fire

39
+ - 7 6
James Rollins is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
James Rollins Witch House, Subterranean, Excavation

40
+ - 5 4
Scott Turow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Scott Turow Presumed Innocent, Guilty As Charged, Ordinary Heroes

41
+ - 4 5
Richard Condon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Richard Condon The Happy Thieves, Prizzi's Honor, An Infinity of Mirrors

42
+ - 6 8
Brad Thor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Brad Thor The Lions of Lucerne, Takedown, Foreign Influence

43
+ - 4 6
Martin Cruz Smith is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Martin Cruz Smith Nightwing, Stalin's Ghost: An Arkady Renko Novel, Rose

44
+ - 3 5
Billie Sue Mosiman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Billie Sue Mosiman Novelist - The Grey Matter, Widow,Wireman,Moon Lake,Sinister,Bad Trip South

45
+ - 6 9
Ted Dekker is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Ted Dekker Sinner, Infidel, White

46
+ - 2 5
John Buchanan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John Buchanan Fixing America, The Road to Guilford Courthouse

47
+ - 2 6
Caleb Carr is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Caleb Carr The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, Killing Time

48
+ - 2 6
John Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John Macdonald Great Battles of the Civil War, When Cancer Strikes, But We Are Different

49
+ - 8 15
Ira Levin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Ira Levin Rosemary's Baby, A Kiss Before Dying, The Stepford Wives