Authors The Best Suspense Authors  

Ranker Books
1.5k votes 255 voters 8.6k views 50 items

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
60 14
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

2
81 31
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Stephen King The Shining, The Stand, Carrie

3
44 14
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Agatha Christie The Mirror Crack'd, A Caribbean Mystery, A Witness For the Prosecution

4
35 10
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Bram Stoker Dracula

5
33 11
Patricia Highsmith is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Patricia Highsmith The American Friend, Strangers On a Train

6
24 4
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added G. K. Chesterton The Man Who Was Thursday, The Napoleon of Notting Hill, The Everlasting Man

7
42 20
John Grisham is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John Grisham The Firm, The Chamber, Mickey

8
38 17
Dan Brown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dan Brown The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, Deception Point

9
40 19
Dean Koontz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dean Koontz Odd Thomas, Sole Survivor, Fear Nothing

10
37 17
Michael Crichton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Michael Crichton Twister, Disclosure, The Andromeda Strain

11
28 10
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers

12
31 13
Robert Ludlum is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Robert Ludlum The Bourne Deception, The Cassandra Compact, The Bourne Identity

13
20 5
James Hadley Chase is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added James Hadley Chase Palmetto, The soft centre, Come Easy Go Easy

14
27 11
Dennis Lehane is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dennis Lehane Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island

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15
21 6
Georges Simenon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Georges Simenon The Clockmaker, Les Fiançailles de M. Hire, Maigret Hesitates

16
21 6
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
28 12
Lee Child is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Lee Child Without Fail, Worth Dying For, Never Go Back

18
26 11
Harlan Coben is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Harlan Coben Play Dead, Caught, Deal Breaker

19
19 5
Thea von Harbou is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Thea von Harbou Metropolis, M, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

20
19 5
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsm... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir The Thirty-Nine Steps, Mr Standfast, Greenmantle

21
19 6
José Giovanni is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added José Giovanni Second Breath, The Hole, Le deuxième souffle

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22
19 6
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes The Lodger, From Out the Vasty Deep, The Uttermost Farthing

23
25 13
Thomas Harris is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Thomas Harris Hannibal Rising, Black Sunday, Red Dragon

24
16 5
Boileau-Narcejac is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Boileau-Narcejac Les Diaboliques , Eyes Without a Face , L'invisible agresseur

25
18 7
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Daphne du Maurier Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, The Flight of the Falcon

26
15 5
Frederick Forsyth is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Frederick Forsyth The Fourth Protocol, Great Flying Stories, Privilege and Other Stories

27
20 10
Tom Clancy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Tom Clancy The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, The Hunt For Red October

28
28 19
James Patterson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
James Patterson The 6th Target, Now You See Her, 3rd Degree

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29
13 5
Jeffery Deaver is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Jeffery Deaver The Lesson of Her Death, Praying for Sleep, The Bodies Left Behind

30
15 8
Ken Follett is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Ken Follett Fall of Giants, The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions

31
11 5
Peter Benchley is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Peter Benchley The Deep, The Island, The Great Houdini

32
12 6
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
14 8
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Truman Capote A Christmas Memory, The Innocents, In Cold Blood

34
12 8
Dashiell Hammett is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dashiell Hammett Watch on the Rhine, No Good Deed, After the Thin Man

35
13 10
Vince Flynn is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Vince Flynn Pursuit of Honor, Consent to Kill, Kill Shot

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36
11 8
William Goldman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
William Goldman Harper, Misery, The Ghost and the Darkness

37
9 6
Scott Turow is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Scott Turow Presumed Innocent, Guilty As Charged, Ordinary Heroes

38
9 6
Wilkie Collins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Wilkie Collins The Legacy of Cain, Basil & Little Novels, The Woman in White

39
6 3
Steve E. Clark is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Christina David added Steve E. Clark

40
8 7
James Rollins is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
James Rollins Witch House, Subterranean, Excavation

41
6 5
John Buchanan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John Buchanan Fixing America, The Road to Guilford Courthouse

42
23 24
Stieg Larsson is listed (or ranked) 42 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

43
8 9
Brad Thor is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Brad Thor The Lions of Lucerne, Takedown, Foreign Influence

44
7 8
Martin Cruz Smith is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Martin Cruz Smith Nightwing, Stalin's Ghost: An Arkady Renko Novel, Rose

45
8 10
Ted Dekker is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Ted Dekker Sinner, Infidel, White

46
4 6
Richard Condon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Richard Condon The Happy Thieves, Prizzi's Honor, An Infinity of Mirrors

47
4 7
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
3 7
Billie Sue Mosiman is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
BillieMosiman added Billie Sue Mosiman Novelist - The Grey Matter, Widow,Wireman,Moon Lake,Sinister,Bad Trip South

49
12 18
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

50
2 7
John Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
John Macdonald Great Battles of the Civil War, When Cancer Strikes, But We Are Different