Authors The Best Suspense Authors  

Ranker Books
1.7k votes 284 voters 9.5k 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.
list ordered by

1
68 16
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

2
90 35
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Shining, The Stand, Carrie

3
51 16
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Mirror Crack'd, A Caribbean Mystery, A Witness For the Prosecution

4
36 12
Patricia Highsmith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The American Friend, Strangers On a Train

5
44 19
Dan Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, Deception Point

6
37 14
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Dracula

7
32 11
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers

8
47 23
John Grisham is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Firm, The Chamber, Mickey

9
26 7
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Man Who Was Thursday, The Napoleon of Notting Hill, The Everlasting Man

10
45 23
Dean Koontz is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Odd Thomas, Sole Survivor, Fear Nothing

11
41 21
Michael Crichton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Twister, Disclosure, The Andromeda Strain

12
30 12
Dennis Lehane is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island

13
23 7
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Tailor of Panama, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

14
29 13
Harlan Coben is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Play Dead, Caught, Deal Breaker

15
30 14
Lee Child is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Without Fail, Worth Dying For, Never Go Back

16
20 6
Thea von Harbou is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Metropolis, M, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

17
33 18
Robert Ludlum is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Bourne Deception, The Cassandra Compact, The Bourne Identity

18
20 7
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Lodger, From Out the Vasty Deep, The Uttermost Farthing

19
21 8
James Hadley Chase is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Palmetto, The soft centre, Come Easy Go Easy

20
21 8
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, The Flight of the Falcon

21
21 8
Georges Simenon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Clockmaker, Les Fiançailles de M. Hire, Maigret Hesitates

22
19 7
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsm... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Thirty-Nine Steps, Mr Standfast, Greenmantle

23
20 8
José Giovanni is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Second Breath, The Hole, Le deuxième souffle

24
23 11
Tom Clancy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, The Hunt For Red October

25
17 6
Frederick Forsyth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Fourth Protocol, Great Flying Stories, Privilege and Other Stories

26
17 7
Boileau-Narcejac is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Les Diaboliques , Eyes Without a Face , L'invisible agresseur

27
31 21
James Patterson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The 6th Target, Now You See Her, 3rd Degree

28
17 8
Ken Follett is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Fall of Giants, The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions

29
25 16
Thomas Harris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Hannibal Rising, Black Sunday, Red Dragon

30
13 7
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road

31
13 7
Jeffery Deaver is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Lesson of Her Death, Praying for Sleep, The Bodies Left Behind

32
15 9
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
A Christmas Memory, The Innocents, In Cold Blood

33
16 10
Vince Flynn is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Pursuit of Honor, Consent to Kill, Kill Shot

34
13 8
William Goldman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Harper, Misery, The Ghost and the Darkness

35
11 7
Peter Benchley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Deep, The Island, The Great Houdini

36
7 3
Steve E. Clark is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Christina David added Steve E. Clark

37
12 9
Dashiell Hammett is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Watch on the Rhine, No Good Deed, After the Thin Man

38
10 7
Wilkie Collins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Legacy of Cain, Basil & Little Novels, The Woman in White

39
10 8
Scott Turow is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Presumed Innocent, Guilty As Charged, Ordinary Heroes

40
7 5
John Buchanan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Fixing America, The Road to Guilford Courthouse

41
9 8
James Rollins is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Witch House, Subterranean, Excavation

42
25 26
Stieg Larsson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, The Girl Who Played With Fire

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

44
8 9
Martin Cruz Smith is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Nightwing, Stalin's Ghost: An Arkady Renko Novel, Rose

45
5 6
Richard Condon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Happy Thieves, Prizzi's Honor, An Infinity of Mirrors

46
8 11
Ted Dekker is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Sinner, Infidel, White

47
4 7
Caleb Carr is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, Killing Time

48
13 18
Ira Levin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
Rosemary's Baby, A Kiss Before Dying, The Stepford Wives

49
3 7
Billie Sue Mosiman is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Suspense Authors
BillieMosiman added Novelist - The Grey Matter, Widow,Wireman,Moon Lake,Sinister,Bad Trip South

50
3 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