Thriller and Suspense

A thriller is the kind of book that makes your heart pound fast. Many thrillers are “page-turners.” They make you want to keep reading and turning the pages to find out what happens next.

Suspense books are a lot like thrillers, and may be even more exciting or scary. They’re the kind of books you don’t want to read alone at night.

These two are often considered almost the same genre, because they’re so similar. You’ll like them if you’re interested in crime dramas, murder mysteries or just a good fast-paced novel.

Thrillers and suspense novels use a lot of action words and usually have lots of realistic dialogue. So if you’re looking for a fun way to learn exciting new words and phrases, these books are the perfect place to do that.

1. “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult

What this book is about: A woman searches for her mother, who disappeared after a terrible accident. She gets some help from a psychic and a detective. Together, they find out that sometimes asking questions gets them answers they didn’t want to know…

The English in this book: This book might be a little difficult, since it’s not a typical thriller. It’s focused more on how people think than on their actions. More advanced readers will enjoy this one.

2. “1st to Die” by James Patterson

What this book is about: Four women join together to catch a killer who’s murdering people in terrible ways. This is the first in a series, so if you like this one, you can continue reading about this team of women.

The English in this book: Patterson’s writing is fairly easy to understand, and has tons of great action words to learn.

3. “Three” by Ted Dekker

What this book is about: Imagine that you’re driving your car when a phone rings. The person on the line says you have three minutes to confess your sin to the world, or your car will explode. What do you do? In this book, Kevin Parson is chased by a killer for something he’s not sure he did. Follow the thrilling ride.

The English in this book: The writing in this book is about as easy as Patterson’s writing, but the story might be a little more difficult to follow.

4. “Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King

What this book is about: This book is the first in a trilogy, or a set of three books. In it, a retired cop tries to stop a man from killing thousands of people. Will he be able to stop the terrible event in time?

The English in this book: Stephen King is one of the best-known authors in the horror (scary story) genre today. His language is a little more advanced, and his characters are very realistic, which makes this a good book for seeing how people talk.

5. “Silent Scream” by Angela Marsons

What this book is about: Someone is killing children. Detective Kim Stone is about to find out that they’ve been killing for a much longer time than anyone realized. But will Stone be able to stop the murderer before they strike again?

The English in this book: This book is a little more advanced in its writing style, but it should still be readable for high-intermediate level learners. Marsons is a British author, so some of the language and dialogue are specific to Britain (like calling people “guv”). This is a great book for learning“Britishisms”—ways of speaking that are specific to the UK.


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