10 Crime Suspense Books About Psychopaths

Psychological Thriller Books

Psychopaths have a particular behavior made from specific personality traits. They don’t know how to put their minds into other people’s positions to see things differently. Sometimes psychopaths have sadistic behavior and violent behavior.

Some famous killers are psychopaths. If you Google, you’ll find many psychopathic killers and people who have repeatedly killed, often without conscience, and they cannot see the social wrong of their actions.

Books about psychopaths provide valuable insights into the minds of individuals with psychopathic traits. Understanding the characteristics, behaviors, and motivations of psychopaths can help you make sense of their actions and their impact on others. Learning about psychopathy can enhance your ability to identify potential warning signs and red flags in people’s behavior.

10 Books About Psychopaths

Psychopaths can sometimes be very cunning and clever people. They can be the chairman or chairwoman of a company. Also, they can succeed in business because they lack social conscience. Many books and movies about psychopaths can teach you about their mental condition and action in real life. I will talk about the best ten books about psychopaths. Let’s go!

1. The Wisdom of Psychopaths

The author researches psychopaths, and many people have a misconception about psychopaths. That psychopath means you are crazy, a killer, or something like that. So the quality of being a psychopath has more to do with empathy. Many people also make the mistake that psychopaths are incapable of empathy.

They have a different empathy to recognize what somebody else is feeling. The psychopath tends to take on that emotion and feel a piece of it. Instead, a psychopath notices it and can tell what’s happening but doesn’t feel it. So it doesn’t affect them in the same way. There’s some exciting stuff to learn here.

The Wisdom of Psychopaths talks about how many careers benefit from being psychopathic and not having that hot sense of empathy. There are a lot of neurosurgeons who would qualify as psychopaths. That’s a good quality for neurosurgeons because you want them to be very unemotional.

The book explains why psychopaths are still around the relentless perseverance of their dark, immutable gene streams. Why the evolutionary share price in this niche personality consortium remained stable and buoyant over time. It’s an excellent book for a gift for anybody who’s a psych major as well.

Author: Kevin Dutton
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Mental Health, Medical Psychology Pathologies
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

2. The Sociopath Next Door

The Sociopath Next Door is about antisocial personality disorder or sociopathy. Martha Stewart talks about how to avoid a sociopath, identify them, and react in certain situations. Martha points out that not all sociopaths are serial killers and murderers. They’re everyday people who enjoy harming people emotionally, not only physically.

One in 25 people on Earth can do anything they want and never feel bad about it. They’re called sociopaths. That means they have no conscience at all. According to the author, seven potential characteristics may be a sociopath. If you are in the faith community, you must read this book and work with people living and breathing as humans.

Author: Martha Stout
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Mental Health, Psychological Behaviour
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

3. Gone Girl

Gone Girl centers around Nick and Amy. When the story begins, they are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. They’re both writers who met while living in New York City working. But after losing their jobs, they’ve been transplanted back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri, partially because they’ve nothing left of them in New York. Also, it’s pretty expensive and partly because Nick’s mother happened to be dying of cancer at this point. They have been living in Missouri for about two years.

The relationship is rocky. Nick returns home one day after working at the bar, and he and his sister find that Amy has disappeared. There are signs of a struggle in the house. She’s nowhere to be seen. So immediately, we’ve got this case, this potential kidnapping, murder.

The story fluctuates back and forth between the next point of view, attempting to find his wife, and Amy’s point of view, which is diary style. That occurs over the years leading up to the day they met until she disappeared. So it’s exploring that idea and marriage that you can never fully understand who the person you’re married to is and the effect you have on them. The relationship between Nick and Amy was quite unstable. It’s easy, fluid, and open to knowing more about psychopaths.

Author: Gillian Flynn
Narrator: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
Average Rating: 4.0/5
Category: Mystery, Psychological Thrillers & Suspense
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

4. Dangerous Personalities

A psychologist did not write Dangerous Personalities on the list but former FBI agent Joe Navarro. It doesn’t concern itself with the particular diagnosis, whether someone suffers from a specific mental health condition or a cluster of personality disorders. The author describes four categories: narcissist, predator, emotionally unstable personality, and paranoid personality.

Some of the categories do overlap with certain personality disorders. So the traits described for the narcissistic personality would generally coincide with a psychopath. So there is a lot of correlation between that and antisocial personality disorder.

The emotionally unstable personality would generally coincide in some ways with a perhaps borderline personality disorder. A paranoid personality would share traits from various disorders. The four categories are fluid, and there’s a lot of overlap. A particular maladaptive individual can share traits listed in these categories from more than one. The author points out that having a high ranking in two categories is alarming, and three is dangerous.

So one of the best aspects of this book is that the author provides you with a very long checklist. The checklists are dozens of points and, in some cases, more than a hundred for each of these dangerous personalities as he defines them. So if you are dealing with human predation, you could sit down and go through the checklist. At the end of the book, Joan of Arc provides some guidelines for empowerment and self-help.

Author: Joe Navarro
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Safety & Emergency Preparedness, Personality Disorders
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | MP3 CD

5. In Sheep’s Clothing

A clinician writes this book, but it’s written for the general public. There are several exciting aspects of this book. In Sheep’s Clothing is about identifying and dealing with manipulators. The most important part of the book is that the author focuses on covert aggression. What is popularly known as passive aggression, he makes a point of calling it covert.

It is essential because we think of physical violence or verbal rage when we think of aggression. But we do not necessarily think of more covert ways of manipulation, like guilt-tripping or certain emotional forms of manipulation as aggression.

Another interesting aspect of those authors’ work, which also appears more so in his other book, Character Disturbance, is that he emphasizes morality. From my layperson’s perspective, morality has generally left the field of psychology, or it seems to be making a bit of a comeback.

Simon talks about character and positive truths that we would classify as the common good without going into the philosophical analysis of this concept of empathy, sympathy, kindness, and so forth. So when you talk about character disturbance, he’s not talking about the personality of someone, but only these particular traits.

Once again, although a clinician writes this book, he does not classify maladaptive individuals by personality disorders or mental health conditions. He’s looking at long-term harmful behavior patterns in interpersonal relationships, which is very helpful.

Author: George K. Simon
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Anger Management Self Help
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

6. Snakes in Suits

Snakes in Suits destroy the public perception of a psychopath or someone engaging in psychopathic behavior over the long term. There are so-called Productos psychopaths in the business world, and that’s what Snakes in Suits focus on.

So even though this is a more narrowly focused book, it destroys the notion that a psychopath is necessarily in prison. This book is not always exciting but provides helpful scenarios for identifying these workplace psychopathic behaviors.

The author points out that many traits considered optimal for the cutthroat business world would coincide with certain traits on the psychopathy checklist. So without going into the ideological discussion, it raises specific questions about how the business world and capitalism operate. You can learn many unknown and surprising aspects from this book.

Author: Paul Babiak Ph.D., Robert D. Hare PhD
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Occupational & Organizational Psychology
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

7. Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist

Should I Stay or Should I Go is very compassionate because it takes a realistic look at how not everyone can leave a nurse a relationship with a clinical narcissist or someone high on narcissistic traits. The author makes an exception for those whose life is in imminent danger. Otherwise, she goes through all the possible scenarios where you might have to stay because of financial obligations, children, family, cultural obligations, etc.

The other exciting aspect of the book is that Dr. Rahmani talks about the general cultural implications, specifically in North America. She’s quite alarmed by the rise of narcissism on a cultural level. She brings up specific correlations between the growing diagnosis of narcissism or at least displays of narcissistic traits and how culture in North America operates.

The book gives you many helpful tips if you are to stay in the same maladaptive relationship situation or with a family of origin, how you should modify your expectations, and how you should modify your perceptions of how you respond to the person in your life. So it’s very compassionate in that sense. It’s a little bleak for those forced to stay in these situations.

Author: Ramani Durvasula PhD
Average Rating: 4.8/5
Category: Divorce & Separation
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

8. American Psycho

American Psycho is highly detailed between vaccines and murdering teens. It is written in a first-person narrative. So you see the world through Patrick’s eyes in the way he thinks, and you’re getting into his mindset. Hartford is entirely devoid of empathy, and it’s not even him. It’s most of his friends, and the people he knows are acquaintances. They don’t care about each other. It’s all about what they have, what they’re doing, who they’re seeing, and who they’re mingling with.

The way it’s written is that you’ve brought into his monotonous thinking so that it gets too graphic scenes. It even packs more punch and shocks you from this stupor you had been lulled into. Then it makes it all the more graphic. You will shock when it comes to sexy killing scenes. They are all extraordinarily graphic and detailed. I’m not recommending this to anyone under the age of 18. It is an adult-themed book that covers all the ways of psychopaths.

Author: Bret Easton Ellis
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Satire Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

9. Red Dragon

Red Dragon is a story about a guy named Will Graham, and he is done with the whole FBI. They’ve caught Hannibal. All the stuff has happened before this book, which is the first book in the series. The storyline for Hannibal is a bit different because it’s them trying to catch Hannibal and Will Graham going into the FBI. So it’s exciting how they connected it to the books and everything. They’re not like based on the books, but it’s interesting how they want the characters together.

Two families were murdered in their homes in and very odd way. The mirrors were broken, and the bodies appeared to have been moved. Also, it’s strange. So to prevent a third one from happening, Jack Crawford finds Will Graham brings him in for his intuition and analytical abilities.

It’s hinted here that Will Graham is a strange guy. Graham was institutionalized in a mental hospital several years back, shortly before he retired, because he was distressed after killing another serial killer they had been in pursuit of.

Thomas Harris has this serial killer break habit and almost becomes an entirely different character with different motivations. At the novel’s end, the killer doesn’t completely match the killer we see at the beginning. Overall, it is still a very well-done book and exciting to read.

Author: Thomas Harris
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Hard-Boiled Mysteries
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

10. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Perfume occurs in 18th-century France when a little boy named John Baptiste Grenouille is born. It is a very dark, disturbing, and visceral story. The book and film are pretty similar. John Baptiste was born into less-than-ideal circumstances. His mother was a fishmonger.

She had many pregnancies before, but they ended in either miscarriage or stillbirth. So when she gave birth to him at her actual fish stall, she gave birth to the child, caught him free of her, and left him on the ground, assuming he would be dead.

Jean Baptiste was meant to live. His nose and his olfactory senses are so incredibly heightened. As he becomes more conscious of his surroundings, he can smell everything. He can smell a worm in a head of cabbage before it’s been cut open. Every cent is much more complex to him than a regular nose could interpret.

The story follows him as he grows older and becomes increasingly obsessed with creating the world’s most complex, beautiful scents. The book’s point is not to be realistic, shape, or form. It does feel like this modern, gothic, terrifying, weird urban legend fairy tale.

Author: Patrick Süskind, John E. Woods
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Historical Mysteries, Psychological Thrillers
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

Non-fiction books about Psychopaths

Non-fiction psychopathy books explore the subject of psychopathy and related personality disorders. Some of these books focus on understanding the condition, while others discuss specific criminal cases or share personal accounts. Here is a list of non-fiction books related to psychopathy:

The Psychopath Test – A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson: This book explores the concept of psychopathy and shows the minds of those labeled as psychopaths. Ronson interviews experts and alleged psychopaths to better understand the condition.

Without Conscience – The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Dr. Robert D. Hare: This book offers insight into the world of psychopaths and their impact on society.

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout: This book provides an overview of the traits and behaviors of sociopaths (a term often used interchangeably with psychopaths), emphasizing that they can be found in all walks of life.

Snakes in Suits – When Psychopaths Go to Work by Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert D. Hare: This book examines the presence of psychopaths in the corporate world and how they can manipulate their way into positions of power.

Mindhunter – Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker: A former FBI agent shares his experiences and insights from investigating serial killers and other violent criminals, many of whom displayed psychopathic traits.

The Wisdom of Psychopaths – What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton: This book explores the idea that certain psychopathic traits can be advantageous in specific contexts and careers.

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule: A true-crime account of the life and crimes of serial killer Ted Bundy, written by a former friend and coworker of Bundy’s.

Please note that some of these books may contain graphic content or descriptions of violent acts. Always read caution and consider your comfort level before reading about these topics.

Books about Psychopaths romance

Books featuring psychopaths in romantic relationships are in the realm of fiction, categorized as dark romance or psychological thrillers. These books may contain intense and potentially disturbing content. So approach them with caution. Here are some titles that involve psychopaths in romantic relationships:

You by Caroline Kepnes: A psychological thriller narrated by Joe Goldberg. He’s a bookstore manager who develops a dangerous obsession with a customer. The novel explores the depths of Joe’s fixation and willingness to do anything for love. There is also a popular Netflix series adaptation available which I enjoyed more.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay: The first Dexter series book inspired the TV show “Dexter.” The main character, Dexter Morgan, is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police department and a serial killer who only targets other criminals.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison: A psychological thriller about a couple whose marriage is on the brink of collapse. As secrets and betrayals surface, the woman is forced to confront her darkest instincts.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: This mystery novel contains characters with psychopathic traits involved in complex relationships. The book follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander. They investigate a decades-old disappearance.

These books often contain themes and scenes that can disturb or trigger some readers.

Books about female Psychopaths

Books featuring female psychopaths are both fiction and non-fiction genres. Some books focus on understanding the psychology of female psychopaths, while others are crime novels or thrillers that feature female characters with psychopathic traits. Here are a few books to explore:


Female Serial Killers – How and Why Women Become Monsters by Peter Vronsky: This book examines the lives and crimes of various female serial killers throughout history, their motivations, and the social context surrounding their actions.

Lady Killers – Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer: A collection of true stories about female murderers from different historical periods. The book discusses their motivations, methods, and societal factors influencing their crimes.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: A psychological thriller about the disappearance of Amy Dunne. The book features a complex and manipulative female character whose actions drive the novel’s suspenseful plot.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: A dark mystery novel that follows journalist Camille Preaker. She returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls. The story explores the psychological aspects of the characters, including some who exhibit psychopathic traits.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison: A psychological thriller about a crumbling marriage and the dark instincts that surface when a couple is pushed to the brink. The story shows a female protagonist who exhibits psychopathic traits.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis: A young adult novel that tells the story of a teenager with a dark past and a violent nature.

Books about Sociopaths

Here are some books to consider:

Confessions of a Sociopath – A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas: In this memoir, the author shares her experiences and perspectives as a diagnosed sociopath, providing a first-person account of living with this personality disorder.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis: This novel tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investment banker who leads a secret life as a violent and sadistic killer.

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: A psychological thriller about Tom Ripley, a charming and manipulative young man who becomes involved in a dangerous web of deceit and crime.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: This novel is a series of letters written by a mother. She is trying to come to terms with her son’s heinous actions. The book explores the development and behavior of the son, who exhibits sociopathic traits.

Please be aware that some of these books may contain graphic content, violence, or other potentially disturbing elements.

Who are famous Psychopaths?

Labeling someone as a “psychopath” without a proper clinical assessment can be misleading and stigmatizing. However, the term describes individuals with antisocial personality traits. Here are a few examples of psychopaths due to their actions and criminal behavior:

Ted Bundy: A notorious American serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, and necrophile active during the 1970s. He confessed to 30 homicides and was executed in 1989.

Jeffrey Dahmer: Jeffrey, also known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal,” Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who was responsible for the murders of 17 young men between 1978 and 1991. His crimes involved dismemberment, necrophilia, and cannibalism.

John Wayne Gacy: An American serial killer and rapist who sexually assaulted, tortured, and murdered at least 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978. Gacy was known as the “Killer Clown” due to his charitable services at fundraising events, parades, and children’s parties, where he would dress as “Pogo the Clown.”

Aileen Wuornos: An American serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990 by shooting them at point-blank range. Wuornos claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while working as a prostitute and that all homicides were committed in self-defense.

Last Words

Books about psychopaths can offer insight into the minds and behaviors of individuals who exhibit antisocial personality traits. These books show the complexities of human psychology, exploring the nature of empathy, conscience, and moral development. Also, they can be particularly fascinating for those interested in psychology or true crime. If you are interested in exploring the topic of psychopathy, these books offer a range of perspectives and styles.

Some are non-fiction works focusing on understanding the condition, while others are fictional works featuring characters with psychopathic traits. Consider consulting with a mental health professional if you have any concerns or questions.

Read more similar books:

Books Similar To American Psycho

Crime Bio Books Like Criminal Minds

Most Dangerous Books In The World

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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