Why the Obsession with Thriller & Mystery Books?

Posted by Sarah Bainbridge

mysterious hooded figure on boardwalk at night

Have you ever thought what attracts people to the Thriller, and Mystery genre when it comes to books and movies? Well, for me it has always been the adrenaline-filled journey and examination of broken behaviors – in short, I start playing the detective myself by picking up on various clues. Not bragging but the guessing game almost always ends up in me pinpointing exactly the real criminal – Yay! However, sometimes it happens that the criminal is the least suspected out of the lot and it takesMan holding large knife in thrilling sceneme by surprise – and I love surprises!

This ride full of twists and turns and excitement always leaves me hungrier for more thrills! 

The reason is probably because stories about crime excite certain areas of our brain that are not usually activated. It gives you that edge-of-the-seat feeling, and you can experience the excitement of a roller coaster ride all while sitting on your couch – because a different segment of your brain is stimulated. As a result of this, just like a roller coaster ride, with the best thriller books you are able to experience fear but in a controlled environment. 

Thriller books have a Specific Style of Narration that Intensifies the Suspense. Writers deliberately narrate thrillers and mysteries in a specific format, to reel us in slowly by building up more and more suspense along the way. They start off by introducing a plot, revealing characters, and taking the story to the point of crescendo – then perhaps there is a sudden twist, and the writer may leave a few more clues here and there for the reader to pick up.

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Well, don’t you think this obsession with thrillers and mysteries is a bit worrisome? Especially while most of the books in this genre are based on crimes none less than cold blooded murders. What if I tell you psychiatrists think completely otherwise! According to these clinical professionals, people who are more inclined towards the crime genre in books and movies are much higher in the scale of empathetic factors. Comforting to know!

Apart from this, psychologists explain the obsession with mysteries and thrillers through an experience called ‘sensation seeking’. According to this phenomenon, thrillers (particularly psychological thrillers) help humans confront their fears without having to face them in real life. That is because usually humans have an innate urge to pursue crazy excitement, especially when they are young. Hence, you usually notice youngsters being reckless and risk takers in their prime years. 

Psychological thrillers provide such real-life scenarios to readers where they associate themselves with the characters of the books and even choose sides – some relate to the victim and side with them, while others even defend the criminal by empathizing with the tragedies of his/her life and considering them to be a victim of their life’s circumstances. It all depends on how the writer decides to narrate the story.


Crime, Thriller and Mystery Books offer Unbeatable Excitement!

Book cover for Finding Lisa by Sigrid MacdonaldThe unsatiated thirst of avid readers of the mystery books genre is primarily because such stories fire their imagination. For example, ‘Finding Lisa, by Sigrid Macdonald' is a mystery that really get your brain engaged. It is based on the frantic search by Tara for her best friend Lisa – and as you begin on picking up the clues planted by the writer, parts of story uncover revealing new and unexpected secrets! 

On another note, you can find hundreds of books in these genres absolutely free right here on the Obooko website, which provides a platform for die-hard fans of mystery and thriller books to fulfill their thirst for crime fiction. The multitude and variety that we have in this genre makes it a haven for such readers – especially because the books we offer are 100% free and legally licensed for you to download at any time of the day or night. Because our books are available in three formats: pdf, epub and kindle, you can read them on your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone wherever you are. And they are yours to keep forever!

Book cover for Find a Killer by Ken Donald.Another great find from the Obooko shelves is ‘Become a Killer by Ken Donald’ – this amazing read starts off by building up the story with a disturbing pattern of events. This well-written book really does make your imagination go wild because there is just one suspect in the entire book, but with with an airtight alibi – its only towards the end when the writer starts giving away clues related to a dark secret that prevailed all along!

Without doubt, thrillers and mysteries bring some amazing benefits to the table for all ages:


For Teenagers and Pre-Teens

The benefits of mysteries and thrillers have caught the attention of schools! Yes, you heard me right. Schools are using the books in this genre that consist of stories appropriate for students to foster their love of reading. Teens especially turn out to become huge fans of these books once they start getting into them!

This is because the excitement provided by the stories not only prevents students from getting bored but also keeps their enthusiasm high. Moreover, reading crime fiction, mystery, and thrillers does not only help in achieving literacy goals, but psychologists advocate their ability of helping young people as well as adults build skills like critical thinking and problem solving.

Three teens enter a creepy old cabin in the woods

The major reason behind this is that mysteries activate certain portions of the mind and promote consistent engagement – drawing students to focus deeply. In a nutshell, the story stickiness of this genre of books is extremely high. It helps even the most hesitant students to keep turning the pages and to predict the plot laid by the writer – ultimately adding to their comprehension skills and helping them grasp scenarios in a better way. Also, since mystery novels are always big on details, it encourages children pay attention to tiny details.

What’s more, after certain twists, turns and clues, when the justice is served in the end – it helps teens feel exhilarated and leaves them on a moral high. In this way, the student remains curious until the end and the reading experience turns out to be not only successful, but more enjoyable for the student as well. 


Sideview of mysterious woman holding gun gunFor Adults

For mature readers, the advantage lies in the fact that reading the mystery and thriller genre helps them dive deep into the minds of morally ambiguous characters – the characters who don’t even think before crossing the moral boundaries that normal people set for themselves. This helps in understanding the various angles of human character without being exposed to them in real life. In addition to this, a person is also exposed to the dark alleys of the human mind and the wide array of emotions that people are capable of feeling. All in all, a person is given insight about how a human brain becomes victim to various circumstances and what causes it to function in different ways. 



Crime fiction, psychological thrillers and mysteries are not only fascinating to read because of the entertainment that comes with them – but the intellectual challenge that they offer is also responsible for their widespread fan-base.