9 Best Authors Like Dean Koontz: Get Your Suspense Fix

Discover the top authors like Dean Koontz in our suspense-ridden guide that will get your heart racing!

If you love author Dean Koontz, known for his suspense thrillers that often draw on satire and mystery, you’ll also love these authors like Dean Koontz. Thirty of the author’s books have hit number one on The New York Times bestseller list, including Strangers, the novel that catapulted Koontz to stardom. Whether you’re working through the Odd Thomas Series or just wrapped up The House at the End of the World, you’ll want to add the names on our list of authors like Dean Koontz to your reading list. 

Here Are The Best Authors Like Dean Koontz

1. Stephen King, 1947 –

Stephen King
A photo of Stephen King looking into the distance

Stephen King is one of the most prolific American writers of all time. The author’s books have sold over 350 copies, and many have been made into feature films. In addition to writing nearly 70 novels, the acclaimed “King of Horror” has written about 200 short stories. Awards received by King include Bram Stoker Awards, the British Fantasy Society Awards, and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. Check out Stephen King’s best-selling books in our guide!

“Frightened people live in their own special hell. You could say they make it themselves, but they can’t help it. It’s the way they’re built. They deserve sympathy and compassion.”

Stephen King, Revival
Revival: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 477 Pages - 11/11/2014 (Publication Date) - Scribner (Publisher)

2. James Patterson, 1947 –

James Patterson
A photo of James Patterson at a lake

James Patterson is known for his thrillers, non-fiction, and romance novels. The author has sold more than 425 million copies worldwide and was the best-paid author (according to Forbes Magazine) in the world for three years in a row. Patterson works to give back to his community with the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship and the College Book Bucks program. Patterson’s most notable works include The Noise, Don’t Blink, Jack and Jill, and Now You See Her.

If you enjoyed this round-up of the best authors like Dean Koontz books, you might also like our list of suspense novel authors in our guide to the best authors like James Patterson.

“Because what’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?”

James Patterson, The Angel Experiment
The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1): A Maximum Ride Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Patterson, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 04/01/2005 (Publication Date) - jimmy patterson (Publisher)

3. Joe Hill, 1972 –

Joe Hill
A photo of Joe Hill speaking into a microphone

Joe Hill is the pen name of Joe King, who is the son of Stephen King. The writer wanted to ensure he could make it in the literary world independently, without relying on his father’s name to get noticed. He waited to reveal his identity until a year after his first novel was released. Hill’s first book, 20th Century Ghosts (2005), features fourteen of the author’s short stories and won the Bram Stoker Award. Some of his most popular novels include Heart-Shaped Box, Strange Weather, Horns, and The Fireman.

“She breathed deeply of the scent of decaying fiction, disintegrating history, and forgotten verse, and she observed for the first time that a room full of books smelled like dessert: a sweet snack made of figs, vanilla, glue, and cleverness.”

Joe Hill, NOS4A2
NOS4A2: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Hill, Joe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 995 Pages - 04/30/2013 (Publication Date) - William Morrow (Publisher)

4. John Grisham, 1955 –

John Grisham
A black and white photo of John Grisham smiling at the camera

John Grisham is an author, novelist, and politician known for his legal thrillers. As well as being a popular author, Grisham is also a former member of the 7th district of the Mississippi House of Representatives. A Time to Kill, the author’s first novel, was published in 1989. Since then, Grisham has published over 50 novels and is often praised for his gristly, no-holds-barred writing style. Several of Grisham’s books have been made into feature films, including The Pelican Brief, The Runaway Jury, and The Rainmaker.

“Shame was an emotion he had abandoned years earlier. Addicts know no shame. You disgrace yourself so many times you become immune to it.”

John Grisham, The Testament
The Testament: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Grisham, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 482 Pages - 03/09/2010 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

5. Anne Rice, 1941 – 2021

Anne Rice
A photo of Anne Rice smiling at the camera; she is wearing a green sweater and a green neckerchief

Anne Rice sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. Rice’s work is mostly gothic fiction and erotic literature, and Christian literature. Her work wasn’t well-received when she started as a writer, but she became one of the most influential authors in modern-day literature. The writer stated that she was influenced by Stephen King, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway. Her first book, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and was made into a 1994 blockbuster movie. Her famous Vampire Chronicles had ten novels in total in the series and was much loved by all her fans.

“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.”

Anne Rice, The Witching Hour
The Witching Hour (Lives of Mayfair Witches Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Rice, Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1057 Pages - 11/17/2010 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

6. Clive Barker, 1952 –

Clive Barker
Clive Barker speaking to an audience; he is wearing a black shirt with red suspenders

Clive Barker is a British playwright, film director, author, painter, and illustrator. He started with the short story series Books of Blood in the mid-1980s, which was heralded by author Stephen King as the future of horror. Barker lists several literary influences, including William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, and Herman Melville. In addition to his accomplishments as an author, Barker has also won an Academy Award for his work as an executive producer on the movie Gods and Monsters. Some of his most popular novels include The Scarlet Gospels, Books of Blood, Cabal, and The Living Dead.

“Did I say that she was beautiful? I was wrong. Beauty is too tame a notion; it evokes only faces in magazines. A lovely eloquence, a calming symmetry; none of that describes this woman’s face. So perhaps I should assume I cannot do it justice with words. Suffice it to say that it would break your heart to see her; and it would mend what was broken in the same moment; and you would be twice what you’d been before.”

Clive Barker, Galilee
Galilee: A Novel of the Fantastic
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Barker, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 656 Pages - 03/17/2009 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins e-books (Publisher)

7. Dan Brown, 1964 –

Dan Brown
Dan Brown smiling at the camera; he is wearing a black polo-neck shirt and a green tweed blazer

Dan Brown is an American author who is well-known for his novels, including Angels & Demons, The DaVinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, and Origin. The author’s novels typically take place over 24 hours and follow the protagonist as they take on an international treasure hunt. Brown employs themes including cryptography and conspiracy theories, allowing readers to solve mysteries along with the protagonist.

Looking for more suspense novels to read? Check out our round-up of the best books like Da Vinci Code.

“History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”

Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code: A Novel (Robert Langdon)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Brown, Dan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 03/18/2003 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

8. John Saul, 1942-

John Saul is an American author who creates vastly intricate suspense and horror novels. He has sold over 60 million copies around the world and is known for Suffer the Children, Creature, Darkness, and House of Reckoning. While Saul is known as a hugely successful author today, he didn’t have an easy start–he spent 15 years honing his craft before he sold his first book, for which he was paid $200. In addition to his thriller novels, the author is known for one-act plays. You might also be interested in our guide on the best Sandra Brown books.

“If you open your house to strangers, who knows who might come in. And what they might be after. Or whom.”

John Saul, Perfect Nightmare\
Perfect Nightmare: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Saul, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 08/23/2005 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

9. Michael Crichton, 1942 – 2008

Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton smiling into the distance; he is wearing a red tie, a white shirt, and a navy blue blazer

Author and filmmaker Michael Crichton sold more than 200 million copies of his books around the world, including The Andromeda Strain, Jurrasic Park, and The Lost World. The author completed medical school at Harvard in 1969 but decided to use his medical knowledge to improve his writing rather than practice as a doctor.

Crichton used his medical knowledge to write books in the science fiction, medical fiction, and techno-thriller genres. Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best true crime books!

“Human beings are so destructive. I sometimes think we’re a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that’s our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.”

Michael Crichton, The Lost World
The Lost World: A Novel (Jurassic Park Book 2)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Crichton, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 01/18/2001 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

  • Amanda has an M.S.Ed degree from the University of Pennsylvania in School and Mental Health Counseling and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. She has experience writing magazine articles, newspaper articles, SEO-friendly web copy, and blog posts.