Here’s the Perfect Thriller Book to Read Next, Based On Your Myers-Briggs Type

updated Oct 18, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

It’s a little difficult to match a Myers-Briggs categorization—which often picks up on the positive elements of a person’s character—with twisted, dark, and sometimes bloody novels. But we did our best, and found the thriller that will speak to your curiosity, sense of adventure, or determination to just solve any problem—or mystery.

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

INTJ: “The Likeness” by Tana French

Tana French constructs some of the smartest mystery novels I’ve ever read, and “The Likeness” is one of my favorites—its thoughtful structure will appeal to the INTJ’s strategic brain. In this one, the Dublin Murder Squad assigns its female detective to a creepy case where the potential murder victim could be her identical twin. 

Buy: “The Likeness” by Tana French

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

INTP: “Something In the Water” by Catherine Steadman

Something about INTP reminds me of Reese Witherspoon—innovative, curious, creative—and so it follows that a Reese Book Club pick would be the perfect thriller. A honeymoon is disrupted when filmmaker Erin and her husband Mark find a black bag in the water—and if you’re thinking, “There can’t be anything good inside that bag,” you’d be right. 

Buy: “Something In the Water” by Catherine Steadman

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ENTJ: “The Need” by Helen Phillips

This chilling sci-fi thriller centers around Molly, a scientist and mother of two, who’s been uncovering slightly strange objects in the mysterious pit where she and her coworkers are conducting a dig. As mystery and chaos unfold, Molly balances two fierce needs: to fiercely protect her children and somehow understand what’s going on. She’s a determined, strong-willed character any ENTJ can relate to. 

Buy: “The Need” by Helen Phillips

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ENTP: “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan

A smart and curious ENTP doesn’t need a bloody thriller, but one that challenges their intellect. Mr. Penumbra’s mysterious bookstore is just the thing—as well as the secret society and almost-indecipherable codes that run through it. 

Buy: “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

INFJ: “The Dreamers” by Karen Thompson Walker

This sci-fi thriller takes place at a time in the near-ish future when a mysterious virus is somehow trapping citizens inside their dreams. Nobody knows how the disease began, but it spreads quickly and doctors are unsure how—or if—any of the infected will ever wake up. It’s a poetic, chilling novel perfect for the mystical INFJ, who will surely have ideas of how the city might have better supported its sleeping residents.

Buy: “The Dreamers” by Karen Thompson Walker

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

INFP: “I’ve Got My Eyes On You” by Mary Higgins Clark

What is it about thrillers and pools? After a neighborhood party, Aline’s 18-year-old sister Kerry is found drowned, fully-dressed, in their backyard pool. Like a true INFP, Aline is determined to help the prosecutor discover the truth of her younger sister’s death and bring closure to her family—was it her boyfriend, a disgruntled neighbor, or a mysterious “Big Guy?”

Buy: “I’ve Got My Eyes On You” by Mary Higgins Clark

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ENFJ: “The Last Mrs. Parrish” by Liv Constantine

If it’s possible to assign slightly evil characters a Myers-Briggs type without totally offending those in the category, I would say that Amber is certainly an ENFJ. She just uses those keen people skills in amoral ways—namely, to force a fake friendship with Daphne Parish, whose husband is one of the wealthiest in town, in the hopes of eventually getting Daphne out of the picture. Luckily, the second half of the book allows Daphne to control the story, which is when things get really interesting. 

Buy: “The Last Mrs. Parrish” by Liv Constantine

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ENFP: “Pretty Guilty Women” by Gina Lamanna

This one starts with a murder at a wedding, so you know it’s going to be good. Things get more complicated when four former friends (well, three former friends and a friend of the groom) mysteriously confess to the crime, but each says she acted alone. There’s a lot to uncover about the women’s relationships (and former friendships) as you decide who-really-dunnit, making it an obvious choice for the sociable ENFP. 

Buy: “Pretty Guilty Women” by Gina Lamanna

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ISTJ: “Bluebird, Bluebird” by Attica Locke

You, the ISTJ, are as loyal and reliable as Texas Ranger Darren Matthews in “Bluebird, Bluebird,” whose suspension from the force is temporarily lifted as he makes headway on a mysterious case of twin murders: a black lawyer visiting Lark and a local white waitress. Navigating rural Texan prejudice and personal stress in his marriage and his hometown, Matthews is determined to uncover the real truth of what happened to the victims—not just the easy answer. 

Buy: “Bluebird, Bluebird” by Attica Locke

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ISFJ: “Never Look Back” by Alison Gaylin

Fans of Serial will recognize the plot of “Never Look Back,” as millennial podcaster Quentin attempts to investigate a murder case nearly 40 years old. In 1976, teens April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy went on a 13-day killing spree before dying in a fire. Quentin has reason to believe that April Cooper is still alive. 

Buy: ISFJ: “Never Look Back” by Alison Gaylin

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ESTJ: “American Predator” by Maureen Callahan

Your analytical and organized mind needs some stellar nonfiction—try the true story of Israel Keyes, considered one of the most violent serial killers in history. He eluded law enforcement for over a decade–committing murders all over the country while simultaneously living a quiet, low-key life in Alaska. Sometimes, the scariest stories are true.

Buy: “American Predator” by Maureen Callahan

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ESFJ: “Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds” by Gwenda Bond

So many of our favorite “Stranger Things” friends could be ESFJ: eager to help, sociable, even popular (hi Steve). For bookworms that also love a Netflix binge, and so can’t wait for the next season, pick up the prequel and learn more about Eleven’s mysterious family tree.

Buy: “Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds” by Gwenda Bond

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ISTP: “Miracle Creek” by Angie Kim

Your ISTP profile makes you an experimenter, so you’re likely to be intrigued by the mysterious experiments happening in Virginia, where a medical chamber claims to cure many conditions that have long-puzzled professionals. After the chamber explodes, a trial ensues to bring whomever blew up the chamber to justice, but the patients and families are questioning every motive and decision of all who came through the treatment facility. 

Buy: “Miracle Creek” by Angie Kim

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ISFP: “Lady in the Lake” by Laura Lippman

In this novel, Maddie has to start over after 20 years of marriage. That means, to start, involvement with a police investigation to solve the mystery of a murdered girl and a new job at the local paper. In her first few weeks, Maddie comes across another murder case, and is determined to uncover the cause of Cleo’s death. Like any ISFP, Maddie moves towards experiences that might scare others—though a reader could argue she should be watching her back more often.

Buy: “Lady in the Lake” by Laura Lippman

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ESTP: “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott

Abbott’s intense thrillers are ideal for the ESTP who is most comfortable living at the edge—her stories are the kind I read in two or three days because I can’t put them down. In her latest novel, Abbott explores shared ambition, childhood secrets, and the people in our lives who’ve known us the longest. It’s hard to keep secrets from them.

Buy: “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott

Credit: Books: Amazon, Design: Apartment Therapy

ESFP: “The Secrets We Kept” by Lara Prescott

Inspired by a true story, this historical thriller will satisfy the energetic ESFP reader. The novel takes place during the Cold War, and alternates between a room of secretaries-turned-spies in the West, and author Boris Pasternak, in the midst of writing “Dr. Zhivago,” alongside his muse Olga in the East. The point of this book isn’t to imagine Pasternak as he writes his famous novel or to intimately understand the Cold War, but rather, to observe the power of women at a critical moment in literary history.

Buy: “The Secrets We Kept” by Lara Prescott