Thriller Book Awards: The 2023 Book Awards Are Now Open

It’s with great pleasure that we announce the 2023 edition of the Book Awards, the world’s only thriller book award series specifically devoted to recognizing amazing mystery and thriller novels across 15 popular sub-genres.

This year, seventy-six (76!!!) deserving authors will be recognized for their outstanding achievements in fiction writing.

The 2023 Overall Book of the Year Winner will receive $1000 in cash, our gold-and-black award seal for their book cover or website, top billing in our awards press release, inclusion in a weekly featured books newsletter and more.

Fifteen category winners will receive a winner’s seal for their book cover, a book post on, inclusion in our popular Best of the Year post and more. Categories include Action, Crime, Fantasy & Dystopian, Historical, Horror, Medical, Military, Mystery, Paranormal, Psychological, Sci-Fi and Spy Thriller.

Up to sixty (60!!!) category finalists will receive a press kit including a silver finalist seal, and a one-sentence quote from for use in book marketing campaigns.

Who is eligible to enter?

Any English-language mystery or thriller published in 2022 or 2023. If your book is not yet published, pre-published manuscripts targeting a release prior to December 31, 2023 will be accepted. See the Contest Rules for more details.

Learn more about how to enter and win here.

Last Year’s Winners and Finalists

The 2022 winners and finalists hailed from all corners of the globe, including the United States (The Ambulance Chaser), India (The 1st Assassin), Belgium (Shadow of the Mole), Japan (Ways to Die in Tokyo), Canada (The Other Side), the U.K. (A Pyrrhic Victory) and elsewhere. 

The awardees include both established writers and first-time novelists. Book of the Year award went to Girl Missing by Kate Gable. This gripping murder mystery will leave you on the edge of your seat as you follow the story of a 13-year-old girl who disappears on her way back from a friend’s house. Judges were left breathless and exhilarated after reading decorated soldier-turned journalist and PR executive Gojan Nikolich’s Best Psychological Thriller, Ashes in Venice; scared witless by Horror Davide Tarsitano for his debut, The Tooth Fairy;  and on the edge of their seat with Michael Frost Beckner’s Spy Thriller winner, Muir’s Gambit: A Spy Game Novel.

Here’s a complete list of the 2022 winners and finalists. Want to talk about these great books with other readers? Join our Book Award Group on GoodReads!).

Past thriller book award winners

Why are we doing this?

Book awards are an important tool for helping authors stand out from the pack and building a readership.

Mystery and Thriller Book Awards SealBut mystery and thriller authors are often precluded from the award scene because of genre bias. The literary world is brimming with prizes (check out our big list of book awards), but sadly, aside from a couple of specialized awards put on by great organizations, deserving mystery and thriller authors are largely shunned from the party.

How often do you see a crime thriller or psychological thriller take home the National Book Award, a Pulitzer, a Booker award or any of the other major prizes? It’s rare. In addition to genre bias, many mystery and thriller writers simply aren’t eligible for other book awards because of specialized requirements such as gender, religious point of view or career stage. It’s wonderful that so many specialized awards exist, but the result is that genre books rarely get a coveted gold seal.

Meanwhile, the mystery and thriller genre is the second-most read fiction category in the world, behind only Romance and Erotica. Like most fans, we see many highly outstanding books each year that deliver high-octane entertainment while also adding sophisticated insights into the human condition.

How to Enter

Early entry is open now. Until April 30 2022, a discount code EARLYENTRY will offer substantial savings at checkout. The final deadline for entry is September 30 2022.

See you in the winner’s circle!

Select Past Book Award Winners & Finalists

thriller book award winners

Book of the Year

The Money by David Shawn Klein

Action Thriller

Blaze In, Blaze Out by Joseph Lewis;Cover Your Tracks By Daco Auffenorde

Conspiracy Thriller

KGB Banker by William Burton McCormick and John Christmas; JK’s Code by Ronald S. Barak

Crime Thriller

Girl Missing by Kate Gable; Azabu Getaway by Michael Pronko; The Three Lives of Richie O’Malley by William Lobb

Fantasy & Dystopian

Daemon Blood by Mary Maddox

Historical Thriller

Blood Before Dawn by Daniel V. Meier, Jr; The Silver Waterfall by Kevin Miller

Horror Novel

Have You Seen Me? by Alexandrea Weis

Legal Thriller

The Ambulance Chaser by Brian Cuban; Standby Counsel by Alexi Venice

Medical Thriller

Waterborne by J. Luke Bennecke; The Achilles Gene by N.E. Miller

Military Thriller

Cardinal Virtues by R.G. Roberts; Treason Flight by T.R. Matson

Mystery Novel

Huron Breeeze by Landon Beach

Paranormal Thriller

Soul Seeker by Kaylin McFarren

Political Thriller

The Doomsday Medallion by Avanti Centrae; Alejandro’s Lie by Bob Van Laerhoven

Psychological Thriller

Ashes in Venice by Gojan Nikolich; The Hiding Girl by Dorian Box

Romantic Suspense

Talionic Night in Portland: A Love Story by Theresa Griffin Kennedy; Newark Minutemen by Leslie K. Barry

Spy Thriller

Yearn to Fear by Chas Murrell; Muir’s Gambit: A Spy Game Novel by Michael Frost Beckner

Sci-Fi Thriller

The Mirror Man by J.B. Manas; Quantum Alibi by Liam Fialkov

Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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