Top ten science & medical thrillers of all time

Book fans love to compare favorite titles.  And everybody likes to argue about ranking lists.  So here’s your chance to add two cents to the discussion.  What is the best science or medical thriller you’ve ever read?

I’ve posted reviews of >60 science- or medical-themed thrillers.  Only eight received my highest rating of 5 stars.  In my opinion, these books are truly exceptional within the genre.  (For those of you who don’t know, I grade on a curve, giving 3 stars to your “average” can’t-put-it-down thriller.)

Here’s my list of the best-ever in this genre:

And a bonus title, which takes special honors for a science-driven plot:

I know, that’s only nine.  Help me round out the list to ten titles.  Leave a comment to cast your vote!

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7 Responses to Top ten science & medical thrillers of all time

  1. Khawar sohail says:

    How about Blasphemy combining science and religion?

  2. Diana says:

    And where is Tess Gerritsen? She is definitely THE BEST when it comes to medical thrillers.

    • Amy Rogers says:

      You’re right, Tess Gerritsen is way at the top when it comes to writers of medical thrillers. I confess I’ve only read one–Life Support–and it was amazing. She also includes horror elements in her stories. For me that’s a bit of a minus because I don’t like horror.

  3. You could probably fill the whole list with Michael Crichton, and State Of Fear is another one (exploring the pros and cons of the climate change debate in the guise of an epic, international thriller) but also on my radar for inclusion on such a list is Blasphemy, by Douglas Preston. At the core of Preston’s novel is a fictional version of the Large Hadron Collider. As with all Preston’s work, there is meticulously researched scientific data -fascinating, mind-expanding, and yet woven into the narrative so that it accelerates the plot instead of slowing it. The age-old question of religious faith vs. scientific belief is the main thrust of the novel, set amidst a stunning Arizona landscape, with several plot twists about the greatest mystery of all. Entertaining and thought provoking.

    • Amy says:

      I love Preston’s writing and I haven’t read Blasphemy. Sounds like I need to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Amy says:

    Thanks for the comment! I’ve read Shelley’s Frankenstein and since you brought it up, perhaps I’ll post a review. It is a great book by any standard. The “scientific” content is more scifi than fictional science, but then, the same is true of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which I did review. (Not to mention Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is also reviewed here but I think is WAY more exciting to read than Frankenstein)

    The one thing about Frankenstein that makes it an awkward fit for this particular review site is the structure of the tale isn’t really a thriller or mystery, at least not as I see it. It’s a big-time Romantic work, and I don’t mean the love story kind of romance: tragic, brooding, and full of Big Questions about the nature of man and society.

    On the other hand, there is a chase at the end, a gruesome murder, and some mysteries along the way…all features of your typical modern-day thriller…
    Aww, I think I’ll have to post a review. But how to classify it?

  5. Does Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein qualify as a science or medical thriller? If so, I’d throw that in best-ever list.

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