There's only one place where greed is good: in financial thrillers.

Nothing beats a good financial thriller book, but when it also involves some heist action or financial plot twists, the story simply gets better. Financial thrillers stimulate your mind, give your ideas and make you wonder – what if? What if the money market will meet a big crash? What if you find a secret stock that will skyrocket in the next few months. The charm of the financial thrillers is that they feel so realistic, it could happen on Wall Street next day.

What Kind of Novels Are Considered as Financial Thriller?

A financial thrillers revolve around money, investments, and markets. They often include themes of greed, risk, and betrayal. Financial thrillers typically take place on Wall Street or in the business world, and often involve complex financial schemes and transactions.

The most known financial thriller themes:

Crime related financial thriller themes

  • Stock market fraud (A type of securities fraud involving the manipulation of stock prices)
  • Money laundering (The process of concealing the origins of illegally-obtained money)
  • Bribery and corruption (Giving or receiving of illegal payments to influence decision-making)
  • Insider trading (Illegal practice of buying or selling securities based on non-public information)

Luxurious life related financial thriller themes

  • Rapid financial success
  • Expensive Wall street lifestyle
  • High-stakes gambles of stockbrokers
  • Constant travels to exotic places with private airplane

Many stockbrokers experience rapid financial success and live an expensive lifestyle. They often take high-stakes gambles and travel to exotic places. Some even have their own private airplane. This type of character often gets into some kind or romantic or dangerous drama, that will move the plot until the dramatic ending.

This type of financial thrillers are often full of suspense and excitement, making them perfect for readers who enjoy a good mystery.

Market crash related financial thriller themes

  • Stock market crash dramas
  • Extreme risk-taking transactions gone wrong
  • Shadowy world of high finance

Notable Financial Thriller Movies To Watch:

Some well-known financial thrillers from the world of movies include The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short, Too Big to Fail and Margin Call. These stories offer a glimpse into the high-stakes world of finance, where fortunes can be made and lost in an instant.

If you're looking for a suspenseful read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then check out a financial thriller today. All in all, here are some of the top-rated “money” stories in this genre.

What Are Some Stunning Financial Thriller Books To Read?

Suspect, by Scott Turrow (2022)

If you're looking for an engaging novel to cozy up with, narrated by the charming and quirky investigator Clarice Granum, better known as Pinky. Pinky works in a family law office and her cases often take her on wild adventures. You never know what's going to happen next when you're following along with Pinky on her latest case.

Police Chief Lucia Gomez turns to an old friend, Rik Dudek, to act as her attorney in the federal grand jury investigation, insisting to Rik that the accusations against her are part of an ugly smear campaign designed to destroy her career and empower her enemies.

Whether she's uncovering clues or tracking down witnesses, Pinky is always one step ahead of the game. Her keen eye for detail and sharp wit make her the perfect narrator for this intriguing story.

Scott's new novel is by far the best financial thriller book he has written since Presumed Innocent. The characters are richly drawn and the plot is twisty and compelling. This is a page-turner that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Crisis Deluxe, by Chris Coffman (2021)

The story goes in a few different directions. You get to meet Jacqueline, who is traveling on a ferry around Hong Kong. She is beautiful – long black hair, olive eyes and an incredible smile. Then, the story moves on to Alexander Street.

Known as Dusty among friends and financial specialists, Alexander returns to Hong Kong. It is not his first time there – he used to work in Hong Kong about 20 years ago. Times are different now, but his expertise has only gone higher.

As he gets back to Hong Kong, he realizes the local financial markets are different. They are far from stable and everyone seems to need him to save a major acquisition. On the same note, he is not really wanted there and he is expected to go back home to New York. Then, his love kicks in and everything changes.

Free to Trade, by Michael Ridpath (2012)

Paul Murray has spent most of his life training. The Olympic runner knows nothing else, but somehow, he is intrigued by the trading industry from London. There is money everywhere and the pace is incredibly high – just what he wants to keep himself busy. But one day changes everything in his life.

His colleague Debbie is found dead. Her body is fished out of a river and Paul understands that the trading industry is not all about making money – it hides some dangerous secrets as well. In order to find out what happened to Debbie, he decides to join the dark side of trading and push his way through.

The trading venture takes him all over the world. He gets in touch with the Wall Street industry and then ends up in Las Vegas, trying to find some answers before someone else gets killed. Will he manage to discover the truth and figure out what happened to Debbie?

Hot Shot, by Sheldon Siegel (2019)

Lexy Low is a sugar baby. She gets her money and gifts from Jeff King. But then, Jeff King is found dead. Apparently, he injected himself with heroin. It is hard to tell what happened. Some say it was an accident, while others blame the poor quality of the drug. Some others believe it was a murder. Now, the action moves on to the dark side of Silicon Valley.

In San Francisco, every 11,000th resident is a billionaire. Jeff King was one of them, so there are obviously some financial twists there. He was one of the hottest names in Silicon Valley. Everyone seems to believe that Lexy Low – his sugar baby – is responsible for injecting him with the heroin. It is now up to Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez to find the truth.

The two public defenders know that everyone has something to hide in Silicon Valley, especially in the billionaire club. This is the 10th financial thriller book of the series and probably the best one. The good news is they are not related, so you do not have to read the previous ones to get it.

The Geneva Connection, by Martin Bodenham (2018)

John Kent is a sharp man. He invests his money very wisely and his life looks like a dream. His private equity firm has never been more successful and turned him into one of the richest people in the world. He can finally provide his family with everything – from the finest foods and comfort to security and luxury, the things he never had as a kid.

Things take a very unusual turn later on. John’s dream is destroyed overnight when he gets some bad news. It seems that his largest investor is not as big as he thought. In fact, the investor is now bankrolled by one of the most aggressive drug cartels from Mexico. Later on, one of John’s partners finds out too much, so he ends up murdered.

At this point, John realizes that he cannot talk too much – the authorities are out of the discussion. The DEA kicks in as well and threatens John with incarceration, so he is caught in the middle. If he ignores the DEA, his family will be ruined if he goes to prison. On the same note, if he betrays the cartel, chances are his family will die.

The Millionaires, by Brad Meltzer (2002)

This is one of the best financial thrillers if you love a bit of mystery too. The story goes in more directions. You have a couple of brothers, a few agents and millions on the table. Oliver and Charlie Caruso work at Greene and Greene. The private bank is exclusively open to millionaires only. To join, you need to deposit $2 million in the account, so it is obviously suitable for the elite only.

The bank starts going down at some point and the success seems to become history. However, the two brothers come up with an offer that no one would be able to refuse. There is $3 million in an account. The account is abandoned, but it cannot be traced. It sounds great – there are no victims, after all. Who would know?

Things escalate pretty quickly and one of their friends is found killed. A bunch of agents and a female investigator join the fun. They have no idea who they got the money from, but the danger is obviously nearby. Will they manage to stay alive? Is the Secret Service on their side or against them? Soon, they realize that being millionaires is not an easy task.

The Banker’s Wife, by Cristina Alger (2018)

A private plane flies to Geneva and ends up into a storm. It disappears and its remains are found later on in the Alps. Matthew Werner was one of the passengers. He was an insider at Swiss United, one of the most powerful offshore institutions out there. His widow Annabel has no idea what has happened, but she believes her death was not an accident.

She has a few things around – a password-protected laptop and a list of sketchy clients. As she tries to find answers, she realizes that she is now targeted by her late husband's enemies.

The story moves on to Marina Tourneau. The society journalist no longer needs to write about rich families, as she is part of one now. However, something changes everything.

Marina’s mentor is found killed and she decides to investigate. As she finds some connections with Swiss United, she realizes that many powerful men out there are involved in a large conspiracy. Her investigation might have the answer to Annabel’s search as well, but only if Marina decides to publish the results.

Liar’s Poker, by Michael Lewis (1989)

The action takes place in the 1980s and follows Michael Lewis in the first book of the series. He lands a job at a top-notch investment firm – Salomon Brothers. He rises over three years and becomes one of the most valuable players in the company, making millions for the firm and himself.

Those frenzied years saw everyone rushing to make money. It was a proper gold rush in the middle of nowhere. The book follows the crazy atmosphere of those times and provides behind-the-scenes action from turbulent years.

Things escalate pretty quickly from actual camaraderie in a fraternity to killer instincts once millions are insightful. Greed is everywhere and there is plenty of reality in this financial thriller book, as it relates to some events that have actually occurred.

Special Circumstances, by Sheldon Siegel (2000)

This is the first book in a more comprehensive series that will definitely hook you in. The whole series features Rosie Fernandez and Mike Daley. The first release exposed the drama and issues associated with important law companies. The action is smooth and feels sharp – it escalates as you read and you simply cannot put the book down.

Mike Daley was a priest. He was also a public defender, not to mention his short career in a law firm. These days, he tries to build a reputation on his own in a different part of town. One day, his best friend is charged with a double murder. Mike ends up in a massive investigation that also involves the law firm he used to work for – things are getting personal.

He ends up discovering a bunch of dirty secrets. He realizes that friendship at this level is only a word – greed is more important. Longstanding grudges will never go and he builds the case based on all these.

Final Thoughts on Financial Thriller Books

Many financial thrillers are set in the world of high finance, where multimillion-dollar deals are commonplace and the stakes are high. The drama comes from the characters' desperation to stay ahead of the game, even if it means breaking the law.

While money is important in a financial thriller, it's not always the only thing at stake. There's also a battle for power and control, with characters using their wealth as a weapon. The drama in these stories comes from the clash of egos and the fight for supremacy.

In the end, these are some of the most exciting financial thrillers out there – some of them standing by their own, while others opening the path to longer series. No matter what type of action you are into, these financial thriller books will make you wonder how much of this so-called fiction is actually reality.

If you are a fan of thriller books, check out our 20 book shortlist of the finest thriller novels.

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