8 Books With Criminal Minds Vibes

five criminal minds vibes books


If you’re like me and watched every single Criminal Minds episode, then you will surely enjoy reading books that give you similar vibes. 

Criminal Minds is a TV show that delved into the minds of the criminals committing the crimes each episode is based on. The series went on from 2005 onwards, with 16 full seasons completed so far. Since Covid production has been stalled, the show is believed to continue later this year. I hope so because it was one of my favorite tv shows ever. 

What I love most about the series are criminal profiling and psychological analysis. The FBI profilers are always on the hunt to find some of the country’s most gruesome criminals. Their team works well together, with each member bringing something unique to the table. 

There are authors who wrote books that give off similar vibes, and today I will explore some of these books. If you haven’t read any of these yet, they are a good starting point. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did. I still have a couple of them on my endless list to get to, but I have every intention of reading them eventually.


8. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

silence of the lambs book

The Silence of the Lambs

This older book was written in 1988, with the famous movie starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins based on the book. Sick and extremely disturbing, the book is one of the first in its genre. Be forewarned, this book is not for the faint of hearts. If you’re easily triggered by heinous descriptions and gruesome murders, please skip this one.

FBI agent Clarice Starling’s first assignment is to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a serial killer that has cannibalistic tendencies. In order to get into his disturbing mind, Clarice employs clever methods, similar to those of agent Prentiss in the TV show. 


7. Unsolved by James Patterson 

unsolved james patterson


The second in the Invisible series, Unsolved is centered around young FBI agent Emmy Dockery. His previous series, with Alex Cross as the main character, is a great example of the way the FBI solves crimes. They are works of fiction, but I think they are good depictions of the genre. Either series is a good starting point, with the first Alex Cross book, Along Came a Spider being an excellent choice. Although they are older books, they will give you some great criminal Minds vibes, so don’t dismiss them. 


6. Reckoning by Catherine Coulter

reckoning catherine coulter


The FBI series featuring Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Switch includes more than 25 books, and it is set in San Francisco. Although fiction, the books give you a glimpse into the cases federal agents have to contend with. If you’re a big fan of Criminal Minds, these books will satisfy your literary cravings. I still need to read this series, but I hear the genre is something I would enjoy. 


5. The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter 

the kept woman

The Kept Woman

If you’ve never been acquainted with the works of Karin Slaughter, you must give the Will Trenton series a chance. This is by far the author’s best work. FBI agent Will Trent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is a relentless character who gets super involved in his cases. This is the eighth book in the series, and if you want to follow his personal story, you should probably start with the first book in the series, Triptych. 


4.M4K Series by J.D. Barker 

2 4mk thrillers

The series includes three books: The Fourth Monkey, The Fifth to Die, and The Sixth Wicked Child. They involve the M4K serial killer, and the three books are gory and deeply disturbing. Not easy to read, but they will definitely give you Criminal Minds vibes. 

The books are centered around a serial killer nicknamed the Fourth Monkey Killer, who terrorized the city of Chicago for over five years. 

I reviewed each of these books in a previous post, so you can check them out here.

Top Ten Favorite Books So Far This Year (2021)


3.The Sandman by Lars Kepler

the sandman lars kepler

The Sandman

This one is possibly my favorite Lars Kepler book I read so far, with the story of serial killer Jurek Walter at the forefront. Brilliant police officers Joona Linna and Saga Bauer are on his trail, and sacrifice a lot in order to get to him before he manages to get into their heads. A great police procedural with many psychological undertones, plus written by a popular Nordic Noir writing team. What more can you ask for?


2. The Mirror Man by Lars Kepler

the mirror man lars kepler

The Mirror Man

Although I haven’t read this one yet, I know it’s going to be a favorite of mine. Just the premise of the story is one that I usually gravitate towards, plus the fact that it’s a Nordic Noir makes it even more appealing to me. As with the duo’s previous thrillers, this is a twisted story with many unforeseen events taking place. Another serial killer is on the loose, tormenting young girls. Joona Linna starts investigating the brutal murders and stops at nothing to catch this brutal killer. Although the events take place in Sweden, there are plenty of Criminal Minds vibes from the duos’ thrillers. 


1.Mindhunter by John E. Douglas

mindhunter john douglas


The book has an FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit or a BAU. Former special FBI agent John E. Douglas was the one who came up with this department back in the seventies, and the book is based on the cases he solved. Criminal Minds is also inspired by actual cases. Hence, the book and the TV show, and consequently the Netflix series are all intertwined. If you want to get a taste of how the FBI’s behavioral Unit emerged and functioned, this book is the best to read. Very interesting and eye-opening, it is as close as it gets to the real thing. It is told from the former agent’s perspective, and although the man was not the nicest in real life, he was actually brilliant and brought a lot to the way the FBI came to analyze some of the most disturbing criminal minds. 


Eventually, I will do another post with more books that will give you the same type of vibes Criminal Minds gives you. But for now, this list is a great place to get acquainted with the genre. Don’t hesitate to mention any other suggestions I might have missed, I’m always open to constructive criticism.


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