1. Stephen King. The best when it comes to horror writing. Although a little uneven recently, he proved with Under The Dome, he's still up there at the top. I like his early novels the best including, Christine, Cujo, Firestarter, Pet Semitary, The Tommyknockers, and his best, Misery.
2. Dean Koontz. Another author right up there with King. His best work was probably during the Eighties and Nineties, when he wrote The Watchers, Cold Fire, Hideaway, Lightning, Phantoms, The Servants of the Twilight, Twilight Eyes, The Key to Midnight, The House of Thunder and many more.
3. Robert Goddard.
'The master of the clever twist', Goddard has kept me entertained for the best part of twenty years now, with tales such as Past Caring, In Pale Battalions, Take no Farewell, Closed Circle, Borrowed Time. His most enjoyable are those set in the first half of the twentieth century. He has a style of writing that keeps you wanting to know what happens right until the end.
4. Ken Follett. Adept at Historian fiction as well as modern days thrillers, Follett's finest work is Pillars of the Earth and it's follow up, World Without End, both very long reads at almost a thousand pages, but very satisfying none the less.
5. Wilbur Smith.
Smith has been writing adventure stories mostly set in South Africa for more than forty years. Some are historical, some modern, Smith writes with a great attention to detail, especially of the African continent, which he obviously loves. Standout books include Rage,The Eye of the Tiger, The Eagle in the Sky, A Sparrow Falls, Men of Men and The Burning Shore.
6. R J Ellory.
The only English author to write crime novels set in USA. He made his name with A Quiet Belief in Angels, but since then every book he's written has been first class, all with complicated, intricate and very satisfying plots that keep the reader guessing. Best works include Saints of New York, Candlemoth, Ghostheart, and A Simple Act of Violence.
One of the new emerging women crime writers, who started writing medical thrillers such Harvest, Life Support, and Gravity, and graduated onto crime thrillers feauringRizzoli and Isles, all excellent thrillers. But her tour de force is The Bone Garden, a fascinating portrait of medicine in the nineteenth century.
8. Dennis Lehane.
A great American crime-thriller writer, with some fantastically thrilling tales, many made in movies such as Mystic River, Shutter Island, The Given Day, and Gone, Baby, Gone.
9. James Herbert.
A great British horror writer, who's been writing great horror stories since the early seventies, such as The Rats, The Fog, Moon, The Magic Cottage, Creed and The Secret of Crickley Hall.
10. Diane Chamberlain.
A top rate American suspense/thriller/romantic writer, who came to prominence with The Lost Daughter, and has written lots of other equally good books like Breaking the Silence, Before the Storm, The lies we Told, and The Midwife's Confession.