A recent NPR poll sorted through more than 17,000 ballots and 600 nominated novels for their list the Top 100 Killer Thrillers!
I won't tell you what book was at #1 (the cover I used isn't a spoiler). I will tell you that Stieg Larsson has three titles on the list, as does Dennis Lehane and Michael Crichton. But the author with the most titles on the list, with six, is Steven King.
There are some books that might seem out of place... (um, Contact by Carl Sagan?), but that tends to happen with these things. Lists like these are never authoritative, but they can help readers discover new authors to read.