Crime Thrillers

Great Fiction and Crime Authors

For lovers of crime thrillers, the names Lehane, Crais, McBain, Sandford and Childs need no introduction as authors who consistently provide the essence of a great read.

Dennis Lehane

In the crime novels which feature Patrick Kenzie and Angela Genaro we have compelling and fast paced novels – deft and twisting plots, wry humour and bright dialogue and very interesting characters, making Lehane an author for your must read list.

Mystic River was made into an academy award-winning film, but this doesn’t mean his writing is stylized for screen adaptation … to the contrary … he writes with a great command of the language and skill. Gone, Baby Gone has also been filmed.

He has not fallen into the trap of formulaic and contrived novels that reduce once interesting protagonists to paper cut-outs of their original images. Kenzie and Gennaro remain fresh from book to book.

Kenzie and Gennaro Novels

  • A Drink before the War (1994)
  • Darkness Take My Hand (1996)
  • Sacred (1997)
  • Gone, Baby Gone (1998) - Filmed 2007
  • Prayers for Rain (1999)

  • Mystic River (2001)- filmed 2003
  • Shutter Island (2003)- optioned for a film in 2009
  • Coronado - stories (2006)
  • The Given Day (2008)
  • Moonlight Mile
  • Live by Night (2012)

Robert Crais

Creator of the best selling Elvis Cole novels (with Joe Pike), Crais gives us books that are fast paced, consistently varied and good; hard-boiled and laced with dry wit. Precisely what we want to read for pleasure and recreation: Fun books, possessing depth in characterisation, great dialogue and elaborate and imaginative plots.

The only problem is you might end up with a sore jaw - you just can't help keeping a grin on your face as you turn the pages.

Featuring Elvis Cole
  • The Monkey’s Raincoat(1987)
  • Stalking the Angel (1989)
  • Lullaby Town (1992)
  • Free Fall (1993)
  • Voodoo River (1995)
  • Sunset Express (1996)
  • Indigo Slam (1997)
  • L.A. Requiem !1999)
  • The Last Detective(2003)
  • The Forgotten Man (2005)
  • The Watchman (2007)
  • Chasing Darkness (2008)
  • The First Rule
  • The Sentry

Other novels
  • Demolition Angel (2000)
  • Hostage (2001)
  • The Two-Minute Rule(2006)

If you 'Google' Robert Crais - go to his site and watch some YouTube interviews

James Grippando

"Grippando grips you from the first page" (Harlen Coben)

That endorsement from author Harlen Coben is spot on - and that from an author who himself is no mean writer - indeed one of the best writing today.

Grippando holds his own in an illustrious company of contemporary American legal thriller, crime and police procedural novelists.
I list him with Coben and Robert Crais because, while totally original he, like them, has a wonderful sense of 'tongue in the cheek' humor that escapes from time to time in his dialogue adding just extra delight in the story-telling.

it is a writing gift that urges one to want more and more of his yarns - involving Jack Swyteck - of whom 8 novels have been written so far.

I say "so far", because I hope more and more will be forthcoming - and soon! I really can't understand why he hasn't a new one out right now - and is he at home burning the candle at both ends to satisfy us his avid fans? I sure hope so - I mean - what does he want - a life with family and friends or a life of writing slavery to satisfy us. LOL

Ed McBain (Evan Hunter)

This master of the police procedural has used many pen names, including Curt Cannon, Ezra Hannon, and Richard Marsten, but he is best known for his police novels written under the name Ed McBain.

As Ed McBain he's produced fifty 87th Precinct novels starting with COP HATER [1956] and his latest, number 50, THE LAST DANCE.

The first, "Cop Hater" (1956), introduced the famous members of the 87th precinct, set in the fictional city of Isola. Steve Carella, Meyer Meyer, Andy Parker, and the other hard-working precinct cops are usually seen tackling several cases simultaneously and have remained ageless over the course of four decades. This was necessary, according to McBain, because, he says, "If I hadn't done that, I'd now have a precinct of doddering old men." (Great Detectives)

His 87th Precinct police-procedural novels, have inspired not only innumerable tough-guy knockoffs, but also TV dramas such as Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, and The Shield.

McBain is the only American to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association's highest award. He also holds the Mystery Writers of America's coveted Grand Master Award. His books have sold over one hundred million copies worldwide, ranging from his first bestselling novel, THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, to the bestseller PRIVILEGED CONVERSATION, both written under his own name, Evan Hunter.

He also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. His most recent 87th Precinct novel was THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH. Hunter passed away at the age of 78, in July of 2005.

Lee Childs British Author of American Crime novels.

Lee Child is the author of over seven Jack Reacher thrillers. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry Awards for Best First Mystery.

One of hottest crime thriller writers today, with 14 million copies of his novels in print worldwide, published in nearly 30 languages.

Child's protagonist, Jack Reacher, is a kind of post-everything; he's post-modern, post-feminist. He takes it absolutely for granted that all people are equally deserving of respect, and also the flip side, that all people are equally deserving of condemnation if necessary.

He'll help a woman, he'll kill a woman, whatever. It's all the same to him.

Perhaps this century's version of a traditional archetype, a character who has been there forever: the mysterious stranger.

I can just imagine a (younger) Clint Eastwood playing him - Reacher is not quite Dirty Harry - but comes close.

They are good reads - he hasn't gotten formulaic - yet.

John Sandford

Sandford is the pseudonym of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp.

As such he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art.

From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels: the 18 Lucas Davenport “Prey” novels

Davenport is a police homicide detective who writes computer games in his spare time.

These books aren't for the weak-stomached, or easily offended... but I've never been able to put them down once I got started. The character development of Lucas Davenport through the series has been deftly done - and makes them well worth reading in sequence, if possible.

The novels incorporate a certain brilliance of characterization and , at times, frenetic pace ..... just the stuff we all look for in a good crime thriller.

His scenarios are imaginative, original and Sandford has avoided the formulaic and contrived as he has proceeded to deliver his books over a long series.

Well worth your time.

If you like a good fiction book based on crime and/or police procedurals, then you can’t go too far wrong with any of the following either:

John Connolly

Jeffrey Deaver

George Pelicanos

Martin Cruz Smith

Stephen J Cannell

Jonathan and Faye Kellerman

Linda Fairstein

They’re all good reads for lovers of good crime fiction novels

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