It's hard to keep up with all the good books that come out. Some of the real gems inevitably end up falling through the cracks. So here's a list of ten books that I recommend to you, just in case you missed them.
Lawrence Block - When the Sacred Ginmill Closes
Lawrence Block has written so many great books that it's hard to single out just one. But this one, a flashback in the Matt Scudder series, has remained with me of the years probably more than the others. The writing and plotting are both so damn beautiful.
Michael Connelly - The Black Echo
You can see the foundation for Michael Connelly's whole body of work laid out right there in his first novel. From the beginning, he was firing on all cylinders, with his protagonist, his voice, and his themes all in place. Brilliant writer.
Joseph Finder - Killer Instinct
Joseph Finder is one of today's top writers of thrillers. He has the story sense, the smarts, the writing chops to bring it all together. This book from 2006 is one of my favorite thrillers of the past decade.
Lisa Gardner - The Neighbor
Lisa Gardner started out writing category romances and now writes taut, engaging thrillers. This is one of my favorites, a hard-edged and gritty story about the darkness that sometimes lies beneath a cheerful domestic facade.
Thomas Harris - Red Dragon
Do you ever read a book, and as soon as you're finished, you want to grab the next person you see and demand that they read it, too? This is one of those books. The Silence of the Lambs is the better known Hannibal Lecter story, but this is the better book.
Laura Lippman - Every Secret Thing
This was Laura Lippman's breakout novel, the one that put her on the path towards literary superstardom. It's a powerful, wrenching story of suspense, as the legacy of the death of a baby at the hands of two preteen girls comes to bear on life in the present.
Thomas Perry - The Butcher's Boy
Can an author be a bestseller and award-winner and still be underrated? Yep. Witness Thomas Perry. He is an amazing writer who deserves to be read by anyone who loves a good suspense story. This was his first, and is still one of his best.
Daniel Silva - The Messenger
Daniel Silva's series featuring Israeli spy-art restorer Gabriel Allon is one of my favorites. The books are smart and suspenseful, filled with great action, international locales, and contemporary political topics. This is one of my favorites in the series, but they're all good.
Karin Slaughter - Undone
Karin Slaughter's work isn't always easy to read. Her books are dark and troubling, and her stories really put her characters to the test. But if you like a walk on the dark side, this is one of her best.
Ross Thomas - Chinaman's Chance
Probably my favorite book by my favorite author. A vastly entertaining story of con men working a job in a corrupt Southern California town. This is the book I selected and wrote about for Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads.
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