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Tag Archive for ‘thriller’

A spy story that will keep you guessing

The Travelers: A Novel, by Chris Pavone @@@@@ (5 out of 5) In his third novel, The Travelers, Chris Pavone weaves a tale so baffling that you’re likely to be shocked again and again as the truth at the heart of the story gradually floats to the surface. Once again, as in his previous books,… Read More ›

Going undercover for the CIA in ISIS

The Prisoner (John Wells #11), by Alex Berenson @@@@@ (5 out of 5) To uncover the identity of a mole in the CIA, John Wells must go undercover again. A long time earlier, he had spent years with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the time, he was the CIA’s only source of first-hand… Read More ›

48 excellent mystery and thriller series

Two years ago I posted a list of my 36 favorite mystery and thriller series. What follows is an updated version of that list. I’ve made several changes in my Top 10 list. I’ve also added 12 titles—and demoted a few to a new category of “Not-so-great series.” Unless you’re a devoted fan of the… Read More ›

The first in a series of great detective novels

Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus #1), by Ian Rankin @@@@@ (5 out of 5) John Rebus makes his debut as a Detective Sergeant in the Edinburgh police in Knots and Crosses. He’s been on the force for fifteen years following a decorated career in the British Army and, for a time, in the original special… Read More ›

The joy of San Francisco noir

Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy #1), by John Lescroart @@@@@ (5 out of 5) San Francisco bartender Dismas Hardy was briefly a patrol officer in the SFPD while he worked toward a law degree. He left the law shortly after the death of an infant son and divorce from his wife. But when his boss and… Read More ›

The original hard-boiled detective?

Red Harvest (Continental Op #1), by Dashiell Hammett @@@@ (4 out of 5) Maybe he wasn’t the original hard-boiled detective. But he was certainly among the first. His creator, Dashiell Hammett, called him “the Continental op.” And the New York Times termed Hammett “the dean of the… ‘hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction” in its obituary… Read More ›

A captivating tale of religious fanaticism, blackmail, and serial murder

A Conspiracy of Faith (Department Q #3), by Jussi Adler-Olsen @@@@@ (5 out of 5) The bestselling Danish thriller writer Jussi Adler-Olsen ranks among Scandinavia’s very best literary exports. A Conspiracy of Faith, the third entry in his Department Q series of detective novels,  matches the first two books in suspense, intensity, and complexity. It’s… Read More ›

The true story of a lost city in Central America

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, by Douglas Preston @@@@ (4 out of 5) In 2015, an expedition led by an American filmmaker ventured deep into the Honduran rain forest in search of a fabled ancient city known variously as The White City and The Lost City of the Monkey God…. Read More ›

It’s hard to beat this political thriller

Briarpatch, by Ross Thomas @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Ross Thomas‘ first novel, The Cold War Swap, was published in 1967. It won the Edgar Allen Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best first novel of that year. As the crime writer Lawrence Block relates in his introduction to the Kindle… Read More ›

Another complex Scandinavian thriller

The Stonecutter (Fjällbacka #3), by Camilla Läckberg @@@@ (4 out of 5) Camilla Läckberg is Sweden’s best-selling native author, and it’s not difficult to understand why. The series of detective novels she has set in the small seaside town of Fjällbacka features complex plots and three-dimensional characters — lots of them. The Stonecutter, the third… Read More ›