Looking for thriller novels

I’ve recently been reading a lot more. I enjoy many genres, but I’ve noticed lately that I’m burnt out on many of my favorite thriller authors. So I’m looking for suggestions and recommendations on authors and/or titles I should try.

I very rarely read straight mysteries (Sue Grafton is one of the only series I enjoy). I like medical thrillers, detective thrillers, and the occasional lawyer/law-centric thriller. One of my favorite TV shows is Criminal Minds - I like the profiling aspect of it, so books along the same vein would be great.

Authors I enjoy:
-Harlan Coben (both stand-alone and the Myron Bolitar series)
-Thomas Harris (well, his earlier stuff…Red Dragon is an old favorite)
-Greg Iles
-Thomas Cook
-Jason Pinter

Authors I’ve enjoyed in the past but have gotten tired of:
-Jonathan Kellerman
-Stephen White
-John Lescroart
-John Grisham

Ideas would be much appreciated!

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth is a classic of the genre.

Ken Follett’s written some good thrillers. Personally, I’d recommend his earlier works like The Key to Rebecca, Eye of the Needle, or Triple.

You might try David Wiltes

Also The Prey series but John Sandford. (Start with Rules of Prey. They did get redundant eventually though, and I stopped reading them.)

There is one more author I want to recommend, but I’ll have to search my book shelf.

Turns out I didn’t have to search long. Have a look at Cody McFadyen

A slightly different type would be Last Call, by Tim Powers. It’s a supernatural conspiracy thriller, only awesome.


Anything written by Frederick Forsyth is well worth your time- he’s one of my favourite authors.

Robert Harris has written some excellent thrillers as well- check out Pompeii, Archangel, and The Ghost.

John Le Carre’s The Tailor of Panama was turned into a very good film starring Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush, and the film was- incredibly- every bit as good as the book.

Some of the early Clive Cussler stuff (Sahara, Raise The Titanic, Mayday!, Vixen 03, etc) is also very good, but later on it got a bit… Not Very Good.

Dick Francis is my favorite thriller writer.

I also like Clinton McKinzie’s books.

Some new names for me - I’m making my library list now. Thank you!

Alistair MacLean lost it about the time of The Way to Dusty Death but the novels prior to that are good. Fear is the Key is my favorite. Ice Station Zebra, Night Without End, The Dark Crusader (AKA The Black Shrike) and The Secret Ways are outstanding.

Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter is easily one of the best thrillers ever written. (Just forget that it was made into a lousy movie called Shooter with Mark Wahlberg!)

Also, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith is just out in paperback. It’s an excellent serial-killer tale set in Stalinist Russia.

Nelson DeMille has written some of my favorite thrillers, particularly:

Plum Island, The Lion’s Game, Night Fall, and Wild Fire. Great prose style and an excellent sense of humor. He just knows how to keep you glued to the page.

Jeffery Deaver has written some very enjoyable thrillers, one I read recently was The Sleeping Doll. Good stuff.

Michael Connelly is a master. Void Moon is my favorite, but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

Robert Crais has written some awesome detective thrillers. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are great recurring characters.

The Eight by Katherine Neville is one of my all-time favorite books: chess, history and mysticism all rolled up together in a thriller that never gets boring. I wish Dan Brown could have written a book one tenth as good.

Another vote for early Clive Cussler, especially Raise the Titanic! and Vixen 03, and for Ken Follett, especially for The Eye of the Needle, and for Robert Harris’s Fatherland. Len Deighton’s SS-GB, about Britain under Nazi occupation, is also very good.

Jack Higgins’s The Eagle Has Landed, about a Nazi plot to kidnap Churchill, is terrific. His other stuff is, IMHO, teh suck.

Want a good cloning thriller? I’ll give you two: Joshua Son of None by Nancy Freedman is about cloning a murdered President who sounds an awful lot like (but is never actually named as) John F. Kennedy. Ira Levin’s The Boys from Brazil is about Dr. Mengele’s just-crazy-enough-it-might-work plot to clone Hitler.

Joe Haldeman has written two great sf thrillers. All My Sins Remembered is about an interstellar spy in the distant future who begins to lose his mind because of personality overlays from far too many missions. Tool of the Trade is about a Soviet mole deep under cover in American academia in the mid-1980s who discovers a practical means of mind control… and decides to use it for his own purposes. I re-read it every few years, it’s just that good!

Robin Cook is the king of medical thrillers. He is great.

James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels are outstanding.

Lee Child - Reacher stories

And Dick Francis, of course.

Maybe you would enjoy the books by Mary Higgins Clark.

Also, another vote for Ira Levin.

I couldn’t recommend The Phantom of Manhattan if you put a gun to my head.

Another vote for Ira Levin. Andrew Vachss & Kinky Friedman are good, if different. And Ed McBain.

In addition to the two you mentioned, Buying Time and Worlds would also qualify as SF thrillers.

Vince Flynn

and, they have been mentioned: Nelson Demille and Michael Connolly.

I like Jefferson Bass, I think he only has 4 books so far. (Well, they, as Jefferson Bass is actually two people - William Bass & Jon Jefferson. Bass is a forensic anthropologist and the creator of Tennessee’s Body Farm and his lead character is based on himself.)

I loved the premise and the characters of Buying Time, but thought he badly stumbled with the ending. (Sometimes Haldeman just has a problem with endings). Worlds doesn’t really fit into the thriller mold, IMHO - it’s more of a

coming-of-age story with a near-apocalyptic backdrop,

I’d say.

I’ll second Dick Francis and Lee Child.

I’ll add Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko novels: Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay, * and * Wolves Eat Dogs. They are very atmospheric about Soviet and post-Soviet Russia and are great crime thrillers. His recent *December 6th/Tokyo Station * about an American hustler in Japan at the eve of Pearl Harbor is also recommended.