Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's Your Favorite Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Novel of All Time?

Please continue to enter The Rock Paper Tiger Chase/Action Writing Contest Extravaganza if you have not already! Be sure to do so in the official contest thread.

And as we continue in Rock Paper Tiger week (on sale now!), a very timely question: what is your favorite mystery/suspense/thriller novel of all time?

I was drawn to Rock Paper Tiger because it has incredible style and a very keen sense of place. And a lot of what I loved about it I also love about The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.

What's your favorite?






162 comments:

Mike Martin said...

MARATHON MAN, by William Goldman. His prose is out of this world - like holding a lightning storm in your hands.

Jen Forbus said...

My usual answer for this is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which I feel fits into this category. But for those who do not share that sentiment, the it is still L.A. REQUIEM by Robert Crais. He actually came close to topping himself with THE FIRST RULE, so that's a very close second.

Sarah Callejo said...

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. It was her debut novel, but what a start.

Marguerite Butler said...

Death in Kenya by M.M. Kaye

A romantic view of a world now gone. Plus the final showdown gives me chills.

Kay Bigelow said...

I'm going with a series rather than a single novel. Sorry. I couldn't choose amongst them. My fave is the Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd.

EC Sheedy said...

Definitely THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield. Stunning debut novel. I can't wait for her next book.

Alan Orloff said...

Absolute Power, by David Baldacci (I'm sure as soon as I hit enter, I'll think of another great one!)

Joyce said...

I SHALL NOT WANT by Julia Spencer-Fleming. Every book in this series is better than the previous one.

Torie underlines said...

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie.

And now, I really want to read The Thirteenth Tale, thanks to all these comments.

Joshua Peacock said...

I haven't read many, which will change, but The Bourne Identity is my favorite so far.

Terry Odell said...

I've read too many to narrow it down. Really enjoyed Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy for the blend of suspense, mystery and humor. But "all time?" Don't think I can pick one that won't be replaced with the next book I read (which is Storm Prey, by John Sanford)

Bill said...

Origin, by Diana Abu-Jaber. There's something about this story that engrosses me utterly. I've read it several times, and keep coming back to it.

WriterGirl said...

I like mysteries with a humorous bent like Stephanie Plum or Sookie Stackhouse. Cosies I suppose. I've really only read one straight mystery though, it was Hold Tight by Harlan Coben. I thought it was so boring!

sue laybourn said...

'Day of the Jackal' by Frederick Forsythe. Understated, suspenseful, Forsythe takes you into the Jackal's head.
Great book.

Sherry Chiger said...

THE FIEND IN HUMAN, by John MacLachlan Gray. What really sets it apart for me is the protagonist, one of the most hapless but soulful--and witty--characters I've come across.

Courtney said...

DiVinci Code.

That was the first book I read that made me want to try my hand at creative writing. It wasn't because (as Stephen King said) I thought I could do better-- but because it was such fun to read that I wanted to keep the fun going.

Justin Parente said...

First, Fight Club, followed by a close second, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Scott said...

The Name of the Rose by the incomparable Umberto Eco. Forza sprezzatura!

Virginia McGarity said...

With out a doubt, Cape Fear by John D. MacDonald which was originally titled The Executioners.

John C said...

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I was very thrilled to read it.

Phyllis said...

Rock Paper Tiger is compared to a Chandler novel? Wow, that's a recommendation. I'll be sure to get RPT on that word alone.

My favorite would be The Long Good-Bye, though. It seems more personal, to me, deeper, if you will.

Jeff Abbott said...

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. It's a masterclass in the balance between characterization, plot, and structure.

Mira said...

I like cozy mysteries, especially if they are amusing and have a fun central character. I always feel alittle guilty about the whole thing, because someone is usually murdered at the start of the book, and then I settle down for a nice read.

But, you know. It IS fictional. No one really died. I'm almost positive of that.

So, in terms of fast-paced action, I don't read many of those, but one I did read and loved, was the Da Vinci Code.

meg said...

one? One? ONE?

*grumble grumble*

Okay, I'll play... Follett's Eye of the Needle.

William said...

I'd have to say THE LOO SANCTION by Trevanian.

VR Barkowski said...

Mystery: A Place of Execution
Thriller: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Suspense: Shutter Island

Leis said...

As a kid I used to love Agatha Christie. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE stayed with me for several years.

Chandler's THE BIG SLEEP was a later fave -- as Chandler's work is still. And I also loved THE THIRTEENTH TALE.

Still waiting for ROCK PAPER TIGER to hit my local Borders... checked today but no joy. Takes them a couple extra months round here.

Steve Masover said...

I'm with Sue Laybourn -- Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsythe.

KaT said...

I think this technically falls under the category of horror, but the first thing that came to mind when I read this question was Bram Stoker's DRACULA. The part where Harker sees the Count crawl down the side of the castle made me throw my book across my bedroom. Fantastic!

D. G. Hudson said...

The 'Poirot' Mystery Series by Agatha Christie - any of them.

I also second the 'Name of the Rose' mentioned by Scott. Loved that one.

Raymond Chandler, and Elmore Leonard are on my list too.

Chuck H. said...

Gotta be THE EXORCIST. I read it during the night while on duty as a fire guard in a tent full of sleeping troops during a military exercise in Alaska. Scared the crap out of me.

Shon said...

Mystery/suspense/thriller of all time? I haven't read it yet. But I do love Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series and Karin Slaughter's Will Trent series.

Lisa said...

I'm tearing through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo right now. I love it and can't wait to get to the next two in the trilogy.

abc said...

The Historian. Does that count? Love that book.

Stacy McKitrick said...

That's such an unfair question to a bunch of readers! It's like asking who your favorite child is. You love them all, maybe differently, but love them none the less.

But since you asked the question, the only author that popped into my head (at the moment) is Meg Gardiner. I remember reading "China Lake" into the wee hours of the morning because I just couldn't put it down. I've loved all her books, too.

Nancy said...

Gotta be REBECCA by Daphne Du Maurier and also her HOUSE ON THE STRAND. I remember discovering Du Maurier on a camping vacation to the Adirondacks and Canada when I was about 13 years old. I read REBECCA by flashlight as I lay in my sleeping bag beside Lake Champlain--my sister ratted me out to my mom and she took the book and the flashlight and I didn't get it back until the next morning! I barely slept the whole night as I recreated the story in my head...

MJR said...

REBECCA Daphne DuMaurier (Gothic, suspense)

WHEN THE SACRED GIN MILL CLOSES Lawrence Block (mystery)

EYE OF THE NEEDLE, KEY TO REBECCA Ken Follett (thrillers)

probably lots and lots of others--just can't think of them right now...

Steppe said...

For a beach read I would recommend BROTHER ODD by Koontz. Fast moving light hearted with good showdown moments. Investigator must find and neutralize a mad scientist capable of tapping zero fields and creating soul less entities.
Longer and very well written is THE PROMETHIUS DECEPTION, by Ludlum; an elaborate tale of world conspiracy where ultra secret clandestine groups go rogue and rival with each other trapping the protagonist in between.

Steppe said...

Huge Ditto on: EYE OF THE NEEDLE.

patlaff said...

Watchmen.

Marilyn Peake said...

I’m thoroughly enjoying ROCK PAPER TIGER. The story moves along quickly, and Lisa’s insight into other cultures as well as our own culture is both sharp and intelligent.

As far as thrillers go, one of my favorites in addition to ROCK PAPER TIGER is the non-traditional thriller, HOUSE OF LEAVES. Love that book!

Yesterday, I was so busy, I didn’t realize your contest lasts until Thursday. I read the directions more carefully this morning. Loved the jokes you inserted into the directions. Especially loved: "Snarky comments, anonymous or otherwise, about entries, hobbits, ors, ents, or any other species from Tolkien's Middle Earth will be deleted faster than you can say Isengard." Also, loved the age requirement that no one older than 138 years old may enter.

Marilyn Peake said...

patlaff –

Oh my God, WATCHMEN. I love WATCHMEN – one of the best graphic novels ever! If graphic novels are included, I thought the MONSTER series by Naoki Urasawa was also really good.

Wildheit said...

Declare, by Tim Powers.

And yes, The Historian.

Kay said...

Any of the Lee Child Reacher novels.

Marilyn Peake said...

abc –

I loved THE HISTORIAN – an intelligent vampire story incredibly rich with description and the details of history and faraway places.

cwsherwoodedits said...

Rebecca for an older classic and
Presumed Innocent for a more recent.
(These were the first I thought of, but I agree with the poster about And Then There Were None. What a great book.)

Rick Daley said...

Glad I read the prior comments before adding my own $0.02, otherwise I would not have thought to include WATCHMEN.

DAVINCI CODE- Suspense. Many people love to hate it, but it kept me turning the pages.

WATCHMEN- Mystery. And so much more...

THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH- Thriller, medieval-style. Also my favorite novel of all-time.

tomaq said...

Old school: I'm now reading the complete Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I didn't think they would hold my interest straight through, but I've gone pretty much nonstop and I'm now on the last volume. (I'd read about half of them in high school.)

Harlan Ellison recommends (in the movie "Dreams with Sharp Teeth," I think) that writers do this for the value of storytelling logic. Though the plots are often preposterous, there are no superfluous details and no unmotivated action.

I came for that, but I've stayed for the mercurial character of Holmes, his always-evolving friendship with Watson, the wonderfully dismal Victorian setting, Doyle's direct-for-its-time no-nonsense prose style, and the breathless pace.

Kari said...

I have to say To Kill A Mockingbird. That was such an amazing book. (BUT if it doesn't count as a thriller/mystery, then I say Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. I don't actually read much of this genre so admittedly there isn't much for me to pick from...)

Sandy Shin said...

My favorite mystery novel is THE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE by Laurie R. King. I will admit to having a fond spot for Sherlock Holmes as well. :)

Nick said...

Oh, so many...

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd may be hard to appreciate now, but that twist in that time period? Astounding. Or if not Christie, Rankin has such beautifully dry, realistic writing. The C. Auguste Dupin stories get props not just because they are the origin of detective fiction, but because they are very good indeed (and would you expect any less from Poe?).

Mystery/crime/suspense/thriller is just great, man. I could never choose one favourite.

Beth S said...

Agatha Christie's TEN LITTLE INDIANS. No other author can write it like she did!

Dana Stabenow said...

Hands down, The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth. Edge of your seat narration from start to finish, with a true "WTF!!!" reveal at the end.

Mystery Robin said...

Is it cheating to say everything by Lee Child? If I must pick, it's Without Fail.

Kristi Helvig said...

The Historian.

Anonymous said...

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Erika Marks said...

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. Riveting.

David Thompson said...

Arguable that it's a "mystery/thriller," but mine's gotta be Jules Verne's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS! I reread it whenever I can.

Anonymous said...

Havana Bay by Martin Cruz Smith: a better sense of place than any book I've ever read in the genre, equal to Gorky Park in most other ways and with a better ending.

Anonymous said...

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton for best high concept idea ever. It was executed well too.

Fleur Bradley: said...

THE SAFE HOUSE by Nicci French

In YA, RAT LIFE by Tedd Arnold--brilliant YA crime fiction.

Nice thread, btw, found some good new books for the TBR pile.

Mira said...

Oh God, Chuck H., you're right. The Exorcist has to be one of the most scariest books ever written.

You know what else scared me to death? Stephen King's Salem's Lot. I literally could not sleep for a week; I thought a vampire was trying to get in my window.

Luc2 said...

A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene.

Jill said...

The Ghost by Robert Harris. The MC's actions felt believable, yet the novel remained extremely suspenseful.

I often get frustrated reading thrillers and suspense novels -- Why don't the MCs just leave/call the cops/ask the guy over there what's going on/whatever? I know the answer is that otherwise, there's no suspense. But it's nice when an author can craft a tale that doesn't strain credibility or break suspense.

Naomi Johnson said...

On any given day my answer will differ. Today my answer is Jim Thompson's THE KILLER INSIDE ME.

Clarity said...

"The 39 Steps" by John Buchan, good rollicking English. Keeps the pace well, the hero smooth and the mystery, positively fiendish.

K Simmons said...

Definitely Rebecca.

Ironically, I considered picking up The Thirteenth Tale and Eye of the Rose at the B&N yesterday. I held off (budgetary constraints and a pile of unread books three feet high next to my bed), but I'll have to put them on my list.

Sissy said...

I'm with Mystery Robin. Anything by Lee Child, but his first one is amazing. The Killing Floor is at the top of my list... I learned so much AND I was entertained!

DG said...

Deception Point - Dan Brown

Michael Pickett said...

Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane

I think that it applies and I think that it's a great book.

Alyson said...

This is usually where I pitch TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD but it's something much more to me than a mystery/thriller. I'd have to hand that to Christopher Priest's THE PRESTIGE, one of the most devilishly tricky novels I've ever had the privilege to read. <3

Becca said...

I always tell people my favorite author is Lois Duncan because of her suspense novels. To pick one would be really impossible, especially since I'm rushing this comment out before I have to head out the door.

SquirlGirl said...

I instantly thought of REBECCA by Daphne DuMaurier.

J. R. McLemore said...

Silence of the Lambs was my favorite until I read No Country For Old Men. I've mainly read more southern gothic and horror novels than I have mystery/suspense/thrillers, but I've got plenty of Raymond Chandler, George V. Higgins, Elmore Leonard, and Agatha Christie waiting for me in my reading queue. I can't wait to get to them!

The Red Angel said...

Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. :) Couldn't stop reading, ahh it's soo good.

Anonymous said...

Shibumi by Trevanian

Kyla said...

I haven't read too many, I admit, but I loved The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. His 11-year-old aspiring chemist protagonist is a hoot.

robin said...

I'm a huge Michael Crichton fan (for thrillers), with my favorite being PREY. As far as suspense goes, I like romantic suspense, and both HUNGER GAMES (Collins) and COVER OF NIGHT (Howard) are favorites.

Alyssa said...

Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard!

I devoured it in a matter of hours, which was time spent shrieking; murmuring the chilly jewel-like dialogue so I wouldn't forget it; holding my breath; gasping; and biting my lip till it hurt. The writing in this novel is both spare and luminous. It is gorgeous and not one word is out of place or misused, and the story is incredible.

Terry Stonecrop said...

I'm tied between Chandler's, The Long Goodbye and Ross Macdonald's, The Wycherly Woman.

Now I have to get The Rock Paper Tiger, if it's compared to The Big Sleep.

Anonymous said...

Here's an unrelated question. How many new novels are released each week in comparison to new movies and video games? Seriously. That would be a barometer on the state of fiction these days.

Kate said...

I guess I don't read mysteries/thrillers that often! I am however going to read Rock, Paper, Tiger. I read the first few pages on Amazon and I could hardly click "buy" fast enough.

I do remember needing the lights on, preferably SUN light, while reading Beloved. Creepy.

Kate said...

I don't know what I was thinking. NCFOM. Hello.

Also, Blood Meridian. The Judge is one scary mo-fo.

Robert Michael said...

MYSTERY by Peter Straub was a guilty pleasure read and my wife devoured it--she usually takes months to read a book and she finished it in a weekend. She laid in bed for hours and I would come in and bring her food and ask her "How's it going?" She would shush me and say, "Quiet. I'm at a good part."

This was fifteen years ago while she was pregnant with our third child. We still talk about the book today.

From a purely thriller standpoint: give me Follet and Ludlum or Stephen Hunter. Suspense: King, Le Carre or Rice.

Rollie Raleigh said...

A broad Classification/Categorization compels me to cheat.

Thriller – The Day of the Jackal / The Andromeda Strain

Individual Suspense – The Long Goodbye / The Spy who came in from the Cold.

Collective Suspense – On the Beach / The Day of the Triffids

Just Mystery – And then there were none


And these just edge out dozens of other great mystery/thriller/suspense novels I've read.

Anonymous said...

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John LeCarre.

(Only one previous mention of LeCarre, really? There's an argument to be made based on his early work that he is the best living writer in English, genre be damned.)

Dave F. said...

The Name Of The Rose
by Umberto Eco...

PicardyRose said...

REBECCA.I was horrified. Tied for second: MR. TIMOTHY -- remember when he was climbing up that building and he's Charles Dickens' Tiny Tim so he's not exactly Jason Bourne and it was Christmas Eve so everything was all icy? -- and BURY ME DEEP by Megan Abbott, most of which I read with my jaw dropped.

Anonymous said...

Odds Against, Dick Francis.

Jamesmcshane said...

Any of the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child. especially Persuader.

Judith Mercado said...

LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo. Yeah, the choice surprised me too, but it's what came to mind immediately in response to your question.

Marian Allen said...

I agree with one of the anonymouses: THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett is my all-time favorite mystery. The convoluted plot, believably twisted characters and the quintessential hard-boiled hero, Sam Spade, make FALCON a feast to read and re-read.

I also love all of Michael Z. Lewin's mysteries, though his heroes and heroines tend to be medium-boiled at most.

Oh, and I've named my sleep apnea machine Raymond Chandler. What else COULD I call it, really?

Mel Skinner said...

Difficult question. The one that stays with me...

"The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris.

AndrewDugas said...

Ghost Story, by Peter Straub

WARNING: Do not read this book late at night when you're alone in the house.

Elie said...

Was Rebecca (also liked Maigret & Cadfael) but now - Maximum Ride ..!

Clare WB said...

Rebecca, The Name of the Rose, Presumed Innocent, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre,The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and just about any mystery written by a good writer I guess!

Robin Constantine said...

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW by Allan R. Folsom. I literally could not put it down, great page turner.

Lia Keyes said...

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
The Name of the Rose by Eco
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Magdalena Munro said...

Grendel by John Gardner. It's a retelling of Beowulf from Grendel's point of view and boy oh boy was it thrilling and haunting for me to read. By the way, Nathan, hats off to you for a rather superb job marketing Rock Paper Tiger.

wendy said...

Congratulations, Lisa! This is an exciting week for you. I hope Rock Paper Tiger does extremely well. Sounds like it deserves to.

I was puzzling over the answer to the question posed by Nathan when I read another post favouring The Exorcist. It never occurred that this book fitted the mystery/suspense/thriller category, but you could call it a supernatural thriller. In that case I'd have to agree this one is my favourite. I didn't appreciate its strengths when I read it in the 70's, because I was so frightened. But that shows the power of the story, the believability of the characters, and the excellence of the prose.

ryan field said...

Maltese Falcon.

Irene said...

I just read a presidential thriller--with vampires--BLOOD OATH. I'm not into vampires (yes, I know...I'm the only one in the country no into vampires!) so I didn't think I'd like it but, surprise, I was totally into the story very quickly and could hardly put it down. Christopher Farnsworth is the author. My interview with him is on my KBCO blog.
www.kbco.com/pages/focus.html

vonnegutfan said...

Oh yes - definitely The murder of Roger Akroyd by Agatha Christie. Best example of a classic British "whodunnit".

Ezmirelda said...

Everything written by Christopher Pike is pretty darn good. He's one ofmy favorite authors of all time.

Alex said...

I'll go with SHOOTING AT MIDNIGHT by Greg Rucka.

Chassily Wakefield said...

It's so hard to give one answer to these questions! The first one that occurred to me was Silence of the Lambs, so I'll go with that.

And Patricia Cornwell's older stuff. Anything by King and Koontz, if we can edge over the horror line. Agatha Christie. Did I promise to leave just one answer?

What I love about the "You Tell Me" days is adding to my TBR list. My husband is less a fan of this feature. He keeps blathering something about the Leaning Tower in our room, our dwindling checking account and the possibility of a 12-step program, but I can't hear him clearly over the rustle of turning pages.

Backfence said...

THE EXILE by Allan Folsom (not to be confused with EXILE by Richard North Patterson, which, come to think of it, was pretty doggone suspenseful and thrilling also).

RLS said...

I don't read the genre much because when I do, I neglect my kids. That said, I loved MY SISTER'S KEEPER (though I feel unliterary saying so) and THE FIRM.
As a kid, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. Incest and teens murdering each other. Hoo Yeah

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

Oh man, how to choose?

Pure mysteries: Agatha Christie (take your pick: Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Ten Little Indians, Murder on the Orient Express)

Historical mysteries: a duel between Eco's The Name of the Rose and Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost

Philosophical mystery/suspense: G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

Mystery Thrillers: Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane, The Big Gold Dream, by Chester Himes, and A Place of Execution was pretty good, too.

Literary Thriller: No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy.

Laura Pauling said...

I can't say I have just one. But the one that I've reread the most times is If Tomorrow Comes by Sydney Sheldon. It could also be due to the unfair imprisonment/get revenge plot that I love too! So, I guess I'd have to say Count of Monte Cristo too.

Jabez said...

THE LONG GOODBYE, by Raymond Chandler. My favorite by one of the all-time greats.

Jenny said...

Children of Men (or anything by PD James), Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Chritie, and I really enjoyed Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.

Gregg Podolski said...

I have a feeling that NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN will hold this title...once I actually get around to reading it. For now, though, CUJO--Stephen King's version of MARLEY AND ME--stands as the most suspenseful book I've ever read. Even more so now that I'm a parent. That entire stretch in the car is on a whole other level of brutal now.

ibisbill said...

THE HOUND OF BASKERVILLE by Dr. John Watson. The only time in my life that I felt my hair physically standing on end.

Beth Terrell said...

THE COLLECTOR, by John Fowles. I've heard that the FBI uses it--or once used it--at Quantico to illustrate the psychology of an emerging serial killer. It's a fairly quiet book, but chilling.

A close second is THE OTHER, by Tom Tryon, though I haven't read it in years, so I don't know if it holds up over time.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD may be the most perfect book ever written, so I give it a category of its own.

Bonnie said...

Day of the Jackal
Other good ones:
The Dragon Tattoo trilogy
Postmortem by P Cornwell
The Laura Joh Rowland series

Karen_st_louis said...

THE NINE TAILORS, by Dorothy Sayers. Love that book.

Sally Jo said...

Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwartz. Haunting and suspenseful.

Megan said...

While I do love The Big Sleep, I have to go with The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett on this one.

j said...

That would have to be something by Harlan Coben. Probably Tell No One. I love that I can never predict the twist at the end of the story even though I know one's coming.

Francis said...

I really loved the first Bourne by Ludlum. Couldn't stop reading it

Marjorie said...

Nancy Drew, The Clue in the Locket

Fat Bastard said...

Besides Raymond Chandler's hardboiled vintage detective novels, I'm a fan of Jack Vance's The Dying Earth series. His trenchant wit is unparalleled.

Nancy said...

Murder on the Orient Express or The Thirteenth Tale. The Name of the Rose is on my TBR pile, and judging from the comments here I'll definitely enjoy it.

Charmaine Clancy said...

My fav thriller is Val McDermid's The Mermaid Singing. I loved how the life of the MC and the Killer paralleled and the way gender was salient in this book.

veryhighbrow said...

I don't know if this fits the genre, but it kept me up pretty late: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon!

Amorena Nobile said...

The Mystery/Suspense/Thriller genre is not generally one I look in to much. I did just finish reading a wonderful sci-fi young adult thriller series called DRAGONBACK by Timothy Zahn, though.

Troy Masters said...

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. This got me started on such a Le Carre kick that 10 novels later I feel like I have to ration his remaining ones -- I only read one every several novels. I'm terrified I've already used up all the good ones. Can anyone recommend similar authors? Based on some recommendations I've read The Company by Robert Littell (which was excellent) and Agents of Innocence by David Ignatius (not so much). I was never a fan of the spy genre before reading him either.

Usman said...

John Le Carre, is the best.

Literary Suspense have to go with Pamuks's MY NAME IS RED
and
Vikram Chandra's SACRED GAMES.

Simon Haynes said...

Agatha Christie - The Big Four

I liked most of her books but this one was very special.

Kendall Hanson said...

Gorky Park. Great sense of place and pace. Amazingly complicated protagonist and antagonist. Timely against the world stage, but ages well also. Skillful plotting turned mystery into thriller.

Nato said...

THE KILLER INSIDE ME, by Jim Thompson. Skin-crawlingly nasty, but an absolutely jaw-dropping use of an unreliable narrator.

Jude Hardin said...

The Silence of the Lambs.

Tamara Narayan said...

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Great book and it made an intense, unforgettable movie.

Susan said...

The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan. I usually can guess
what's going to happen early on in a story but this one had me continually searching. The climax, when the Dr. discovers he's one of the dead people his child patient can see is almost as shocking as one of my blind dates from my past!

Lisa R said...

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

Hands down. That book took my breath away. I can't believe what she did in that book.

Close seconds are:

The Sculptress by Minnette Walters
Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
Tell No One by Harlan Coben
See Jane Run by Joy Fielding

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Isa Kaufmann said...
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EmmaK said...

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. I can read that book over and over - what a delightful protaganist - a sophisticated sociopath, in the closet gay with the beautiful wife and selection of fine wines living the good life in rural France. Magnifique!

SlowRain said...

"Smiley's People" by John le Carré

stacy said...

THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD. Great read.

Leis said...

Ditto for Cormac McCarthy's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, which I'm studying right now. Though I enjoyed his THE ROAD much, much, immensely more.

Ted said...

REBECCA - DuMaurier
DAY OF THE JACKAL - Forsyth
LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL - LeCarre

and if screenplays count, WAIT UNTIL DARK by Frederick Knott. If you haven't seen it, rent the 1967 movie starring Audrey Hepburn as the blind protagonist... incredible suspense!

Pete Miller said...

The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth. But that may have something to do with the lead character's name.

Sangay Glass said...

And Then There Were None, a mystery by Agatha Christie

Clever, clever, clever!

Becca said...

The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard. And to boot, the Author is a real sweetheart. (This didn't sway my opinion--I found out what a sweetheart she was AFTER I'd read her book. It was the first time I loved a novel so much I had to write the Author, and that's when I found out how awesome she is as a person as well as an author.)

Kaitlyne said...

Hm...something by Dean Koontz. I'd probably have to go with Dark Rivers of the Heart as I've reread it more than any of the others. It had suspense, action, humor, a nice doggie, a hint of romance, and it was a book that reads quite differently when you read it more than once. It's not my favorite book of all time, but if we were going for suspense, it's up there. :)

Mark said...

In my frenzy to finish and get posted in time, I reposted.

My apologies.

A Paperback Writer said...

The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

jc said...

I was going for Marathon Man and saw that Mike Martin cited it in the first comment. One great thing about this book: it could only be a book (okay, the movie is pretty great, too, but he hides a twist in the book that is very clever and only works in prose).

Jaime said...

TELL NO ONE by Harlan Coben. I could read it in one sitting, such a page turner.

Emily Morganson said...

THR3E by Ted Dekker. I couldn't guess the ending, not by far, and that is quite an accomplishment by the author.

Christina said...

REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier. A classic, but SO good. I always thought that Mrs. Danvers was in love with her late mistress. She was so creepy about the way she would describe her.

Marjorie said...

The best suspense thrillers of all time are in the "film noir" collection of my new blog:

marjorie-cartoons.blogspot.com

This blog is da shiznit!

Lyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyn said...

Sorry. Found a typo.
Hammett's RED HARVEST. Bradbury's THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. Lately, one book that just sticks with me is Robert Doherty's LOST GIRLS, which is kind of a sequel to BODYGUARD OF LIES, but different, too.

Currently reading THE HOUSE ON THE STRAND, and if you can get past the first 130 pages, which are boring to the point of restless tears, it does pick up a bit. We'll see. But I'm not impressed with it at all.

HistorySleuth said...

REBECCA by Daphne DuMaurier is my favorite.

MB Dabney said...

TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY by John LeCarre. George Smiley was wonderfully written and was, at the time, quite atypical of fictional spies. He was brilliant, of coruse, but also fat and middle-aged. And he had one major flaw -- he loved his indiscreet wife.
I read the book again every couple of years.

Jonathan_Priest said...

Just ploughed through The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and found it a great disappointment compared to the glowing reviews it received here. Nicely written and helpful as a guide to style but I didn't believe the premise, the characters or their bizarre development. The author did a great job removing any hint of passion, let alone sex.

Ahsan Ali said...

Wow, so many great recommendations.

Any who hasn't read The Count of Monte Cristo, well, that's what a thriller is!

I'd also add james meek's "the people's act of love"

Becky said...

Becky
My favorite is Without Mercy By Lisa Jackson. Once, I started reading it. I couldn't put it down. I hope, there's another part to the story.

Anonymous said...

Mo Hayder's 'The Devil of Nanking' also titled 'Tokyo',It's disturbing and stays with you long after reading.

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