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Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:01 am UTC
by Alder
I wanted to call this "It is a capital mistake to theorise without data" as it's my favourite Sherlock Holmes quote, but thought it wasn't clear enough. :D

Anyway, by far the most books that I own are either straight crime novels, or thrillers that usually involve crime. In fact, I've started to say that I collect early 20th century crime fiction, since several of the authors I'm particularly fond of date to the 1930s, though most continued writing up till the 60s and 70s.

I love some of these early writers, like Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L. Sayers, who wrote tight, tidy stories, often their books seemed like a novel that happened to have a murder, rather than, say Agatha Christie, who tends to be all plot and no substance. Gladys Mitchell, who is unfortunately out of print at the moment, had a main character who was a psychologist, which gives them a modern edge, while they still seem to suit the time where they were written. (The BBC did some truly rotten adaptions of some of her books, with Diana Rigg as the main character. Not the most obvious casting for someone described as yellow-skinned and a bit like a crocodile...)
On the American side, same time period, I've read Ellery Queen and Erle Stanley Gardner, but my all time favourite has to be Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels. They're a pretty common choice for sticking in my bag when I'm going to be waiting somewhere - immensely re-readable books.

Leaping forward to the present day, there are a few authors whose books I'm always 'waiting' for. Lindsay Davis, whose 'Falco' books are set in ancient Rome, and manage to be informative and funny, always a good thing. Anne Perry has two series' set in early and late Victorian times. (She was also involved in a murder herself as a teen, something I only found out this year :shock: )
And over the Atlantic, Harlan Coben writes old-style ripping yarns - though the last couple have not been as strong as his first ones. Sue Grafton has a series that started out being written in the present day, but which is now still stuck in the late '80s. And I'm particularly fond of Jeffrey Deaver, who seems to move from the Lincoln Rhyme series to stand alone thrillers with ease. No matter how much I think I've worked out what's going on, there's always one twist I didn't anticipate...

Does anyone else enjoy the genre? I'm always on the lookout for new authors...

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:07 am UTC
by Flying Betty
I always forget that I like mysteries until I happen to pick one up and find myself finishing it without stopping.

Have you read any Elizabeth Peters? She writes mysteries centered around Egyptology in (I think) the late 1800s.

In a completely different vein, I also enjoy Donna Andrews for hilarious modern day mysteries.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:46 am UTC
by Amarantha
I was never much of a crime reader (except for the marvellous Kinky Friedman), but a bloke at work has about a million books, many of which are detectivey ones. He got me reading Sarah Caudwell, who tragically only wrote four books before her death. I also read a bunch of Holmes stuff recently.

If I remember any of the other ones this bloke lent me, I'll post 'em.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:29 am UTC
by Malice
I'm a big fan of Michael Connelly. He's nothing fancy, but if I want to read a book knowing I won't put it down, he's my man. Good characters, good plots, excellent details (they're procedurals), a healthy respect for the twist... A recurring character that he's stuck with through decades, as well as other side-series (which usually begin as one-offs and end up tied into his main character's life). One of the things I admire most about him is his ability to take a very high-concept plot and sell it by arriving at it rather than beginning with it. Some generic but promising conflict, like, "A cop has to investigate a crime... that his ex-wife may have committed", but rather than just hitting the ground with that, he takes time to introduce the characters and lead you gently into the situation before you realize the concept a third or even half-way through the book. So you get there and think, "Holy shit, Barbara may have committed the crime Jim is investigating," and it really helps to invest you.

I'm currently listening to Holmes on tape whenever I get a chance. Anybody who thinks the stories got worse after his "death" needs to go reread "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton", which is one of the finest in the canon.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:56 am UTC
by Alder
Malice wrote:I'm a big fan of Michael Connelly... One of the things I admire most about him is his ability to take a very high-concept plot and sell it by arriving at it rather than beginning with it...he takes time to introduce the characters and lead you gently into the situation before you realize the concept a third or even half-way through the book. So you get there and think, "Holy shit, Barbara may have committed the crime Jim is investigating," and it really helps to invest you.
Yup, Michael Connelly recently got promoted to the bookcase (I'm running out of shelf space...) for just those reasons. I plan at some point to sit down and read the Harry Bosch novels in order though, since I picked them up second hand I've just read them as I came across them, so I'm always slightly confused.
Malice wrote:I'm currently listening to Holmes on tape whenever I get a chance. Anybody who thinks the stories got worse after his "death" needs to go reread "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton", which is one of the finest in the canon.
That's one of my favourites... I think "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" was my first introduction to codes, as well.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:58 pm UTC
by OmenPigeon
Malice wrote:I'm currently listening to Holmes on tape whenever I get a chance. Anybody who thinks the stories got worse after his "death" needs to go reread "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton", which is one of the finest in the canon.

I had a few tapes of the old radio show with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce when I was young, and I listened to them over and over. They're stuck so deep in my hindbrain that I get confused if I hear someone saying Holmes' lines besides Rathbone.

I... I have to go find digital copies of these now. Nostalgia awaits.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:15 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
This thread is so old I suspect it was a government cover-up!
Who else likes Lee Child? Steve Hamilton? Chelsea Cain?
Do you want to be able to figure out who the bad guy is, or do you like it to be a surprise? Speak up, the suspense is killing me!

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:21 pm UTC
by Alder
I forgot I even started this thread...

I've never heard of Steve Hamilton or Chelsea Cain, I'll have to look them up. I have the first two Lee Childs books sitting in my room waiting to try, but someone told me the main character reminded them of John Casey from Chuck, and I don't know whether I think that's a good thing or a bad thing, so I've been reluctant to start them.

I like it when the *information* is there to be able to work out who the bad guy is, even if I don't spot it all the first time through. I really dislike it when someone has been set up as a good/likeable character all the way through and then "Hahaha! Actually they're the villain!" That's just annoying...

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:54 am UTC
by Jesse
I'm a big fan of Jeffery Deaver, especially his Lincoln Rhyme series.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:58 am UTC
by semicharmed
Jeffery Deaver, especially the Lincoln Rhyme books.

Also, I really enjoy the Preston/Child Pendergast books. Really enjoy. Nice and twisted, but also pretty meaty. My problem with most crime/thrillers is that I can read them in a few hours. So most of them are library books, since I can't justify buying them when I read them so fast.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:21 am UTC
by PAstrychef
Last year I kept a list. I read 352 books. If I had to own that many I would be broke and living in a house built of books. So most of my reads are library books.
Other favorite genre authors:
Robert Crais
Dana Stabenow
John Sandford
Eliot Pattison
Nick Stone
Stella Rimington

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:18 pm UTC
by semicharmed
PAstrychef wrote:Last year I kept a list. I read 352 books. If I had to own that many I would be broke and living in a house built of books. So most of my reads are library books.


Damn. And you do all that awesome-sounding cooking too. And "living in a house made of books" sounds amazing. I one day want a house with proper bookshelves and a ladder. My library does awesome $0.05 sales, and I used to raid the giveaway bins at college, and books and yarn are two things I could easily blow all my disposable income on.

I also need to find a way to get my hands on more Peter Robinson, I won a copy of Bad Boy recently and really enjoyed it. But English books are hard to come by here and I really don't like torrenting books unless I already own a hard copy.

I find I like British crime/thriller authors better than their American counterparts. I'm thinking of one author in particular who name is totally escaping me, at the moment.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:05 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
About half-way through the latest Thomas Perry novel. The Butcher's Boy is back, older and still just trying to be left alone. Perry also wrote the wonderful Jane Whitefield series.
Made my way through Sixkill, one of the posthumous Robert Parker Spenser stories. Man, they padded thoe later ones of that set out like a high school senior's book report. Wide margins, wide line spacing, heavy paper, short sentences all on separate lines-the whole thing was about 75 pages dressed up like 200.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:26 am UTC
by PAstrychef
Been having a fine time with Deon Meyers' newest Trackers. He's South African and writes in Afrikaans. There's always plenty of action and great characters. In this one there is Rhino smuggling, diamonds, terrorists ( what modern thriller can do without them?), and confused Intelligence operatives. Well worth checking out of the library.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:23 pm UTC
by The Moomin
Up until a few years ago, the only crime novels I'd ever really read were the Sherlock Holmes stories.

John Connolly's Charlie Parker series are a great read, with some great dialogue. Although the books do have a supernatural nature to them that may not appeal to someone after straight crime fiction.

Susan Hill's Simon Serraillier novels are also a good read, which seemed to want to go down a supernatural route in the first book, but pulled back in and follows crimes in the English village of Lafferton.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:16 am UTC
by eaglewings51
Does John Grisham count? I've heard his books described as legal thrillers before so I guess it counts. I love his novels! I just bought his latest one "The Litigators" for my dad for Christmas. My dad was the one who first introduced me to his writing.

Anyway, I don't know why I love his books so much. They're just very fascinating and well thought out. They have good endings that aren't always what you might expect. I also like them because they don't have tons of sex and language. The books don't need that to sell because John Grisham's writing and plot lines are so good. His books always keep me on my toes and wanting more!

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:07 pm UTC
by Jumperdud
Grisham is really good =)

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:11 pm UTC
by Magius Cabal
If you like the crime/thriller genre, I highly recommend Lee Child.

And yes, I have read lots of crime/thriller novels, although I don't really try to remember the names of authors.

Here's how my system work. If I know I am going to have a quiet weekend at work, I pay a visit to the library and borrow a couple of thrillers off the shelves. Before I started on Lee Child's novels, I was reading a series of crime novels about some British CID inspector called Tom Thorne. Good stuff. But I can't remember the author's name. It is a shame.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:46 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
Always nice to find another Reacher Creature! The Tom Thorne books are by Mark Billingham. Have you read any Val McDermid?
It's sad knowing there are loads of great books that will never make it to my library, although I can buy the ebook version of most stuff. Dozens of authors whose work never makes it across the ocean.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:50 pm UTC
by ahammel
I generally really like John Dickson Carr. He was really good at writing his way into impossible situations. His skill at writing himself back out of them again varied from really, really good (The Hollow Man, The Skelleton in the Clock, The Judas Window) to pretty bad (To Wake the Dead). In the last of these he resorted to
Spoiler:
a secret passage out of the locked room. Laaaaaaaaaaaaame!
My library has a lot of his stuff, but almost all of it is in Chinese. Frustrating.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:11 pm UTC
by stopmadnessnow
The Judas Window murder
Spoiler:
was due to a gun in the actual doorknob. It's similar to a Jonathan Creek episode where an axe used to open the door a body was in was actually a converted gun with a silencer fitted.


I like some of Campion's stories by Margery Allingham. The strangeness of finding yourself in bed with a dead body. Who could have put it there? Tried to get into Ngaio[*] Marsh, but her detective isn't as interesting. And there's no Ludd.


[*]The N is silent.

Re: Crime/thrillers - any other fans?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:32 pm UTC
by Jahoclave
Andrey Kurkov has some rather good thrillers in his Penguin series that Melville House has been translating. In fact, most of Melville house's crime/thriller translations are rather good.