Top-100 Thrillers

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top-100 in crime fiction

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-70 | 71-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

John Le Carré (2005) The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

In Le Carré's first masterpiece Alec Leamas, a British agent in early Cold War Berlin, is responsible for keeping the double agents under his care undercover and alive. When the East Germans start killing them, Leamas is sent deep into Communist territory to find out why. But nothing is quite what it seems. "The finest spy story ever written" (Graham Green).

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Harper Lee (1988) To Kill a Mocking Bird.

First published in 1960, the novel is a classic. It is set in Maycomb, a fictional representation of Monroeville, Alabama. The novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and within two years sold more than five million copies in 13 countries. Shame on you, if you have not read "the best novel of the century" (Library Journal).

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Dennis Lehane (2010) Gone, Baby, Gone: A Novel.

Private detectives Kenzie and Gennaro have gone to visit drug dealer Cheese in prison because they think he's involved in the kidnapping of 4-year-old Amanda McCready. In this absolutely gripping story Lehane delves again into Boston's crime underworld.

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Ross Macdonald (1996) The Drowning Pool. (First published in 1950)

Hard-boiled novel noir filled with sex, blackmail, deceit and murder. This is the second novel in Macdonalds Lew Archer series. Complex plot, combined with psychological depth, in economic prose.

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Henning Mankell (2004) The Fifth Woman.

In one of the best thrillers of the Kurt Wallander series the Swedish detective is trying to cope with the death of his father, while he struggles to make sense of a series of seemingly unrelated, brutal killings in southern Sweden. He uncovers the ties that bind these murders to killings in Algeria, many years ago.

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Ruth Rendell (2001) The Lake of Darkness. (First published in 1976)

Martin Urban, a quiet bachelor, wins a large fortune at the football pools. As he decides to share his newfound wealth with those in need the disaster begins to unfold. The seemingly normal benefactors of Martin's altruistic impulses are vicious nut cases. His good intentions become fatally distorted. One of Rendell's best novels.

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Josephine Tey (1995) Daughter of Time. (First published in 1951)

While convalescing in a hospital bed, Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant sees the portrait of Richard III. As he contemplates Shakespeare's depiction of the king as a bloodthirsty monster, who has murdered his two nephews, Grant has second thoughts. The detective begins to digs into historical documents - with surprising results. Has acquired cult status among thriller fans.

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Barbara Vine (1993) A Dark-adapted Eye. (First published 1987)

Ruth Rendell, writing as Barbara Vine, tells a gripping tale of family madness that keeps you guessing till the end.

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Georges Simenon (2008) The Widow

If I hadn't read Ticket of Leave (The Widow), I couldn't have written The Stranger (Albert Camus). A psychological masterpiece! Nasty and brutal.

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Jussi Adler-Olsen (2012) The Absent One.

This mixture of Nordic noir and shrewd humour is certainly less depressing and more quirky than some of the other Scandinavian thrillers. A relentless ride of twisty puzzles!

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