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

Raymond Chandler (1988) The Long Goodbye.

This is probably the best of Chandler's novels. His hero, P.I. Philip Marlowe, tries to help war veteran Terry Lennox, whose sex-obsessed wealthy wife has been murdered. This quickly gets Marlowe into trouble with cops and crazy gangsters. When Terry is also murdered, Marlowe becomes entangled in his friend's dirty family secrets. In his cynical and crisp prose Chandler delivered a gripping tale of moral corruption.

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Tom Clancy (1992) The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan Series).

Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet submarine commander has made a fateful decision: the Red October is heading west. This trademark military thriller has launched Tom Clancy's phenomenal career.

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Collins, Wilkie (2008) The Woman in White. (First published 1859)

This upper-class Victorian love story is certainly one of the greatest literary thrillers. For slow, delicious reading.

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Patricia Cornwell (2003) Postmortem.

Patricia Cronwell's first book in the Kay Scarpetta series is about a brilliant serial killer who is strangling young women. Kay is applying latest forensic techniques to identify the killer, but someone is sabotaging the investigation.

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D. H. Dublin (2007) Blood Poison. A C.S.U. Investigation.

In a Philadelphia Police Department, the Crime Scene Unit takes blood, sweat, tears-and other DNA samples.

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Patricia Highsmith (1993) Ripley's Game. (First published 1974)

Dashing murderer Tom Ripley is playing a nasty game of manipulation on an inconspicuous man, leading to murder and revenge. The resulting chain of events drags the reader into a most unsettling mental state - frozen in fascination, but also terrified by the looming disaster. A dark tale.

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William Landay (2012) Defending Jacob: A Novel.

Assistant district attorney Andy Barber, his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob, are living an idyllic existence until one of Jacob's classmates is stabbed to death. In a parent's worst nightmare their son becomes the prime suspect of being a sociopatic killer.

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Stieg Larsson (2009) The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist and weird Lisbeth Salander once again team up to hunt down a sinister criminal enterprise. Larsson's second break-out-in-a-cold-sweat thriller is smart and crackles with stunning twists.

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Dennis Lehane (2009) Shutter Island. (Reprint)

Shutter Island is an army facility turned hospital for the criminally insane. When a patient escapes, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, are called in to investigate. This is one of the best psychological thrillers of all time. One mind-bending plot twist after another!

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Dennis Lehane (2003) Mystic River.

Lehane explores life's darkest corners in a thriller with the depth of an anthropological case study. You won't be able to stop reading until the unnerving finale.

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Copyright 2012 by Claudia Heilig-Staindl. All Rights Reserved.