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 Burdett (2011) The Godfather of Kathmandu.

Inspector Sonchai Jitpleecheep, half-caste son of a prostitute and an American GI, is a bad-ass cop and gentle follower of Buddha. He hunts down crazy criminals in Bangkok while trying to get promoted by his drug-dealing boss. Hilarious plot - but more complex than it seems.

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Caleb Carr (2006) The Alienist.

Set in 1896, Carr's novel about a serial killer lose in New York City this unusual book is one of the classics of psychological crime fiction.

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Raymond Chandler (1988) The Big Sleep. (First published in 1939)

First published in 1939, Chandler's book created the archetypal character of street-smart private investigator Philip Marlow. He works a case of blackmail in the underbelly of San Francisco, populated by con men, weird ladies, mobsters, cheap sluts, pornographers, gamblers, drunks, and other despicable characters. In this tough world, Marlow is the straight and loyal guy.

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Len Deighton (1995) The Ipcress File.

Cold war spy thriller that set the standards for the genre. Highly unusual, with a shrewd sense of humour.

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William Diehl (1994) Primal Fear.

A sainted archbishop is murdered, mutilated, and dismembered in his rectory. Aaron Stampler, an angelic-looking young man, is found crouched in a confessional, covered with blood, clutching a butcher's knife, swearing his innocence. Martin Vail is the brilliant lawyer who uncovers the horrifying truth about the crime.

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Daphne Du Maurier (1997) Rebecca. (First published in 1938)

The narrator, a young and shy woman, meets wealthy widow, Maxim de Winter, and falls in love with him. On his grand English estate, Manderley, she is immediately haunted by the powerful presence of the former mistress of Manderley, Maxim's flamboyant late wife Rebecca. This story of emotional horror and evil is classic masterpiece.

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Louise Erdrich (2012) The Round House.

A gripping, complex mystery and coming-of-age story.

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Joseph Finder (2011) Buried Secrets.

Clearly one of the best action thrillers of 2011. Too bad it is so short!

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Gillian Flynn (2012) Gone Girl: A Novel.

A portrait of a marriage so hilariously terrifying, we can only give you the initial premise: on their fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne’s beloved wife Amy disappears, and all signs point to very foul play. Nick has to clear his name before the police finger him for Amy’s murder. Masterful storytelling.

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Ken Follett (2004) Eye of the Needle.

During World War II, The Needle, a ruthless German spy, a young Englishwoman and an investigator are linked together in a breathtaking tale of espionage. This superb thriller is one of the best spy novels ever written.

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