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 Top-100 Thrillers

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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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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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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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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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Dennis Lehane (2003) Shutter Island. [Audio Book]

After his Mystic River (2001), Lehane returned with another blistering page turner about a hospital for the criminally insane.

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Ann Rule (2001) The Stranger Beside Me.

Ted Bundy, a most violent sociopath, murderer, and mutilator of women, is the subject of this true-crime book. Ann Rule's chilling account, from the time she unsuspectingly met and worked with the savage slayer to the moment of his death by electrocution in Florida, is one of the greatest books in the true crime genre.

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