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Thrillers & Crime Novels set in California 


Vincent Bugliosi 
Helter Skelter
1995 (First published: 1974)
Helter Skelter is the true Story of The Manson Murders. Bugliosi had served as the prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson. The book presents his firsthand account of the notorious 1969 murder of Sharon Tate, Rosemary La Bianca and other by Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and other members of the Manson Family. It is the best-selling true crime book in history.
736 Pages
5/5
183
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Christine McGuire
The Perfect Victim
The True Story of the Girl in the Box
1989 (First published: 1988)
In 1977 twenty-year-old Colleen Stan left home to hitchhike from Oregon to California. Seven years later she emerged from hell, the victim of a bizarre and extraordinary crime. This is Colleen's incredible true story, told by the determined young district attorney who prosecuted the man who had forced her to endure years of sexual perversion.
400 Pages
4/5
202
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Mary Higgins Clark
Where Are the Children
2023 (First published: 1975)
Nancy Harmon long ago fled the heartbreak of her first marriage, the macabre deaths of her two little children, and the shocking charges against her. She changed her name and left California for the windswept peace of Cape Cod. Now remarried, she has two more beloved children, and the terrible pain has begun to heal—until the morning when she looks in the backyard for her little boy and girl and finds only one red mitten.
256 Pages
5/5
203
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Michael Connelly
The Lincoln Lawyer
Lincon Lawyer Novel - Book 1
2016 (First published: 2005)
Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers -- they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.
480 Pages
4/5
208
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Tami Hoag
Deeper than the Dead
Oak Knoll Series, Book 1
2010 (First published: 2009)
Four children and young teacher Anne Navarre make a gruesome discovery: a partially buried female body, her eyes and mouth glued shut. A serial killer is at large, and the very bonds that hold their idyllic town together are about to be tested to the breaking point.
560 Pages
5/5
261
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Raymond Chandler
The Big Sleep
Philip Marlowe - Book 1
1988 (First published: 1939)
A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in. Marlowe - a no-nonsense private investigator.
231 Pages
5/5
277
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Michael Connelly
The Brass Verdict
Lincon Lawyer Novel - Book 2
2022 (First published: 2008)
Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. He is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott. But as Haller prepares for the case, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next. Enter Harry Bosch. As danger mounts these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.
432 Pages
4/5
182
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Tami Hoag
Secrets to the Grave
Oak Knoll Series, Book 2
2011 (First published: 2010)
A 911 call from a small child sends the idyllic town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Then a brutal crime scene is discovered: the body of Marissa Fordham with her young daughter, Haley, injured but alive. Sheriff’s detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won’t fit.
592 Pages
5/5
234
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Michael Connelly
The Reversal
Lincon Lawyer Novel - Book 3
2016 (First published: 2010)
Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After twenty-four years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.
464 Pages
3/5
114
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Tami Hoag
Down the Darkest Road
Oak Knoll Series, Book 3
2022 (First published: 2011)
Four years after Lauren Lawton’s sixteen-year-old daughter disappeared, the world has given up the girl for dead. Lauren’s husband took his own life. Her younger daughter Leah is still looking for what’s left of her childhood. But Lauren never surrendered. She knows who took her child. But there’s not a shred of evidence against him.
448 Pages
5/5
226
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Michael Connelly
The Fifth Witness
Lincon Lawyer Novel - Book 4
2016 (First published: 2011)
Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too.
496 Pages
4/5
124
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Michael Connelly
The Gods of Guilt
Lincon Lawyer Novel - Book 5
2014 (First published: 2013)
Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.
416 Pages
4/5
190
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Michael Connelly
The Law of Innocence
Lincon Lawyer Novel - Book 6
2021 (First published: 2020)
On the night he celebrates a big win, defense attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, who find the body of a former client in the trunk of his Lincoln. Haller is immediately charged with murder but can’t post the exorbitant $5 million bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge. Mickey elects to represent himself and is forced to mount his defense from his jail cell. Haller knows he’s been framed, whether by a new enemy or an old one.
432 Pages
4/5
209
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Lee Child
Bad Luck and Trouble
Jack Reacher - Book 11
2011 (First published: 2007)
From a helicopter high above the empty California desert, a man is sent free-falling into the night. In Chicago, a woman learns that an elite team of ex–army investigators is being hunted down one by one. And on the streets of Portland, Jack Reacher - soldier, cop, hero - is pulled out of his wandering life by a code that few other people could understand.  
528 Pages
5/5
202
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Michael Connelly
The Late Show
Renée Ballard & Harry Bosch Novel - Book 1
2018 (First published: 2017)
Renée Ballard works the midnight shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing few, as each morning she turns everything over to the daytime units. It's a frustrating job for a once up-and-coming detective, but it's no accident. She's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor. But one night Ballard catches two assignments she doesn't want to part with.
448 Pages
3/5
190
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Michael Connelly
Dark Sacred Night
Renée Ballard & Harry Bosch Novel - Book 2
2019 (First published: 2018)
Detective Renée Ballard is working the night beat and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard can't let him go through department records, but when he leaves, she looks into the case herself and feels a deep tug of empathy and anger.
480 Pages
4/5
174
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Michael Connelly
The Night Fire
Renée Ballard & Harry Bosch Novel - Book 3
2020 (First published: 2019)
Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, John Jack Thompson, is dead, and his widow gives Bosch a murder book, one that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD twenty years before -- the unsolved killing of a troubled young man.
512 Pages
5/5
166
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Michael Connelly
The Dark Hours
Renée Ballard & Harry Bosch Novel - Book 4
2022 (First published: 2021)
There’s chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year’s Eve. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a street party. Ballard quickly concludes that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky.
400 Pages
5/5
117
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Michael Connelly
Desert Star
Renée Ballard & Harry Bosch Novel - Book 5
2022 (First published: 2022)
LAPD detective Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch team up to hunt the brutal killer who is Bosch’s “white whale”—a man responsible for the murder of an entire family. The two must put aside old resentments and new tensions to run to ground not one but two dangerous killers who have operated with brash impunity.
400 Pages
5/5
335
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Michael Connelly
The Black Echo
Harry Bosch Series - Book 1
2017 (First published: 1992)
For LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam was more than another anonymous statistic. This one was personal . . . because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.
544 Pages
4/5
191
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Michael Connelly
Two Kinds of Truth
Harry Bosch Series - Book 20
2018 (First published: 2017)
Harry Bosch, now exiled from the LAPD, is working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department when all hands are called out to a local drugstore, where two pharmacists have been murdered in a robbery. Bosch and the tiny town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big-business world of prescription drug abuse.
480 Pages
4/5
169
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Total Number of Books: 21 - Number of clicks: 94173

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