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Unusual & Rare Thrillers

Unfortunately, most thrillers today are mass-produced on a creative assembly line. Series with 20 or 30 books following the same detective or criminal are testament to a book production industry. I am not arguing that these mainstream books are bad. Many people like to follow their heros all the way through a literary life cycle. But, quite frankly, if you are a frequent crime fiction reader, these series are getting boring with time.
Here, I have collected books that deviate from the ordinary. They disregard common crime fiction genres or surprise the reader with totally unexpected courses of action or rather strange characters. There are also books with stories that take place in unusual locations, such as on a chicken farm, on top of a Greenland glacier, in Patagonia or in the Australian outback.
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A.R. Torre
The Girl in 6E
Deanna Madden Novel - Book 1
2014
My life is simple, as long as I follow the rules. 1. Don't leave the apartment. 2. Never let anyone in. 3. Don't kill anyone. I've obeyed these rules for three years. But rules were made to be broken. This is a dark, edgy, erotic, thrilling and - most of all unusual - story of a cold female killer. More ...
352 Pages
4/5
21
A.R. Torre
Do Not Disturb
Deanna Madden Novel - Book 2
2015
1. Don't leave the apartment. 2. Never let anyone in. 3. Don't kill anyone. The rules were simple - but I broke them. Now I must face the consequences. Everyone else must face me. - One of the most eagerly anticipated sequels of the year. Every bit as twisted and exciting as its predecessor. More ...
384 Pages
4/5
18
A.R. Torre
If You Dare
Deanna Madden Novel - Book 3
2015
The rules are the same. I can't open the door. I can't leave. I can't kill anyone. The only difference is, I don't set the rules anymore. Guards in grey uniforms do. It is everything I never wanted and everything I always deserved. I write to you now, from a prison cell. My home for the next twenty to thirty years. That's the going term for murder. More ...
368 Pages
4/5
19
Apueius
Metamorphoses - or "The Golden Ass"
(Asinus aureus)
2008
Apuleius's Golden Ass is a unique, entertaining, and thoroughly readable Latin novel--the only work of fiction in Latin to have survived from antiquity. It tells the story of the hero Lucius, whose curiosity and fascination for sex and magic results in his transformation into an ass. The Golden Ass is one of the earliest examples of the picaresque. More ...
336 Pages
3/5
16
Arthur W. Upfield
The Barrakee Mystery: The Lure of the Bush
Inspector Bonaparte Mysteries
2020 (First published: 1929)
Why was King Henry, an aboriginal from Western Australia, killed in New South Wales? This first story of Inspector Bonaparte takes him to the Darling River bush country where he encounters those problems he understands so well - mixed blood and divided loyalties. More ...
224 Pages
4/5
39
Arthur W. Upfield
The Sands of Windee
Inspector Bonaparte Mysteries
2017 (First published: 1931)
Why had Luke Marks driven specially out to Windee? Had he been murdered or had he, as the local police believed, wandered away from his car and been overwhelmed in a dust-storm? If you like detective stories that have solid characters and backgrounds, and that avoid familiar patterns of crime and detection, then Mr Upfield is your man. More ...
236 Pages
5/5
50
Arthur W. Upfield
The Will of the Tribe
Inspector Bonaparte Mysteries
2020 (First published: 1962)
It is in a harsh and eerie landscape - the crater formed by the meteor they called "The Stranger" - that a stranger is found dead. In an area where the presence of every outsider is immediately announced by the bush telegraph, how had this man passed unreported? This Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (Bony) mystery that gives a glimpse into the lost world of aboriginal culture. More ...
156 Pages
4/5
44
B.P. Walter
The Dinner Guest
2022
Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave. Matthew, the perfect husband; Titus, the perfect son; Charlie, the perfect illusion; Rachel, the perfect stranger. Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand. A nerve-shredding domestic noir thriller. More ...
416 Pages
4/5
25
Brian Evenson
Last Days
2016 (First published: 2016)
When Kline is kidnapped by a dark sect that believes amputation brings you closer to God, he's tasked with uncovering who murdered their leader. Will he uncover the truth in time to save himself, take on the mantle of prophet, or destroy all he sees with a rain of biblical violence? But the puzzles grow more craggy and complex.
200 Pages
4/5
9
David Tod Roy
The Plum in the Golden Vase
Jin Ping Mei: Vol. 1, The Gathering
1997
Jin Ping Mei — translated into English as The Plum in the Golden Vase — is a Chinese novel of manners composed in vernacular Chinese during the latter half of the sixteenth century during the late Ming dynasty. The explicit depiction of sexuality garnered the novel a notoriety akin to Fanny Hill and Lolita in English literature. A great legacy of Chinese literature. More ...
520 Pages
5/5
18
Dough Dorst
S.
A book in a book
2013
The craziest, most unusual mystery book of 2013. A brilliant story filled with secrets, fun and intrigues. One of the most creative novels I ever read. This is a must-read for literary puzzle fans...(Publishers Weekly). A book in a book. More ...
300 Pages
4/5
44
Eliot Pattison
The Skull Mantra
Inspector Shan Tao Yun, Book 1
2008 (First published: 1999)
Disgraced Beijing police inspector, Shan Tao Yun, investigates the killing of a local official, while suffering political punishment as a laborer on a road crew called the People's 404th Construction Brigade high in the Himalayas. A top-notch thriller and a substantive look at Tibet under siege. More ...
416 Pages
5/5
40
Jim Tompson
The Killer Inside Me
2014 (First published: 1952)
Everyone in the small town of Central City, Texas loves Lou Ford, the deputy sheriff. He may not be the brightest or the most interesting man in town, but nevertheless, he's the kind of officer you're happy to have keeping your streets safe. But behind the platitudes and glad-handing lurks a monster.Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick praised the novel, stating that it was "probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered." More ...
256 Pages
5/5
19
John Burdett
The Godfather of Kathmandu
Royal Thai Detective Novel 4
2011
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.  More ...
384 Pages
3/5
55
Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go
2006 (First published: 2005)
As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. But only when they look back as adults they realize the horrible truth of what Hailsham realy was. More ...
288 Pages
4/5
21
Michael Allen Rose
Embry: Hard Boiled
2017
Our hero wakes up one day to find that some upstanding citizens have been scrambled. The king, his horses and his men are now after our hero for a crime he didn’t commit and proving his innocence is going to be nearly impossible - particularly if you are a chicken. A darkly comic novel noir. More ...
178 Pages
3/5
45
Oyinkan Braithwaite
My Sister, The Serial Killer
2019
This is a dark comedy about Korede, a Nigerian woman whose sister Ayoola has a nasty habit of murdering her boyfriends. Korede has been an ignorant accomplice to her sociopathic sister, but now she has fallen in love with a man. How can she protect her lover from Ayoola's murderous addiction? More ...
240 Pages
3/5
16
P.D. James
The Children of Men
2006 (First published: 1992)
Its the year 2021. No child has been born for twenty-five years. The human race faces extinction. Oxford historian Theodore Faron spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live - and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race. More ...
256 Pages
4/5
17
Patricia Highsmith
The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder
2002 (First published: 1975)
These are short stories about animals with murderous thoughts and rages. In this satirical reprise of Kafka, cats, dogs, and breeding rodents are no longer ordinary beings in the happy home, but actually have the power to destroy the world in which we live. More ...
240 Pages
4/5
39
Peter Hoeg
Smilla's Sense of Snow
1994
One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop. The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, a half-Inuit, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, wandering on the ice floes of Greenland in pursuit of the killers. More ...
512 Pages
3/5
38
Rivka Galchen
Atmospheric Disturbances
2009 (First published: 2008)
When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife disappears, she leaves behind a single confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her. A simulatcrum. But Leo is not fooled, and he knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the real Rema is alive and in hiding, he embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim her. More ...
256 Pages
4/5
16
Seishi Yokomizo
The Honjin Murders
Detective Kindaichi Series - Book 1
2020 (First published: 1946)
In the winter of 1937, the village of Okamura is abuzz with excitement over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family.Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi household are woken by a terrible scream, followed by the sound of eerie music. Death has come to Okamura, leaving no trace but a bloody samurai sword, thrust into the pristine snow outside the house. More ...
192 Pages
4/5
58
Stephanie Scott
What's Left of Me Is Yours
2021 (First published: 2020)
In Japan, a covert industry has grown up around the "wakaresaseya", a person hired by one spouse to seduce the other in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings. When Sato hires Kaitaro, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Sato has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitaro's job is to do exactly that--until he does it too well.
352 Pages
4/5
10

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Total Number of Unusual Mystery Books: 23 - Number of clicks: 12109

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