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15 Books for Armchair Detectives & Suspense Seekers

Looking for an exciting read for yourself or a possible gift for the armchair detectives or suspense seekers in your life? This list of mysteries and thrillers may be a good place to start to find that next thrilling read. Gleaned from various "Best of..." online lists, all of the books listed below were published in 2013 with most being either standalone novels, the first book in a series or debut novels. Happy Reading!


The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
Amazon Says: The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran more...
Amazon Says: The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this. less...
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Six Years by Harlan Coben
Amazon Says: In Six Years, a masterpiece of modern suspense, Harlan Coben explores the depth and passion of lost love…and the secrets and lies at its heart.   Six years ha more...
Amazon Says: In Six Years, a masterpiece of modern suspense, Harlan Coben explores the depth and passion of lost love…and the secrets and lies at its heart.   Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.   But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.    As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.   Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love, and the secrets and lies that such love can hide. And look for MISSING YOU, the new novel coming from Harlan Coben in hardcover and ebook in March. less...
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Always Watching: A Novel by Chevy Stevens
Amazon Says: She helps people put their demons to rest. But she has a few of her own…In the lockdown ward of a psychiatric hospital, Dr. Nadine Lavoie is in her element. She has the tool more...
Amazon Says: She helps people put their demons to rest. But she has a few of her own…In the lockdown ward of a psychiatric hospital, Dr. Nadine Lavoie is in her element. She has the tools to help people, and she has the desire―healing broken families is what she lives for. But Nadine doesn't want to look too closely at her own past because there are whole chunks of her life that are black holes. It takes all her willpower to tamp down her recurrent claustrophobia, and her daughter, Lisa, is a runaway who has been on the streets for seven years.When a distraught woman, Heather Simeon, is brought into the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit after a suicide attempt, Nadine gently coaxes her story out of her―and learns of some troubling parallels with her own life. Digging deeper, Nadine is forced to confront her traumatic childhood, and the damage that began when she and her brother were brought by their mother to a remote commune on Vancouver Island. What happened to Nadine? Why was their family destroyed? And why does the name Aaron Quinn, the group's leader, bring complex feelings of terror to Nadine even today? And then, the unthinkable happens, and Nadine realizes that danger is closer to home than she ever imagined. She has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most…and fight back. Sometimes you can leave the past, but you can never escape. Told with the trademark powerful storytelling that has had critics praising her work as "Gripping" (Kirkus), "Jaw-dropping" (Publishers Weekly) and "Crackling with suspense" (People magazine), ALWAYS WATCHING shows why Chevy Stevens is one of the most mesmerizing new talents of our day. less...
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Suspect by Robert Crais
Amazon Says: The explosive new masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author. LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nigh more...
Amazon Says: The explosive new masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author. LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty—until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie.  What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say. less...
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Sycamore Row by John Grisham
Amazon Says: John Grisham's A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embro more...
Amazon Says: John Grisham's A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history. Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row? In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America's favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Kill. less...
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Night Film: A Novel by Marisha Pessl
Amazon Says: Book by Pessl, Marisha more...
Amazon Says: Book by Pessl, Marisha less...
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Amazon Says: The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: A Novel more...
Amazon Says: The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: A Novel less...
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The One I Left Behind: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon
Amazon Says: From the New York Times bestselling author of Burntown and Promise Not to Tell comes a gut-wrenching thriller about a missing mother and the serial killer who returns twent more...
Amazon Says: From the New York Times bestselling author of Burntown and Promise Not to Tell comes a gut-wrenching thriller about a missing mother and the serial killer who returns twenty-five years laterThe summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward thirteen-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. That same summer, a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother, Vera, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears.Now, twenty-five years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind. But when she gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again. less...
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Amazon Says: The Maasai believe in two gods. Enkai Narok, the Black God, is benign. Enkai Nanyokie, the Red God, is the god of anger, vengeance, and death. Nairobi, 2 more...
Amazon Says: The Maasai believe in two gods. Enkai Narok, the Black God, is benign. Enkai Nanyokie, the Red God, is the god of anger, vengeance, and death. Nairobi, 2007. In Africa's sprawling megacity, a small elite holds power over an impoverished, restless majority. Corruption, exploitation, and ethnic rivalry are part of everyday life. Amid claims of vote rigging and fraud, the presidential elections could be the spark that sets this city ablaze. With chaos looming, few care about one dead prostitute. But Detective Mollel does. For Mollel is a former Maasai warrior, and the dead girl was a Maasai, too. As he ventures from slums to skyscrapers, from suburbs to sewers, Mollel begins to realize that there is more at stake than just this murder. But even as he is forced to confront his turbulent past, he begins to doubt his warrior's instincts. Can Mollel manage to find the killer and solve the case before the Red God consumes all? With the sophistication of Ian Rankin and Colin Harrison, and set against the backdrop of Kenya's turbulent 2007 elections, Richard Crompton's Hour of the Red God brings Nairobi vividly to life: gritty and modern, with an extraordinary blend of tribal and urban elements. In this dark thriller, tradition and power collide, arriving at a shocking, unforgettable end. And in the Maasai hero Mollel, a new detective icon is born. One of Publishers Weekly's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013 less...
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The Other Child: A Novel by Charlotte Link
Amazon Says: Book by Link, Charlotte more...
Amazon Says: Book by Link, Charlotte less...
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Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell
Amazon Says: Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized more...
Amazon Says: Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier.The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey's essay On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts. Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.In Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London, and the Ratcliffe Highway murders from history. Fogbound streets become a battleground between a literary star and a brilliant murderer, whose lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten. less...
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The October List by Jeffery Deaver
Amazon Says: One of Kirkus Review's "Best Books of 2013" The shocking end is only the beginning . . . #1 bestselling author Jeffery Deaver has created the most riveting and orig more...
Amazon Says: One of Kirkus Review's "Best Books of 2013" The shocking end is only the beginning . . . #1 bestselling author Jeffery Deaver has created the most riveting and original novel of the year-a race-against-the-clock mystery, told in reverse. THE OCTOBER LIST Gabriela waits desperately for news of her abducted daughter. At last, the door opens. But it's not the negotiators. It's not the FBI. It's the kidnapper. And he has a gun. How did it come to this? Two days ago, Gabriela's life was normal. Then, out of the blue, she gets word that her six-year-old daughter has been taken. She's given an ultimatum: pay half a million dollars and find a mysterious document known as the "October List" within 30 hours, or she'll never see her child again. A mind-bending novel with twists and turns that unfold from its dramatic climax back to its surprising beginning, THE OCTOBER LIST is Jeffery Deaver at his masterful, inventive best. less...
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Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason
Amazon Says: A Library Journal Best Book of 2013! A Booklist Best Crime Novel of 2013! There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard. But it could always be wors more...
Amazon Says: A Library Journal Best Book of 2013! A Booklist Best Crime Novel of 2013! There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard. But it could always be worse... More than a year ago, mild-mannered Jason Getty killed a man he wished he’d never met. Then he planted the problem a little too close to home. But just as he’s learning to live with the undeniable reality of what he’s done, police unearth two bodies on his property—neither of which is the one Jason buried. Jason races to stay ahead of the consequences of his crime, and while chaos reigns on his lawn, his sanity unravels, snagged on the agendas of a colorful cast of strangers. A jilted woman searches for her lost fiancé, a fringe dweller runs from a past that’s quickly gaining on him, and a couple of earnest local detectives piece clues together with the help of a volunteer police dog—all in the shadow of a dead man who had it coming. As the action unfolds, each character discovers that knowing more than one side of the story doesn't necessarily rule out a deadly margin of error. Jamie Mason’s irrepressible debut is a macabre, darkly humorous tale with the thoughtful beauty of a literary novel, the tense pacing of a thriller, and a clever twist of suspense. less...
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