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Dashiell Hammett (1989) The Maltese Falcon. (Reprint Ed.)

Archetypal tough guy, detective Sam Spade, risks his reputation by trying to help a beautiful young lady. As his partner gets killed Spade is suspected for murder. The story is a complex web of betrayal and deception, in which everyone tries to get the gold statuette of a falcon. Sam's masculine strength is refreshing in today's world of male insecurity. Also an excellent movie with Humphrey Bogart - but the book is better.

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Dashiel Hammett (2008) The Maltese Falcon. [Audio Book]

The Maltese Falcon is not only probably the best detective story we have ever read, it is an exceedingly well written novel (The Times Literary Supplement, London).

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Zack Hamric (2010) Crescent Rising: A Ryan Black Thriller.

Former CIA operative Ryan Black battles international terrorists halfway around the globe. Fast-paced techno-thriller.

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C.S. Harris (2008) Where Serpents Sleep: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery.

Set in 1812 London, the brutal murder of eight young prostitutes in a house of refuge is investigated by gentlemen-sleuth St. Cyr. The amateur detective follows a trail of clues leading from the seedy brothels and docksides of Londonís East End to the Mayfair mansions of a noble family. Superb characterization of early 19th century London, believable characters and a complex plot.

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Thomas Harris (1998) The Silence of the Lambs.

Hanibal Lecter, a brilliant psychopath whose nickname is "The Cannibal" because he likes to eat parts of his victims, helps FBI trainee Clarice Starling to get into the mind of a serial killer and hunt him down. Made into a terrifying film - starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins.

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Mick Herron (2010) Slow Horses.

Slow Horses are spooks who have screwed up in a big way. They are retired to the Slough House. River Cartwright, the protagonist of this hillarious spy thriller-farce, wants to be the first Slow Horse to force his own resurrection to MI5. (10 wonderfully funny hours on the audio book)

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Carl Hiaasen (2005) Flush.

The story is about greed, environmental crime, and corruption. The plot is set in the Sunshine State of Florida, where the Coral Queen, a gambling ship is dumping waste into the local waters. Noah and and his sister Abbey are trying to help their father, who is in prison for sinking the ship. Most reviewers say the book is cool, really funny and action-packed. Grades 5-8.

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Carl Hiaasen / Bill Montalbano (1998) A Death in China.

American professor traveling in China gets entangled in a web of violence, lies, treachery, and state secrets, as he investigates his friend's sudden "death by duck". Claustrophobic!

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Carl Hiaasen (2005) Tourist Season.

The president of the Miami Chamber of Commerce is found dead inside a suitcase, with his legs sawn off and a rubber alligator stuffed down his throat. Letters from a terrorist group link the death to recent disappearances. Hiaasen's rage against destructive big business and endemic corruption is laced with dark humor.

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Patricia Highsmith (2001) Strangers on a Train. (First published 1950)

In her first novel published in 1950, Patricia Highsmith introduced the character of a subtle, murderous, sociopath who lives unsuspected for years. Highsmith's psycho-thriller was the source of a famous Alfred Hitchcock film in 1953. The book is one of the great classics of psychological crime fiction.

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