Top-100 Thrillers

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Richard MacAndrew (2003) The Lahti File: Level 3.

Hundreds of dead fish, some unexplained deaths and a bird-less town - these newspaper reports from Finland attract interest from the British secret service. Ian Munro is sent to Lahti to investigate. But when his first contact is killed, Munro realizes that someone is trying to hide a secret. A most thrilling English course! (This is how teenagers would like to learn English!)

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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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Henning Mankell (2004) The Fifth Woman.

In one of the best thrillers of the Kurt Wallander series the Swedish detective is trying to cope with the death of his father, while he struggles to make sense of a series of seemingly unrelated, brutal killings in southern Sweden. He uncovers the ties that bind these murders to killings in Algeria, many years ago.

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Henning Mankell (2006) Before the Frost.

Atmospheric thriller about a religious fanatic on a murder spree. In his latest Kurt Wallander crime novel, Henning Mankell describes a secret world of religious extremists in peaceful southern Sweden, who are bent on punishing the world's sinners.

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Henning Mankell (2003) Firewall.

The book starts with random, seemingly unrelated acts of violence in the town of Ystad, southern Sweden. But slowly Wallander detects that these small-town murders are part of a conspiracy in cyber terrorism targeted to collapse the world's financial system.

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Henning Mankell (2003) Faceless Killers.

Shivering in the cold Swedish winter, Kurt Wallander tries to solve a savage double murder on a remote farm. In this novel, Mankell probes the underside of the liberal Swedish society with its ugly streak of anti-foreigner prejudice and hate.

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Henning Mankell (2004) The Dogs of Riga.

Kurt Wallander, the stoic Swedish detective is investigating the murders of two unidentified men washed up on the Swedish coast in an inflatable dinghy. It leads him into the dangerous underworld of government corruption characteristic of Soviet-style totalitarian regimes. Scandinavian police work at the aftermath of the Soviet Union collapse.

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Henning Mankell (2007) The Man Who Smiled.

Kurt Wallander of the Ystad Police Force reluctantly investigates the death of an aging attorney on a desolate road, initially considered an accident. Depressed and in danger of becoming an alcoholic, Walander, stoically battles through the complexities of the crime and his own life. A realistic alternative to the smooth action thrillers, this dark tale slowly turns into a horrific nightmare.

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Henning Mankell (2010) The Man from Beijing. [Audio Book]

Mankell's latest thriller is a bit too preachy. His portrait of conflicts among Beijing's power elite is naive, but the story is complex enough to keep you interested.

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Liza Marklund (2011) Exposed.

Journalist Liza Marklund is the most famous female thriller writer in Sweden. Her books have been translated in 30 languages. Exposed features Annika Bengtzon, an Intern at Sweden's biggest tabloid newspaper. She starts to investigate the murder of a young woman after a mysterious phone call.

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