Top-100 Thrillers

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Click on the book cover image to order!
Sarah Waters! Sarah Waters (2002)
Fingersmith. Riverhead Trade; 1st edition
This hypnotic suspense novel is a sumptuous slice of lesbian Victoriana, featuring pickpockets (finger smiths), grim prisons, lunatic asylums, and stolen fortunes. More...
Hillary Waugh! Hillary Waugh (1999)
Last Seen Wearing (Firsst published in 1952). Pan Books
This classic novel is probably the first police procedural. The story takes place in the 1950s, but is as fresh as if it happened just yesterday. More...
Dennis Lehane! Dennis Lehane (2013)
Live by Night: A Novel.
This is the second in a planned trilogy of stories exploring the early part of the 20th century. Joe Coughlin, a cop's son turned mobster, starts his career as petty criminal in Boston. During prohibition he rises to rule a criminal empire in Tampa. Masterful historical fiction, but lacking the thrill-level of "Mystic River" or "Gone Baby Gone". More...
Georges Simenon! Georges Simenon (2003)
Dirty Snow. (First published in 1950) NYRB Classics; Rep Sub edition
Set in occupied France during WWII, Simenon's bleak masterpiece is a dispassionate description of human cruelty. No other writer has achieved the psychological intensity of Simenon. “What many regard as the finest of all noir novels…"--Tim Rutten, The Los Angeles Times More...
Christina Schwarz! Christina Schwarz (2001)
Drowning Ruth: A Novel. Ballantine Books
Schwarz's spenseful debut is a tale of family rivalry, madness, secrets and obsessive love in the 1919s, on the heels of the influenza epidemic and WWI. More...
Fyodor Dostoevsky! Fyodor Dostoevsky (1984)
Crime and Punishment. Bantam Classics
Dostoevsky's rendering of the student Raskolnikov in 18th-century Russia is a true classic. In a process of moral decline, the impoverished intellectual robs and kills his pawnbroker. As he is hunted down for his crime Dostoevsky tells a surprisingly fast-paced story, full of moral dilemmas and psychological thrill. A masterpiece. More...
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Boris Akunin! Boris Akunin (2006)
The Death of Achilles. Random House
Special agent "Petrovich Fandorin", a Russian version of Sherlock Holmes, not only speaks Japanese and English, but is also a martial arts fighter and lady-killer in a historical plot set in 1882. Time Magazine compares best-selling author Boris Akunin with Gogol and Chekhov. More...
Vilmos Kondor! Vilmos Kondor (2012)
Budapest Noir: A Novel. Harper Paperbacks
Kondor's attention to historical detail lifts this thriller out of the average. Its an intricate mystery amidst a vivid portrayal of pre-war Budapest. Dark and edgy, with interesting characters and locales. More...

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