Top-100 Thrillers

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Truman Capote (1994) In Cold Blood.

A masterpiece. Capote invented a new genre.

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Truman Capote (2006) In Cold Blood. [Audio Book]

Capote's spellbinding narrative explores the psychological and emotional depths of a senseless quadruple murder in America's heartland.

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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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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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Patricia Highsmith (1992) The Talented Mr. Ripley. (First published 1955)

Patricia Highsmith wrote stories in which you almost physically feel the coming of a catastrophe. It is so unnerving that you might just want to throw away the book, because you can no longer stand the tension. But then you read on through the night. Don't get confused by the silly title or lousy cover. This is one of the best psycho-thrillers - ever!

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James M. Cain (1989) The Postman Always Rings Twice. (Reprint Ed.)

In 1934, Cain started a new genre: American noir fiction. It may be full of despair, sweltering greed, dark violence and raw sex, but the no-nonsense description of humanity heading towards destruction is impossible to resist. In his laconic style Cain tells the story of Frank, a tramp, who his attracted to Cora, the young wife of brutally violent Nick. When Frank and Cora start an affair behind her older man's back, the story is heading for disaster.

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Ken Follett (Narrator: John Lee). (2007) Fall of Giants. [Audio Book - Unabridged]

The first novel in Follett's Century Trilogy follows the fates of five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage. One of the best Audio Book I have heard so far! Get the unabridged version for a long car trip!

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Harper Lee (1988) To Kill a Mocking Bird.

First published in 1960, the novel is a classic. It is set in Maycomb, a fictional representation of Monroeville, Alabama. The novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and within two years sold more than five million copies in 13 countries. Shame on you, if you have not read "the best novel of the century" (Library Journal).

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Dennis Lehane (2010) Gone, Baby, Gone: A Novel.

Private detectives Kenzie and Gennaro have gone to visit drug dealer Cheese in prison because they think he's involved in the kidnapping of 4-year-old Amanda McCready. In this absolutely gripping story Lehane delves again into Boston's crime underworld.

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