The best books whose characters I can’t forget

Who am I?

I read my first crime thriller at the age of 12, and since then I’ve always had a passion to write my own stories. Although I’ve never worked as a police officer, I spent close to 10 years working as an IT consultant to multiple police forces in Australia before retiring to write full-time. The time spent working closely with law enforcement gave me a ‘feel’ for how police forces operate and helped me gravitate towards the police procedural genre. A book that moved at the pace of most police investigations would never sell and I love the challenge of making the stories authentic but still moving at a pace to keep the reader captivated.

I wrote...

Cold Comfort

By Trevor Douglas,

Book cover of Cold Comfort

What is my book about?

How do you catch a killer who never leaves a clue? 

Bridgette Cash is a rookie detective working her first murder case. The circumstances surrounding the murder of a young woman lead her to believe it’s the work of a serial killer, but nobody is listening. Convinced the killer will strike again shortly, can Bridgette find enough evidence to catch the killer before another young woman is murdered?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Spencerville

Trevor Douglas Why did I love this book?

For years, I had an itch to try my hand at writing, but I could never come up with a decent storyline. All my stories were in the spy-thriller genre (think John Le Carre), and they were all dreadful. While I loved the spy thriller genre, I also read a wide variety of mystery-thrillers and happened upon the book Spencerville by Nelson DeMille.

The story revolves around three characters who are caught up in a love triangle and struggle for power in a small town in the USA. I was totally captivated by the book and how a simple story involving only three main characters could be so compelling and entertaining. And, not only did I enjoy the story, but it made me rethink the kind of books I wanted to write. I moved away from the spy thriller genre and started thinking about stories I could write in a more "everyday life" setting. I'm not sure I would have ever become a writer if it weren't for Spencerville. I think of the book often, and I'm forever grateful for the inspiration it gave me to start my career.

By Nelson DeMille,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spencerville as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Back from the Cold War, intelligence officer Keith Landry returns to his hometown of Spencerville, Ohio. Twenty-five years after their last encounter, Keith runs into his first love, Annie, now unhappily married to the town's chief of police--an abusive alcoholic. In his efforts to reclaim Annie, Keith will have to draw on all the skills of a violent lifetime.

Book cover of Odd Thomas

Trevor Douglas Why did I love this book?

I've always been a fan of Dean Koontz novels, but the story Odd Thomas took it to a whole new level. I've read thousands of books, but I think Odd Thomas is still the most quirky and likable character I've ever come across. Who knew a short-order fry cook in a small town in the USA could get into so much trouble? The story itself is compelling and Koontz has such a way with words that I was captivated with Odd from the very first page of this thriller. I didn't see the end of the story coming, and I still think about the character of Odd from time to time, even though I read the book about 15 years ago. If that's not the sign of a great character, then I don't know what is!

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Odd Thomas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Odd Thomas, the unassuming young hero of Dean Koontz’s dazzling New York Times bestseller, a gallant sentinel at the crossroads of life and death who offers up his heart in these pages and will forever capture yours.

“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Sometimes the silent souls who seek out Odd want justice. Occasionally their otherworldly tips help him prevent a crime. But this time it’s different.

A stranger comes to Pico Mundo, accompanied by a horde…

Book cover of One Shot

Trevor Douglas Why did I love this book?

The Jack Reacher character is arguably the best-known protagonist in the mystery thriller genre. In most novels I’ve ever read, the main character has a character arc where the protagonist learns from his adventures, trials, and tribulations and becomes a better person (or in some cases the opposite). Whatever the trajectory, the character changes over time, but in Lee Childs’ books, the Jack Reacher character never changes. Reacher is your quintessential flat line – nothing phases him and nothing ever changes him. He's a drifter, who walks the USA with a toothbrush in one pocket and an ATM card in the other. Reacher likes to stay out of trouble, but he’s not afraid to confront it either when it finds him. It's very hard not to like Jack Reacher and it's even harder not to like Lee Childs books (he's written 27 so far). I always read a Jack Reacher novel each Christmas, and this year will be no different.

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked One Shot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Six shots. Five dead.

A heartland city thrown into terror. But within hours the cops have it solved. A slam-dunk case. Apart from one thing. The accused gunman refuses to talk except for a single phrase:

Get Jack Reacher for me.

Reacher lives off the grid. He's not looking for trouble. But sometimes trouble looks for him. What could connect the noble Reacher to this psychopathic killer?


Although the Jack Reacher can be read in any order, One Shot is the 9th in the series.

And be sure not to miss Reacher's newest adventure, no.27, No Plan B! ***OUT…

Book cover of The Pillars of the Earth

Trevor Douglas Why did I love this book?

This story is set in the 12th century and follows a group of people from all walks of life who live in Kingsbridge in the United Kingdom. The story takes place over a thirty-year period during which time a new cathedral is built in their town. The book has 12 main characters and is impeccably researched. You really get a feel for what life was like in the 12th century and the struggle people made just to survive. I really enjoyed this book and getting to know each one of the characters in detail and how many of the problems we face today; power, corruption, jealousy, and greed are age-old problems that are almost identical in any setting throughout history. It's the best book I've ever read, and one I would highly recommend.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Pillars of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah's Book Club Selection

The "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career-and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.

"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.


Book cover of The Bone Collector

Trevor Douglas Why did I love this book?

Jeffrey Deaver’s principal character in this novel is Lincoln Rhyme. Rhyme is a brilliant police detective, but tragically a quadriplegic as a result of a workplace accident. He continues his work as an investigator, even though he’s confined to a wheelchair and is reliant on a team to assist him. It's very hard not to feel empathy for the character, particularly when you understand the challenges he faces just getting out of bed in the morning, let alone trying to solve murder cases!

The Bone Collector is just one of a number of books written by Deaver featuring the Lincoln Rhyme character, but this book is my favorite. Rhyme uses all his skills to investigate a bizarre series of murders and identify who the serial killer is based entirely on forensic evidence. The story has lots of twists and turns throughout that keep you guessing right until the last page. Definitely worth a read.

By Jeffery Deaver,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Bone Collector as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Goodbye Man, discover Jeffery Deaver's chilling thriller that inspired the film starring Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington and is now a major NBC TV series.

Their first case, their worst killer . . .

New York City has been thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. Baffled, the cops turn to the one man with a chance of solving them - Lincoln Rhyme.

Left paralysed by a debilitating…

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The Constant Tower

By Carole McDonnell,

Book cover of The Constant Tower

Carole McDonnell Author Of Wind Follower

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Who am I?

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What is my book about?

This is a multicultural epic fantasy with a diverse cast of characters. Sickly fifteen-year-old Prince Psal, the son of warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands. But his clan disdains the disabled.

When the mysterious self-moving towers that keep humans safe from the Creator's ancient curse rebel, Psal attempts to find the Constant Tower and break the power of the third moon. Psal must risk losing the little respect his father has for him and face the dangers of the unmaking night to find the Constant Tower and save all of humanity.

The Constant Tower

By Carole McDonnell,

What is this book about?

Sickly fifteen year old Prince Psal, the son of the nature-blessed warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands. A priest-physician like his friend Ephan, Psal lacks a warrior's heart, yet he desires to earn Nahas's respect and become a clan chief. If he cannot do this, he must escape his clan altogether. But his love for Cassia, the daughter of his father's enemy, and his own weaknesses work against him. When war comes, Psal defends Ktwala and her daughter Mahari, wronged by Nahas, and speaks out against the atrocities his clan commits, further jeopardizing…

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