The best crime thriller novels where the action hero is Everyman (or woman), not Superman

Who am I?

I have always been a storyteller and I’m fascinated by the use of language and how a story can be told well. I’ve used storytelling as an entrepreneur, executive, and management consultant, and my two business books for enlightened entrepreneurship use real-life stories to make the messages and lessons learned more memorable. Fictional versions of those stories were wandering through my imagination to make them more fun to read (and to write) for about fifteen years before they emerged in the Dale Hunter crime thriller series to show that entrepreneurs are not all evil, selfish monsters; sometimes they’re the hero!     


I wrote...

No Easy Money

By Delvin Chatterson,

Book cover of No Easy Money

What is my book about?

This first novel in the popular series of Dale Hunter crime thrillers introduces us to the ambitious young entrepreneur and his crime-fighting buddy, Frank the Fixer, in an explosive mix of crime, cash, and computers in the international computer business of the 1980s.

Entrepreneurs face challenges every day, and it’s hard to be a hero. Dale Hunter is under threats of violence, death, and destruction from the Montreal Mafia and crooked business associates against himself, his family, and his business. He wants to survive and not play by gangster rules, but it will require courage, creativity, and the support of some new friends. Somebody is going to get killed.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of A Gambling Man

Delvin Chatterson Why did I love this book?

A retro pulp-fiction novel from one of the world’s best-selling authors, David Baldacci.

A Gambling Man is the second intriguing story in Baldacci’s Archer Series about a former WWII veteran working as a private detective. Archer is joined en route to Los Angeles by a beautiful young lady with ambitions in Hollywood who leads them into dangerous territory with murderous gangsters and politicians trying to improve the odds in their favour.

Baldacci’s Archer Series is modeled on the early detective stories of authors like Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane. He creates a tough guy detective in the style of the early masters while making Archer more appealing to modern readers – less macho and more respectful of the independent women joining his fight to stop the death and destruction. 

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Gambling Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting #1 New York Times bestselling thriller from David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.
 
Along the way, Archer stops in Reno, where a stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and…


Book cover of Déjà Dead

Delvin Chatterson Why did I love this book?

This book is the best model for me of what I wanted to write with my own Dale Hunter crime thriller series: a scientist, entrepreneur, or professional as the hero, not a private detective or law enforcement officer, and it’s set in Montreal with all the unique characteristics of that fascinating, multicultural historic city, including the bilingual dialogue unique to Montrealers that Reichs manages to untangle for readers to follow easily.

In addition, she tells the terrifying story of a forensic anthropologist helping to track down a serial killer who finds herself to be the next targeted victim. Déjà Dead is the novel that launched Tempe Brennan novels and the award-winning Bones TV series.      

By Kathy Reichs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bagged and discarded, the dismembered body of a woman is discovered in the grounds of an abandoned monastery.

Dr Temperance Brennan, Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, has been researching recent disappearances in the city.

Soon she is convinced that a serial killer is at work. But when no one else seems to care, her anger forces her to take matters into her own hands. Her determined probing has placed those closest to her in mortal danger, however.

Can Tempe make her crucial breakthrough before the killer strikes again?


Book cover of The Accident

Delvin Chatterson Why did I love this book?

Linwood Barclay is a fellow Canadian crime writer who imagines terrifying scenarios and takes stories through startling twists and turns of non-stop tension and suspense better than most.

Stephen King is a big fan of his writing in the style of horrifying domestic thrillers. In The Accident, we meet the humble hard-working neighbour with an eight-year-old daughter who discovers his wife killed in a car accident. The police claim she was the drunk driver who was responsible for it.

Garber has to believe the evidence but starts to explore what really happened and learns that his friends and neighbours are involved with dangerous criminals who are prepared to kill to protect their illegal activities. 

By Linwood Barclay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A drunk-driving accident hides more than one dark secret in No. 1 bestseller Linwood Barclay's gripping thriller Glen Garber's life has just spiralled out of control. His wife's car is found at the scene of a drunk-driving accident that took three lives. Not only is she dead, but it appears she was the cause of the accident. Suddenly Glen has to deal with a potent mixture of emotions: grief at the loss of his wife, along with anger at her reckless behaviour that leaves their young daughter motherless. If only he could convince himself that Sheila wasn't responsible for the…


Book cover of Her Last Goodbye

Delvin Chatterson Why did I love this book?

A gifted storyteller and USA Today bestselling author, Rick Mofina is a master of the thriller page-turner that starts with a family-friendly story and quickly accelerates through terrifying discoveries of the killer in the house, or next door, or rising from the character’s haunted past.

In Her Last Goodbye, we have the husband waking from some regrettable misbehavior and finding that his wife has not come home from her book club the previous night. He cannot answer his son’s question, “Where’s Mommy?” nor explain that he is the main suspect in his wife’s disappearance.

The mystery may never be explained either and a happy ending seems even more unlikely as he digs into the untold stories of their dark past.    

By Rick Mofina,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Family ties run deep. Family secrets run deeper.

Perfect wife. Doting mom. Jennifer Griffin was loved by everyone, including the women in her suburban-neighborhood book club. Their meetings sometimes went late, but Jenn always came home.

Until that night.

When Greg Griffin wakes to find his wife is not in bed, his blood runs cold. Her book club friends say Jenn left for home hours ago. But she’s missing. Greg tells detectives their marriage is good, but his alibi is razor-thin. With their young son away at a sleepover, Greg had all night to commit a crime. And there are…


Book cover of The Red Pole of Macau

Delvin Chatterson Why did I love this book?

I was introduced to Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee Novels when I was looking for a successful Canadian writer of “business fiction.” We never call it that, of course, it has to be written as an action-adventure, thriller, mystery, suspense novel, and Hamilton meets those criteria with Ava Lee as a tough-as-nails, lesbian Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant tracking down money stolen from business clients.

Her connections and family investments lead her to Hong Kong and Macau for a settling of accounts with local organized crime and Ava Lee knows that violence is the only negotiating tactic they understand.           

By Ian Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Red Pole of Macau as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A forensic accountant attempts to rescue her half-brother and his business partner from a bad real estate deal in Macau that involved gangsters posing as developers in the third novel of the series following The Wild Beasts of Wuhan.


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The Fornax Assassin

By J.C. Gemmell,

Book cover of The Fornax Assassin

J.C. Gemmell Author Of The Fornax Assassin

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Inclusive What-if worrier Eco-warrior Mountain trekker Ten-mile runner

J.C.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In 2038 a devastating pandemic sweeps across the world. Two decades later, Britain remains the epicenter for the Fornax variant, annexed by a terrified global community.

David Malik is as careful as any man to avoid contact with the virus. But when his sister tests positive as an asymptomatic carrier, she must relocate to Fornax Island to join the isolated population of contagious untreatables. Fortunately, the British prime minister’s latest manifesto includes reintegrating the islanders with the nation. Yet, he does not survive a visit to Fornax Island to unveil his new policies.

The military suspects one of its junior officers is responsible for his death. Malik seizes his chance to represent the possible assassin, allowing him to protect his sister. Yet within days of taking on the case, he finds himself accused of masterminding the assassination. 

The Fornax Assassin

By J.C. Gemmell,

What is this book about?

2038: a devastating pandemic sweeps across the world. Two decades later, Britain remains the epicentre for the fornax variant, annexed by a terrified global community.

David Malik is as careful as any man to avoid contact with the virus. But when his sister tests positive as an asymptomatic carrier, she must relocate to Fornax Island to join the isolated population of contagious-untreatables.

Fortunately, the British prime minister’s latest manifesto includes reintegrating the islanders with the nation. Yet, he does not survive a visit to Fornax Island to unveil his new policies.

The military suspects one of its junior officers is…


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