The best law and order books with unforgettable characters

Why am I passionate about this?

Losing my home to Hurricane Katrina taught me the importance of order in a disordered world, an appreciation for the segments of society that maintain order, and an understanding of what all victims of traumatic events experience. When the rug has been pulled out from under you, you need to find a new source of stability and safety. Psychologists call this the “new normal,” but it is anything but normal for those who find themselves enmeshed in it. What to do? Write about it, with an emphasis not on procedure but on people, on the characters who will make a story come alive and stay alive.


I wrote...

The Hostage

By Naomi Kryske,

Book cover of The Hostage

What is my book about?

A hostage incident becomes critical. Police negotiations have failed. The potential for violence has escalated. London Police Constable Brian Davies, a well-trained and experienced officer, discharges his firearm and rescues the victim, but the aftermath of his action seems unending. A life was saved, but some in authority doubt the propriety of PC Davies’ response. While the victim seeks healing from her harrowing encounter, PC Davies finds himself at the mercy of the British judicial process. As one reviewer commented, “There’s more than one hostage in this book.”

A treat for Anglophiles, this legal and forensic drama is the concluding novel in The Witness trilogy.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Nineteen Minutes

Naomi Kryske Why did I love this book?

A prolific author, Picoult is particularly good at highlighting contemporary issues which defy easy answers. Nineteen Minutes describes a school shooting in a small New Hampshire town. The teenager who committed the crime began as a young boy who wanted only to fit in. When that proved impossible, he endeavored not to stand out. Finally he could not accept a life where he was not seen. However, no one – not his classmates, his parents, the police, or the members of the legal system – has a pure motive in the actions which follow.  

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Picoult makes us ponder the ambiguous relationships between love and lying, legality and morality; the strange ways repressed memories leak into the present.' Los Angeles Times

Intricately textured and rich with psychological and social insight, Jodi Picoult's novels grab readers by the throat from page one and never let go. As emotionally charged as any she has written, Nineteen Minutes is one of her most powerful works to date.

Set in a small town in the wake of a horrific school shooting, Nineteen Minutes features the return of two beloved Picoult characters - Jordan McAfee, the lawyer from The Pact…


Book cover of The Face of a Stranger

Naomi Kryske Why did I love this book?

The first novel in Anne Perry’s William Monk series takes place in Victorian London. Monk, a brilliant detective with partial amnesia, needs answers as much about himself as about the crimes he investigates. Not a particularly well-liked individual, he is assisted by a nurse who served in the Crimean War, a compassionate and independent woman, and Oliver Rathbone, an elegant lawyer. Without the benefits of modern technology, all three must be sensitive to the nuances and subtleties of human behavior in order to be successful. 

By Anne Perry,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Face of a Stranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

He is not going to die, after all, in this Victorian pesthouse called a hospital. But the accident that felled him on a London street has left him with only half a life, because his memory and his entire past have vanished. His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective; the mirror reflects a face that women woud like, but he senses he has been more feared than loved.
Monk is given a particularly sensational case: the brutal murder of Major the Honourable Joscelin Grey, Crimean war hero and a popular man about…


Book cover of Still Life

Naomi Kryske Why did I love this book?

Like the concentric circles from a pebble dropped into a pond, a murder in the small Canadian village of Three Pines has far-reaching effects. Armand Gamache, a chief inspector from Montreal, brings his quiet but powerful presence to the investigation. Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, a handsome man a little too full of himself, adds some insights. Meet the wife who thinks her art inferior when compared to her husband’s and the poet whose oral language belies her gift for expressing herself in print. All are human beings with vices as well as virtues.

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Still Life, bestselling author Louise Penny introduces Monsieur L'Inspecteur Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, a modern Poirot who anchors this beloved traditional mystery series.

Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain…


Book cover of Defending Jacob

Naomi Kryske Why did I love this book?

Landay’s novel examines the impact on a family when the fourteen-year-old son, Jacob Barber, is accused of murdering a classmate. Jacob’s father, an assistant district attorney in a small town in Massachusetts, is called to be objective but discovers that his professional duties clash with his responsibilities as a parent. Jacob’s mother wavers between unconditional belief in her son’s innocence and a small kernel of doubt that she cannot dismiss. Shouldn’t their judgment be more mature than that of their son’s? What may appear to an outsider as cowardice may in fact be courage.

By William Landay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If your son was on trial for murder, what would you do?

Andy Barber's job is to put killers behind bars. And when a boy from his son Jacob's school is found stabbed to death, Andy is doubly determined to find and prosecute the perpetrator.

Until a crucial piece of evidence turns up linking Jacob to the murder. And suddenly Andy and his wife find their son accused of being a cold-blooded killer.

In the face of every parent's worst nightmare, they will do anything to defend their child. Because, deep down, they know him better than anyone.

Don't they?


Book cover of A Time to Kill

Naomi Kryske Why did I love this book?

In this legal drama, Grisham delivers a classic portrayal of how racism can affect cases with Black defendants. The initial crime, the rape of ten-year-old Black Tonya Hailey, escalates when her father Carl Lee kills the two white men who were responsible. Carl Lee’s attorney Jake Brigance discovers as he prepares the defense case that perceptions of guilt and innocence differ when race is involved. In fact, attitudes are so extreme that his own family will be in danger if he proceeds. Are law and order incompatible in this small Southern town?

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked A Time to Kill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

______________________________
THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

John Grisham's first and most shocking novel, adapted as a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey

When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal.

But when extremists outside Clanton - including the KKK - hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton.

As…


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Book cover of Liddy-Jean Marketing Queen and the Matchmaking Scheme

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