The best books of murder mysteries from the perspective of an award-winning thriller author

Who am I?

I’m a mystery writer and I’ve had 16 award-winning novels published. I also love to read mystery and thriller novels, and I read them voraciously. I’m best known for my highly-acclaimed J.T. Ryan mysteries and I was a Finalist for the Author Academy Award. Also, many of my books were Featured Novels of the International Thriller Writers Association. I’m also a multi-year nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year Award. 


I wrote...

The Media Murders

By Lee Gimenez,

Book cover of The Media Murders

What is my book about?

Before breaking an explosive story, a famous New York Times reporter dies under suspicious circumstances. Then a well-known TV reporter commits suicide. Suspecting foul play, the FBI’s John Ryan and Erin Welch investigate. As they probe the mysterious deaths, they uncover a shocking truth: Reporters are being murdered to suppress the news. More shocking is who they suspect is responsible for the killings. Can John Ryan and Erin Welch survive as they try to expose the conspiracy? Or will they be murdered by the assassins sent to keep them from revealing the truth?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The 20th Victim

Lee Gimenez Why did I love this book?

This book grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go until the very end. I loved the pacing of this murder mystery novel. The book starts out with three murders that have happened at the exact time, one in Chicago, one in L.A., and the third in San Francisco. The main character, SFPD sergeant Lindsey Boxer attempts to solve them with the help of the Women’s Murder Club. The interaction between the women as they go about their investigation is the best I’ve ever read. 

By James Patterson, Maxine Paetro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 20th Victim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sergeant Lindsay Boxer tackles an ambitious case that spans San Francisco, L.A., and Chicago in this pulse-pounding thriller of "smart characters" and "shocking twists" (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author).
Three victims, three bullets, three cities. The shooters' aim is as fearsomely precise as their target selection. When Lindsay realizes that the fallen men and women excel in a lucrative, criminal activity, she leads the charge in the manhunt for the killers. As the casualty list expands, fear and fascination with this suspicious shooting gallery galvanizes the country.
The victims were no angels, but are the shooters villains…


Book cover of The Hit

Lee Gimenez Why did I love this book?

The Hit is my favorite of David Baldacci's many novels. It's a page-turning, pulse-racing action thriller with one of the best plots I've ever read. I found Will Robie, the main character in the book, a riveting personality. He's a U.S. government agent and the man the government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst. No one can match Robie's talents as a hitman. No one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now she's gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency. I found the captivating characters, the plot line, and the relentless pace of this novel a great read. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last.

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Hit is David Baldacci's blockbuster follow up to The Innocent, the smash-hit bestseller featuring U.S. government assassin, Will Robie.

YOU SEND A KILLER TO CATCH A KILLER.

Government hitman Will Robie is an elite killer. Called on by the US authorities to assassinate enemies of the state, his formidable skill set makes him an irreplaceable asset to his employers. But when he's given his next target, he knows he's about to embark on his toughest mission yet.

Reports indicate fellow assassin Jessica Reel has gone rogue, leaving a trail of deaths in her wake including her handler. To stop…


Book cover of A Dangerous Man

Lee Gimenez Why did I love this book?

Great plot line and great characters. Although this murder mystery novel is serious, the author also introduces a humorous angle to the reader, which I found to be refreshing. The interplay between Joe Pike and Elvis Cole, the two private investigators in the story, is priceless. Good action scenes and crisp dialogue.  

By Robert Crais,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A brilliant new crime novel from the beloved, bestselling, and award-winning master of the genre--and Joe Pike's most perilous case to date.

Joe Pike didn't expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to bed, the arrests are…


Book cover of Killing Floor

Lee Gimenez Why did I love this book?

In my opinion, Killing Floor, has all of the ingredients of a dynamite murder mystery novel. Some novelists can write top-notch action and some can create compelling mysteries, yet it’s rare to find both of those skills displayed in a single book. The hero of the novel, Jack Reacher, is my favorite action character. He's tough and quiet and seeks justice. He's a former military policeman who has just arrived in Margrave, a small Georgia town. In the first chapter we see Reacher arrested for murder. As more murders take place in the town, Reacher attempts to clear his name and ends up helping the local cops solve the murders. In my opinion, this book has it all: non-stop action and suspense throughout, with great pacing and taut dialogue.

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Killing Floor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.


Book cover of Black List

Lee Gimenez Why did I love this book?

I found Black List to be a murder mystery that captivated me from beginning to end. The plot twists kept me guessing as to the final outcome, and just when I thought I had it figured out, the book took another turn and drew me deeper into the plot. This page-turning thriller pits Scot Harvath, a counterterrorism agent, against a secret government deep-state conspiracy that wants him dead. They’ve placed him on the ‘black list,’ a list of most wanted terrorists. I found this book to be a high-octane thriller, and one of the best mystery novels I’ve ever read.

By Brad Thor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Somewheredeep inside the United States government is a closely guarded list. Members of Congress never get to see it-only the President and a secret team of advisers. Once your name is on the list, it doesn't come off...until you're dead. Someonehas just added counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath's name.

SomehowHarvath must evade the teams dispatched to kill him long enough to untangle who has targeted him and why they want him out of the way. Somewhere, someone, somehowcan put all the pieces together. The only question is; will Harvath get to that person before the United States suffers the most withering…


You might also like...

Deep Roots

By Sung J. Woo,

Book cover of Deep Roots

Sung J. Woo Author Of Deep Roots

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Novelist Tennis fan Cinephile Gamer

Sung's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

After solving her first case, private eye Siobhan O’Brien is hired by Phillip Ahn, an octogenarian billionaire with his own personal island in the Pacific Northwest. Ahn, a genius in artificial intelligence, swears that Duke, his youngest child and only son, is an impostor. Is Ahn crazy, or is Duke really someone else? As Siobhan attempts to arrive at the truth, her biggest challenge will be dealing with Ahn’s family, who all live under the same gilded roof: his current wife, his two ex-wives, and their awful, privileged children.

What is the real reason that Siobhan was brought to this isolated estate? If she can keep her head – literally and figuratively – she’ll learn that family secrets have some very deep roots.

Deep Roots

By Sung J. Woo,

What is this book about?

After solving her first case, Siobhan O’Brien faces her biggest challenge yet – Thanksgiving!  With her lawyer boyfriend Craig in tow, Siobhan travels to Minneapolis to endure small talk with the extended O’Brien clan and chow down on some seriously delicious turkey and dressing.  Everything’s swell until her sister-in-law Gwen tells her about her brother Sven's frequent late-night meetings with his co-workers.  Since Siobhan’s next case is just a ferry ride from their house in Washington state, she asks for Siobhan’s help.
Big sister is happy to oblige, though she’s got her hands full.  Hired by Phillip Ahn, a Korean…


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