The best books in suspense intrigue thrillers

The Books I Picked & Why

Moroccan Traffic: Send a Fax to the Kasbah

By Dorothy Dunnett

Book cover of Moroccan Traffic: Send a Fax to the Kasbah

Why this book?

Dorothy Dunnett is my all-time favourite author. In her lifetime she wrote the most amazing historical fiction (two series and one stand-alone novel) but she also wrote a contemporary suspense intrigue series featuring the same hero tackling new situations in each one: The Johnson Johnson series. Why do I love her writing? For several reasons. The stories are convoluted and gripping, requiring 100% of your attention, the language is beautiful and transports you, the research she did was phenomenal and her wit was razor sharp. She has a fanatical global fanbase that I'm part of.

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For Kicks

By Dick Francis

Book cover of For Kicks

Why this book?

When I think of Dick Francis, Ernest Hemingway usually comes to mind because the writing style of both has been described as deceptively simple. As Dunnett's stories are convoluted, Francis' are straightforward. There is no ambiguity or second-guessing. A jockey in real life Francis themed all of his novels around the racing world. I've chosen For Kicks for this list because I'm Australian and the protagonist is an Australian horse breeder temporarily conducting an investigation in the UK. When I'm in the mood for a thoroughly entertaining and easy read I turn to Dick Francis.

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Seven Deadly Wonders, 1

By Matthew Reilly

Book cover of Seven Deadly Wonders, 1

Why this book?

Reilly, unlike my first two picks, is still alive and producing books.  And he's Australian so I'm giving him a plug! On top of that, he's an international bestseller who is now turning his attention to directing films based on his own books. Keep an eye out for Interceptor starring Elsa Pataky in early 2022 on Netflix. Seven Deadly Wonders is the first of a seven-book series following the exploits of hero Jack West Jr. If you like fast-paced then Reilly's stories are for you. He hits the ground at full speed and doesn't slow; you find yourself having to stop reading to catch your breath! Incredibly enjoyable reading.

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The Black Echo

By Michael Connelly

Book cover of The Black Echo

Why this book?

Connelly's books are grounded in his experience and expertise in the crime oeuvre. A former journalist who worked the crime beat on various newspapers he has won numerous awards for journalism and his fiction. Having spent some years as a court reporter in my hometown of Canberra, and basing my novel A Legal Affair on my experiences, I identify in a very small way with Connelly. I love the detail and authenticity of his writing.

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The Broken Shore

By Peter Temple

Book cover of The Broken Shore

Why this book?

Temple is another internationally renowned and multiple award-winning Australian writer. Several of his novels (The Broken Shore and Jack Irish series) have been turned into telemovies. The Broken Shore protagonist is Joe Cashin, a police detective who moves from the big city to live in the small South Australian town where he grew up but if he thought he'd swapped frenetic for calm he's in for a shock. This is not merely a crime novel, it plumbs life on every level. Temple's not called one of Australia's finest writers for nothing.

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