The best and most technically accurate thrillers

Why am I passionate about this?

For people who know something about a technical field, there is nothing that can ruin a book or movie faster than inaccuracies about that field. I’ve worked as an armored car driver, police officer, and private investigator in and around Detroit, and have been writing for outdoor magazines for close to twenty years, so not only do I know a lot about the featured subjects/characters of most thrillers, I care about how accurately they’re portrayed, and have brought that passion to my writing. I’ve written five thrillers set in Detroit, many of them featuring a private investigator, and when writing Bestiarii and its sequels did extensive research on dinosaurs.


I wrote...

Bestiarii

By James Tarr,

Book cover of Bestiarii

What is my book about?

Forty years from now, the Mexican civil war has been grinding on for so long that the U.S. has resorted to using private contractors—mercenaries—on a huge scale to prop up the failing Mexican army. At the start of the war the guerrillas attacked Pangaea, the famed animal park in remote northeast Mexico. Officially all the genetically engineered dinosaurs inside were killed. The truth is far different.

When a helicopter crashes in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains a disparate group of combat-seasoned contractors, students, and a CEO find themselves in a cross-country scramble trying to evade not just gunmen but the savage offspring of the artificially-created animals once filling Pangaea

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Hunt for Red October

James Tarr Why did I love this book?

With The Hunt For Red October, unknown insurance salesman Tom Clancy single-handedly invented a genre—the “techno-thriller”. 

This has come to mean a thriller where the author has done everything they could to make sure even the tiniest details in their book were technically accurate—and nobody did it with a bigger splash than Clancy. The CIA read the book and immediately started searching for whoever had released the information in it, which they thought was still classified. 

THFRO was passed all around Washington D.C., and eventually even President Reagan publicly praised it. But beyond all the technically correct tech around Navy vessels in general and submarines in particular, THFRO is a darn good story, a thriller about a defecting Soviet submarine during the height of the Cold War. 

It showed people a novel could be both entertaining and exactingly accurate.

By Tom Clancy,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Hunt for Red October as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Also Available as an Audio Edition from Audible

Tom Clancy's rich imagination and his remarkable grasp of the capabilities of advanced technology give this novel an amazing ring of authenticity. It is a thriller with a new twist, a "military procedural" with an ingenious, tightly woven plot that revolves around the defection of a Soviet nuclear submarine--the USSR's newest and most valuable ship, with its most trusted and skilled officer at the helm.

A deadly serious game of hide-and-seek is on. The entire Soviet Atlantic Fleet is ordered to hunt down the submarine and destroy her at all costs. The…


Book cover of Point of Impact

James Tarr Why did I love this book?

What Tom Clancy did for submarines with The Hunt For Red October, Stephen Hunter did with rifles and long-range shooting in Point of Impact, which was made into the movie Shooter with Mark Wahlberg in addition to a cable TV show of the same name. 

Hunter had already proven himself a talented thriller writer when he penned Point of Impact, but the excellent plot (a famous Vietnam sniper framed for an assassination by a shadowy conspiracy) combined with never-before-seen firearms technical detail that enhanced rather than bogged down the story made this novel a huge success and catapulted Hunter to the A-list.  

By Stephen Hunter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bob Lee Swagger is one of the best snipers in the world, but he is about to be set up. In 1963, RamDyne, the illegal sub-agency linked to the CIA, framed Lee Harvey Oswald for J.F. Kennedy's assassination. Now the FBI and RamDyne are after Bob as the potential assassin of the President.


Book cover of Gorky Park

James Tarr Why did I love this book?

As a child of the eighties I grew up in the Cold War, where the Soviet Union was the enemy…but most Americans didn’t know anything about it. 

Gorky Park peeled back the curtain on the day-to-day lives of a few not-so-average Russians. The hugely successful novel features Moscow policeman Arkady Renko investigating a murder that has international repercussions. This novel opened a window into a foreign world that few people in the West had ever seen—in addition to being very smartly written. 

Even today this novel is fascinating, and it spawned half a dozen more sequels starring Renko.

By Martin Cruz Smith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Gorky Park as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't miss the latest book in the Arkady Renko series, THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA by Martin Cruz Smith, 'the master of the international thriller' (New York Times) - available to order now!

THE NOVEL THAT STARTED IT ALL - ARKADY RENKO NOVEL #1

'One of those writers that anyone who is serious about their craft views with respect bordering on awe' Val McDermid

'Makes tension rise through the page like a shark's fin' Independent

***
Three bodies found frozen in the snow. And the hunt for the killer begins...

It begins with a triple murder in a Moscow amusement center: three…


Book cover of All Fall Down

James Tarr Why did I love this book?

This novel, released in 1994, was one of The New York Times’ Notable Books of the Year, but these days, unfortunately few people have heard of it. 

A thriller about a terrorist holding the entire American air traffic control system hostage, this novel stood out because of how accurate all the details of the U.S. ATC were—details Gruenfeld had become aware of while pursuing a pilot’s license. 

Rush Limbaugh, an avid fan of aviation, raved about the book on his #1 rated radio show, and that’s where I heard about it.

By Lee Gruenfeld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the near-crash of a passenger plane, the responsible party demands five million in cash to prevent worse accidents, and former NTSB investigator and Naval officer Jack Webster and combat pilot Bo Kincaid are partnered to investigate--if they can trust each other


Book cover of The Lincoln Lawyer

James Tarr Why did I love this book?

Having worked as a police officer, process server, and private investigator, I find most books featuring characters with those occupations unrealistic and not entertaining. 

Michael Connelly spent time working for the L.A. Times as a crime reporter, so he knows reporters, cops, and lawyers.  He’s seen greater success with his Harry Bosch series, but The Lincoln Lawyer was the debut novel featuring defense attorney Mickey Haller, and it’s great. 

Not only does the plot keep you guessing, but the realistic grit of the Los Angeles courts gives this book an authenticity you rarely find.

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Lincoln Lawyer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They're called Lincoln Lawyers: the bottom of the legal food chain, the criminal defence attorneys who operate out of the back of a Lincoln car, travelling between the courthouses of Los Angeles county to take whatever cases the system throws in their path.

Mickey Haller has been in the business a long time, and he knows just how to work it, how to grease the right wheels and palms, to keep the engine of justice working in his favour. When a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman, Haller has his first high-paying client in years.…


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The Blue Prussian

By Eve Penrose,

Book cover of The Blue Prussian

Eve Penrose

New book alert!

What is my book about?

The Blue Prussian is a spellbinding story told by Blake O’Brien, a beautiful, young executive with a globetrotting career. Blake returns to her native Manhattan from San Francisco after escaping—or so she thinks—her marriage to a dashing man who turned out to be a prince of darkness. She had been hoping for a fresh start but learns that she has been poisoned with thallium—a deadly neurotoxin referred to as the poisoner’s poison.

Blake is treated with the only known antidote—Prussian blue—the same synthetic pigment with the deeply saturated hue used in dazzling masterpieces like The Starry Night and The Great…

The Blue Prussian

By Eve Penrose,

What is this book about?

"A modern-day Gaslight"

The Blue Prussian is a spellbinding story told by Blake O'Brien, a beautiful, young executive with a globetrotting career. Blake returns to her native Manhattan from San Francisco after escaping—or so she thinks—her marriage to a dashing man who turned out to be a prince of darkness. She had been hoping for a fresh start but learns that she has been poisoned with thallium—a deadly neurotoxin referred to as the poisoner's poison.

Blake is treated with the only known antidote—Prussian blue—the same synthetic pigment with the deeply saturated hue used in dazzling masterpieces like The Starry Night…


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