66 books like Black Run

By Antonio Manzini,

Here are 66 books that Black Run fans have personally recommended if you like Black Run. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Maximum Bob

Susie Black Author Of Death by Cutting Table

From my list on authors who create the zaniest characters.

Who am I?

To be a successful sales exec, required my being an observant student of human nature. The same skill applied to my becoming a successful author. I discovered the most unforgettable people I encountered throughout my career were a lot like the zany oddballs my favorite authors created and the perfect models to base my cast of characters on. 

Susie's book list on authors who create the zaniest characters

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

As a woman who was raised to have a moral compass, I am outraged whenever someone in authority abuses their power and gets away with it.

While I don’t condone revenge, nonetheless, I have to admit I cheered when lewd, lecherous, law-bending Florida Judge Robert “Maximum Bob” Gibbs finally gets his comeuppance and is judged guilty by a grudge-bearing malefactor and sentenced to death-by alligator, a unique means of execution, to say the least.

Ingenious, more than slightly off-kilter Elmore Leonard is the undisputed king of criminal mayhem. His wacky, raucous Maximum Bob is a delightfully dark humorous tale chocked full of zany characters; a group of magnificent miscreants Mr. Leonard created, knowing his readers would love to hate.

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of Be Cool and Get Shorty

When someone delivers an alligator to Judge Bob Gibbs' porch, there's no shortage of suspects - hard-sentencing, womanising redneck 'Maximum Bob' is pretty much the most unpopular man in Florida.

Throw into the mix the Crowe clan - about as primitive and aggressive as any alligator - a doped-up doctor on early release with a tag, quick-witted probation officer Kathy Baker, a mermaid and a long-dead slave girl called Wanda, and things get a tad complicated. And inevitably, they don't work out the way you might expect...


Book cover of Metzger's Dog

Michael Sheldon Author Of The Violet Crow

From my list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction.

Who am I?

I grew up in a Jewish home more focused on comedy than religion. I read Mad Magazine, watched The Three Stooges, and listened to Allan Sherman. The idea of a bar mitzvah was a cruel surprise, sprung on me at age 10. I flunked Hebrew school, yet got accepted at Yale. I majored in a Jewish girl who later broke my heart. So I began writing my first novel. It "almost" got published—another sad story—and I took a job with an editor in NYC who specialized in paranormal non-fiction. That was the spark for The Violet Crow—and my love for comic crime fiction. A new novel, Reveille in Birdland, is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Michael's book list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction

Michael Sheldon Why did Michael love this book?

I had the good fortune to meet Thomas Perry at a writers' conference a few years back. Perry is best known for fast-paced thrillers such as The Butcher's Boy, the Jane Whitefield series, and The Old Man.

On the topic of comic crime fiction, he observed that violent crime is serious business that's difficult to treat with levity. Perry tried it in his second novel. Published in 1983, Metzger's Dog follows Chinese Gordon and his gang as they romp through the southern California desert—blowing things up. Their target is a medical facility with a million dollars worth of cocaine. The heist goes perfectly, except Chinese Gordon also snatches a folder of documents that detail the CIA's meddling with foreign governments. Naturally the feds want those docs back—with extreme prejudice.

By Thomas Perry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Metzger's Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The much-loved comic thriller by the author of the Edgar Award–winning The Butcher’s Boy is now, by popular demand, back in print, featuring a new Introduction by bestselling author Carl Hiaasen.

When Leroy “Chinese” Gordon breaks into a professor’s lab at the University of Los Angeles, he’s after some pharmaceutical cocaine, worth plenty of money. Instead, he finds the papers the professor has compiled for the CIA, which include a blueprint for throwing a large city into chaos. But how is the CIA to be persuaded to pay a suitable ransom, unless of course someone actually uses the plan to…


Book cover of Bank Shot

Susie Black Author Of Death by Cutting Table

From my list on authors who create the zaniest characters.

Who am I?

To be a successful sales exec, required my being an observant student of human nature. The same skill applied to my becoming a successful author. I discovered the most unforgettable people I encountered throughout my career were a lot like the zany oddballs my favorite authors created and the perfect models to base my cast of characters on. 

Susie's book list on authors who create the zaniest characters

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

Maybe it’s because the protagonist and her group of amateur sleuths in my series manage to make every mistake imaginable before they finally succeed in bringing the real killer to justice, that I am tickled pink by Donald E. Westlake’s cast of over-the-top-miscreants.

Starring in Bank Shot, Westlake’s zany characters are more like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Gang leader John Dortmunder and the most inept group of criminals ever to stumble and bumble their way through an ill-fated caper are a rollicking treat that combines fast-moving suspense with laugh-out-loud wit as they attempt to steal a temporarily relocated bank that is inside a mobile home.

All Dortmunder has to do is get past seven security guards, put the bank-on-wheels in gear, and drive away. It’s a simple plan, until it all goes wrong… 

By Donald E. Westlake,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A crew of thieves hopes to hijack a mobile home full of money in this crime caper from “the funniest man in the world” (The Washington Post).

John Dortmunder has been working an encyclopedia-selling scam while waiting for his next big heist. Unfortunately, his latest mark seems to be wise to the con, and he has to cut his sales pitch short and make a quick escape.
 
But opportunity awaits: Main Street bank has temporarily relocated to a mobile home. All Dortmunder has to do is get past seven security guards, put the bank-on-wheels in gear, and drive away. It’s…


Book cover of Voodoo River

Michael Sheldon Author Of The Violet Crow

From my list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction.

Who am I?

I grew up in a Jewish home more focused on comedy than religion. I read Mad Magazine, watched The Three Stooges, and listened to Allan Sherman. The idea of a bar mitzvah was a cruel surprise, sprung on me at age 10. I flunked Hebrew school, yet got accepted at Yale. I majored in a Jewish girl who later broke my heart. So I began writing my first novel. It "almost" got published—another sad story—and I took a job with an editor in NYC who specialized in paranormal non-fiction. That was the spark for The Violet Crow—and my love for comic crime fiction. A new novel, Reveille in Birdland, is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Michael's book list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction

Michael Sheldon Why did Michael love this book?

Robert Crais' private detectives, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, inhabit the same traffic-choked freeways as Harry Bosch, but in a much brighter key. I'm drawn to Elvis' non-stop banter, which is often laugh-out-loud funny. Tough-guy Joe has a gift for understatement that makes him a perfect foil for Elvis. In Voodoo River, Elvis falls in love with Lucy Chenier. (His wiseguy courtship style is something you shouldn't try at home.) The novel's set in Louisiana, where Crais grew up. Elvis is investigating a blackmail scheme run by Milt Rossier, a wily ex-con backed up by a gun thug named Leroy; Rene, a 400-pound brain-dead monster; and a vicious snapping turtle named Luther. Elvis is not intimidated, but he wisely calls in Joe to improve the odds for the inevitable confrontation.

By Robert Crais,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a search for a young woman's past PI Elvis Cole discovers far more than he expected . . .

Hired to uncover the past of Jodi Taylor, an actress in a hit TV show, Elvis leaves his native Los Angeles to head for Louisiana in search of Jodi's biological parents.

But before he can tackle the mystery of the actress's background, he is up against a whole host of eccentrics, including a crazed Raid-spraying housewife, a Cajun thug who looks like he's been made out of spare parts, and a menacing hundred-year-old river turtle named Luther.

As Elvis learns…


Book cover of Killshot

W.A. Winter Author Of The Secret Lives of Dentists

From my list on crime stories of the past 50 years.

Who am I?

I’ve been a long-form journalist for more than 50 years, a voracious reader of both nonfiction and fiction for even longer, and am the author of three true-crime books (as William Swanson) and five suspense novels (as W.A. Winter). I especially love noir fiction, the darker and grittier the better, with complex story lines, multiple characters, adult situations and language, and no happy endings. I’m currently at work on another thriller, this one, like its predecessors, set in post-World War II Minneapolis, where and when I grew up.

W.A.'s book list on crime stories of the past 50 years

W.A. Winter Why did W.A. love this book?

Just about any of Leonard’s several dozen suspense novels could have a top spot in this reckoning, including the better known Get Shorty, Freaky Deaky, and Glitz. My vote for the best goes, however, to Killshot, his dark, deftly plotted, highly comedic 1989 thriller about two bumbling killers and a ballsy middle-aged married couple the killers mistake for easy marks. Armand Degas, a soulful Ojibway known as the Blackbird, has grown tired of being a hit man for the Detroit mob. He’s befriended by a moronic thug named Richie Nix, whose bucket list includes robbing a bank in every state. When they decide that Carmen, a real estate agent, and her steelworker husband Wayne Colson hold the keys to a fortune, they learn that, like the Bible says, the wages of sin is death.  

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The King of Cool returns with another thrilling tale of crime capers.

Arman 'The Blackbird' Degas is a professional hitman: one shot, one kill. But when he's carjacked by ex-con Richie Nix, he finds himself with a lethal partner.

Nix is on his way to shake down a realtor and the Blackbird is along for the ride. But they don't count on Carmen and Wayne Colson getting in their way. Exposed as eyewitnesses, the Colsons are placed in witness protection but soon discover the program contains as many predators as the underworld they're hiding from. But can they outrun the…


Book cover of A Spoonful of Murder

Jonathan Whitelaw Author Of The Bingo Hall Detectives

From my list on sleuths who aren't cops.

Who am I?

I’ve always been besotted with crime fiction. As a journalist in Scotland, I got to experience real-life crime on a daily basis. And the world of cozy crime fiction became a very valuable, indispensable escape for me. So, when it came to coming up with my characters for The Bingo Hall Detectives, I knew that I had to create a cast, a setting, a mystery even, that would take me out of the relentlessness of the real world and into the confines of a bloody good read. And I’m so glad I did. The Bingo Hall Detectives series is very dear to me and I’m very lucky to be able to bring it to readers. 

Jonathan's book list on sleuths who aren't cops

Jonathan Whitelaw Why did Jonathan love this book?

I love a great mystery and I adore fantastic characters.

That’s why A Spoonful of Murder is so high on my list. It’s cozy crime with attitude. Having a detective story that doesn’t feature any actual detectives is the challenge for all cozy crime writers.

And J.M. Hall does this with such verve, vigour, and lightness of touch that you find it impossible not to fall in love with Liz, Pat, and Thelma.

There’s a wonderful fraternity amongst us cozy crime writers and I’m very lucky to count Mr. Hall as a friend. He makes me want to be a better author, just to keep up with him!

By J.M. Hall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Fabulous, cosy, mystery... Wonderful... Absolutely perfect for fans of Richard Osman!' NetGalley Review

Introducing the three unlikeliest sleuths you'll ever meet...

Every Thursday, three retired school teachers have their 'coffee o'clock' sessions at the Thirsk Garden Centre cafe.

But one fateful week, as they are catching up with a slice of cake, they bump into their ex-colleague, Topsy.

By the next Thursday, Topsy's dead.

The last thing Liz, Thelma and Pat imagined was that they would become involved in a murder.

But they know there's more to Topsy's death than meets the eye - and it's down to them to…


Book cover of The Players

Alice Hunter Author Of The Serial Killer's Sister

From my list on psychological/crime that feature disturbing games.

Who am I?

After completing a psychology degree, I became an interventions facilitator in a prison and worked with offenders who'd committed serious violent crimes. It was while I was in this role that my fascination for criminal psychology grew. Once I left the profession, I put my experiences to good use in fiction, going on to write The Serial Killer series of three psychological thrillers. With the most recent, The Serial Killer’s Sister, I incorporated my love of puzzles and games into a twisted story of a serial killer who uses a childhood game known to his sister as ‘The Hunt’ to track her down and torment her.

Alice's book list on psychological/crime that feature disturbing games

Alice Hunter Why did Alice love this book?

As I’d ended up enjoying Eeny Meeny I didn’t hesitate to pick up The Players.

Following a similar vein of psychological manipulation and exploitation of secrets, the game in this novel refers to a series of dangerous activities orchestrated by ‘The Host’ who carefully chooses two ‘players’ to fight to the death. And if that’s not twisted enough, the fights are posted to social media. This gives a modern edge to the novel and plays on fears about the far-reaching implications of the internet.

I felt a sense of unease all the way through and particularly enjoyed the underlying dilemma of whether you would be able to live with the guilt of killing someone to protect your family or make the decision to sacrifice yourself for another’s sake.

By Darren O'Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Saw meets I See You. Dark, twisted and deadly' CL Taylor 'A psychological thriller that packs a real punch' Choice In this game it's kill or be killed...

A stranger has you cornered.
They call themselves The Host.
You are forced to play their game.
In it one person can live and the other must die.

You are the next player.
You have a choice to make.

This is a game where nobody wins...

A nerve-shredding cat-and-mouse serial killer thriller that will keep you guessing and reading into the night, perfect for fans of Adrian McKinty, John Marrs and Steve…


Book cover of Miracle Creek

Roxana Arama Author Of Extreme Vetting

From my list on voices of immigrants.

Who am I?

I’m a Romanian American author who arrived in the US with a job in software development. In more than twenty years as an immigrant, I’ve struggled with the same problems these novels explore: how to build a home in a new land, away from my family; how to fit in or make my peace with not belonging; how to be the parent of American-born children whose culture is different from my native one. I’m familiar with the US immigration system from my yearslong citizenship application, and I also interviewed an immigration lawyer extensively for my thriller.

Roxana's book list on voices of immigrants

Roxana Arama Why did Roxana love this book?

In this gripping courtroom drama, an explosion in Miracle Creek, Virginia, destroys the business of South Korean immigrants Pak and Young Yoo and puts their daughter Mary into a monthslong coma. As arguments mount against the woman accused of starting the fire, Young struggles with a question many immigrants must face. Maybe she shouldn’t have brought her child to the US, where Mary struggles as a teenager and where she was almost killed. The tension between the two generations resonated with me as a parent and immigrant. As Young hopes to discover who caused the explosion that killed two other people, she must also help Mary imagine a future in their adoptive country.

By Angie Kim,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'That wonderful, brilliant sort of book you want to shove at people as soon as you've finished so they can experience it for themselves' Erin Morgenstern

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we'll go to protect our families - and our deepest secrets.

In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two…


Book cover of Games Criminals Play: How You Can Profit by Knowing Them

Judith A. Yates Author Of When Nashville Bled: The untold stories of serial killer Paul Dennis Reid

From my list on true crime books to keep on your shelf.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning true crime author, criminologist, and victims advocate who has written and presented on crime for over 30 years. I know that history teaches us how and why crime occurs and why it will happen again, but crime doesn't happen in a vacuum. History, personality, and human nature all play a part. There is always a "story behind the story." I appreciate true crime books that teach us rather than sensationalize. The faster we share knowledge, the easier it is to catch criminals.

Judith's book list on true crime books to keep on your shelf

Judith A. Yates Why did Judith love this book?

Manipulation is a simple art.

I require all students and mentees to read this book and keep it on their shelves. It is an easy read and contains information that will keep future law enforcement officers safe from inmate behavior. Civilians can apply these skills to everyday life to protect themselves as well. We call it “the trick bag”, falling for a simple ruse and landing as a pawn in an inmate’s game in prison. The “game” is a series of manipulations over time that might lead to the target’s incarceration, loss of job, and public humiliation. 

This book is an effective tool for offender management and exposing criminal scams. The examples are accurate and anyone can use the tools it discusses. The authors discuss the anatomy of the setup, susceptibility profiles of both inmate and target, survival traits, and more. It can start with a pencil and end with…

By Bud Allen, Diana Bosta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Games Criminals Play as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Games Criminals Play


Book cover of Killing Floor

Maurice Holloway Author Of Steal a Diamond

From my list on detective books with the most memorable protagonist.

Who am I?

I have a passion for writing, and whenever I can, I try to help new writers improve their expertise so that one day they’ll complete their first book. My first book, born from a few-hundred-word short story at my writing group, turned into a three-book thriller series called FAVOURS. Since then, I’ve branched out by publishing a rom/com, a humorous ghost story as well as a standalone thriller. Agatha Christie published her first book as the result of a dare, which proves you can do it if you really want to.

Maurice's book list on detective books with the most memorable protagonist

Maurice Holloway Why did Maurice love this book?

This was Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel written after leaving a lengthy career in television. I read it years before I got the writing bug. Along with the rest of the world, I loved Reacher from the outset, a no-nonsense ex-US Army military policeman. A loner who believes in justice, he freewheels around America, walking into trouble and bumping into people with problems that he helps to solve. He’s a big man you can’t forget or miss; Reacher is six feet five.

I knew the theme was familiar, but the character was original, exciting, and tough. Frequently called hardboiled, Reacher hurts people if he has to, sometimes has to kill the ones who want him dead, but he’s a man you want on your side. He doesn’t pussyfoot around. He gets things done. A genuine hero.

I found, like the man, that the writing was sharp, tight, and concise.…

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.


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