68 books like Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Here are 68 books that Capital Kill fans have personally recommended if you like Capital Kill. 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 The Simple Art of Murder

Stephen Bentley Author Of Operation George: A Gripping True Crime Story of an Audacious Undercover Sting

From my list on grounded crime fiction.

Who am I?

I was a cop for fourteen years and a barrister in the UK for another fourteen years appearing in criminal trials. I've seen and heard enough real cops, lawyers, and criminals to last me a lifetime and more. It left an indelible mark on my own writing and reading preferences. I love true crime but also good crime fiction with realistic characters, settings, and plausible storylines. There's a thread that connects me to most of the authors whose books I have recommended. They're either former lawyers with investigative experience or experienced journalists with experience of a crime beat. Chandler is the exception, but I must say he would've probably fitted right into the police forces.

Stephen's book list on grounded crime fiction

Stephen Bentley Why did Stephen love this book?

I am a fan of this style of writing. Some may call it pulp fiction. Perhaps, hard-boiled? I suppose it is like comparing bare-knuckle fighting and boxing under the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Chandler's style, and those like him, is down and dirty, and supposed to be realistic. Indeed, in his essay, he writes: "Fiction in any form has always intended to be realistic." He was writing in the context of denigrating the old-fashioned British-style mystery. I do believe he has a point. Anyone who is familiar with his work and style can understand my penchant for liking crime fiction that is realistic. The remainder of my picks reflect this. 

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a collection of early short stories and an essay which gave the book its name. The latter is fairly short and its main idea is an argument for the virtues of a noir mystery as opposed to a traditional British one. Considering the fact that this comes from a guy who became a classic of the former even before his death and that he picked up some below the average examples of the latter, I agree.

The stories themselves left me out cold for the most part. I can actually describe the plot in practically all of them…


Book cover of The Late Show

Katie Tietjen Author Of Death In The Details

From my list on mystery books starring kick-butt female sleuths.

Who am I?

I grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. Then, in a plot twist that surprised exactly no one, I became an English teacher, a librarian (did you know you can recommend books for a LIVING???), and an author. I love books where the sleuth must not only solve the case at hand, but also wrestle with some sort of ongoing personal problem–bonus points if they can simultaneously pull the curtain back on societal issues and make me feel like I’m getting to experience life in a place where I don’t actually live (I’m looking at you, London and L.A.). 

Katie's book list on mystery books starring kick-butt female sleuths

Katie Tietjen Why did Katie love this book?

Speaking of Los Angeles, I’ve long felt that for my favorite crime writer, Michael Connelly, the City of Angels is more like a character than a setting; it comes alive in his books. The Late Show, his first story featuring Detective Renee Ballard, is no exception.

Ballard is an outsider and an underdog, partly due to her own choices and partly because of circumstances beyond her control, and I was rooting for her from the get-go. This book is extra special to me because I got to meet Connelly when he was touring to promote it. 

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this first installment of the Renée Ballard series, #1 bestselling author Michael Connelly introduces a "complicated and driven" young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD's toughest beat (The New York Times).
Renee Ballard works the midnight shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing few, as each morning she turns everything over to the daytime units. It's a frustrating job for a once up-and-coming detective, but it's no accident. She's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.
But one night Ballard catches two assignments she doesn't want to part…


Book cover of Thirteen

Abi Silver Author Of The Pinocchio Brief

From my list on challenging our views that justice prevails.

Who am I?

Having spent my youth watching dramas Crown Court and L.A. Law on TV and reading Rumpole of the Bailey, it’s not surprising I became a lawyer and then went on to write legal thrillers myself. The courtroom is an inherently theatrical place, where emotions and tensions run high. It’s a place where egos collide, theories are propounded and punctured and the liberty (and sometimes the life) of the accused is at stake. It follows, then, that lawyers operate in a totally even-handed system, where they’ll always achieve a fair and just result and uncover the truth. All the books I’ve recommended challenge this notion in different (but equally brilliant) ways.

Abi's book list on challenging our views that justice prevails

Abi Silver Why did Abi love this book?

"The serial killer isn’t on trial he’s on the jury."

Actor Bobby Solomon is accused of murdering his wife and bodyguard in a frenzied attack. Eddie Flynn, former conman turned lawyer, is brought in to assist the defence team. Eddie’s the full package—resourceful, quick-witted, a masterful cross-examiner, and he can handle himself in a fight. He also believes in Bobby’s innocence. But he’s up against an ingenious, ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to achieve his cause. 

If the central premise—that of a killer infiltrating the jury and undermining the entire justice system—isn’t sufficiently terrifying, then the array of corrupt police officers and self-serving lawyers (on both sides) should tip you over the edge. Happily, Eddie stands head and shoulders above them all.

By Steve Cavanagh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN'T ON TRIAL.

HE'S ON THE JURY...

****************

'THIRTEEN is my favourite read of the year.' Sarah Pinborough

'Outstanding.' Lee Child

'Smart and original. This is a belter of a book.' Clare Mackintosh

****************

They were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to…


Book cover of Rabette Run

Stephen Bentley Author Of Operation George: A Gripping True Crime Story of an Audacious Undercover Sting

From my list on grounded crime fiction.

Who am I?

I was a cop for fourteen years and a barrister in the UK for another fourteen years appearing in criminal trials. I've seen and heard enough real cops, lawyers, and criminals to last me a lifetime and more. It left an indelible mark on my own writing and reading preferences. I love true crime but also good crime fiction with realistic characters, settings, and plausible storylines. There's a thread that connects me to most of the authors whose books I have recommended. They're either former lawyers with investigative experience or experienced journalists with experience of a crime beat. Chandler is the exception, but I must say he would've probably fitted right into the police forces.

Stephen's book list on grounded crime fiction

Stephen Bentley Why did Stephen love this book?

Not only did this novel remind me of Lewis Carroll's works, but it also reminded me of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour and other works of theirs in their hallucinogenic-inspired songs and albums. Rippington himself is aware of that in his writing as he references both Alice in Wonderland and the phrase 'magical mystery tour.'

So far, I may have misled you because this book is a real thriller. It travels along at the speed of sound and though the things happening to Emerson Rabette are fantastic, they are so believable at the same time. That's difficult to do as a writer but Mr. Rippington manages it with ease and much panache.

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What the readers are saying...
★★★★★ The perfect escapist read for our times
‘★★★★★ The sort of book you ‘watch’ while reading... utterly brilliant
★★★★★ If possible, I would have awarded this 10 stars. This book is much more than amazing.
★★★★★ The author, Nick Rippington, himself describes it as "Alice in Wonderland... with guns." Well, he's right and it's not hype.

Graphic designer Emerson Rabette is forced to use the London Underground to get to a meeting with his employers. There's a problem, as he's terrified of the tube. He is no ordinary commuter and this is no ordinary…


Book cover of The Midnight Killing

Jason Johnson Author Of Did She See You?

From my list on Northern Ireland since the end of the Troubles.

Who am I?

I grew up in this place, born here when the Troubles began. In one form or another, the conflict was everywhere. It was built into the infrastructure, into attitudes. It infested conversations, hurt friendships, killed old folks, children, friends, and family. Fiction from and about Northern Ireland was inevitably hamstrung by that dominant, terrible story. Since the 1994 ceasefires, our fiction has come charging forward. It’s analytical, bullish, enlightening, funny as hell, and it moves us forward by taking honest stock of what came before. I love this emerging place and its new voices. And I love to read and write stories about it. It’s a stubborn home, often maddening, truly kind, forever breath-taking.

Jason's book list on Northern Ireland since the end of the Troubles

Jason Johnson Why did Jason love this book?

A man found hanging sparks suspicion so, just to check all is okay, the cops hang him again. Well, not him. A stand-in. But it’s a fine little detail that sums up this shrewd book – cold, hard, well-researched, loaded with bold ideas. This is Northern Ireland crime fiction as it should be, the procedural narrative we once struggled to host. Policing took place when cops were pretty much soldiers. Nowadays it’s different. And Dempsey’s crime fiction is second to none. The aftermath of the Troubles – and its socio-political complexity – is sewn in here, used to both enhance tension and amplify relationships. So, a forensic shrink and a cop explore the creepy case of a missing girl after the aforementioned hanging. Get your seat belt on – this thing twists.

By Sharon Dempsey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She'd cycled this way hundreds of times before, every twist and turn familiar. She didn't know this would be the last.

When the body of architect James McCallum is found hanging in the grounds of his former school one cold night, DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey suspect foul play behind his apparent suicide.

To their astonishment, the trail leads to a 20-year-old cold case of a missing girl, and a teenage party. But what was James' fascination with the case and how is it linked to his death?

Secrets don't stay buried forever - but the real…


Book cover of Burying Ben

Linda Howe-Steiger Author Of Terroir: A Morgan Kendall Wine Country Mystery

From my list on cozy mysteries that have a secondary ethical theme.

Who am I?

Born in Ohio, transplanted to Northern California, I’ve played many roles in life, including college teacher, environmental writer, urban planner, political activist, and mom. In the evening, when my body aches with tiredness, but my brain won’t stop churning on whatever subject I wrestled with that day, I love a good but “meaty” little cozy—one with a clever puzzle, something to make me smile, and a secondary theme that goes a bit into an important, really engaging topic. Then I snuggle down and enjoy my kind of decompression reading. After retirement, I started to write my own “cozies plus.” I hope you enjoy my picks.  

Linda's book list on cozy mysteries that have a secondary ethical theme

Linda Howe-Steiger Why did Linda love this book?

I discovered Kirschman through her non-fiction—a book called I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know—when I was working on my first mystery.

Later I discovered she also writes a darned good story herself. Like this one, featuring Dot Meyerhoff, newly hired police psychologist. Dot’s job? Help the police cope better with their stress—those daily dangers, risks, uglinesses.

First client—Ben Gomez, a rookie who just encountered his first corpse. He strikes Dot as a little too sensitive. When Ben becomes a corpse himself, it looks like another cop suicide. Shouldn’t Dot have seen this coming? But she didn’t.

The secondary theme is significant and well handled: the prevalence of police suicide. I learned a lot. Hint: it’s a cozy, not a police procedural.

By Ellen Kirschman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dot Meyerhoff has barely settled into her new job as a psychologist for the Kenilworth Police Department when Ben Gomez, a troubled young rookie that she tries to counsel, commits suicide without any warning and leaves a note blaming her. Overnight, her promising new start becomes a nightmare. At stake is her job, her reputation, her license to practice, and her already battered sense of self-worth. Dot resolves to find out not just what led Ben to kill himself, but why her psychologist exhusband, the man she most wants to avoid, recommended that Ben be hired in the first place.…


Book cover of The Empty Room

Tracey Lee Author Of Wither

From my list on the truth and lies of ordinary lives.

Who am I?

Everybody lies. Good people, evil-doers, and the well-intentioned. My fascination began when I discovered through genealogy the mistruths, obfuscations, and lies by omission that peppered my own family tree. In my case the forebears believed there were good reasons to lie and no reason to think that the truth would ever be uncovered. But DNA profiling has shone a big light on the dark corners. Also being a teacher for a few decades means I’ve heard just about every permutation of alleged truth there is! These books focus on the character’s journey through deception and fabrications to arrive at a version of truth that is less unbearable than the lies.

Tracey's book list on the truth and lies of ordinary lives

Tracey Lee Why did Tracey love this book?

Brian McGilloway’s novel is told in the first person from the perspective of a grieving mother who tries to pick through the lies and secrets to uncover what happened to her only child. On her journey she uncovers the brutal truth; everybody lies. The book takes a realistic look at Dora Condron’s emotional descent into a bleak world where she comes to believe that no one will tell the truth. I like most of all that it is crime novel, a mystery, and a family drama that is told from the single perspective. The mother’s introspection about her failings as a parent really hits home when we consider what our own last words might have been to a loved one who walks out the door and never walks back in. 

By Brian McGilloway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What do you do when your child disappears?

'A hugely compelling story of loss, grief and vengeance, The Empty Room is probably the best novel yet by one of our finest mystery writers. Unmissable.' John Connolly

'The tension and heartbreak kept me turning the pages' Patricia Gibney

'A searing, thrilling and heartbreaking look at life, loss and revenge, expertly handled by a hugely talented storyteller' Chris Whitaker

Pandora - Dora - Condron wakes one morning to discover her 17-year old daughter Ellie, has not come home after a party.

The day Ellie disappears, Dora is alone as her husband Eamon…


Book cover of Pretty Girls

Andrew Welsh-Huggins Author Of The End of the Road

From my list on women solving mysteries and seeking revenge.

Who am I?

I’m a veteran journalist and a long-time lover of mysteries and crime fiction. My new novel, The End of The Road ties together my experience over many years covering true crime and my love of the Classics—my college major—and in particular Homer’s Odyssey. In later years, reading Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, in which she recasts the return of Odysseus from the Trojan War as the story of his long-suffering wife Penelope, inspired me to tell my own tale of an arduous journey from Penelope’s perspective. Being a crime reporter and mystery aficionado helped me spin Penny’s story from a procedural and plotting standpoint; reading Homer helped me explore the literary side of her adventure.

Andrew's book list on women solving mysteries and seeking revenge

Andrew Welsh-Huggins Why did Andrew love this book?

I’m a huge fan of Slaughter, both her Will Trent police procedurals and her stand-alone thrillers, which are deliciously dark and propulsive.

This novel goes deep into some shadowy corners of existence with its story of Claire Scott, an Atlanta woman who’s confronted with a shocking personal tragedy in the opening pages when her husband is murdered in front of her.

Compounding her devastation, Claire stumbles upon ugly secrets of her husband that help her solve the decades-old disappearance of her believed sister Julia. It’s impossible not to admire Claire’s resilience in the face of the horrors she uncovers and her will to survive them.

By Karin Slaughter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'One of the boldest thriller writers working today' TESS GERRITSEN
'Her characters, plot, and pacing are unrivalled' MICHAEL CONNELLY
_________________________________________
AS RECOMMENDED ON HIT CRIME PODCAST MY FAVOURITE MURDER
A heart-racing thriller from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenage sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has…


Book cover of Broken Harbor

Desmond P. Ryan Author Of 10-33 Assist PC

From my list on police procedurals with a flawed protagonist.

Who am I?

For almost thirty years, I worked as a cop in the back alleys, poorly lit laneways, and forgotten neighbourhoods in Toronto, the city where I grew up. Murder, mayhem, and sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the victims were all in a day’s work. Whether as a beat cop or a plainclothes detective, I dealt with good people who did bad things and bad people who followed their instincts. And now that I’m retired, I can take some of those experiences and turn them into crime fiction novels.

Desmond's book list on police procedurals with a flawed protagonist

Desmond P. Ryan Why did Desmond love this book?

I really enjoyed this book because it rang true for me.

The new partnership between Det. Scorcher Kennedy and Richie Curran is one that I’m quite familiar with. French balances the challenges of Scorcher’s personal life with the complexities of the investigation at hand very well.

In many ways, this book reminds me a lot of the BBC series Happy Valley (which absolutely nails the policing culture). And that it’s set in Ireland doesn’t hurt!

By Tana French,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher, a New York Times bestselling novel that "proves anew that [Tana French] is one of the most talented crime writers alive" (The Washington Post).

"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." -The New York Times

Mick "Scorcher Kennedy is the star of the Dublin Murder Squad. He plays by the books and plays hard, and that's how the biggest case of the year ends up in his hands.

On one of the half-abandoned "luxury developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children…


Book cover of Right to Kill: A gripping Yorkshire murder mystery for 2022 (DS Joe Romano crime thriller series book 1)

Russ Thomas Author Of Nighthawking

From my list on crime novels set in the grim North of England.

Who am I?

There’s a saying in England: It’s grim up north! Largely used pejoratively (by the south), it’s true to say it is generally colder and wetter, the landscape more unforgiving, the people – friendlier in my opinion – are more outspoken and candid. The cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, with their declining industries and rising unemployment, provide fertile ground for crime writers. So when I started my own series following the investigations of DS Adam Tyler and his cold case team it didn’t take long to settle on my adopted home of Sheffield as the setting. Be warned: we’re a long way from the sleepy villages of Agatha Christie here.

Russ' book list on crime novels set in the grim North of England

Russ Thomas Why did Russ love this book?

When a local drug dealer goes missing in the small town of Wortley, West Leeds, no one cares. No one except Detective Sergeant Joe Romano, back on home turf in ‘God’s Own County’ of Yorkshire. And even when the drug dealer turns up dead some believe it poetic justice. Romano believes every life counts though, and with the killer about to strike again he puts everything on the line, including his career, to prove that no one has the right to kill. This is a very modern take on the classic police procedural novel, a world-weary cop fighting against the world-weary system in order to do the right thing. 

By John Barlow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Right to Kill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first in a gripping new crime thriller series set in Yorkshire, for fans of Ian Rankin and Joseph Knox. 'A striking debut' Peter Robinson

On a Thursday night in February, DS Joe Romano finds himself back on home turf in Wortley, West Leeds. He's following up on the disappearance of drug dealer Craig Shaw.

It's the start of a case that could make or break Romano's career. Because Shaw is about to go from missing to murdered.

While some don't think Shaw's killer should be brought to justice, Romano believes every life counts. But he's running out of time.…


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