10 books like Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Capital Kill. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Simple Art of Murder

By Raymond Chandler,

Book cover of The Simple Art of Murder

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. 

The Simple Art of Murder

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…


The Late Show

By Michael Connelly,

Book cover of The Late Show

It's true to say Michael Connelly is a master at this kind of crime fiction. He paints such vivid pictures with words that I truly felt part of the action. As a writer, he certainly knows how to reach the reader's emotions. His writing skills encompass all it takes to make a thoroughly satisfying crime fiction book.

So much of this author's writing resonates with me. At times I was transported back 'to the day.' I enjoyed the part where the psychiatrist is interviewing Ballard about her fitness to return to duty. The shrink goes into soliloquy mode about "the darkness" surrounding crime and the need to find an escape mechanism from it. So true!

Real crime is a very dark place. I'm pleased that crime fiction of this quality can give so much enjoyment.

The Late Show

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

Book cover of Thirteen

"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.

Thirteen

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…


Rabette Run

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Book cover of Rabette Run

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.

Rabette Run

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…


Right to Kill

By John Barlow,

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

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. 

Right to Kill

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.…


Ghosts

By Ed McBain,

Book cover of Ghosts

Ghosts was the first book of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series that I read, primarily because I was interested in the paranormal aspect—I’ve always been a sucker for ghost stories. This was the first true police procedural I’d read, and I was most impressed with McBain’s mastery of writing dialogue. I was hooked and I’ve read most of the series since. As I wrote my own debut novel I referred to McBain’s novels many times to see how he handled dialogue tags and beats throughout his books. His dialogue is almost seamless. I’d recommend the 87th Precinct series to any writer serious about writing police procedurals.

Ghosts

By Ed McBain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A young woman stops at the grocery store after work, but she never makes it home—at least not all the way. She is stabbed to death in front of her building, her groceries strewn across the cold pavement. Upstairs her neighbor and popular ghost story author Gregory Craig lay dead as well, stabbed in his apartment. When Craig’s publisher is found murdered just days later, Detective Steve Carella has a deadly mystery on his hands, one unlike any he’s ever had before.

Searching for clues, Carella instead finds Craig’s girlfriend, a medium whose spooky predictions keep him guessing. When some…


The Devil's Detective

By Simon Kurt Unsworth,

Book cover of The Devil's Detective

I bought this book in Hatchard’s bookshop because I liked the cover, and because I like stories about Hell. A great choice on my part—this wonderful crime/fantasy novel features a detective called Thomas Fool in the most lawless land there can be. Thomas has to investigate a series of grisly murders which threaten the Devil’s domain; and to make his police procedural story work Unsworth has to invent a whole new mythology of Hell in which murder is even possible. The writing is stunningly evocative and the logic of the world building is remarkable even if it is,  ultimately, bonkers. This book and its sequel, The Devil’s Evidence, are the noirest of noirs and are completely unputdownable. 

The Devil's Detective

By Simon Kurt Unsworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WELCOME TO HELL.

Solving crimes was the purpose of Hell's Information Men, yet they almost never achieved it, and even when they did, the facts they scraped free were lost, buried again in the labyrinthine mess of the infernal Bureaucracy.

When an unidentified, brutalised body is discovered in Hell, the case is assigned to Thomas Fool. But how do you investigate a murder where death is commonplace and everyone is guilty of something?


A Clubbable Woman

By Reginald Hill,

Book cover of A Clubbable Woman

I seem to be addicted to long-running series with British detectives, though not all written by British authors, and A Clubbable Woman is the first book in this twenty-one-book series by Reginald Hill.

When I began to write fiction and worked on creating Corelli and Parker, Hill was one of the authors I looked to for inspiration. Although his Yorkshire detectives, the abrupt and rude Detective Superintendent Andrew "Andy" Dalziel and the educated, calm, and well-mannered Detective Sergeant Peter Pascoe, did not fit my vision for my own characters, I enjoyed their antics and read the entire series. The books are fun and challenging and this is a great beginning.

A Clubbable Woman

By Reginald Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel investigates a murder close to home in this first crime novel featuring the much-loved detective team of Dalziel and Pascoe.

'So far out in front that he need not bother looking over his shoulder' Sunday Telegraph

Home from the rugby club after taking a nasty knock in a match, Sam Connon finds his wife more uncommunicative than usual. After passing out on his bed for a few hours, he comes downstairs to discover communication has been cut off forever - by a hole in the middle of her forehead.

Andy Dalziel, a long-standing member of the…


The Midnight Killing

By Sharon Dempsey,

Book cover of The Midnight Killing

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.

The Midnight Killing

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…


Dead Girls Dancing

By Graham Masterton,

Book cover of Dead Girls Dancing: Volume 8

Graham Masterton grew to fame with his horror novels, including the best-selling novel The Manitou. It was only decades later that he began his Katie Maguire series of police procedurals, which have been equally successful. Having read Masterton over the years, I was fascinated by his shift from horror to crime fiction, often incorporating horror elements into his work. I started primarily as a horror writer, but have now shifted toward crime fiction. Masterton’s novels have been great “guides” in this respect.

Dead Girls Dancing

By Graham Masterton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dead Girls Dancing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the middle of winter, a fire blazes through a dance studio.

Seventeen young dancers die. Their promising careers cut short by a tragic accident. But where others see tragedy, DCI Katie Maguire sees murder.

This is not the first fire to sweep through Cork. And in one recent case, the victims were dead before the fire was lit. Katie Maguire is determined to see justice done, unaware she's about to face her most chilling killer yet...


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in police procedurals, barristers, and detectives?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about police procedurals, barristers, and detectives.

Police Procedurals Explore 38 books about police procedurals
Barristers Explore 11 books about barristers
Detectives Explore 112 books about detectives