100 books like Darkly Dreaming Dexter

By Jeff Lindsay,

Here are 100 books that Darkly Dreaming Dexter fans have personally recommended if you like Darkly Dreaming Dexter. 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 Gone Girl

Natasha Bell Author Of His Perfect Wife

From my list on complicated female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been drawn to complex female characters in both reading and writing. Even in the 21st century, there are so many expectations placed on girls and women to conform to society’s narrow concepts of femininity. As a queer woman who grew up under the UK’s Section 28, I’ve always struggled to fit myself into these pre-assigned boxes, which is why I’m fascinated by those who step so firmly out of them. I teach as well as write and one of the most satisfying things about both is the time I get to spend examining character. I hope you’re as captivated by these difficult women as I am!

Natasha's book list on complicated female protagonists

Natasha Bell Why did Natasha love this book?

I don’t think any top 5 thrillers list would be complete without a Gillian Flynn title. In all her books, I love how Flynn combines twisty, edge-of-your-seat plotting with deep psychological observations about her characters, but I think Gone Girl does this the best.

I was shocked by the big reveal on a first read, but that’s only one of many pleasures I keep finding in this novel as I return to it repeatedly. Nick and Amy are the ultimate dysfunctional couple and, in many ways, completely unlikable characters–yet I secretly love them both!

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked Gone Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE ADDICTIVE No.1 BESTSELLER AND INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
OVER 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
THE BOOK THAT DEFINES PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on…


Book cover of Along Came a Spider

J.J. McGraw Author Of Marked Targets

From my list on thrillers and mysteries that don’t let go.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to write thriller/mystery books and the more twists I can come up with, the happier I am. I want the reader to be drawn in, and become a part of the stories. That’s why I picked these five books. I like the way they pull you into the stories, and keep you guessing, sometimes even to the end. I have always been fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind. I worked in Law Enforcement for over 25 years and received my Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology/Latent evidence, helping me to spin stories, keeping people guessing, and yearning to find out what’s happening next!

J.J.'s book list on thrillers and mysteries that don’t let go

J.J. McGraw Why did J.J. love this book?

I was hooked by James Patterson’s first book of the Alex Cross series by James Patterson. A predator that enjoys playing mind games with Detective Cross, and a kidnapping that sends one of those thoughts through your mind, “No, they didn’t do that, did they?” One of the things I enjoyed are the short chapters. It’s filled with psychological suspense, a real thriller that I didn’t want to put down. This is something that I crave in books. For it to grab my attention, hold it, and surprise me at the end. And Patterson delivers.

By James Patterson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Along Came a Spider as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The legendary thriller that launched the Alex Cross phenomenon

Adapted into a major Hollywood movie starring Morgan Freeman
_________________________________

Two children have been kidnapped from an elite private school in Washington DC, and Detective Alex Cross is charged with finding them.

The kidnapper's identity is quickly determined as one of the children's teachers. But capturing him is the true challenge.

As Cross gets pulled deeper into the strange world of the kidnapper, it becomes clear he is far more dangerous than anyone could have anticipated.
_________________________________

'No one gets this big without amazing natural storytelling talent - which is what…


Book cover of Postmortem

Christine Knapp Author Of Murder at the Wedding

From my list on mystery series with female sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mysteries, especially series with a female sleuth. I discovered Miss Marple when I was a midwifery student and was instantly hooked. Over the years, I have sought out mysteries with women Sherlocks and am always thrilled to find a series. I was so enchanted that I wanted to add to the genre and now write the Modern Midwife Mysteries featuring Maeve O’Reilly Kensington, a modern nurse midwife. Try any of the books I’ve recommended. You’re in for a treat!

Christine's book list on mystery series with female sleuths

Christine Knapp Why did Christine love this book?

I would love to meet the iconic Dr. Kay Scarpetta in real life. She is amazing.

Patricia Cornwell has written twenty-seven brilliant novels about this intriguing chief medical examiner. In this debut work, Dr. Scarpetta has to track down a serial killer.

Attention to detail, tight plotlines, and friendship and family drama had me locked in from the start. I was instantly transported to Dr. Scarpetta’s universe. It’s a great one.

By Patricia Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in the Kay Scarpetta series, from No. 1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell.

'America's most chilling writer of crime fiction' The Times

A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalised and strangled in their own bedroom. There is no pattern: the killer appears to strike at random - but always early on Saturday mornings.

So when Dr Kay Scarpetta, chief medical officer, is awakened at 2.33 am, she knows the news is bad: there is a fourth victim. And she fears now for those that will follow unless she can dig…


Book cover of The Surgeon

Tina O’Hailey Author Of Dark Drink

From my list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose my favorite books, and through careful psyche analysis, I see a theme in them: stubborn characters who persevere through miserable elements. I cave, hike, kayak, motorcycle, etc. A lot of it is not comfortable. It starts with having an explorer’s heart. It isn’t glamorous. It is 90% talking yourself into the fact that you can do something you at first don’t believe you can do. The similar-minded friends that one finds along the way are lifelong, and there’s a bond that forms from crazy people like this. That comes through in my writing – companionship against a backdrop of stubborn exploration in an indifferent environment.

Tina's book list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts

Tina O’Hailey Why did Tina love this book?

Who can match the character development and killer pacing of Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles books? Her characters are best friends who understand and accept each other’s flaws completely. I love the menacing characters who stalk the BFF duo and the baggage the two have to overcome to keep up with the fight.

Her pacing is stellar, and her dialogue is perfect. I adore her treatment of stalkers—very creepy. While these characters do not have to travel through the jungle, forest, or cave—the city streets, elements, crime scenes, and killers are worthy foes.

By Tess Gerritsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A briskly paced, terrifically suspenseful work that steadily builds toward a tense and terrifying climax.”—People (Page-turner of the week)

This ebook edition contains a special preview of Tess Gerritsen’s I Know a Secret.

He slips into homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, about to awaken to a living nightmare. The precision of his methods suggests that he is a deranged man of medicine, prompting the Boston newspapers to dub him “The Surgeon.” Led by Detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli, the cops must consult the victim of a nearly…


Book cover of Hit List

Why am I passionate about this?

When I decided to write about psychopathic killers, I studied real stories and facts about these people. I also read about 80 novels a year as well as writing crime thriller novels. I’ve won more than a few awards and keep studying my craft. Makes me feel young. I love stories with action that make you think and are a little different and unique. I want to make a reader cry and laugh, which is what I look for in a good novel. So, when I write about serial killers, I try to keep it real. I love it!

Mike's book list on serial killer novels that are unique, thought-provoking, action-filled, and that you won't forget

Mike Slavin Why did Mike love this book?

Keller is a nice guy; everyone likes him. His only fault is he kills people for money. He is, by definition, a serial killer, but for him, it’s all business. Yes, he kills people, but for him, no big deal, just making a living.

Most of the book is about everything else in his life, his apartment, his girlfriend, and going to an art show. His stamp collection, etc. It’s like a look behind the curtain. Fascinating! 

I liked his cute conversations with his boss lady too. Funny.

By Lawrence Block,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sequel to Block's previous work, Hit Man, a gripping insight into the life of a paid assassin who finds his way on to someone else's hit list.

Superficially, John Keller - the urban lonely guy of assassins - leads a normal life despite his profession. He has an office manager, the breezily efficient Dot, who organises his "jobs" and reassures his grumbling conscience. He is an obsessive stamp collector. In a blackly comic twist, he even gets called for jury service. Laid back, couldn't care less, morally distanced from his vocation, Keller is an intriguing character. A visit to an…


Book cover of I Kill Killers

Why am I passionate about this?

When I decided to write about psychopathic killers, I studied real stories and facts about these people. I also read about 80 novels a year as well as writing crime thriller novels. I’ve won more than a few awards and keep studying my craft. Makes me feel young. I love stories with action that make you think and are a little different and unique. I want to make a reader cry and laugh, which is what I look for in a good novel. So, when I write about serial killers, I try to keep it real. I love it!

Mike's book list on serial killer novels that are unique, thought-provoking, action-filled, and that you won't forget

Mike Slavin Why did Mike love this book?

I love this book! A famous female pianist in Boston who kills bad people, and she has quirks. She also changes boy toys during the story; that whole dynamic is sexy and unusual. 

One of my new favorite books. I hate heavy procedural books, and this is not one. The FBI is involved, but not how you think. The railroad killer was also very creative. She does have the FBI chasing her and has friends in the FBI, which is unique, too. The beginning is good, with lots of action and intrigue, and the middle holds up with a bang for an ending.

There are a few surprises here and there, but it is just a solid story.

By S. T. Ashman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Queen's Gambit meets Kill Bill in one of Goodreads' best thrillers of the year.

When a genius pianist turned hunter of serial killers finds herself connected to her latest victim by an eerie twist of fate, her world spirals into dark chaos. Caught in a relentless game of cat-and-mouse with a tenacious FBI agent, she is also thrust into a dangerous face-off with a serial killer whose lethal cunning could rival her own.

"I Kill Killers" is a pulse-pounding journey into moral ambiguity, blurring the slippery line between heroes and villains.

Trigger warning: This book contains sensitive content, including…


Book cover of Ask for Andrea

Why am I passionate about this?

When I decided to write about psychopathic killers, I studied real stories and facts about these people. I also read about 80 novels a year as well as writing crime thriller novels. I’ve won more than a few awards and keep studying my craft. Makes me feel young. I love stories with action that make you think and are a little different and unique. I want to make a reader cry and laugh, which is what I look for in a good novel. So, when I write about serial killers, I try to keep it real. I love it!

Mike's book list on serial killer novels that are unique, thought-provoking, action-filled, and that you won't forget

Mike Slavin Why did Mike love this book?

Unique thriller!

The story is told from the viewpoint of the ghosts of the victims of a serial killer. At three different times, each of the three women is murdered, but they want to stop the serial killer so badly that they do not move on and stay ghosts.

I loved the author's interpretation of what the ghost could and couldn't do.; very interesting and very creative. The three ghosts have the same death experience, but each reacts differently. The serial killer's wife and children were another interesting aspect. Just a very good story and something very different.

Book cover of Coming of Winter

Why am I passionate about this?

When I decided to write about psychopathic killers, I studied real stories and facts about these people. I also read about 80 novels a year as well as writing crime thriller novels. I’ve won more than a few awards and keep studying my craft. Makes me feel young. I love stories with action that make you think and are a little different and unique. I want to make a reader cry and laugh, which is what I look for in a good novel. So, when I write about serial killers, I try to keep it real. I love it!

Mike's book list on serial killer novels that are unique, thought-provoking, action-filled, and that you won't forget

Mike Slavin Why did Mike love this book?

The Halloween Maze was great, and I like how the serial killer family revolves around it. It's a solid story that holds together and has a good, satisfying ending.

FBI agent Winter used to chase serial killers, then got sidelined into white-collar crime, but stumbles into finding another possible serial killer, leaving bodies at National parks. The chase is on.

I really enjoyed the development of the serial killer. The flesh-eating bugs did their job too. And there was a nice flashback of Winter. Great story.

By Tom Threadgill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Catherine Mae Blackston is missing. She is not the first.

While investigating Blackston’s recent activities, FBI Agent Jeremy Winter stumbles upon a string of missing persons within state parks. Unable to convince his boss that Blackston’s disappearance is anything other than a lost hiker, Winter joins forces with a local police officer to continue the search. 

As the clues mount, a dark figure from Jeremy’s past emerges with an ultimatum - one that could force him out of the bureau. Afraid that his girlfriend, fellow agent Maggie Keeley, will be dragged into a high-stakes political game, he delays his decision.…


Book cover of Truly, Darkly, Deeply

Niki Mackay Author Of The Due Date

From my list on thrillers with unreliable narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written nine crime novels, mostly psychological thrillers, but some blend procedural and PI elements and two are gangland stories. I went to the BRIT school in the 90’s and studied Drama and English Literature at University. I always think that my Performing Arts background gave me a great tool kit for ‘getting into character’ which is useful for writing. I also have an MA in journalism but I definitely prefer fiction to fact. I love the immediacy of first person prose and I am a sucker for an unreliable narrator.

Niki's book list on thrillers with unreliable narrators

Niki Mackay Why did Niki love this book?

This story is told from the perspective of a serial killer's stepdaughter, Sophie, and I swallowed it in two sittings.

Matty Melgren, Sophie’s stepfather, is dying and wants to meet. He’s in prison and his imminent death takes Sophie right back to her childhood. The story is told from Sophie’s perspective as a twelve-year-old observing the breakdown of her mother and Matty’s relationship and as an adult debating how much she wants answers and what they might cost her.

I loved the dual timeline and thought it was a really fresh way to approach a serial killer novel. 

By Victoria Selman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER**

'Victoria Selman is an exciting and powerfully fresh voice' Patricia Cornwell

Twelve-year-old Sophie and her mother, Amelia-Rose, move to London from Massachusetts where they meet the charismatic Matty Melgren, who quickly becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. But as the relationship between the two adults fractures, a serial killer begins targeting young women with a striking resemblance to Amelia-Rose.

When Matty is eventually sent down for multiple murder, questions remain as to his guilt -- questions which ultimately destroy both women. Nearly twenty years later, Sophie receives a letter from Battlemouth Prison informing her…


Book cover of Chasing the Boogeyman

Michelle Godard-Richer Author Of Fatal Hunt

From my list on fiction with realistic portrayal of crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a fascination with crime and human behavior which led me to complete an Honours Degree in Criminology at the University of Ottawa. I studied the minds of criminals and what drives their behavior. It’s truly disturbing that under the right circumstances, people are capable of horrific things. I also studied victims of crime and the impact their suffering has on their lives and the way it can influence their behavior in the future. Naturally with this background, I gravitate towards writing and reading books that explore these topics in depth.

Michelle's book list on fiction with realistic portrayal of crime

Michelle Godard-Richer Why did Michelle love this book?

Richard’s novel did a good job of pulling the rug out from beneath the reader as he leads them on a journey to discover who the murderer is in his hometown. Along the way, he does a brilliant job of conveying how murders can impact a whole town and affect human behavior.

By Richard Chizmar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The acclaimed New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novel of small-town evil that “is genuinely chilling and something brand-new and exciting” (Stephen King) and “unforgettable” (Harlan Coben).

In the summer of 1988, the mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small Maryland town. The grisly evidence leads police to the terrifying assumption that a serial killer is on the loose in the quiet suburb. But soon a rumor begins to spread that the evil stalking local teens is not entirely human. Law enforcement, as well as members of the FBI, are certain that the…


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