72 books like Full Dark House

By Christopher Fowler,

Here are 72 books that Full Dark House fans have personally recommended if you like Full Dark House. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Killing Floor

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?

Reacher is dedicated to his “family” 5000%. Nothing else matters. Nothing. He is an incredibly simple and driven character who cannot resonate with the world around him nor give a moment to care that he does not. He is. That is all. Family is his team and, in this case, one actual family member. All are on equal footing.

While most details from books fade from my memory, this book (read when it first came out and eons before the TV show) is etched into my memory completely. The characters, the places, the fights, the sights and smells. I fell for Reacher’s plight and his steadfast mission to prove his innocence. My favorite image is hobo Reacher sleeping wherever and thinking nothing strange in that.

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

12 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.


Book cover of The Family Upstairs

Diane M. Dickson Author Of Body in the Canal

From my list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with crime fiction has come from reading about it. I have no idea how many novels I have read focused on baddies and the catching of them, but it’s numbering now in the many hundreds. I think the fact that a crime novel can incorporate elements of all other genres – horror, history, romance, the supernatural, etc. are what make them so appealing and add to the joy of writing them. Untangling the threads that make up a crime novel is very satisfying. Maybe in another reality, I would be a detective – I love that idea, but for now, in this bit of the multiverse, I’ll just carry on making them up.  

Diane's book list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk

Diane M. Dickson Why did Diane love this book?

Right from the very first page this book is enthralling. It was creepy and intriguing and enthralling – the characters are all fascinating and the plot is a stew of content from misplaced love, a bit of madness, actually quite a bit of madness, murder, redemption and hope, and a dog! There’s not much more you could want. I have read the sequel.

By Lisa Jewell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Family Upstairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I swear I didn't breathe the whole time I was reading it. Gripping, pacy, brilliantly twisty.' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Creepy, intricate and utterly immersive: an excellent holiday read.' GUARDIAN

'A twisty and engrossing story of betrayal and redemption.' IAN RANKIN
____________________________

FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THEN SHE WAS GONE

In a large house in London's fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They've been dead for several days.…


Book cover of A Quiet Life in the Country

Emily J. Edwards Author Of Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man

From my list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Of course, every mystery needs a perfect crime, but what about the perfect setting? I’m fascinated by how authors manipulate time and place to add to the heightened emotions of their murders, thefts, blackmail, and frauds. It’s the juxtaposition of truth and fantasy—what we believe times were like and how they actually were—that makes setting such an essential detail of every whodunnit. Doing research on my own novel, I wrenched apart the facts and fictions of Post-War America, and grew even more ravenous for mysteries that leveraged their settings for the utmost entertainment. 

Emily's book list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place

Emily J. Edwards Why did Emily love this book?

Try as I might, I can’t get into Marple. But T.E. Kinsey’s Lady Hardcastle series, beginning with the debut A Quiet Life in The Country turns the cozy genre on its head. In this case, the dithering, older busybody is Lady Emily Hardcastle, with her trusty ladies’ maid, Florence Armstrong. As the book and series progress, we find that neither woman is quite the helpless Edwardian female the neighbors believe. Come for the murder mystery and stay for the… knife throwing? 

By T E Kinsey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Quiet Life in the Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they've just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life.

But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There's a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation...

As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries…


Book cover of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Adam Oyebanji Author Of A Quiet Teacher

From my list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Coatbridge, in the West of Scotland, more years ago than I care to remember. I recently took the big step of moving east to Edinburgh, by way of Birmingham, London, Lagos, Nigeria, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New York: a necessary detour because traffic on the direct route is really, really bad. I’m a graduate of Birmingham University and Harvard Law School, and work in the field of counter-terrorist financing, which sounds way cooler than it is.  Basically, I write emails, fill in forms, and use spreadsheets to help choke off the money supply that builds weapons of mass destruction, narcotics empires, and human trafficking networks. And sometimes I write murder mysteries.

Adam's book list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair

Adam Oyebanji Why did Adam love this book?

Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day meets Rashomon in this country house murder mystery where the narrator is as much a puzzle as the murder itself. The narrator lurches into the novel as a witness to a killing so dreadful they’ve lost their memory. Then awakes the next morning to live the same day again as a different character with a different viewpoint: a bizarre twist that repeats itself until we have, as the title suggests, seven different versions of what happened, and enough information, finally, to get to the “truth.” Come for the strange, mind-bending trip, leave with a beautifully constructed conclusion.

By Stuart Turton,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can you solve the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle?

WINNER OF THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD
WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG NOVEL AWARD
A WATERSTONES THRILLER OF THE MONTH
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS DEBUT OF THE YEAR
LONGLISTED FOR THE THEAKSTON OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR

Gosford Park meets Groundhog Day by way of Agatha Christie and Black Mirror - the most inventive story you'll read

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed ... Again

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks…


Book cover of The Crossing Places

Diane M. Dickson Author Of Body in the Canal

From my list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with crime fiction has come from reading about it. I have no idea how many novels I have read focused on baddies and the catching of them, but it’s numbering now in the many hundreds. I think the fact that a crime novel can incorporate elements of all other genres – horror, history, romance, the supernatural, etc. are what make them so appealing and add to the joy of writing them. Untangling the threads that make up a crime novel is very satisfying. Maybe in another reality, I would be a detective – I love that idea, but for now, in this bit of the multiverse, I’ll just carry on making them up.  

Diane's book list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk

Diane M. Dickson Why did Diane love this book?

I love to get into a good series and when the characters are unusual it adds much to the enjoyment. Ruth Galloway is someone totally unlike a detective or crime fighter and yet through her inquisitiveness and intelligence she finds herself involved in things other than teaching archaeology. Added to the crime aspect is the wee frisson of romance that develops throughout the series and the scene setting in a place that I don’t know at all is wonderful. A great introduction to a much-loved series. 

By Elly Griffiths,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries, one of the most popular crime series in Britain, with this beautiful special edition.

START THE JOURNEY HERE AND YOU WILL BE HOOKED

Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child's bones are discovered near the site of a prehistoric henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier - or are the bones much older?

DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for the missing girl. Since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual…


Book cover of In Strangers' Houses

Fliss Chester Author Of Death Among the Diamonds

From my list on amateur sleuths with a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of cosy crimes and unapologetic in my love for the genre! There’s nothing better, in my opinion than a well-thumbed Agatha Christie or a foxed, old copy of Dorothy L Sayers. And it’s the role of the amateur sleuth that I love the best; that happy accident that brings a person with a sharp mind and perhaps a particular skill set together with a murderous villain, and we, the lucky reader, get to ride alongside them and work out the mystery for ourselves. Pour that tea, snuggle up and settle in with these five brilliant examples of amateur sleuths with just something a little different to offer…

Fliss' book list on amateur sleuths with a difference

Fliss Chester Why did Fliss love this book?

Amateur sleuths tend to be drawn from the professional or upper classes—Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, even my own Hon Cressida Fawcettso it’s refreshing to solve cases with Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner who has a clear moral compass and a way of finding out exactly what’s lurking in the dirty laundryboth literal and metaphorical. Headstrong, big of heart, and desperate to solve the death of her friend, Lena can spot a smudgy fingerprint at fifty paces. This book is the first in a limited series and well worth settling down withjust put a coaster under your mug and pick up your own biscuit crumbs, else Lena might have a word…

By Elizabeth Mundy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Strangers' Houses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are some crimes you can't sweep under the carpet...

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, knows all too well about cleaning up other people's messes. When her friend Timea disappears, she suspects one of her clients is to blame. However, the police don't share her suspicions and it is left to Lena to turn sleuth and find her friend.

Searching through their houses as she scrubs their floors, Lena desperately tries to find out what has happened. Only Cartwright, a police constable new to the job, believes that this will lead to the truth - and together…


Book cover of Sorry for the Dead

Fliss Chester Author Of Death Among the Diamonds

From my list on amateur sleuths with a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of cosy crimes and unapologetic in my love for the genre! There’s nothing better, in my opinion than a well-thumbed Agatha Christie or a foxed, old copy of Dorothy L Sayers. And it’s the role of the amateur sleuth that I love the best; that happy accident that brings a person with a sharp mind and perhaps a particular skill set together with a murderous villain, and we, the lucky reader, get to ride alongside them and work out the mystery for ourselves. Pour that tea, snuggle up and settle in with these five brilliant examples of amateur sleuths with just something a little different to offer…

Fliss' book list on amateur sleuths with a difference

Fliss Chester Why did Fliss love this book?

I have to admit I saw the cover of this book and was smitten… then I discovered what makes this crime novel and its amateur sleuth a little bit different. Josephine Tey revisits the scene of a death at Charleston Farmhouse in 1915, and now, twenty years later, she realises that it might have been more sinister than ‘just’ an accidentand she, who was there at the time, might be implicated in the murder herself. Josephine Tey, as well as being the book’s protagonist, was also the real-life pen name of Elizabeth MacKintosh, who wrote eight murder mysteries as Tey. That Upson has so cleverly fictionalised the real-life Tey is what makes this book, and the others in the series, so differentbrilliantly so, in my opinion.

By Nicola Upson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

** Longlisted for the CWA Sapere Books Historial Dagger 2020 **

'Haunting . . . Superlative.' Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month

'A terrific novel.' A. N. Wilson

Summer, 1915: a young woman falls to her death at Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs. But was it an accident?

Twenty years later, Josephine Tey is faced with the accusation that it was murder, and that she was complicit in the crime. Can she clear her name and uncover the truth, exposing the darkest secrets of that apparently idyllic summer?


Book cover of Natural Causes

Diane M. Dickson Author Of Body in the Canal

From my list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with crime fiction has come from reading about it. I have no idea how many novels I have read focused on baddies and the catching of them, but it’s numbering now in the many hundreds. I think the fact that a crime novel can incorporate elements of all other genres – horror, history, romance, the supernatural, etc. are what make them so appealing and add to the joy of writing them. Untangling the threads that make up a crime novel is very satisfying. Maybe in another reality, I would be a detective – I love that idea, but for now, in this bit of the multiverse, I’ll just carry on making them up.  

Diane's book list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk

Diane M. Dickson Why did Diane love this book?

Another Police Procedural series introduction. I love James Oswald’s writing and his characters are fascinating. There are some of the usual tropes in here but there is enough that is new and different to keep it fresh. I loved the fact that this had a horror element to it – I don’t read horror but enjoyed it in this case as a bit of seasoning. I think Edinburgh seems to be a great place to set a crime novel, and Oswald seems to know it well and it becomes a character in its own right I think. 

By James Oswald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Natural Causes is the first novel in the Detective Inspector McLean series, from Sunday Times best-selling author James Oswald.

A young girl's mutilated body is discovered in a sealed room. Her remains are carefully arranged, in what seems to have been a cruel and macabre ritual, which appears to have taken place over 60 years ago.

For newly appointed Edinburgh Detective Inspector Tony McLean this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority - but he is haunted by the young victim and her grisly death.

Meanwhile, the city is horrified by a series of bloody killings. Deaths for…


Book cover of Mystic River

Peggy Webb Author Of Black Crow Cabin

From my list on books about crime that transcend the genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi and discovered the wide world through a movable feast of books provided by the Bookmobile. The hayloft was my favorite reading spot. I could look across the lake to imagine myself in WWII Paris, the frozen tundras of Alaska, or anywhere beyond the pastures where Daddy’s cattle grazed. I fell in love with words when I was eight years old, a dreamer spinning stories inspired by the ones I read between the covers of my beloved books. I still love words and hear their music as they flow onto the pages of the thrillers I currently write.

Peggy's book list on books about crime that transcend the genre

Peggy Webb Why did Peggy love this book?

By Dennis Lehane,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Mystic River as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This New York Times bestseller from Dennis Lehane is a gripping, unnerving psychological thriller about the effects of a savage killing on three former friends in a tightly knit, blue-collar Boston neighborhood.

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened—something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.

Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to…


Book cover of The Gustav Sonata

Imogen Matthews Author Of The Boy in the Attic

From my list on acts of resistance in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I grew up listening to my Dutch mother’s stories of life under German occupation and her family’s struggle for survival during the Hunger Winter. Life was hard but exciting for a teenager who thought nothing of delivering anti-Nazi leaflets, chopping down lime trees in front of the house for firewood, and evading the Germans on her ancient bike in her quest for food. It was this unwavering spirit that I wanted to capture in the four novels I’ve written set in wartime Holland. She was the inspiration behind my latest World War 2 novel, The Boy in the Attic.

Imogen's book list on acts of resistance in WW2

Imogen Matthews Why did Imogen love this book?

The Gustav Sonata started out as a short story called "A Game of Cards". Long after it appeared, Tremain felt she had wasted a very promising core idea on something essentially too short and too unexamined. The story and novel are set in Switzerland, which seemed safe as a neutral country during World War 2, but the government was torn between compassion for German Jewish refugees and the fear of devastating German reprisals if they took them in. Tremain tackles this dilemma through the stoical character of Gustav, who is Jewish and explores the ambiguities in the relationship between Gustav and his friend Anton, a gifted pianist who is crippled by stage fright. I found the themes sensitively and beautifully described.   

By Rose Tremain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo. An only child, he lives alone with Emilie, the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity. He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age, talented and mercurial Anton Zweibel, a budding concert pianist. The novel follows Gustav's family, tracing the roots of his mother's anti-Semitism and its impact on her son and his beloved friend. Moving backward to the war years and the painful repercussions of an act of conscience, and…


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