100 books like Hard Revolution

By George Pelecanos,

Here are 100 books that Hard Revolution fans have personally recommended if you like Hard Revolution. 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 Cliff Diver

E.R. Yatscoff Author Of Teeth of the Cocodrilo

From my list on crime plunging you into new places away from the norm.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent over 30 years as a fire rescue officer, and my investigative experience in arsons and fires of all types had me working with police at times. Firefighters come in contact with a lot of crimes. Crime scene protection is important before cops and detectives arrive. I’m curious by nature, and I like cops. They have so many rules. Firefighters aren’t like that. When we arrive, there is little time to follow rules. I have a firefighter crime series published, but I chose Teeth of the Cocodrilo in the theme of exotic crime. I'm the only firefighter in Canada who has written firefighter crime novels.

E.R.'s book list on crime plunging you into new places away from the norm

E.R. Yatscoff Why did E.R. love this book?

As a reader I simply couldn’t have one book without the other. Detective Cruz is the first female detective in Acapulco and fights for every inch of respect in a police department rife with corruption and misogyny in a country where Mexicans don’t trust the police, feeling that no one cares. But Det. Cruz cares. The recurring theme of so many girls gone missing is her passion which occasionally rises up during other investigations throughout the series. As a writer I enjoyed suspense and danger. Carmen Amato makes you feel the heat and taste the food of Acapulco. Best ever female cop protagonist.

By Carmen Amato,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Acapulco’s first female police detective dives into an ocean of secrets, lies, and murder when she investigates her own lieutenant’s death.

In this explosive start to the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco, Emilia beat the odds to become the resort city's first female police detective. But she lives in a pressure cooker where trust is in short supply.

Her fellow detectives are scheming to push her out. Her lieutenant is a shady character playing both sides of the law. The police department is riddled with corruption and drug cartel influence.

When her lieutenant is murdered, Emilia…


Book cover of Blood on the Tracks

E.R. Yatscoff Author Of Fire Dream

From my list on gutsy crime thrillers and exotic adventure reads.

Why am I passionate about this?

My travels have been quite adventurous, purposely or by accident. I’ve visited 32 countries, 5 of them Communist. I look below the surface. I love the jungle and even Mexican police. My young reader novels have elements of crime. I knew and know a lot of tough guys and use elements of them in my characters. Crime weaved through much of my 32-year firefighting career. Firefighter crime thrillers are rare. Firefighters do come in contact with crime: bomb threats, meth labs, child abuse, arson of all sorts, murder, assaults, drownings, and as they say ‘much, much more’. I’m glad to be retired.

E.R.'s book list on gutsy crime thrillers and exotic adventure reads

E.R. Yatscoff Why did E.R. love this book?

Okay, so you’ve read cop stories, PI tales, and lawyer crime fiction. How about a railroad detective? Yeah, they are for real.

Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell and her trusty dog have an intimate knowledge of the railroad and who uses it. Not often is she called in for murder but when she does she bites off more than she can chew. She occasionally has a bit of romance with someone so it fills out that end of things.

She is vulnerable yet tough. I never knew railroad police went so deep into investigations. Gotta read her tales.

By Barbara Nickless,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Blood on the Tracks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts bestseller.

A young woman is found brutally murdered, and the main suspect is the victim's fiance, a hideously scarred Iraq War vet known as the Burned Man. But railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help investigate, can't shake the feeling that larger forces are behind this apparent crime of passion.

In the depths of an icy winter, Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde-both haunted by their time in Iraq-descend into the underground world of a savage gang of rail riders. There, they uncover a wide-reaching conspiracy and…


Book cover of Pompeii

Flora Johnston Author Of The Paris Peacemakers

From my list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by stories from the past. I worked for many years in museums and heritage, telling Scotland’s stories through exhibitions and nonfiction publications, but I was always drawn to the question best answered through historical fiction – what did that feel like? Well-researched historical fiction can take us right into the lives of people who lived through the dramatic events we read about in academic books. I found that each of the novels on my list transported me to a different time and place, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Flora's book list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event

Flora Johnston Why did Flora love this book?

I picked up this book from the shelf of a holiday cottage and was hooked immediately. I love books which interweave personal human stories with big events.

The ordinary loves and lives of the people of Pompeii are unfolding as the mountain above them begins to behave strangely. Of course, we, the readers, know the disaster that is about to occur, which only adds to the suspense. Unputdownable.

By Robert Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A pulse-rate-speeding masterpiece' Sunday Times

'A stunning novel . . . the subtlety and power of its construction holds our attention to the end' The Times

During a sweltering week in late August, as Rome's richest citizens relax in their villas around Pompeii and Herculaneum, there are ominous warnings that something is going wrong. Wells and springs are failing, a man has disappeared, and now the greatest aqueduct in the world - the mighty Aqua Augusta - has suddenly ceased to flow . . .

Through the eyes of four characters - a young engineer, an adolescent girl, a corrupt…


Book cover of The Small Boat of Great Sorrows

E.R. Yatscoff Author Of Teeth of the Cocodrilo

From my list on crime plunging you into new places away from the norm.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent over 30 years as a fire rescue officer, and my investigative experience in arsons and fires of all types had me working with police at times. Firefighters come in contact with a lot of crimes. Crime scene protection is important before cops and detectives arrive. I’m curious by nature, and I like cops. They have so many rules. Firefighters aren’t like that. When we arrive, there is little time to follow rules. I have a firefighter crime series published, but I chose Teeth of the Cocodrilo in the theme of exotic crime. I'm the only firefighter in Canada who has written firefighter crime novels.

E.R.'s book list on crime plunging you into new places away from the norm

E.R. Yatscoff Why did E.R. love this book?

Another crime book that takes you places you never thought you’d venture into. Fesperman creates a sympathetic protagonist Vlado Petric. Vlado, a former homicide detective in Sarajevo, lives in exile but is recruited to return to the place of horrors that have haunted his life. His assignment: help capture an aging Nazi collaborator who has become a war profiteer, surrounded by a sympathetic population who will protect him with their lives. The story is dark and filled with suspense and dread. The Balkans were and are a very dangerous place. As a writer Fesperman creates suspense and fear in a very different place with very different people.

By Dan Fesperman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Vlado Petric, former detective in war-torn Sarajevo, has left his beloved homeland to join his wife and daughter in Germany, where he scratches a meagre living among the dust of former conflicts on the building sites of the new Berlin.
Returning home one evening, he finds an enigmatic American investigator waiting for him in the small apartment he now shares with his wife and daughter. The investigator, Calvin Pine, works for the International War Crimes Tribunal, and he tells Petric that they want him to go to The Hague. It doesn't take Petric long to accept, especially when Pine tells…


Book cover of Maisie Dobbs

Ellen Barker Author Of East of Troost

From my list on magical books for realists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write and read realistic fiction. I’m not a fan of fantasy, sci-fi, ghost stories, or magical (other than, you know, Tolkien). I don’t want to have to suspend a lot of belief and buy into an alternate reality. And yet, and yet. . . . All these books have a little element of something going on, and they each grabbed me and kept my attention, and I didn’t roll my eyes once. The supernatural is just a little extra kick and, in every case, as believable as it can possibly be. 

Ellen's book list on magical books for realists

Ellen Barker Why did Ellen love this book?

This book is about a private investigator in London in the early 1900s. It is the first of a long series about Maisie’s cases and the people who are dear to her.

This first book gives us an introduction to Maisie and her working-class background, the people who influenced her, and the way she uses her own version of second sight to understand both clients and criminals. Her description of Maisie mimicking someone’s body movements to figure out their motives actually made me try it out.

I also got a strong sense of London during the difficult years of wars and depression and a bedraggled peace. If you enjoy this one, you’ll have a nice backlog to return to whenever you need more.

By Jacqueline Winspear,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Maisie Dobbs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A favorite mystery series of Hillary Clinton (as mentioned in What Happened, The New York Times Book Review, and New York Magazine)
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Agatha Award Winner for Best First Novel
Macavity Award Winner for Best First Novel
Alex Award Winner

Fiercely independent Maisie Dobbs has recently set herself up as a private detective. Such a move may not seem especially startling. But this is 1929, and Maisie is exceptional in many ways.

Having started as a maid to the London aristocracy, studied her way to Cambridge and served as a nurse in…


Book cover of The Cuckoo's Calling

Maurice Holloway Author Of Steal a Diamond

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

As a multi-genre author, I was interested to see how the creator of a world-famous boy wizard was going to change her name and turn her hand to crime writing. I relished the result: the first outing for a new private investigator, a character called Cormoran Strike.

Known simply as Strike, he is a P.I. with a handicap (aren’t they all?). Not just the common ones; excessive drinking, difficult relationships, and so on, Strike lost half his right leg whilst serving in Afghanistan. Retiring from service, the ex-MP becomes a private investigator. He has few clients, no money, and is scruffy and unkempt because he sleeps in his office. But he does have a motto, "Do the job and do it well."

In social relationships, Strike isn’t a likable character; demanding and sometimes just plain rude. He has lost his last assistant. I warmed to him the more his traits…

By Robert Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place' VAL MCDERMID

-----

Now a major BBC drama: The Strike series

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the…


Book cover of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

Sara Rosett Author Of Murder at Archly Manor

From my list on undiscovered 1920s historical mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of mysteries began with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I moved on to Elizabeth Peters and Mary Stewart before discovering Agatha Christie and other Golden Age authors. My love of mysteries inspired me to try my hand at the genre, first with cozy mysteries then with historical mysteries. The 1920s is my favorite time period to read and write about. I’m fascinated by the way society was changing then, and I can’t resist an English country house murder. I’ve listed some of my favorite undiscovered mystery gems from the 1920s and hope you find them the bee’s knees! 

Sara's book list on undiscovered 1920s historical mysteries

Sara Rosett Why did Sara love this book?

Before I read Dorothy L. Sayers’ books, I’d only heard of Strong Poison and Gaudy Night, but as I read through the Lord Peter Wimsey series, I found a favorite 1920s mystery for me, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. Wimsey is a veteran of the Great War with an unusual hobby: dead bodies. It might sound creepy, but it isn’t. He’s called on to fix the time of death of elderly General Fentiman, who “pegged it” on Armistice Day. I loved Lord Peter’s droll and self-deprecating attitude. People underestimate him because of his foppish exterior, but he sees what others miss. The investigation touches on PTSD—called shellshock then—in a way that feels timely to me, even after nearly a century. I loved the tour through aristocratic London with Lord Peter.

By Dorothy L. Sayers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The fourth book in Dorothy L Sayers' classic Lord Peter Wimsey series, introduced by detective fiction writer Simon Brett - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries.

'D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers' Daily Telegraph

Lord Peter Wimsey bent down over General Fentiman and drew the Morning Post gently away from the gnarled old hands. Then, with a quick jerk, he lifted the quiet figure. It came up all of a piece, stiff as a wooden doll . . .

But how did the general die? Who was the…


Book cover of When We Were Orphans

Christine Kindberg Author Of The Means That Make Us Strangers

From my list on the third-culture kid experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a second-generation TCK. I was born in Peru and grew up in Chile and Panama, as well as the US. My YA novel, The Means That Make Us Strangers, explores some of my own experience moving crossculturally as a teenager.

Christine's book list on the third-culture kid experience

Christine Kindberg Why did Christine love this book?

This book, by Nobel-prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, was the first novel in which I saw a character like myself—someone who grew up in a culture that was very different from his parents'. The mystery plot gets wild, but I found that the main character’s search for closure felt connected to my own nostalgia and grief over the places I’d left behind.

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When We Were Orphans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

England, 1930s. Christopher Banks has become the country's most celebrated detective, his cases the talk of London society. Yet one unsolved crime has always haunted him; the mysterious disappearance of his parents, in Old Shanghai, when he was a small boy. Now, as the world lurches towards total war, Banks realises the time has come for him to return to the city of his childhood and at last solve the mystery - that only by his doing so will civilisation be saved from the approaching catastrophe.

Moving between London and Shanghai of the inter-war years, When We Were Orphans is…


Book cover of Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go

Neal W. Fandek Author Of Peter Pike and the Revenge of the Romanovs

From my list on psycho killers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the Peter Pike private eye series. Pike regularly tangles with psychos; you can’t have crime novels without them. Why? People love psychos. Psychos horrify and fascinate us. Do we wish we could be them? Maybe. The best psychos are outwardly lovable and charming and get whatever they want, making you laugh and shudder at the same time. Wish fulfillment? Fantasy? Subconscious longings? Again, maybe. I know such fiction lets you dive deeply into what’s now called transgressive territory without consequences. Does fiction get any better than that?

Neal's book list on psycho killers

Neal W. Fandek Why did Neal love this book?

Pelecanos is the worst. Pelecanos is a bum. I hate George Pelecanos. Every time I read one of his novels I get depressed because I will never be as good as him. More modern existential hardcore PI fiction, the third novel in a triology set in DC, this one too blew me away with its vision of DC, which I had just quit for Philadelphia. But it’s not the DC you and I know of marble and monuments, posturing politicians and bright ties, bright young people, and great eateries. Shoegum Nick Stefanos prowls some very mean DC streets and alleys and slimy creeks while battling his own nature. He’s a barkeep, a drunk, a f**up. This novel showed me that thoroughly entertaining nihilistic crime fiction is alive and well. Have I mentioned I hate Pelecanos?

By George Pelecanos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'You already been a punk. Least you can do is go out like a man.' Then a dull popping sound and a quiet splash. That's how Nick Stefanos gets drawn into the murder of Calvin Jeter. An investigation that takes him through the roughest part of the nation's capital and the blackest parts of the human soul. Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go is the third volume in the Nick Stefanos series - which establishes George P. Pelecanos as the rightful heir to the noir tradition of James Cain, David Goodis and Jim Thompson.


Book cover of The Eighth Day

Alastair Gunn Author Of The Bergamese Sect

From my list on thrillers exploring religious conspiracies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my earliest memories are of exploring megalithic sites such as Stonehenge. I guess I can blame my parents for making me a history buff, fascinated by ancient cultures, ancient religions and ancient mysteries. It’s no surprise then that I ended up a fan of mystery fiction. Most people would turn immediately to Dan Brown for this genre, but there are many excellent authors in this genre for fans to discover. I didn’t end up as a historian, but a scientist. So, when I began writing thrillers, I combined my scientific knowledge with my love of ancient mysteries. The result, The Bergamese Sect, is a religious conspiracy thriller masquerading as science fiction!

Alastair's book list on thrillers exploring religious conspiracies

Alastair Gunn Why did Alastair love this book?

I’ve chosen this final recommendation because it is a little different from the standard religious conspiracy thriller. I love John Case’s writing (actually a husband and wife collaboration). Although The Genesis Code from this pair could be regarded as a better example of the genre, I prefer The Eighth Day because it deviates from the usual strictly Christian or Islamic subject matter. Plus, refreshingly, it doesn’t make the main character a superhero of espionage, an out-of-control academic, or a swaggering investigative journalist. It involves a demonic tribe in the hinterlands of Turkey and a billionaire’s megalomania. Be prepared for some surprising twists! Dark, fast-paced, and full of intrigue. 

By John Case,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"And on the Seventh Day, He rested." --Genesis, 2:2-3 The EighthDay is an explosive, compulsively readable novel of suspense that plunges a clever young man into a web of mystery and international deceit, bringing him face to face with the ultimate evil. Danny Cray is a struggling 28 year-old sculptor and video artist who lives in Washington DC. To make ends meet, he does occasional freelance work as a researcher for a large firm of private detectives. When one of their most powerful clients approaches him with a job, the money is too good to resist. All he has to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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