100 books like In Broad Daylight

By Harry N. MacLean,

Here are 100 books that In Broad Daylight fans have personally recommended if you like In Broad Daylight. 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 The Talented Mr. Ripley

Tim O'Leary Author Of Men Behaving Badly

From my list on characters you love to hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Tim O’Leary and two of my books, Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face–And Other Tales of Men in Pain and Men Behaving Badly, emanate from the minds of protagonists trying to do the right thing the wrong way or evil characters doing the wrong thing they believe to be right. I’m particularly drawn to those wonderful literary psychopaths that draw you in with compelling personalities, while reviling the reader with their heinous actions. 

Tim's book list on characters you love to hate

Tim O'Leary Why did Tim love this book?

Ripley is iconic, with multiple film adaptations, including a very good current series on Netflix that takes a few liberties with the original book yet makes it work well.

The book is a perfect example of how a talented writer can create a “slow burn” via a character that grows more compelling, even as their true evil is unmasked.

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked The Talented Mr. Ripley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's here, in the first volume of Patricia Highsmith's five-book Ripley series, that we are introduced to the suave Tom Ripley, a young striver seeking to leave behind his past as an orphan bullied for being a "sissy." Newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. Soon Ripley's fascination with Dickie's debonair lifestyle turns obsessive as he finds himself enraged by Dickie's ambivalent affections for Marge, a charming American dilettante, and Ripley begins a deadly game. "Sinister and strangely alluring"…

Book cover of Pop. 1280

Lynn A. Higgins Author Of Bertrand Tavernier

From my list on to read in with the eccentric movie adaptations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a recently retired Professor of French literature and cinema studies at Dartmouth College. Because I love both books and movies, I developed a course on adaptation, which I taught with pleasure for many years. I wanted to give students the opportunity to learn how to analyze literary texts and films, separately and in juxtaposition, and they especially enjoyed discovering how the “same” story works quite differently in different media. In addition to the two volumes on Tavernier, my published books include New Novel, New Wave, New Politics: Fiction and the Representation of History in Postwar France; Parables of Theory: Jean Ricardou’s Metafiction; and Rape and Representation (co-edited with Brenda Silver).

Lynn's book list on to read in with the eccentric movie adaptations

Lynn A. Higgins Why did Lynn love this book?

I was introduced to this book through Tavernier’s brilliant adaptation, Clean Slate (Coup de Torchon, 1981). Set in Texas, Thompson’s novel was published in 1964, during the Civil Rights Movement, and it offers a portrait of petty-minded racism in the continuing aftermath of slavery. Tavernier’s adaptation transposes the story to 1930s French colonial West Africa. I remain haunted by the ways the two settings illuminate each other. Tavernier’s blending of a deadly serious historical crisis with touches of comedy—slapstick even—brings both eras and the novel itself to life in enjoyable and instructive ways.

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Pop. 1280 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic crime novel from 'the best suspense writer going, bar none' New York Times

Nick Corey likes being the high sheriff of Potts County. But Nick has a few problems that he needs to deal with: like his loveless marriage, the pimps who torment him, the honest man who is running against him in the upcoming elections and the women who adore him.

And it turns out that Nick isn't anything like as amiable, easy-going or as slow as he seems. He's as sly, brutal and corrupt as they come.

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 Brighton Rock

Why am I passionate about this?

You’ve got to root for the underdog, right? And there’s no bigger underdog than fictional villains. While real-life criminals are doing very nicely, thank you very much, in fiction, the bad guy is screwed from the start. What could be more relatable than knowing on a bone-deep, existential level that you’ve already lost? And what could be more heroic than stepping out onto the field of play knowing that no matter how hard you play, you’re still going down? Keep your flawed anti-heroes; they’re just too chicken to go over to the losing side. I’ll cheer for the doomed bad guy every single time.

Sam's book list on characters who do unforgivably terrible things but still somehow end up the hero

Sam Tobin Why did Sam love this book?

Everyone loves a bastard, and Pinkie, the hero of Brighton Rock, is such an awful bastard. He doesn’t like his friends, hates his girlfriend, and is driven by a pathetically brittle ego that can never be satisfied. But it’s the fact he’s so hopelessly trapped in the prison of his own angry, petty horizons that makes me love him. I love a doomed character.

When an author can make you know, it’s all going to end badly and still make you hope it won’t? That’s magic. I love it when I’m reading books that I can feel playing with my emotions but I’m enjoying it so much I don’t care. Pinkie is a bastard, and he sort of knows it, when it comes to the crunch, and he goes out like a coward, I can’t help but wish he’d managed to pull it off.

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Pinkie Brown, a neurotic teenage gangster wielding a razor blade and a bottle of sulfuric acid, commits a brutal murder - but it does not go unnoticed. Rose, a naive young waitress at a rundown cafe, has the unwitting power to destroy his crucial alibi, and Ida Arnold, a woman bursting with easy certainties about what is right and wrong, has made it her mission to bring about justice and redemption.

Set among the seaside amusements and dilapidated boarding houses of Brighton's pre-war underworld, Brighton Rock by Graham Greene is both a gritty thriller and a study of a soul…

Book cover of Sharp Objects

Nicole Trope Author Of The Family Across the Street

From my list on helping you explore the darker side of suburbia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a writer for almost as long as I have been a reader, and I have always been attracted to the darker side of ordinary life. I write psychological suspense thrillers, always featuring a family in crisis. I am fascinated by what happens behind closed doors and what the headlines do not tell you about a situation. Most people love a good secret exposed, and I am no different. I look at those around me and wonder, ‘What are you hiding?’ because everyone is hiding something. And I want to know what it is.

Nicole's book list on helping you explore the darker side of suburbia

Nicole Trope Why did Nicole love this book?

I love this book because a sense of unease fills this novel from page one. Camille returns to her hometown to cover the unsolved murder of a preteen girl. It’s not an assignment she wants, preferring to avoid her family and her memories. Her recollections of her disturbing, abusive childhood and the death of her sister make this a compulsive read.

Her own fragile mental state and self-harm force the reader to question her even as she questions herself. I loved this book because it made me so uncomfortable while I was reading it that I just had to know the truth about a fractured childhood.

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Sharp Objects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds…

Book cover of Celia, a Slave

Sinmisola Ogunyinka Author Of I loved a slave

From my list on historical stories on love and slavery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who loves to create stories across cultures and time periods. Writing a historical romance novel involves a lot of reading about the history and the times. After reading a few historical novels, I started toying with the idea of writing one. I loved a slave is my second historical romance novel and I have started work on two more. Being transported into the time period gives me a lot of excitement and I hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have! I have a master’s in liberal arts and an MFA in Creative Writing.

Sinmisola's book list on historical stories on love and slavery

Sinmisola Ogunyinka Why did Sinmisola love this book?

This book shares a most harrowing and detailed story of a young slave girl, who had been bought by a much older master. The ordeals she went through and her struggles with her status created in me a lot of empathy. However, questions of justice versus mercy are raised in such a way that I was left speechless by the time I was done reading.

By Melton A. McLaurin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Illuminating the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society, this book tells the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her master and ultimately executed for his murder.

Celia was only fourteen years old when she was acquired by John Newsom, an aging widower and one of the most prosperous and respected citizens of Callaway County, Missouri. The pattern of sexual abuse that would mark their entire relationship began almost immediately. After purchasing Celia in a neighboring county, Newsom raped her on the journey back to his farm. He then established her in…

Book cover of Dead Inside

Elle Mitchell Author Of Another Elizabeth

From my list on dark fiction serial killer.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in serial killers began when I was a teen watching horror movies with my mom. I learned all I could about them—even became a horror special-effects makeup artist. Eventually, I had to quit due to my connective tissue disorder (Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). It put me on a path of writing. I love digging into the darker side of humanity—murder or mental illness. The story of a serial killer who could challenge the reader to see disability in a new light came to me, and I had to write her story, if not just so I could dive into the psyche of another serial killer.

Elle's book list on dark fiction serial killer

Elle Mitchell Why did Elle love this book?

In most procedurals, you root for the “bad guy” to get caught. Noelle Holten created a killer you want to see get away, stay hidden in the shadows, and continue doing the good work. The story unfolds from the perspectives of battered women, the abusers, and the detective constable (UK term for lowest-ranking detective). Telling the story from so many points of view brings a level of tension that one finds in suspense or thriller novels, which is why it’s made it on this list. As I read the violence committed against innocent women, it was impossible not to echo many characters in the book as they grapple with wanting to find the killer. It’s that waffling that makes each horrible man’s death more satisfying than the last.

By Noelle Holten,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Hugely confident ... harrowing, visceral ... recommended' Ian Rankin

'Kept me hooked' Angela Marsons

'An excellent read' Martina Cole

'Gritty, dark and chilling' Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel - the first in a stunning new series - from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started...

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood - who is connected to all three victims - is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser…

Book cover of And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border

Michael Blake Author Of Justice, Migration, and Mercy

From my list on understanding what’s happening at the border.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a political philosopher who lives in Seattle. I teach and write about political ethics, and the ways in which moral concepts change when they get applied to the relationships between states—and to the complicated borders that define where states end. I tend to write about what puzzles me, and many of these puzzles come from my personal life; I’m a migrant myself, and the experience of migrating to the United States led me to write about what sorts of values a country can rightly pursue through migration policyand what sorts of things, more generally, it can and can’t do to migrants themselves.  

Michael's book list on understanding what’s happening at the border

Michael Blake Why did Michael love this book?

Neiwert’s book focuses on the horrifying case of Shawna Forde, an anti-migration activist who ended up murdering a child on the Arizona border in an attempt to steal money to fund her activism. It’s sometimes easier to understand the politics of the borderlands by focusing on particular people who inhabit and cross the borders; Neiwert let me see the complex politics of the Arizona border, and the ways in which those politics can curdle into a murderous rage.

By David Neiwert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked And Hell Followed With Her as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It began with a frantic 911 call from a woman in a dusty Arizona border town. A gang claiming to be affiliated with the Border Patrol had shot her husband and daughter. It was initially assumed that the murders were products of border drug wars ravaging the Southwest until the leader of one of the more prominent offshoots of the Minutemen movement was arrested for plotting the home invasion as part of a scheme to finance a violent antigovernment border militia. And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing to the Dark Side of the American Border is award-winning journalist David Neiwert's…

Book cover of We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence

Rebecca McKanna Author Of Don't Forget the Girl

From my list on true crime that still honor the victims.

Why am I passionate about this?

After writing a novel about the toll true crime can take on victims’ loved ones and the risk it runs of glamourizing killers while overshadowing victims, I’ve been on the hunt for true crime books that don’t fall into these traps. The titles on this list showcase beautiful writing and tell compelling stories without dehumanizing the victims or glamourizing the perpetrators. 

Rebecca's book list on true crime that still honor the victims

Rebecca McKanna Why did Rebecca love this book?

As a Harvard undergrad, Cooper hears a story about an anthropology professor who murdered a female graduate student with whom he was having an affair, burning her body with cigarette butts and surrounding her in red ochre.

This “macabre legend” illustrates a common critique of true crime—a victim provided no name and no identity beyond the way she was brutalized. A former New Yorker editorial staff member, Cooper performed meticulous research on the 1969 murder, debunking the affair rumor and instead exploring a more interesting story about memory, institutional power, and misogyny in academia.

She also excavates the story of the crime’s victim, 23-year-old Jane Britton. Full of twists and turns, this real-life whodunit provides an exacting portrait of who Jane was and what her loved ones lost.

By Becky Cooper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



'Exhilarating ... Becky Cooper masterfully uncovers the story of Harvard undergrad Jane Britton.' VOGUE
You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn't let you forget.

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an…

Book cover of Murder at the Met

Lisa Black Author Of Red Flags

From my list on crime for music lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up watching every cop show on the air with my father. I always wanted to be a detective, but one that didn’t have to do a lot of chasing, like Starsky and Hutch, or get beat up a lot, like Mannix—one who could take a laid-back approach and work his own hours, like Ellery Queen. I wound up becoming a forensic specialist who also writes thrillers. The protagonists have my same job, only with smarter criminals and better-looking colleagues. I also grew up playing the clarinet—not, I admit, particularly well—in a band and/or orchestra from the fourth grade until well after I married. 

Lisa's book list on crime for music lovers

Lisa Black Why did Lisa love this book?

In July of 1980, a beautiful violinist disappeared during a 45-minute break while the visiting ballet company used a prerecorded piece. Helen Hagnes Mintiks was a Julliard grad who had played with professionals since her teens. After the evening’s performance ended, her colleagues knew—as any musician would—that Helen would never have left the building without her violin. It took another nine hours to find her body, thrown down a ventilation shaft, hands tied with knots that stagehands used. A witness led them to the killer, who promptly confessed—a real villain, robbing the world of a kind-hearted talent out of lust. I read this book probably 30 years ago, while I was reading my way through the entire true crime section of the Cleveland Public Library. 

By David Black,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder at the Met as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The inside story, written with the cooperation of the detectives involved, of the investigation into the murder of a young violinist

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