10 books like In the Woods

By Tana French,

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

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The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith,

Book cover of The Talented Mr. Ripley

This suspense novel is a leader in the field of deceptive protagonists. Ripley adapts another’s persona alongside his own, but even as he plays both roles he knows that it will all have to end at some point. He is aware of what he’s doing, yet this is coupled with great self-deception: ‘I’m a good person really.’ His vulnerability is shown in his fear of being judged. At heart he is a lonely man, driven by obsession and jealousy. Ripley is a complex, well-drawn character - I’d love to see his personality profile!

The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

12 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"…


Red Dragon

By Thomas Harris,

Book cover of Red Dragon

Hannibal Lecter. That alone is enough to recommend this brilliant Thomas Harris novel. Red Dragon serves as the literary debut of the iconic psychiatrist/gourmand serial killer. This tense, psychological thriller places FBI profiler Will Graham between the imprisoned but still dangerous Lecter and the titular character who slays entire families under the light of a full moon. The novel opens with Graham on leave and recovering from physical and psychological injuries sustained in Lecter’s capture when the urgency of catching this new killer presses him reluctantly back into service. Graham’s effort to aid the hunt of the Dragon from the shadows is thwarted when Lecter aims the killer at Graham and his family. Wicked fun.

Red Dragon

By Thomas Harris,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Red Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of "Silence of the Lambs" and "Black Sunday", this is the book that introduces the most famous serial killer of them all - Hannibal Lecter.


Only Killers and Thieves

By Paul Howarth,

Book cover of Only Killers and Thieves

In interviews, Paul Howarth has discussed the ways in which colonial Australia was essentially a second Wild West, albeit one scarcely explored in fiction. Only Killers and Thieves leans into that understanding and in doing so creates a vivid, blood-soaked, Biblical saga about revenge, redemption, and the lies upon which nations are built, full of unforgettable characters and passages of writing that will make your breath catch. That it is followed by an even better sequel is the icing on a magnificent cake.

Only Killers and Thieves

By Paul Howarth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Tommy McBride and his brother Billy return to their isolated family home to discover that their parents have been brutally murdered. Haunted and alone, their desperate search for the killers leads them to the charismatic but deadly Inspector Noone and his Queensland Native Police - an infamous arm of colonial power whose sole purpose is the 'dispersal' of Indigenous Australians in protection of settler rights.

The retribution that follows will leave a lasting mark on the colony and the country it later becomes. It will also devastate Tommy - and destroy his relationship with his brother, forever.


Misery

By Stephen King,

Book cover of Misery

I first read this novel a long time ago, my freshman year in high school. I read it during English class, hiding Misery inside the class copy of The Catcher In the Rye during “class reading time,” because Stephen King was so much more interesting to me than J.D. Salinger. I love how trapped the main character is (the author Paul Sheldon) in Misery, and I knew that I wanted to create that same feeling with my narrator Cielo—her being trapped in a ruined neighborhood with flooding all around. King creates tension in every single scene, propelling the reader forward and that’s something I aspire to do in my trilogy.)

Misery

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the exciting build-up to publication of Stephen King's new mainstream novel, LISEY'S STORY, enjoy this world-famous classic novel on audio.


The Long Goodbye

By Raymond Chandler,

Book cover of The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye is a weird book and I like weird books. Although it’s cloaked as genre fiction, it is clearly influenced by the non-linear, experimental fiction of the modernist period. The book is full of carnivalesque characters who seem to loom out of the shadows, spinning Chandler’s hard-boiled detective Marlowe around and sending him off in new directions, characters that echo each other like multiplied images in a funhouse mirror, and bizarre detours where tangled subplots weave into the narrative, then unravel as Marlowe is sent caroming off again. In the end, I’m always left wondering how much of the hallucinogenic happenings were real, how much Marlowe even understood what happened, and who was really pulling the strings all along.   

The Long Goodbye

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ed Bishop stars as Philip Marlowe in a powerful and atmospheric full-cast dramatisation of Raymond Chandler's classic noir novel. The first time Marlowe sets eyes on Terry Lennox, he is lying drunk in the passenger seat of a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. The next time, he's on Skid Row. After they share a few Gimlets, Marlowe thinks he seems like a nice guy, but he's had a hard life - his white hair and scarred face testify to that. Or could it be marriage to Sylvia Lennox that has turned him prematurely grey? Although beautiful and rich, she plays the field…


A Wild Sheep Chase

By Haruki Murakami,

Book cover of A Wild Sheep Chase

Murakami is a master of misdirection and foreboding. He’s clearly influenced by the hard-boiled detective fiction of Hammett and Chandler. His books often echo elements of the genre. The protagonist of A Wild Sheep Chase finds himself caught in an impersonal system of crime and corruption and driven down strange pathways on a quest he does not fully understand. Murakami takes the hazy, dream-like atmosphere of Chandler’s work and develops it into a kind of magical realist form that leaves the reader with a solved mystery but still wondering what exactly happened.

A Wild Sheep Chase

By Haruki Murakami,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Wild Sheep Chase as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Features a cast of bizarre characters, including a sheep with a mysterious star on its back, caught up in a Nietzschean quest for power.


The Goldfinch

By Donna Tartt,

Book cover of The Goldfinch

This book is an astounding work of art. Even though it’s not a mystery novel per se, it has a mystery at its heart so I feel like I can cheat it onto my list. Donna Tartt uses a lot of the elements pioneered by Chandler and Hammett–the criminal underworld, the unreliable friend, the lone figure in a confusing landscape trying to figure it all out and never sure he isn’t being run like a rat in a maze by powers beyond his understanding. At the same time, it’s a coming-of-age story with a quest in the middle of the plot–but a quest that keeps shifting and blurring until the reader ends up questioning whether the supposed objective was ever possible to begin with, or whether the objective was always something else entirely. 

The Goldfinch

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014 Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the…


Long Bright River

By Liz Moore,

Book cover of Long Bright River

I can’t even tell you how many times in many years working for newspapers that I rushed out after hearing a body had been found in an empty house or neglected alley. In almost every case, I would arrive to have police officers tell me, “No story here. No homicide. Just another overdose.” The newspaper didn’t tally overdose deaths as it did murders, even if many fatalities are linked to heroin that has been mixed with fentanyl without the users’ knowledge. It’s very rare for those who sell the killer substance to face homicide charges. 

The city is basically another character in this book. While the opioid epidemic had touched communities across the country, Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood is widely acknowledged as a disaster zone. A 2018 New York Times article called Kensington is the largest open-air narcotics market on the east coast. 

The plot centers on Philadelphia police officer Mickey…

Long Bright River

By Liz Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR, PARADE, REAL SIMPLE, and BUZZFEED

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK

"[Moore’s] careful balance of the hard-bitten with the heartfelt is what elevates Long Bright River from entertaining page-turner to a book that makes you want to call someone you love.” – The New York Times Book Review
 
"This is police procedural and a thriller par excellence, one in which the city of Philadelphia itself is a character (think Boston and Mystic River). But it’s…


Case Histories

By Kate Atkinson,

Book cover of Case Histories

All Kate Atkinson’s books are beautifully written, with wicked observation, but what I love about them most is the reality of her characters. 

None is more addictive than her detective, Jackson Brodie. I chose this book, not just because it’s the first in the series, but because it moved me so much. I have read it over and over again and each time it makes me cry. I want to take Theo, who still yearns for his murdered daughter, into my arms and comfort him. 

Like me, you will want to know what happened to the little girl who disappeared from her own garden one night and what possessed one woman to kill her husband with an axe. 

Through it all runs a subtle humour, which will make you laugh out loud. 

It is, for me, the perfect book.

Case Histories

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Case Histories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge ...


The Black Dahlia

By James Ellroy,

Book cover of The Black Dahlia

Without question, the book that made Ellroy a literary celebrity. If it were not for The Black Dahlia, he might never have gotten past midlist sales and could have been forgotten. It’s based on the real-life unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short in LA, 1947. The subject is personal to Ellroy as his mother Jean Ellroy was also murdered in a case that went unsolved. Ellroy’s unforgettable fictional solution to Short’s murder is set against the backdrop of LA in its postwar boomtown years. The writing is so visceral that by the end of the book, the story will feel personal to the reader too.

The Black Dahlia

By James Ellroy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The highly acclaimed novel based on America's most infamous unsolved murder case. Dive into 1940s Los Angeles as two cops spiral out of control in their hunt for The Black Dahlia's killer in this powerful thriller that is "brutal and at the same time believable" (New York Times).
On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia -- and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history. Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops,…


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