100 books like In the Woods

By Tana French,

Here are 100 books that In the Woods fans have personally recommended if you like In the Woods. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith,

Book cover of The Talented Mr. Ripley

Angela Lam Author Of No Amends

From the list on sociopaths and liars.

Who am I?

Why am I an expert on recommending books about sociopaths and liars? I unknowingly shared a life with one for five years. Shattered, I grappled with the aftermath of deception. How could I have been duped for so long? Through therapy and reading, I discovered many smart, compassionate people fall hard for the charismatic charm and convincing stories sociopaths tell to get whatever it is they want from whomever they want it. Without a conscious and incapable of feeling, they often latch onto someone with high morals and emotional intelligence in the hopes of learning how to mirror those attributes only to destroy the ones who love them the most.

Angela's book list on sociopaths and liars

Why did Angela love this book?

Tom Ripley, the original sociopath upon whom many other literary characters are based, is both a sycophant and a social climber, eager to scale the heights of society at any cost, even murder.

His dubious sexual orientation coupled with his devil-may-care attitude leaves both the characters and the reader always guessing about his next move until it’s too late. I never saw the movie, but I enjoyed the book with its twists and turns in an era long before DNA, surveillance cameras, and forensics made catching criminals a lot easier.

Ripley is a chameleon and a charmer. Man or woman, you can’t help but fall under his spell…and become his next prey. Why is it that sociopaths are so seductive?

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

16 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"…

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Book cover of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Susan McCormick Author Of The Fog Ladies

From the list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters.

Who am I?

I am a doctor, an award-winning writer, and lifelong lover of mysteries. Many mysteries feature smart characters. I prefer those with wise characters, who can teach me something about a life well-lived. Or not. Sometimes the mistakes are more instructive and more fun. Stories with older characters offer a plethora of life experience and wisdom, and usually poignancy and humor as well. From my life as a doctor and my daily visits to my mother’s retirement community dinner table, I see seniors who are strong, wise, vital, and often overlooked. I love stories that give voice to this robust and rich generation who have so much to offer.

Susan's book list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters

Why did Susan love this book?

Some might consider this cheating, as Mma Ramotswe’s age is not obvious as the books progress, but after 23 adventures, I will count her tending toward middle if not old age.

If she is not, the gentle mannerisms and thoughtful concerns of her and her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, definitely put the books into this category of wise and poignant characters.

There may still be a mystery to each book, but these stories offer marriage advice, friendship advice, life advice in as joyful and tranquil a way possible.

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Precious Ramotswe, a cheerful woman of traditional build, is the founder of Botswana's first and only ladies' detective agency. Here is a gentle interpretation of the detective role: solving her cases through her innate wisdom and understanding of human nature, she 'helps people with problems in their lives'. With a tone that is as elegant as that which is unfailingly used by his protagonist, Alexander McCall Smith tenderly unfolds a picture of life in Gaborone with a mastery of comic understatement and an evident sympathy for his subjects and their milieu. In the background of all this is Botswana, a…

Red Dragon

By Thomas Harris,

Book cover of Red Dragon

Tom Grace Author Of The Secret Cardinal

From the list on thrillers to keep you awake at night.

Who am I?

I am an avid reader and devour books of all types, but for pure entertainment I love a good thriller. These are the kind of books I read on planes and at the beach, and these are the kinds of books I shared with my late father. I contributed a piece on Rudyard Kipling’s Kim to the collection Thrillers: 100 Must Reads and am a member of the International Thriller Writers. While I write thrillers professionally, I remain a passionate reader of the genre and love to share the brilliant stories that kept me reading late into the night.

Tom's book list on thrillers to keep you awake at night

Why did Tom love this book?

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.

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.

Book cover of Only Killers and Thieves

Gabriel Bergmoser Author Of The Inheritance

From the list on thought provoking thrillers.

Who am I?

I love a good thriller, as my bookshelf will attest. Anything that can drag me to the edge of my seat, desperate to see how it ends, will always get a recommendation from me, but the books that endure and inspire me the most have always been the ones that keep turning over in my head long after I’ve discovered whodunnit or seen the villain taken down. I have so much admiration for the art of taking what is often the pulpiest genre and infusing it with something more. Closely studying the books that successfully pull that off, for me, gives thriller writers everywhere a benchmark to aspire to.

Gabriel's book list on thought provoking thrillers

Why did Gabriel love this book?

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.

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.


By Stephen King,

Book cover of Misery

J.J. Cagney Author Of A Pilgrimage to Death

From the list on mystery for Agatha Christie readers.

Who am I?

I started reading mysteries in elementary school: Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King fed my thirst for story, puzzles, and the “super-psychological.” There’s so much about the mind we don’t understand—including our relationships with animals (like an octopus detective)—or the bond between twins (like the one in my Cici series). When I worked with Irene Webb as an associate literary agent in the 2000s, my fascination with the written word and “super-psychological” blossomed. I enjoy connecting motivations, secrets, and passions into a tapestry of humanity. At their core, stories teach us how to be more human, and I want to be part of that lesson. Please enjoy this book list I’ve curated for you.

J.J.'s book list on mystery for Agatha Christie readers

Why did J.J. love this book?

I realize this book isn’t one of King’s supernatural thrillers like Kujo or The Shining, both of which petrified my middle-school self into turning the pages late, late into the night. But Misery is the best of King’s work because this “super-psychological” thriller pits two antithetical forces against one another.

The police interview setup seems a straightforward approach to story-telling, but it turns into a deeply emotion, personal journey for Paul, the book’s hero. We learn in subsequent pages that Paul’s “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, refuses to allow Paul to continue on a journey of self-aggrandizement...to the point she’s willing to brutalize and imprison him…all while claiming to love his mind. Paul’s imagination becomes his only viable tool to escape Annie’s machinations.

Misery is powerful, brilliant work and the reason I now write mysteries and thrillers.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

8 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

Michelle Hillen Klump Author Of Murder Served Neat

From the list on putting you in the mood for a good cocktail.

Who am I?

I’m a former reporter turned mystery novelist with a fondness for classic cocktails. I’ve always been fascinated by the art of cocktail making, and how a great mixologist knows exactly what ingredients pair well with others to create new and surprising flavors. As a reader, I like a book that engages all of my senses. In the same way that a great description can draw a reader into a scene, the mention of a certain cocktail can evoke specific moods or memories. In each of these books, cocktails contribute to the atmosphere, offering readers something to savor, like a perfectly made Sazerac.

Michelle's book list on putting you in the mood for a good cocktail

Why did Michelle love this book?

The Long Goodbye, the sixth novel in Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe series, is a classic noir with gritty gangsters, brutal cops, femme fatales, and plenty of cocktails.

Marlowe drinks his way through the novel on his quest to find out who killed his friend’s wife. In one scene, a character instructs the bartender how to make a proper gimlet using only gin and Rose’s lime juice, leaving you to wonder what bitter truths the man is trying to dilute with the overly sweet concoction.

As you ponder the forces of good and evil in American society, you can look forward to a twist at the end that is worthy of a good French 75. 

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

5 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

Chris Guillebeau Author Of Gonzo Capitalism: How to Make Money in an Economy That Hates You

From the list on thinking differently and live unconventionally.

Who am I?

I'm a curious writer and compulsive traveler. My lifelong goal is to communicate the message “You don’t have to live your life the way others expect.” From 2002-2015 I went to every country in the world, chronicling the journey on my blog The Art of Non-Conformity. At first I thought the blog would be just about travel, but along the way I began meeting lots of people interested in living unconventionally. Ever since, I've been writing books, hosting events, and avoiding traditional employment by any means necessary. 

Chris' book list on thinking differently and live unconventionally

Why did Chris love this book?

This was the book that set me off on a decade-long journey of reading (and re-reading) Murakami. Along with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, another favorite, I've re-read it at least twice.

So why is it about thinking differently? Because the book is written so differently! If you've read any recent speculative fiction, the author likely owes a debt to Murakami and his wondrous approach to narrative storytelling. You'll get lost in a bizarre, beautiful quest that takes on all sorts of twists and turns.

By Haruki Murakami,

Why should I read it?

3 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 Secret History

By Donna Tartt,

Book cover of The Secret History

David B. Allison Author Of Controversial Monuments and Memorials: A Guide for Community Leaders

From the list on memory that make you question how you see the past.

Who am I?

Memory is capricious and impacts our view of the past. That’s why I do what I do! I am a twenty-year museum professional who began my career at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, worked at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for almost ten years, and am now part of the Arts & History department at the City and County of Broomfield. I have designed and developed programs and events, as well as managed teams in each of these stops. I seek to illuminate stories, elevate critical voices, and advocate for equity through the unique pathways of the arts, history, and museum magic.

David's book list on memory that make you question how you see the past

Why did David love this book?

Unlike many murder mysteries, the murder in this book is not the climax. Instead, the murder happens fairly early in the story, and the rest of the novel is about the internal struggles, remorse, and regret of those involved.

Set at a liberal arts college in New England, Tartt taps into her character’s memories and the complexities of friendships knit during impressionable years to show how seemingly normal people can be driven to the unthinkable. 

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Secret History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together---my future, my past, the whole of my life---and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!'

Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries.…

The Goldfinch

By Donna Tartt,

Book cover of The Goldfinch

Maggie Humm Author Of Radical Woman: Gwen John & Rodin

From the list on why art matters (in our lives).

Who am I?

Like many readers, I am fascinated by strong creative women in the past and how their lives can inspire women today. As an academic, before my Creative Writing Diploma and transformation into a creative writer, I taught historical novels of many kinds. I now enjoy devising fascinating women whose lives have significance for today’s issues. To talk about my favourite writer Virginia Woolf and favourite artist Gwen John, I have enjoyed invitations from book festivals, galleries, and universities from around the world, including several in the US and Europe as well as Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, and Norway. BBC Radio, France Culture, and Turkey TRT television also featured my writing.

Maggie's book list on why art matters (in our lives)

Why did Maggie love this book?

Carel Fabritius’s seventeenth-century Dutch painting The Goldfinch gives the novel its title and plot.

Starting with a powerful scene of an art gallery bombing which kills thirteen-year-old Theo Decker’s mother and he steals the painting, the novel depicts Theo’s journey through the US criminal underworld. With amazing characters and thrilling suspense, The Goldfinch is a novel about loss, love, and obsession.

I too am obsessed by a Dutch painting, in my case Vermeer’s View of Delft. My mother, who also died when I was thirteen like Theo, had a cheap print of the painting which now hangs in my dining room reminding me of her.

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

9 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

Natalie Pompilio Author Of Walking Philadelphia: 30 Walking Tours Exploring Art, Architecture, History, and Little-Known Gems

From the list on fiction set in the City of Brotherly Love.

Who am I?

My usual answer, when someone asks me where I live in Philadelphia, is: “Have you seen the Rocky movies, where he’s running through that open fruit/vegetable market? I’m three blocks from there.” I’ve called Philadelphia home for more than 20 years. I’m clearly a big fan, having now written four books about the city. I include a reference to the city’s most famous fictional character in my children’s alphabet book Philadelphia A to Z. In More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell, I got to tell stories about the country’s largest public art program. In This Used To Be Philadelphia, I told the then and now stories of dozens of city locations.

Natalie's book list on fiction set in the City of Brotherly Love

Why did Natalie love this book?

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…

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?





"[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…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murder, murder mystery, and Dublin?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about murder, murder mystery, and Dublin.

Murder Explore 828 books about murder
Murder Mystery Explore 438 books about murder mystery
Dublin Explore 68 books about Dublin