36 books like Memory Man

By David Baldacci,

Here are 36 books that Memory Man fans have personally recommended if you like Memory Man. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ 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.

Book cover of Swan Peak

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

Dave Robicheaux is one of my favorite characters, perhaps because I can relate to him so easily. James Lee Burke is a master of metaphors and he can offer descriptions of the sky like no other. His storytelling is enjoyable and almost philosophical at times.

In this book Burke's firsthand knowledge of the pristine scenery in Northern Montana shines above his usual inside look at the Louisiana bayou country. Robicheauxs's sidekick, Clete Purcel, is a colorful and easily likable character.

Swan Peak wasn’t as exciting as the other Robicheaux novels I’ve read but it was still a great page-turner and good story.

By James Lee Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Trouble follows Dave Robicheaux.

James Lee Burke's new novel, Swan Peak, finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

But the serenity is soon shattered when two college students are found brutally murdered in the hills behind where the Robicheauxs and Purcell are staying. They quickly find themselves involved in a twisted and dangerous…


Book cover of The Black Ice

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

For me, reading a Harry Bosch novel is like inviting an old friend to dinner and catching up over beers. The Black Ice is the 2nd installment in Michael Connelly's Bosch series, published back in 1993, but recently re-released as a paperback.

Whether it's an old book or a new one, I can't get enough of Harry Bosch. There’re still a few stories I haven't read yet, but the television series has filled in a lot of the blanks. I think I've seen each episode at least five times now.

The Black Ice is a good story, about a Robbery/Homicide case that should have been assigned to Bosch, but he inserts himself into it anyway. The plot moves well and kept me interested throughout. And, if you're a really sharp detective, you might pick up on a couple of clues as to the major twist at the end.

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When an LAPD narcotics officer is found with a fatal bullet wound and a suicide note, Detective Harry Bosch follows a bloody trail of drug murders across the Mexico border.

​Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: Don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Soon Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself…


Book cover of Personal

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

I've read a few of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels and I have to say this was probably my favorite. I found Reacher’s humor a little drier in this one, and there was a lot less of Child's sometimes painfully slow narrative.

I liked the characters and the plot moved well, with a couple of cool twists to keep you guessing right until the end. For me, it was a fun read!

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Consistently pulse-raising. . .an exhilarating ride. . .Personal wrests back the sheer gusto of the earlier novels; it's the best Reacher adventure in some considerable time." (Independent)

Jack Reacher walks alone.

Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he's a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president.

Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child's number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to…


Book cover of The Lost Symbol

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

Dan Brown grabs you within the first few pages and holds on to you through the whole book. The pace is frantic and can leave you breathless at times.

There's a great character twist at the end but I was a tiny bit disappointed with the ending. The story went so deep into the symbolic and mythical world, I guess I expected more. Perhaps I just wanted more.

By Dan Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR TELEVISION SERIES

The Capitol Building, Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon believes he is here to give a lecture. He is wrong. Within minutes of his arrival, a shocking object is discovered. It is a gruesome invitation into an ancient world of hidden wisdom.

When Langdon's mentor, Peter Solomon - prominent mason and philanthropist - is kidnapped, Langdon realizes that his only hope of saving his friend's life is to accept this mysterious summons.

It is to take him on a breathless chase through Washington's dark history. All that was familiar is changed into a shadowy, mythical…


Book cover of Birdman

Simon Cluett Author Of Minotaur

From my list on thrillers with serial killers that get under your skin.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been lucky enough to have a happy childhood and enjoy a fulfilling life. Nevertheless, I’ve always been drawn to the darkness… the macabre, the sinister, and the bizarre. My selection of books has, in one way or another, helped to shape me as a writer. I’m constantly fascinated by the process of creating truly disturbed, twisted, or hideous characters. I enjoy the process of working out what makes them tick; shedding my own moral compass and experiencing the world through their eyes… wherever that ends up taking me. 

Simon's book list on thrillers with serial killers that get under your skin

Simon Cluett Why did Simon love this book?

This one is in my top ten books because of its “wow” factor, and its influence on me as a writer. It’s the first in the late, great Mo Hayder’s series featuring D.I. Jack Caffrey. He’s a character who is haunted by grief and guilt but driven to find out what happened to his brother, who went missing as a child, and to track down a present-day killer known as ‘Birdman’. How this maniac gets his nickname still makes my stomach churn.  

By Mo Hayder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This dark and disturbingly compelling thriller from bestselling and prize-winning author Mo Hayder is not for the faint-hearted. Perfect for fans of Stephen King, Stuart MacBride and Karin Slaughter, it is one read you won't be able to forget easily...

'A first-class shocker . . . a frightening mix of forensics, thrills, analytical police work and poetic images.' -- Guardian
'Wickedly constructed . . . The detail, if you can stomach it, is fascinating.' -- Daily Telegraph
'Hayder's vibrant narrative and crunchy characterisation propel the book along to its denouement with fearsome velocity' -- The Times
'WOW! This is one…


Book cover of The Cater Street Hangman

Anastasia Hastings Author Of Of Manners and Murder: A Dear Miss Hermione Mystery

From my list on dark and stormy Victorian vibes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I confess to a life-long interest in both the Victorian era and in crime, and I blame my dad for both. Dad was a Cleveland Police detective who introduced me to the Holmes stories at an early age. We read Doyle and we both enjoyed Basil Rathbone’s take on Sherlock in the old black-and-white movies. Dad also gave me my first chance to practice my detecting skills when on his days off, he’d load me into the car, buy me an ice cream cone (no doubt to keep me quiet), and take me for a cruise around the city looking for stolen cars.  

Anastasia's book list on dark and stormy Victorian vibes

Anastasia Hastings Why did Anastasia love this book?

I will admit it’s been a while since I read this, the first Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery.

The fact that I still remember it and include it on this list says something. The mystery is convoluted enough to keep readers interested and the story of the lead characters going against societal norms (young woman from a good family attracted to a “lowly” police inspector) is intriguing. 

Throw in the foggy atmosphere of Victorian London and you’ve got a real winner. Be aware, though, Hangman is the first of 32 Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels.

By Anne Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the debut of the New York Times–bestselling Victorian crime series, Inspector Thomas Pitt seeks an elusive strangler among upper-class British society.

Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While Mrs. Ellison and her three daughters are out, their maid becomes the third victim of a killer who strangles young women with cheese wire, leaving their swollen-faced bodies on the dark streets of this genteel neighborhood. Inspector Pitt, assigned to the case, must break through the walls of upper-class society to get at the truth. His in-depth investigation…


Book cover of The Jigsaw Man

Sam Holland Author Of The Echo Man

From my list on fictional serial killers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having always been fascinated with the dark and macabre, I grew up hanging out in the library, forging a love of reading through Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and James Herbert. To write The Echo Man, I read more serial killer books than should be deemed healthy – anything from biographies to first-person accounts to psychology and profiling. So who better to recommend serial killer fiction, then a self-confessed serial killer nerd?!

Sam's book list on fictional serial killers

Sam Holland Why did Sam love this book?

The Jigsaw Man introduces us to DI Anjelica Henley and the Serial Crimes Unit as they investigate body parts found along the River Thames. Matheson pulls no punches with her portrait of her gritty East London, combined with pacey action and characters that quickly feel like old friends.

By Nadine Matheson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A heart-pounding roller coaster ride."—Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy

*A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2021*

A serial killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it’s too late?

On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river.

The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has…


Book cover of Last Bus to Woodstock

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?

I chose this book as it was the one that introduced me to Morse, not the code but the Detective Chief Inspector. Apart from being an excellent crime solver, he is also a superb Times crossword solver. I liked that this cerebral activity was a clue in itself to his method of disentangling the threads linking the criminal to the murder. In that respect, he resembles Poirot, like Morse, a man of limited physical activity.

I found the man, rather than the policeman, was an enigma. He can be charming, but mostly he’s curt, cranky, and cynical. He has a passion for Real Ale, Scotch Whisky, and pubs but loses himself in classical music and opera. He’s a bachelor, sometimes a little lecherous, but he loves and admires women.

I was amused by the fact no one knew his first name. If asked, he would say it was Inspector. In…

By Colin Dexter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Last Bus to Woodstock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Last Bus to Woodstock is the novel that began Colin Dexter's phenomenally successful Inspector Morse series.

'Do you think I'm wasting your time, Lewis?'
Lewis was nobody's fool and was a man of some honesty and integrity.
'Yes, sir.'
An engaging smile crept across Morse's mouth. He thought they could get on well together . . .

The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon's edition of the Oxford Mail. By Friday evening Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man - facing charges of wilful murder, sexual assault and rape.…


Book cover of The Murder Room

J.C. Paulson Author Of Adam's Witness

From my list on mystery in which you really want to hug the detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading mysteries since childhood. You know the sort of thing: Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton books, The Bobbsey Twins. The desire to profoundly understand the battles of good versus evil, the delicious gathering of clues, and the hope of solving the cases never left me. As I grew, I began to read the adult-themed greats, and dominantly the women of crime fiction. I couldn't possibly count the number of mysteries I have read. Then, seven years ago, I was violently moved to write them as well. My “real” job as a journalist was little different. In a way, every story, every interview subject, has been a little mystery to unravel. 

J.C.'s book list on mystery in which you really want to hug the detective

J.C. Paulson Why did J.C. love this book?

It is hard to resist a detective who is also a poet. Such wordy pursuits, mingled with crime detection, loudly declare sensitivity and left-brain-right-brain involvement, a perfect combination in the elegant, exceedingly attractive Adam Dalgliesh. (My own detective is named, in part, after him.)

All the Dalgliesh mysteries are marvelous. However, in The Murder Room, the detective’s new relationship with Emma Lavenham comes to a critical point. As the description says, “as he moves closer and closer to a solution to the puzzle, he finds himself driven further and further from commitment to the woman he loves.” The poor dear.

By P. D. James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major Channel 5 series

'The Queen of Crime.' New York Times

Commander Adam Dalgliesh is already acquainted with the Dupayne Museum in Hampstead, and with its sinister murder room celebrating notorious crimes committed in the interwar years, when he is called to investigate the killing of one of the trustees. He soon discovers that the victim was seeking to close the museum against the wishes of both staff and fellow trustees. Everyone, it seems, has something to gain from the crime.

When it becomes clear that the killer is prepared to kill again, inspired by the real-life crimes…


Book cover of The Vault

Nora Gaskin Author Of The Worst Thing

From my list on noir and psychological suspense by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Do you see the pattern in the five books I’ve recommended? In each of them, a woman writer explores the darker side of human nature and lures the law-abiding reader to explore it, too. I do not expect to ever commit a murder or to have to cover one up for the sake of a loved one. But could I? Could the person next to me in the grocery store line? Hmmm, I wonder. Traditional mystery stories and police procedurals reassure the reader that in the end, justice will be served and order restored. The women writers of noir/psychological suspense make us contemplate the world very differently.

Nora's book list on noir and psychological suspense by women

Nora Gaskin Why did Nora love this book?

The Vault is the sequel to A Sight for Sore Eyes. It is a police procedural with the detective trying to identify several dead bodies found in an abandoned coal cellar. The dead seem to have no connection to each other, so the detective must also puzzle out how each of them came to be there. I recommend it because the reader has some fun: She knows the answers to all those questions from having read the first book. It’s a great twist on mystery-as-riddle whodunits. 

By Ruth Rendell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS

In the stunning climax to Rendell’s classic 1998 novel A Sight for Sore Eyes, three bodies—two dead, one living—are entombed in an underground chamber beneath a picturesque London house. Twelve years later, the house’s new owner pulls back a manhole cover, and discovers the vault—and its grisly contents. Only now, the number of bodies is four. How did somebody else end up in the chamber? And who knew of its existence?

With their own detectives at an impasse, London police call on former Kingsmarkham Chief Inspector Wexford, now retired and living…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in police, memory, and detectives?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about police, memory, and detectives.

Police Explore 225 books about police
Memory Explore 91 books about memory
Detectives Explore 2,599 books about detectives