10 books like Suspect

By Scott Turow,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

Book cover of Thirteen

"The serial killer isn’t on trial he’s on the jury."

Actor Bobby Solomon is accused of murdering his wife and bodyguard in a frenzied attack. Eddie Flynn, former conman turned lawyer, is brought in to assist the defence team. Eddie’s the full package—resourceful, quick-witted, a masterful cross-examiner, and he can handle himself in a fight. He also believes in Bobby’s innocence. But he’s up against an ingenious, ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to achieve his cause. 

If the central premise—that of a killer infiltrating the jury and undermining the entire justice system—isn’t sufficiently terrifying, then the array of corrupt police officers and self-serving lawyers (on both sides) should tip you over the edge. Happily, Eddie stands head and shoulders above them all.

Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN'T ON TRIAL.

HE'S ON THE JURY...

****************

'THIRTEEN is my favourite read of the year.' Sarah Pinborough

'Outstanding.' Lee Child

'Smart and original. This is a belter of a book.' Clare Mackintosh

****************

They were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to…


You Don't Know Me

By Imran Mahmood,

Book cover of You Don't Know Me

A young man accused of murder stands before the jury in court. Fed up with his barrister’s advice to ‘only tell the jury what they can believe’ he makes his own closing speech. He tells ‘the whole truth’ in his own words. 

In setting out the details of his chaotic life, he aims to provide an innocent explanation for the eight pieces of circumstantial evidence against him. It’s only if the jury can understand what it’s like to be him (echoes here of Atticus Finch’s famous line, "You never really understand a person until you… climb into his skin and walk around in it.") that he will receive a fair trial.

A highly original angle for the modern, courtroom drama, executed to perfection. Clearly (as is only right) there’s a subtly-woven, social commentary agenda too.

You Don't Know Me

By Imran Mahmood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Don't Know Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2013 Christy Award winner!
2013 Carol Award finalist (ACFW)
To everyone who knows her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses her kids’ sporting events, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the sleepy town of Deep Haven, Deidre got a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan…


Without Prejudice

By Nicola Williams,

Book cover of Without Prejudice

When Armani-loving lawyer, Leanne Mitchell, is asked to defend millionaire Clive Omartian on fraud charges, she believes her career is on an upward trajectory. But her success puts her at odds with the head of her Chambers, who is desperate to be awarded ‘Silk’ and with her instructing solicitor and old friend, as she begins to suspect he knows more about their client than he is letting on. Before she realises, she’s being dragged into dangerous waters.

Oozing authenticity, twisty and turny, the reader shares Lee’s pain, not just the wounds she suffers from courtroom barbs, but in her everyday experience as a young, black, working-class woman barrister in a mainly white, male, privileged world. Despite huge challenges she remains feisty and principled. A real hero for our times.

Without Prejudice

By Nicola Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Without Prejudice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Impressive and unique. As relevant today as it was over two decades go' Bernardine Evaristo, from the Introduction

A gripping, propulsive courtroom thriller following barrister Lee Mitchell as she uncovers the dark secrets of London's obscenely rich

Lee Mitchell is a thirty-year-old barrister from a working-class Caribbean background: in the cut-throat environment of the courtroom, everything is stacked against her.

After she takes on the high-profile case of notorious millionaire playboy Clive Omartian - arrested along with his father and stepbrother for eye-wateringly exorbitant fraud - the line between her personal and professional life becomes dangerously blurred.
Spiralling further into…


Primal Fear

By William Diehl,

Book cover of Primal Fear

Defence lawyer Marty Vail never loses a case. That’s made him the bane of Chicago’s judges and prosecutors. To teach him a lesson in humility, he’s assigned to defend altar boy, Aaron Stampler, on charges of murdering a pillar of the community, Archbishop Rushman. The clergyman was stabbed to death in his apartment and Stampler, a baby-faced, 19-year-old from Kentucky, was found hiding in the confessional box, covered in blood and holding the murder weapon. 

Enter psychiatrist Molly Arrington and she and Marty spend hours with Aaron trying to uncover the real killer. Naturally, in this gritty story of power-seeking and corruption, there’s a sparkling supporting cast and lots of courtroom tricks and ploys, but it’s Aaron who takes centre stage for the haunting finale. 

Primal Fear

By William Diehl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Martin Vail, Chicago's most brilliant lawyer, has been set up by his enemies to defend a case he cannot win. Young Aaron Stampler was caught red-handed after a murder that had the city reeling. He looks bound to fry, but he swears he's innocent. In a desperate gamble for justice, Vail must reach deep into the recesses of a killer's mind, to flush out a monster of infinite cunning and evil. Explosive, haunting and brilliantly suspenseful, Primal Fear is a truly terrifying read.


The Mystery of Mercy Close

By Marian Keyes,

Book cover of The Mystery of Mercy Close

I adore every single word written by Marian Keyes, but the reason I’m including this book in this particular list is because the story centers around Helen Walsh, a private investigator who is severely depressed – and yet the book is not at all depressing to read. It’s clever, funny, and warm. So many of Helen’s thoughts and experiences rang true for me, which made it such a satisfying and validating read.

The Mystery of Mercy Close

By Marian Keyes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A compelling tale of mystery, romance, and the irrepressible Walsh family from the internationally bestselling author Marian Keyes

Helen Walsh doesn't believe in fear-it's just something men invented to get all the money-and yet she's sinking. Her private investigator business has dried up, her flat has been repossessed, and now some old demons are resurfacing. Chief among them is her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who offers Helen a lucrative missing-persons case. Wayne Diffney from boyband Laddz vanished from his house in Mercy Close-and the Laddz have a sellout comeback gig in five days.
Helen has a new boyfriend,…


The A. B. C. Murders

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Hercule Poirot states in this book it is unintelligent and stupid to say a madman murders because he is mad; I love that he looks to the why. Alexander Bonaparte Cust is a complex nuanced and even more importantly, entirely believable character. Even eighty years after this was written the story holds up – it's compelling and fast-paced. I don’t like the random uses e.g. loony and lunatic but given the times (“dastardly scoundrel” is also used!) overall the Queen of Crime did a very solid job of an authentic mentally ill character.

The A. B. C. Murders

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

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


McNally's Secret

By Lawrence Sanders,

Book cover of McNally's Secret

“I poured a few drops of an ’87 Mondavi Chardonnay into her navel and leaned down to slurp it out.” Thus begins the first adventure of Archie McNally, Lawrence Sanders’s foppish gumshoe. I first heard of him on a golf course not too far from his Palm Beach digs. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Think of Archie as the love child of Bertie Wooster and Sam Spade. He tootles around town in his red Miata, sleuthing for his barrister father and hiding his extracurricular ding-dongs from girlfriend Connie. Along the way, he rubs elbows with the one percent and collars crooks. And at day’s end, he can be found sipping martinis at the Pelican Club. I wish I could join him.

McNally's Secret

By Lawrence Sanders,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked McNally's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Archy McNally, Florida dilettante private investigator, is asked to make some discreet inquiries when the much-married Lady Horowitz loses some valuable stamps. He doesn't take the case seriously until the first suspect dies. From the author of "The Seventh Commandment" and "Capital Crimes".


The Word Is Murder

By Anthony Horowitz,

Book cover of The Word Is Murder

Another writer-hero, Anthony Horowitz writes as himself in this page-turning whodunit. Well-known for his television work on Midsomer Murders, Poirot, and Foyle’s War, Horowitz knows how to craft a mystery. When ex-cop turned private investigator Nathaniel Hawthorne approaches Horowitz about ghostwriting a book about his cases, Horowitz isn’t interested. Annoying and eccentric, Hawthorne isn’t someone Horowitz wants to be around, let alone write about. But when a famous actor’s wealthy mother is murdered six hours after planning her own funeral, Horowitz gets pulled into the investigation anyway. Though very much a Sherlock Holmes and Watson relationship, Hawthorne and Horowitz are more adversarial, making them an entertaining team. You want them to be friends, but then again, you don’t. The word isn’t just murder, but funny, engaging, and endearing, too.  

The Word Is Murder

By Anthony Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'EASILY THE GREATEST OF OUR CRIME WRITERS' Sunday Times

Chosen as one of Crime Time's books of the year! If you enjoyed BBC's Sherlock, you'll LOVE The Word is Murder.
_________________

Buried secrets, murder and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's page-turning new detective series.

SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?

A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.

Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the…


Whip Hand

By Dick Francis,

Book cover of Whip Hand

What is it like to be a jockey? Dick Francis offers a master class in using workplace details to develop characters. Readers bond with his jockeys at a gallop (or sometimes when they’re under galloping hooves). Each book is a feast of information about a different related job. We see the power of stewards and bookies and the racing press, the schemes of fixers, the pride and agonies of owners and trainers, the grievances of lads mucking out stables. We learn about transporting horses, filming them, painting them, investing in them. In Whip Hand, Francis’s lean prose and fast pace establish his jockey-turned-detective's personality and backstory in a single page of prologue. The book holds a special place in my heart because it inspired me to try writing legal mysteries.

Whip Hand

By Dick Francis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There are two worlds in racing. Winning and losing. Private detective Sid Halley has gone from one to the other - fast. First his career as a jockey ended when he lost his hand in a fall. Then his wife said a cold good-bye. Now he's on the trail of thugs who crush losers. With vicious pleasure.

These are people who aim to win - at any price. There's a syndicate of owners with a sideline in violent kidnapping. And Trevor Deansgate, a bookmaker whose hatred of favourites goes one deathly step too far...

For the sake of his health,…


The Enchanted

By Rene Denfeld,

Book cover of The Enchanted

A bookseller friend, whose opinions I highly respect, had highly recommended Rene Denfeld’s debut, so The Enchanted very quickly catapulted to the top of my To-Read List. And I was instantly enchanted by the luscious language, the urgent content, the writer’s ability to fuse metaphorical darkness and light. Told from the perspective of a death row inmate, the writing seamlessly flows from gritty reality to breathtaking fantasy. I wasn’t surprised to learn of Rene’s extensive time in prisons (often on death row) as a public defender’s chief investigator, or that her keen understanding of trauma in childhood came from her own firsthand experience, as the text is drenched in arresting truths, in transgression and redemption, and in the complicated and wondrous humanity of us all.

The Enchanted

By Rene Denfeld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'THE ENCHANTED wrapped its beautiful and terrible fingers around me from the first page and refused to let go after the last. A wondrous book... so dark, yet so exquisite.' Erin Morgentern, author of The Night Circus

A prisoner sits on death row in a maximum security prison. His only escape from his harsh existence is through the words he dreams about, the world he conjures around him using the power of language. For the reality of his world is brutal and stark. He is not named, nor do we know his crime. But he listens. He listens to the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in private investigators, neurodiversity, and murder?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about private investigators, neurodiversity, and murder.

Private Investigators Explore 196 books about private investigators
Neurodiversity Explore 26 books about neurodiversity
Murder Explore 496 books about murder