85 books like The Getaway

By Jim Thompson,

Here are 85 books that The Getaway fans have personally recommended if you like The Getaway. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Long Goodbye

Michelle Hillen Klump Author Of Murder Served Neat

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Michelle Hillen Klump 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…


Book cover of L.A. Confidential

David Putnam Author Of The Ruthless

From my list on Crime with deep character and stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

During my career in law enforcement, I worked in narcotics, violent crimes, criminal intelligence, hostage rescue, SWAT, and internal affairs, to name just a few. I am the recipient of many awards and commendations for heroism. The Sinister is the ninth novel in the best-selling Bruno Johnson Crime series, following The Disposables, The Replacements, The Squandered, The Vanquished, The Innocents, The Reckless, The Heartless, and The Ruthless. I live in the Los Angeles area with my wife, Mary.

David's book list on Crime with deep character and stories

David Putnam Why did David love this book?

Elroy wrote many other books before he took on this epic noir crime novel (one in a quartet). He made his bones in writing, and it's evident in his skill level, story, and prose. Elroy excels in this novel (and the other three) in voice. And voice is the Big Kahuna in writing, it’s the everything in writing and Elroy has it in spades.

Another great addition to the above is the length (because you don’t want this book to ever end) and that it’s a historical novel that absolutely captures the time period and adds the historical nuance to all the characters.

By James Ellroy,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked L.A. Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals. Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers. The novel takes these cops on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murderous seedy side of Hollywood. One of the best (and longest) crime novels ever written, it is the heart of Ellroy's four-novel masterpiece, the LA Quartet, and an example of crime writing at its most powerful.


Book cover of The Grifters

Lee Matthew Goldberg Author Of Stalker Stalked

From my list on noir that are great films.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of thrillers whose debut novel was considered Noir, I’ve always been fascinated by tales of characters that are not always the most likeable. Noir fiction is characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity. Similar to its successful films, I love when you feel for an anti-hero. That despite their questionable motives, the author or director manages to make you root for them in the end.

Lee's book list on noir that are great films

Lee Matthew Goldberg Why did Lee love this book?

Another Jim Thompson classic, The Grifters is about a trio of con artists trying to move up from being small-time crooks. They add love and a mother/son relationship into the mix which only makes things worse. The film directed by Stephen Frears is a master-class in acting from Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening, and John Cusak. The scene at the end couldn’t be more shocking as a way to wrap up a noir film. Money is paramount in the world of the grifters, everything else secondary. What could be more noir than that?

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Roy Dillon is young, good-looking and devastatingly charming. He's also a completely amoral con man. Lily, his mother, works for the mob. Moira Langtry, Roy's mistress, is always looking for the main chance, and so is Carol Roberg, the nurse brought in to look after Roy when a bad choice of mark means he has an unfortunate encounter with a baseball bat and a bad case of internal bleeding. Together they make up a perverse quadrangle of love and greed in a coruscating novel of corruption.


Book cover of Devil in a Blue Dress

Ashley Clifton Author Of Twice The Trouble

From my list on literary novels masquerading as crime novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

Flannery O’Connor once said that all fiction is ultimately about the “mystery of personality.” I agree. In fact, I have always suspected that all good novels, genre-based or otherwise, are secretly mystery novels, if only in the psychological sense. Conversely, many so-called genre novels have just as much depth, insight, and realism as any literary work. I have read a lot of genre and literary fiction in my time, and I have long been fascinated by works that blur the line between the two. My favorite kind of book is one that feels like a genre novel (that is, it has a great plot) but also has the depth and vividness of a literary novel.

Ashley's book list on literary novels masquerading as crime novels

Ashley Clifton Why did Ashley love this book?

What I really love about this novel is the voice of the main character, Ezekial “Easy” Rollins. Easy is not your typical P.I. A recently fired machinist in post-war Los Angeles, he’s just a guy trying to pay his bills. But he’s also a black man from the South trying to survive in a white, west-coast world. When a white gangster hires him to find a missing girl, Easy senses that he’s in extreme danger, but he has no choice but to take the job.

Told in the first-person, this book captures all of Easy’s doubt, dread, and defiance as he unravels the mystery.

By Walter Mosley,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Devil in a Blue Dress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.


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 A Hell of a Woman

Tom Hansen Author Of American Junkie

From my list on drug addicts and lost souls.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been interested in books about lost souls and broken people. Before I got clean it was the story of my life and they’re stories that continue to resonate with lots of readers. I think my being drawn to those kinds of stories was a reaction to the stories I read and tv and movies I saw growing up. The image-conscious suburban American Dream stuff. I grew up without all those illusions and naturally gravitated to gritty realism because it mirrored my experience. My book is less interested in the day-to-day mechanics of the lives of drug addicts and lost souls, but rather how they came to be what they are. 

Tom's book list on drug addicts and lost souls

Tom Hansen Why did Tom love this book?

One of the great tragedies of the literary world is that Jim Thompson never achieved fame and fortune when he was alive. The NYC literati deemed his books and characters too uncouth and depraved for polite society. His books weren’t populated by well-dressed Robin Hood-type criminals, they were mostly just weak men who followed some good intentions down the road to hell. Frank “Dolly” Dillon epitomizes the Thompson character. An unhappily married door-to-door salesman, he intends to help an underage girl escape her aunt who is pimping her out and holding her captive. Of course, it all goes horribly wrong and ends with Dillon in a cheap hotel with the girl and lots of drugs. The last few pages are the most mind-blowing writing about using drugs I have ever read, even more, impressive since it was written in 1954.

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Frank "Dolly" Dillon has a job he hates, working sales and collections for Pay-E-Zee Stores, a wife named Joyce he can't stand, and an account balance that barely allows him to pay the bills each month. Working door-to-door one day, trying to eke money out of folk with even less of it than he has, Dolly crosses paths with a beautiful young woman named Mona Farrell. Mona's being forced by her aunt to do things she doesn't like, with men she doesn't know -- she wants out, any way she can get it. And to a man who wants nothing…


Book cover of Killing Floor

Tina O’Hailey Author Of Dark Drink

From my list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose my favorite books, and through careful psyche analysis, I see a theme in them: stubborn characters who persevere through miserable elements. I cave, hike, kayak, motorcycle, etc. A lot of it is not comfortable. It starts with having an explorer’s heart. It isn’t glamorous. It is 90% talking yourself into the fact that you can do something you at first don’t believe you can do. The similar-minded friends that one finds along the way are lifelong, and there’s a bond that forms from crazy people like this. That comes through in my writing – companionship against a backdrop of stubborn exploration in an indifferent environment.

Tina's book list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts

Tina O’Hailey Why did Tina love this book?

Reacher is dedicated to his “family” 5000%. Nothing else matters. Nothing. He is an incredibly simple and driven character who cannot resonate with the world around him nor give a moment to care that he does not. He is. That is all. Family is his team and, in this case, one actual family member. All are on equal footing.

While most details from books fade from my memory, this book (read when it first came out and eons before the TV show) is etched into my memory completely. The characters, the places, the fights, the sights and smells. I fell for Reacher’s plight and his steadfast mission to prove his innocence. My favorite image is hobo Reacher sleeping wherever and thinking nothing strange in that.

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Killing Floor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.


Book cover of The Best American Noir of the Century

G.E. Nordell Author Of Backlot Requiem: A Rick Walker Mystery

From my list on hardboiled noir detective mystery stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Among other things, I'm an existentialist. A well-constructed mystery novel is an existential puzzle given to the reader to solve at his/her leisure, and the noir sub-genre has the further subtext that the protagonistand the reader—are doomed in some way even if the solution is nailed. Romance novels are drivel and have no basis in reality, but noir and other types of mystery fiction reflect the way that the world works: you may solve this puzzle problem, but then you are left to a vast world that is rife with puzzles but without a coherent plot. The detective trudges on, achieves a kind of satisfaction, and then is thrust into the next crisis.

G.E.'s book list on hardboiled noir detective mystery stories

G.E. Nordell Why did G.E. love this book?

A treasure trove of noir short fiction, an impressive anthology of  American greed, crime, and comeuppance by some of the genre’s greatest authors including Mickey Spillane, Evan Hunter, Elmore Leonard, Patricia Highsmith, Joyce Carol Oates, Dennis Lehane, Cornell Woolrich, and editor Ellroy. The 39 selected stories are a feast of excellence, a wide-ranging buffet of tasty tales from 1923 to 2007makes me drool just thinking about a re-read.

By James Ellroy (editor), Otto Penzler (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Best American Noir of the Century as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A magisterial anthology of American noir writing in the 20th century by the best-selling author of the LA Quartet: The Black Dahlia. The Big Nowhere , LA Confidential and White Jazz. In his intoduction to The Best American Noir of the Century, James Ellroy writes, "noir is the most scrutinised offshoot of the hard-boiled school of fiction. It's the long drop off the short pier and the wrong man and the wrong woman in perfect misalliance. It's the nightmare of flawed souls with big dreams and the precise how and why of the all-time sure thing that goes bad." Offering…


Book cover of The Best of Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective

G.E. Nordell Author Of Backlot Requiem: A Rick Walker Mystery

From my list on hardboiled noir detective mystery stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Among other things, I'm an existentialist. A well-constructed mystery novel is an existential puzzle given to the reader to solve at his/her leisure, and the noir sub-genre has the further subtext that the protagonistand the reader—are doomed in some way even if the solution is nailed. Romance novels are drivel and have no basis in reality, but noir and other types of mystery fiction reflect the way that the world works: you may solve this puzzle problem, but then you are left to a vast world that is rife with puzzles but without a coherent plot. The detective trudges on, achieves a kind of satisfaction, and then is thrust into the next crisis.

G.E.'s book list on hardboiled noir detective mystery stories

G.E. Nordell Why did G.E. love this book?

Detective Turner is serious, author Bellem is not. Eleven short stories in 8-page comic format from the monthly pulp magazine Hollywood Detective; humorist S.J. Perelman describes Dan Turner as "the apotheosis of all private detectives"; the Dan Turner stories are the flip side of Chandler and Hammett, with delightful use of real and imagined slang: guns are 'roscoes,' a woman is a 'doll,' 'cutie, 'frail,' or ‘dame.'

By Jerry L. Schneider,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Best of Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Included in most issues of "Hollywood Detective" pulp magazine was an eight-page Dan Turner comic. Eleven of those comics are reprinted in this "Best of" trade paperback (comic book sized pages).


Book cover of The Guilty Mother

Jacqueline Grima Author Of The Weekend Alone

From my list on psychological thrillers that will have you gripped.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an avid psychological suspense reader since I was at school, but have only recently begun to write in the genre myself. I’m not sure why it took me so long. If it was my most favourite genre to read, then why not write in it? When I came up with the idea for The Weekend Alone, I knew I had to write it, and I finally discovered what other suspense authors already knew: that playing with a reader’s perception can be the most amazing fun! My next psychological suspense book will be out with HQ Digital in summer 2023. Here’s hoping my own thrillers will keep readers gripped long past lights out!

Jacqueline's book list on psychological thrillers that will have you gripped

Jacqueline Grima Why did Jacqueline love this book?

This gripping thriller moves between the past and the present to tell the story of Melissa Slade, a woman who seemed to have the perfect life before she was convicted of the murder of her two baby girls. As journalist Jonathan Hunt investigates the case, he has no idea what to believe. Is Melissa a lying and manipulative murderer or an innocent victim? You’ll want to keep turning the pages to find out!

By Diane Jeffrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Stayed up late finishing this, just had to know what happened, brilliant final twist! Gripping page-turner with great characters'Sunday Times bestselling author B A Paris

She says she's innocent.
DO YOU BELIEVE HER?

2013

Melissa Slade had it all: beauty, money, a successful husband and beautiful twin babies. But, in the blink of an eye, her perfect life became a nightmare - when she found herself on trial for the murder of her little girls.

PRESENT DAY

Jonathan Hunt covered the original Slade Babies case for the local newspaper. Now that new evidence has come to light, Jon's boss wants…


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