100 books like The Light of Day

By Eric Ambler,

Here are 100 books that The Light of Day fans have personally recommended if you like The Light of Day. 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 11 Harrowhouse

Matthew Hart Author Of The Russian Pink

From my list on stealing diamonds.

Who am I?

I live in New York City, where I write thrillers about diamonds. My interest began when news broke of a diamond discovery in the Canadian Arctic. A reporter looking for a story, I climbed on a plane the next day. The discovery made Canada the world’s third largest diamond miner—one of the stories told in my non-fiction book, Diamond: the History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair. I went on to write about diamonds for many publications, including Vanity Fair and the London Times, until finally, seduced by the glitter of the possibilities, I turned to fiction. The Russian Pink appeared in November 2020. The next in the series, Ice Angel, comes out in September.

Matthew's book list on stealing diamonds

Matthew Hart Why did Matthew love this book?

I have a special fondness for 11 Harrowhouse, the 1973 thriller that spins the tale of a huge theft of rough diamonds from The System, a fictional London diamond powerhouse modeled on the real-life De Beers. When I started writing about diamonds, De Beers was still the Darth Vader of diamonds—all-powerful, feared, despotic. More than eighty percent of the world’s rough diamonds poured through its London headquarters at 17 Charterhouse Street. In the novel, thieves thread a hose from the roof into the diamond vault, and hoover up the loot. In reality, a different method was used to steal diamonds from De Beers’s London fortress, which I described in my non-fiction book, then re-tailored for my own purposes in The Russian Pink

By Gerald A. Browne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 11 Harrowhouse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An American courier and his lover are selected as the key operatives in an international diamond swindle


Book cover of Koh-I-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Matthew Hart Author Of The Russian Pink

From my list on stealing diamonds.

Who am I?

I live in New York City, where I write thrillers about diamonds. My interest began when news broke of a diamond discovery in the Canadian Arctic. A reporter looking for a story, I climbed on a plane the next day. The discovery made Canada the world’s third largest diamond miner—one of the stories told in my non-fiction book, Diamond: the History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair. I went on to write about diamonds for many publications, including Vanity Fair and the London Times, until finally, seduced by the glitter of the possibilities, I turned to fiction. The Russian Pink appeared in November 2020. The next in the series, Ice Angel, comes out in September.

Matthew's book list on stealing diamonds

Matthew Hart Why did Matthew love this book?

Part of the value of diamonds comes from how avidly people steal them. The cat-burglar on the French Riviera. The miner swallowing a stone and trying to make it past the x-ray at the gate. Or the conquerors, snatching jewels from one turban after another as they ride through history. That last is the story of the Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light), told with his usual panache by William Dalrymple, the celebrated historian of Mughal India, in this non-fiction account. It falls to Dalrymple’s co-author, journalist Anita Anand, to track the jewel though it's last, decidedly inglorious change of ownership—stolen by the British from the Maharaja Duleep Singh, when imperial forces prevailed upon him not only to sign away the Punjab, but also to make a “gift” of his family’s famous diamond to Queen Victoria. Sure, the Maharaja did in fact sign the document. But he was 10 years old.

By William Dalrymple, Anita Anand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Koh-I-Noor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Codewords have been one of The Daily Telegraph's most successful puzzles since their introduction to the paper in summer 2003, and here we are proud to present another in the popular series of Codewords books. The principle is simple: the unsolved grid shows squares containing numbers, each of which corresponds to a letter of the alphabet. Between two and five solved letters are given, and the remainder must be discovered through a combination of logic and word power. This collection contains 150 brand new puzzles. Can you crack the code?


Book cover of To Catch A Thief

Matthew Hart Author Of The Russian Pink

From my list on stealing diamonds.

Who am I?

I live in New York City, where I write thrillers about diamonds. My interest began when news broke of a diamond discovery in the Canadian Arctic. A reporter looking for a story, I climbed on a plane the next day. The discovery made Canada the world’s third largest diamond miner—one of the stories told in my non-fiction book, Diamond: the History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair. I went on to write about diamonds for many publications, including Vanity Fair and the London Times, until finally, seduced by the glitter of the possibilities, I turned to fiction. The Russian Pink appeared in November 2020. The next in the series, Ice Angel, comes out in September.

Matthew's book list on stealing diamonds

Matthew Hart Why did Matthew love this book?

This is another great diamond yarn where the movie by Alfred Hitchcock is better known than the book. A series of high-end robberies is plaguing the French Riviera. Police suspect that retired jewel thief John “The Cat” Robie may not be as retired as he claims. They come to arrest him. Robie escapes. To prove his innocence, he persuades an insurance broker to give him a list of the wealthiest diamond owners on the Cote d’Azur, so he can intercept and apprehend the new “Cat” committing the robberies, and thus clear his name. On the list is a wealthy American, with whose daughter, played by Grace Kelly, Robie develops a romance. The plot plays out in the ravishing landscape, but the real message is the diamond industry’s favorite—that owning diamonds makes you part of a glamorous world.

By David Dodge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Catch A Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

TO CATCH A THIEF is David Dodge's most famous novel, and rightly so. Alfred Hitchcock firmly cinched its place in the annals of crime fiction by adapting it into an Academy Award winning film starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. The story centers on John Robie, American expatriate and skilled gymnast, who once-upon-a-time was Le Chat, the famous and elusive cat burglar who worked the South of France. The legend of Le Chat grew with each crime. Following the war, Robie retires to a quiet life in France and vows to leave his past behind. His retirement is shattered when…


Book cover of Hope: Adventures of a Diamond

Matthew Hart Author Of The Russian Pink

From my list on stealing diamonds.

Who am I?

I live in New York City, where I write thrillers about diamonds. My interest began when news broke of a diamond discovery in the Canadian Arctic. A reporter looking for a story, I climbed on a plane the next day. The discovery made Canada the world’s third largest diamond miner—one of the stories told in my non-fiction book, Diamond: the History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair. I went on to write about diamonds for many publications, including Vanity Fair and the London Times, until finally, seduced by the glitter of the possibilities, I turned to fiction. The Russian Pink appeared in November 2020. The next in the series, Ice Angel, comes out in September.

Matthew's book list on stealing diamonds

Matthew Hart Why did Matthew love this book?

Marian Fowler’s lavish non-fiction account tracks the storied diamond from its origins in India, where it was bought by the great French jewel merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who sold it to Louis XIV. Weighing 110 carats in the rough, the blue was eventually cut into a heart-shaped jewel of 67.13 carats, known to history as the French Blue. In the turbulent early days of the French Revolution, all the crown jewels were moved from the Palace of Versailles to the Garde-Meuble, a treasure house in central Paris. On the night of September 11, 1792, thieves broke in and stole the jewels. Many were recovered, but the French Blue vanished forever. Too famous to be sold as it was, the London jeweler who eventually bought it, cut it down to 44.5 carats—the jewel sold to Henry Philip Hope in 1830. The Hope diamond passed through many hands, leaving behind a trail of…

By Marian Fowler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Allegedly a curse to those that own it, the Hope Diamond - a flawless blue diamond of over forty-five carats - has inspired centuries of legends and lies, fabulous superstition and fierce passion. In rich, shimmering prose, Marian Fowler explains how the Hope Diamond was formed in nature - and how it was taken from the mines and temples of India to the royal courts of seventeenth-century Europe. Acquired and cherished by Louis XIV, the stone was stolen in an almost farcical French Revolution robbery. It resurfaced twenty years later in London and passed through numerous hands, including those of…


Book cover of Prague Fatale

Hugh Greene Author Of Son of Darkness

From my list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer.

Who am I?

I have written medical textbooks and research papers, but have a passion of writing thrillers—as Hugh Greene I have written the bestselling Dr Power mystery series which follows the forensic psychiatrist Dr Power and Superintendent Lynch as they solve murders and explore the minds that executed these crimes.

Hugh's book list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer

Hugh Greene Why did Hugh love this book?

Philip Kerr’s series of books about Berlin detective Bernie Gunther is a stunning achievement. The series weaves together the often disturbing history of the Third Reich, real-life characters such as Goebbels and Goering, and a sharp-minded and blunt-speaking detective everyman who is trying to survive the maelstrom around him with morals and life intact. Prague Fatale sets Gunther unto solve murders at a house party of high-ranking Nazis at Heydrich’s rural retreat. It’s a grim twist on cosy, country house murders.

By Philip Kerr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'One of the greatest anti-heroes ever written' LEE CHILD

Bernie Gunther returns to his desk on homicide from the horrors of the Eastern Front to find Berlin changed for the worse.

He begins to investigate the death of a railway worker, but is obliged to drop everything when Reinhard Heydrich of the SD orders him to Prague to spend a weekend at his country house. Bernie accepts reluctantly, especially when he learns that his fellow guests are all senior figures in the SS and SD.

The weekend quickly turns sour when a body is found in a room locked from…


Book cover of Hangsaman

Hugh Greene Author Of Son of Darkness

From my list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer.

Who am I?

I have written medical textbooks and research papers, but have a passion of writing thrillers—as Hugh Greene I have written the bestselling Dr Power mystery series which follows the forensic psychiatrist Dr Power and Superintendent Lynch as they solve murders and explore the minds that executed these crimes.

Hugh's book list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer

Hugh Greene Why did Hugh love this book?

Shirley Jackson’s gothic American novels imbued with an eerie sense of the uncanny. Hangsaman is a campus novel about the mysterious disappearance of a freshman student—from the pen of a woman who herself was an academic’s wife at a liberal art’s college at Bennington, where Paula Welden was an American college student who ostensibly disappeared in December 1946 Vermont's Long Trail hiking route. The book is a misty, creepy read and if you research Jackson’s real life, you begin to wonder what is she really telling us?

By Shirley Jackson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shirley Jackson's Hangsaman is a story of lurking disquiet and haunting disorientation, inspired by the real-life, unsolved disappearance of a female college student.

'Shirley Jackson's stories are among the most terrifying ever written' Donna Tartt, author of The Goldfinch

Natalie Waite, daughter of a mediocre writer and a neurotic housewife, is increasingly unsure of her place in the world. In the midst of adolescence she senses a creeping darkness in her life, which will spread among nightmarish parties, poisonous college cliques and the manipulations of the intellectual men who surround her, as her identity gradually crumbles.

This Penguin edition includes…


Book cover of Death of a Red Heroine

Hugh Greene Author Of Son of Darkness

From my list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer.

Who am I?

I have written medical textbooks and research papers, but have a passion of writing thrillers—as Hugh Greene I have written the bestselling Dr Power mystery series which follows the forensic psychiatrist Dr Power and Superintendent Lynch as they solve murders and explore the minds that executed these crimes.

Hugh's book list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer

Hugh Greene Why did Hugh love this book?

There’s a kind of charm and naïveté about the detective in this book, he is a relatively strait-laced character and his shock and moral outrage at the sexual and material excesses of some of the corrupt children of high-ranking CCP officials betokens a wholly different society and upbringing, conditioned by Party propaganda. Inspector Chen revels in poetry and ‘good' food, although descriptions of banquets of turtles and bear’s paws again speak of different cultural tastes. The story is delivered slowly—this is set in a Shanghai before computers and mobile phones and the hero must wend his way around town to speak to witnesses by bus and train. It’s a satisfying read and an evocative journey to a faraway time and place.

By Qiu Xiaolong,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death of a Red Heroine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Qiu Xiaolong's Anthony Award-winning debut introduces Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police.

A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.


Book cover of Dead Lions

Hugh Greene Author Of Son of Darkness

From my list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer.

Who am I?

I have written medical textbooks and research papers, but have a passion of writing thrillers—as Hugh Greene I have written the bestselling Dr Power mystery series which follows the forensic psychiatrist Dr Power and Superintendent Lynch as they solve murders and explore the minds that executed these crimes.

Hugh's book list on mysteries chosen by a thriller writer

Hugh Greene Why did Hugh love this book?

Expendable and incompetent Secret Service agents eventually wash up at Slough House, where they toil on pointless administrative tasks for a foul-mouthed, grubby boss called Jackson Lamb. Lamb is deliciously politically incorrect, offensive, and drinks and smokes to excess in his pit of an office. However he has a keen mind, is an experienced spy, and not afraid to act decisively to protect his employees and society. In this episode he unravels a nest of sleeper agents after an old Cold-War era colleague is found murdered on a coach. The book is well written and neatly plotted.

By Mick Herron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning British espionage novel about disgraced MI5 agents who inadvertently uncover a deadly Cold War-era legacy of sleeper cells and mythic super spies. 

The disgruntled agents of Slough House, the MI5 branch where washed-up spies are sent to finish their failed careers on desk duty, are called into action to protect a visiting Russian oligarch whom MI5 hopes to recruit to British intelligence. While two agents are dispatched on that babysitting job, though, an old Cold War-era spy named Dickie Bow is found dead, ostensibly of a heart attack, on a bus outside of Oxford, far…


Book cover of Slayground

Frank Zafiro Author Of The Last Horseman

From my list on action with thrills that could really happen.

Who am I?

I was a cop for twenty years. And while I always saw True Crime as a busman’s holiday, I loved crime fiction all along. Eventually my own writing took me there, as well. I love how crime fiction, much like good science fiction, explores the nature of human behavior in a way that isn’t as prevalent in other genres. As a result, I’ve read widely in the field, always gravitating toward the darker and grittier entries. The lone wolf protagonists who either live by a code or undergo a fascinating change within the book or series has also been my focus.

Frank's book list on action with thrills that could really happen

Frank Zafiro Why did Frank love this book?

I love this book because, like all of the Parker novels, it starts in the middle of the action, with Parker and his associates spilling out of a car, on the run. Parker hides in an off-season theme park and what follows is a story that is better than Die Hard (and pre-dates it by a decade).

I love the Parker novels for this sort of action and the way that Parker adheres to his particular code. It is not one most heroes abide by but you have to admire this tough thief who lives by the words he speaks – there’s something honorable in that.

By Richard Stark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By the time Richard Stark sat down to write "Deadly Edge" in 1971, he'd been chronicling the adventures of his antihero, Parker, for nearly a decade. But it turns out he was just warming up: the next three "Parker" novels would see Stark crank everything up a notch - tightening the writing, heightening the violence, and, most of all, hardening the deadly heister at the books' heart. "Deadly Edge" kicks things off by bidding a brutal adieu to the 1960s: Parker robs a rock concert, but the heist goes sour, and he finds himself - and his woman, Claire -…


Book cover of The Devil Takes You Home

Daniel Olivas Author Of Chicano Frankenstein

From my list on books by BIPOC writers that will scare the living daylights out of you.

Who am I?

In my 25 years of writing short stories, novels, and plays, I have explored my Mexican and Chicano roots in a variety of genres, from literary fiction to horror to magical realism to science fiction and everything in between. In the end, I do not discriminate when it comes to genre because a well-told story is key for me, regardless of the mode chosen by the author. My most recent novel, Chicano Frankenstein, is a case in point. In it, I blend genres: horror, science fiction, political satire, and a bit of romance. So, too, I love reading fiction that bravely challenges conventional storytelling.

Daniel's book list on books by BIPOC writers that will scare the living daylights out of you

Daniel Olivas Why did Daniel love this book?

Gabino Iglesias has become a phenomenon in horror through a lot of hustle and plain hard work. His 2022 novel cemented his reputation as the king of border horror.

This novel follows the fate of Mario, a man broken by debt due to his family’s crushing medical bills. With a failing marriage, he reluctantly takes a job as a hitman, agreeing to do one last job hijacking a cartel’s cash shipment before it can reach Mexico.

Mario reluctantly works with his meth-addicted friend and a cartel insider. To make this dangerous endeavor worse, enter supernatural horrors that shocked me—and I am not easily shocked.

Is there blood? Of course! Gore? Plenty! Monsters and demons? Yes! You are guaranteed to lose sleep after reading this novel.

By Gabino Iglesias,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Devil Takes You Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From an award-winning author comes a genre-defying thriller about a father desperate to salvage what's left of his family—even if it means a descent into violence.

Buried in debt due to his young daughter’s illness, his marriage at the brink, Mario reluctantly takes a job as a hitman, surprising himself with his proclivity for violence. After tragedy destroys the life he knew, Mario agrees to one final job: hijack a cartel’s cash shipment before it reaches Mexico. Along with an old friend and a cartel-insider named Juanca, Mario sets off on the near-suicidal mission, which will leave him with either…


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