92 books like The Lock Artist

By Steve Hamilton,

Here are 92 books that The Lock Artist fans have personally recommended if you like The Lock Artist. 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 Bone Collector

Jason B. Dutton Author Of How To Dance

From my list on choosing joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have cerebral palsy, but the list of things that I absolutely can’t do is surprisingly short: I can climb a flight of steps or walk the length of a football field, for example, but those tasks are going to take a lot more time and energy for me than they would an able-bodied person. We all choose where to invest in life, but cerebral palsy makes that process much more deliberate, and I’ve been fascinated by it for a long time. I’m always on the hunt for stories that demonstrate that our choices shape our life, not our limitations, and I’m determined to choose joy.

Jason's book list on choosing joy

Jason B. Dutton Why did Jason love this book?

I love this book because it’s the best fictional example I’ve ever seen of a character’s disability being eclipsed by his talent. Lincoln Rhyme is paralyzed, but his talent as a criminologist is far more important—and Deaver showcases Rhyme’s genius and passion as often as he details the difficulties of disability.

I find the book’s mystery compelling and the characters well-written, and I couldn’t get enough of the relationship between Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs. I’ve never seen a better portrayal of a partnership based solidly on mutual respect and admiration. I’m so grateful for how this story demonstrates that disability doesn’t need to stop you from making a real impact through the gifts and talents you’ve been given.

By Jeffery Deaver,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Bone Collector as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Goodbye Man, discover Jeffery Deaver's chilling thriller that inspired the film starring Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington and is now a major NBC TV series.

Their first case, their worst killer . . .

New York City has been thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. Baffled, the cops turn to the one man with a chance of solving them - Lincoln Rhyme.

Left paralysed by a debilitating…


Book cover of Triptych

Polly Iyer Author Of Murder Deja Vu

From my list on characters who overcome adversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

One review of my books mentioned that I make heroes out of damaged people, so it’s natural I would read that kind of book. I love to see lost souls, losers, battlers for justice, and the underdogs rise above all the elements that hold them down. I think most people root for the underdogs, whether in life, in sports, or the weaker in any competition. It’s in our nature to do so. I’m a wife, mother, writer, former commercial artist, former store owner, former importer, which makes me ripe to be something new. But I think I’m done. I’ve shot my wad, done my best at whatever, and it’s always been fun.

Polly's book list on characters who overcome adversity

Polly Iyer Why did Polly love this book?

Will Trent is a most unlikely hero of a series, especially as a GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) agent. Why? Will is severely dyslexic. He can barely read and write. So why is he a top agent? His disability gives him an unusual way of looking at crimes, making his disadvantage an important element in solving those crimes. Raised in a series of orphanages and cruel foster homes, Will is like the injured puppy you want to care for and make his life better. His relationship with women is complicated, including his first-love Angie, who shares some of the same orphanage experiences; Amanda, his demanding boss; Faith, his partner; and Sarah, his true love. Will is naïve and street-smart at the same time, which makes him a fascinating hero.

By Karin Slaughter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Atlanta police detective Michael Ormewood is called out to a murder scene at the notorious Grady Homes, he finds himself faced with one of the most brutal killings of his career: Aleesha Monroe is found in the stairwell in a pool of her own blood, her body horribly mutilated. As a one-off killing it's shocking, but when it becomes clear that it's just the latest in a series of similar attacks, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are called in, and Ormewood is forced into working with Special Agent Will Trent of the Criminal Apprehension Team - a man he…


Book cover of Iron House

Polly Iyer Author Of Murder Deja Vu

From my list on characters who overcome adversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

One review of my books mentioned that I make heroes out of damaged people, so it’s natural I would read that kind of book. I love to see lost souls, losers, battlers for justice, and the underdogs rise above all the elements that hold them down. I think most people root for the underdogs, whether in life, in sports, or the weaker in any competition. It’s in our nature to do so. I’m a wife, mother, writer, former commercial artist, former store owner, former importer, which makes me ripe to be something new. But I think I’m done. I’ve shot my wad, done my best at whatever, and it’s always been fun.

Polly's book list on characters who overcome adversity

Polly Iyer Why did Polly love this book?

Iron House, short for the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, is a thriller that features orphaned brothers: weakling Julian, and his strong and fiercely protective brother, Michael. After being bullied to the point of cracking, Julian kills his abuser. Michael escapes Iron House and takes the blame as he leaves.

This leads the brothers on two very different paths. Julian is adopted and, though mentally unbalanced, becomes a writer of dark children’s stories. Michael is also adopted off the streets by the head of a crime syndicate who teaches him how to kill. Iron House is a complicated story of abuse, torment, and love. The book is not for the faint of heart.

By John Hart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An old man is dying.

When the old man is dead they will come for him.

And they will come for her, to make him hurt.

John Hart has written three New York Times bestsellers and won an unprecedented two back-to-back Edgar Awards. His books have been called "masterful" (Jeffery Deaver) and "gripping" (People) with "Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding" (The New York Times). Now he delivers his fourth novel—a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping thriller no reader will soon forget.

HE WOULD GO TO HELL

At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, there was nothing but time. Time to burn and time…


Book cover of The Suspect

Kate Michaelson Author Of Hidden Rooms

From my list on ill or disabled sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I know all too well that finding a diagnosis and treating a chronic health condition can be like unraveling a mystery—maybe that’s why characters dealing with these issues make natural detectives. As a mystery writer with chronic illness, I love reading about sleuths who embody the difficulties of living with health challenges yet show the tremendous capacity we still have to contribute. Many of the sleuths on this list are confined to their homes and unable to work, so solving a mystery not only adds suspense. It gives us the satisfaction of seeing these characters find their way back into the world and rediscover their sense of purpose.

Kate's book list on ill or disabled sleuths

Kate Michaelson Why did Kate love this book?

This is the first book in the Joseph O’Loughlin series, and my favorite because it shows Joe shortly after his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

I know it’s popular to portray sick people as angelic, long-suffering inspirations to us all, but reality often differs, especially as someone adjusts to a devastating diagnosis and its far-reaching impact. As a respected psychologist, Joe is normally thoughtful, intelligent, and kind, but as he becomes ensnared in the death of a former acquaintance, his personal despair over his illness sends him into a self-destructive tailspin. Rather than making me dislike Joe, the honesty of his struggle made me sympathize with him all the more. 

By Michael Robotham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The psychological thriller that marked the debut of one of contemporary suspense fiction's most compelling heroes: "A gripping first novel...taut and fast-moving" (Washington Post).

Renowned psychologist Joseph O'Loughlin has it all -- a thriving practice, a devoted, beautiful, fiercely intelligent wife, and a lovely young daughter. But when he's diagnosed with Parkinson's, O'Loughlin begins to dread the way his exceptional mind has been shackled to a failing body, and the cracks in his perfect existence start to show.

At first, O'Loughlin is delighted to be called in to a high-profile murder investigation, hoping his extraordinary abilities at perception will help…


Book cover of Young Blood

Michael Stanley Author Of A Deadly Covenant

From my list on African noir thrillers.

Why are we passionate about this?

Michael Stanley is actually two people—Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip both South Africans, passionate about Africa and its cultures. We read a lot of books set in or concerning Africa. We think of African thrillers as Sunshine Noir—things are always at their most deadly in the glare of the sun! The diverse cultures generate complex character clashes and intriguingly original plots. We believe some of the best thrillers anywhere are set in Africa and written by African writers. Michael writes an article every month titled Africa Scene for the International Thrillers Writers magazine (The Big Thrill) where he interviews an author about a new thriller set in Africa.

Michael's book list on African noir thrillers

Michael Stanley Why did Michael love this book?

Sipho is a young man with nothing to lose. He drops out of high school and joins a car-stealing syndicate. The novel is part thriller and part coming-of-age tale, and the story takes the reader on an emotional journey as Sipho is sucked deeper and deeper into South African township crime. The author grew up in this township, and but for his other talents might have followed the same path as his protagonist. A remarkable look at the reality of township life and its effect on the youth.

By Sifiso Mzobe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sipho lives in Umlazi, Durban – he is seventeen, has dropped out of school and helps out at his father’s mechanic shop. But odd jobs do not provide the lifestyle his friend Musa has, with his BMW and designer clothes. Soon Sipho’s love for fast cars and money leads him into a life of crime that brings him close to drugs, death and prison time.


Book cover of The Hunter

Verlin Darrow Author Of Murder for Liar

From my list on psychological thrillers that expand readers' minds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in how people change, and how trauma and difficulties hasten change. After all, if we have to grow and gain new skills to stay alive, we find a way. Originally, personal transformation was a priority because I was terribly unhappy, scared, and had shielded myself from direct contact with the world around me in an effort to stay “safe.” Don’t do this. It doesn’t work. So I asked myself, as an author, how would murders, deception, and sanity-threatening events affect a depressed therapist? Murder For Liar is the product of exploring this.

Verlin's book list on psychological thrillers that expand readers' minds

Verlin Darrow Why did Verlin love this book?

Westlake gets into the head of a successful career criminal, making available the kind of attitude and thinking that most readers would normally abhor.

Somehow, we don’t in the Parker series. Even as the clever, convoluted plot unfolds, we never stop caring what happens to Parker and we root for him against creepier crooks.

I especially like the authentic feel of the techniques and procedures Parker employs. It’s almost as though Westlake was a criminal himself. His work inspired me to write about what I don’t think most authors have directly experienced—what happens in a therapist’s head.

So I think my books also feel real.

By Richard Stark,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Hunter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You probably haven't ever noticed them. But they've noticed you. They notice everything. That's their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers' work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.They're thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They're pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you're planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is…


Book cover of The Man with the Golden Arm

Matthew Stokoe Author Of Colony of Whores

From my list on gritty American novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

Matthew Stokoe has been translated and published around the world, his books have set new boundaries in urban horror and gritty, pull-no-punches noir. After Cows, Stokoe turned his sights on Hollywood, producing the now-famous High Life – both a page-turning mystery and one of the most brutal critiques of Tinsel Town ever committed to fiction. Stokoe has continued to explore his uniquely dark view of lives lived in the modern world, and in 2014 was nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière – France’s most prestigious crime writing award – for his novel, Empty Mile. Colony of Whores, is his latest novel.

Matthew's book list on gritty American novels

Matthew Stokoe Why did Matthew love this book?

Algren has been called a proletarian writer. Working primarily in Chicago from the 1930s to the 1950s, he was intensely concerned with the plight of the common man. His milieux were the gambling dens, the sawdust bars, the decaying hooker-prowled streets, the beat-down police stations, the shooting galleries, the slums, the cheap walk-up flats where broken men and women fought each other in desperate battles to survive one more miserable day. His characters were the poor, the ignorant, the addicted, tramps, bums, card sharps, petty crims, accidental murderers... But in all of them he found something human, something that might have been good, might have been worthy of a decent life – if only it had been given half a chance.

By Nelson Algren,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Man with the Golden Arm tells the story of Frankie Machine, the golden arm dealer at a back street Chicago gambling den. Frankie reckons he's a tough guy in the Chicago underworld but finds that he's not tough enough to kick his heroin addiction. With consummate skill and a finely-tuned ear for the authentic dialogue of the backstreets, Algren lays bare the tragedy and humour of Frankie's world.

Features the first UK publication of a foreword by Kurt Vonnegut and an afterword by Studs Terkel.


Book cover of Stagolee Shot Billy

Robert Wilhelm Author Of So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder

From my list on murder in America’s Gilded Age.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been researching and writing about 19th-century American murders since 2009, and my blog, Murder by Gaslight (murderbygaslight.com), includes illustrated stories of more than 500 murder cases. My book, The Bloody Century: True Tales of Murder in 19th Century America, compiled fifty of the most famous murders. In researching these stories, I prefer to use primary sources such as newspaper articles, pamphlets, and books from the time of the murder. They present the attitudes surrounding the crime without modern analysis and preserve details that tend to disappear over time. My latest book, So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder, draws almost exclusively from newspaper accounts in 1896 and 1897.

Robert's book list on murder in America’s Gilded Age

Robert Wilhelm Why did Robert love this book?

Stagolee, the bad man who will not back down, is an icon of African American mythology. His defining moment, the Christmas night murder of Billy Lyons is the subject of folk and blues songs from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. Though many know the story, before Cecil Brown’s book, most did not realize that the story was true. On Christmas night, 1895, in St. Louis, “Stack” Lee Shelton shot Billy Lyons in a fight over a Stetson hat. Stagolee Shot Billy documents the events leading to the murder while shining a light on the culture, attitudes, and politics of the St. Louis black community in the 1890s. The shooting of Billy Lyons is a Gilded Age murder that continues to resonate.

By Cecil Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Although his story has been told countless times - by performers from Ma Rainey, Cab Calloway and the Isley brothers to Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown and Taj Mahal - no one seems to know who Stagolee really is. Stack Lee? Stagger Lee? He has gone by all these names in the ballad that has kept his exploits before us for over a century. Delving into a subculture of St. Louis known as "Deep Morgan", Cecil Brown emerges with the facts behind the legend to unfold the mystery of Stack Lee and the incident that led to murder in…


Book cover of Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family

Craig McGuire Author Of Carmine and the 13th Avenue Boys: Surviving Brooklyn's Colombo Mob

From my list on diving deep into the dark side of Brooklyn.

Why am I passionate about this?

It’s no wonder South Brooklyn, in the latter half of the last century, is the setting for so many remarkable dramas for both page and screen. In fact, when legendary former NYPD Detective Thomas Dades offered to make introductions to a Colombo Crime Family associate who cooperated with the federal government, I leapt at the opportunity. I was born in Greenpoint in 1971 and grew up on 16th Avenue in the heart of Bensonhurst. It’s not just South Brooklyn’s raw, urban chaotic physical setting, but the sheer volatility of this period in time, where so many transformational trends of the larger culture were evident, and some even epi-centered.

Craig's book list on diving deep into the dark side of Brooklyn

Craig McGuire Why did Craig love this book?

In adapting Nicholas Pileggi’s 1985 non-fiction Wiseguy for film, Martin Scorsese delivered a “staged documentary,” depicting a far more gritty and authentic account of organized crime than Mario Puzo’s Godfather trilogy.

Much of what makes Pileggi’s masterpiece work is how he captures South Brooklyn culture as it morphs from the 1950s through the 1980s. Pileggi’s tale of the tarnishing of the Golden Era of Italian American organized crime is recounted from the pedestrian perspective of un-makeable underling and ultimate-turncoat Henry Hill.

That bygone Brooklyn landscape leaps off the pages, from its gambling dens and gangster bars, to its corner cafes, criminal courts, and cab stands. BONUS: Pileggi’s no-nonsense non-fiction prose, peppered with Hill’s verbatim account, delivers even more days-in-the-lives of lowlifes than Scorsese could ever have packed into his classic film. 

Locations of interest: The Prospect Park Zoo (stand-in for The Tampa Zoo); Smith Street in Red Hook (Jimmy Conway’s…

By Nicholas Pileggi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A longtime member of organized crime recounts his criminal career, his involvement in the six-million dollar Lufthansa robbery, and his decision to become a federal witness


Book cover of She Rides Shotgun

Christopher Swann Author Of Never Back Down

From my list on crime fiction featuring powerful female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love crime fiction, but the genre can be very much a boys’ club where women are sometimes reduced to femmes fatales or victims who need to be saved. When I look at my bookshelves, I realize how many of the books I’ve read are written by men about men. There’s nothing wrong with stories about men, but I have a lot of strong women in my life, and I’ve learned so much from listening to their perspectives. As a writer, I like pushing myself to try and create strong female characters who find themselves ensnared in a crime and have to figure their way out.

Christopher's book list on crime fiction featuring powerful female characters

Christopher Swann Why did Christopher love this book?

This book grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go.

Jordan Harper does more with suggestion and a few well-crafted sentences than some writers accomplish in an entire novel. When he needs to be brutal, he’s a monster. When he needs to be tender, your eyes sting.

Polly is both a badass and a little girl—I don’t know how Harper pulled that off. And I have never cared so much about a stuffed animal as I have Polly’s teddy bear.

By Jordan Harper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*WINNER OF A 2018 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST DEBUT NOVEL*

*WINNER OF AN ALEX AWARD FROM THE ALA*

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Booklist

A propulsive, gritty novel about a girl marked for death who must fight and steal to stay alive, learning from the most frightening man she knows—her father.

Eleven-year-old Polly McClusky is shy, too old for the teddy bear she carries with her everywhere, when she is unexpectedly reunited with her father, Nate, fresh out of jail and driving a stolen car. He takes her from the front of her school…


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