10 books like Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

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

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The Simple Art of Murder

By Raymond Chandler,

Book cover of The Simple Art of Murder

I am a fan of this style of writing. Some may call it pulp fiction. Perhaps, hard-boiled? I suppose it is like comparing bare-knuckle fighting and boxing under the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Chandler's style, and those like him, is down and dirty, and supposed to be realistic. Indeed, in his essay, he writes: "Fiction in any form has always intended to be realistic." He was writing in the context of denigrating the old-fashioned British-style mystery. I do believe he has a point. Anyone who is familiar with his work and style can understand my penchant for liking crime fiction that is realistic. The remainder of my picks reflect this. 

The Simple Art of Murder

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a collection of early short stories and an essay which gave the book its name. The latter is fairly short and its main idea is an argument for the virtues of a noir mystery as opposed to a traditional British one. Considering the fact that this comes from a guy who became a classic of the former even before his death and that he picked up some below the average examples of the latter, I agree.

The stories themselves left me out cold for the most part. I can actually describe the plot in practically all of them…


The Late Show

By Michael Connelly,

Book cover of The Late Show

It's true to say Michael Connelly is a master at this kind of crime fiction. He paints such vivid pictures with words that I truly felt part of the action. As a writer, he certainly knows how to reach the reader's emotions. His writing skills encompass all it takes to make a thoroughly satisfying crime fiction book.

So much of this author's writing resonates with me. At times I was transported back 'to the day.' I enjoyed the part where the psychiatrist is interviewing Ballard about her fitness to return to duty. The shrink goes into soliloquy mode about "the darkness" surrounding crime and the need to find an escape mechanism from it. So true!

Real crime is a very dark place. I'm pleased that crime fiction of this quality can give so much enjoyment.

The Late Show

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this first installment of the Renée Ballard series, #1 bestselling author Michael Connelly introduces a "complicated and driven" young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD's toughest beat (The New York Times).
Renee Ballard works the midnight shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing few, as each morning she turns everything over to the daytime units. It's a frustrating job for a once up-and-coming detective, but it's no accident. She's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.
But one night Ballard catches two assignments she doesn't want to part…


Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Book cover of Capital Kill

Capital Kill is a classic example of an author “writing what he knows.” Marc Rainer is a former prosecutor in the courts of Washington D.C. and a former lawyer with the US Air Force's Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. He is married to a former Air Force OSI Special Agent.

His protagonist, Jeff Trask, shares the same background. In the book we also get to meet Lynn, an Air Force OSI Special Agent.

This is the first in a series based on Jeff Trask and it is labelled as “crime drama.” It is. But it is also a delightful mix of police procedural and legal courtroom thriller. I loved it!

Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A few short blocks from the safety of the museums and monuments on the National Mall, a ruthless killer prowls the streets of Washington, D.C. Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask joins a team of FBI agents and police detectives as they try to solve the series of brutal murders. As the body count rises, the investigation leads to a chilling confrontation with the leader of an international drug smuggling ring, and no one is safe, not even the police.

Written by former Washington prosecutor Marc Rainer, Capital Kill is a swirling thrill ride through the labyrinth of a major federal investigation…


Rabette Run

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Book cover of Rabette Run

Not only did this novel remind me of Lewis Carroll's works, but it also reminded me of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour and other works of theirs in their hallucinogenic-inspired songs and albums. Rippington himself is aware of that in his writing as he references both Alice in Wonderland and the phrase 'magical mystery tour.'

So far, I may have misled you because this book is a real thriller. It travels along at the speed of sound and though the things happening to Emerson Rabette are fantastic, they are so believable at the same time. That's difficult to do as a writer but Mr. Rippington manages it with ease and much panache.

Rabette Run

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What the readers are saying...
★★★★★ The perfect escapist read for our times
‘★★★★★ The sort of book you ‘watch’ while reading... utterly brilliant
★★★★★ If possible, I would have awarded this 10 stars. This book is much more than amazing.
★★★★★ The author, Nick Rippington, himself describes it as "Alice in Wonderland... with guns." Well, he's right and it's not hype.

Graphic designer Emerson Rabette is forced to use the London Underground to get to a meeting with his employers. There's a problem, as he's terrified of the tube. He is no ordinary commuter and this is no ordinary…


Suspect

By Scott Turow,

Book cover of Suspect

When US police chief, Lucia Gomez, is accused of promoting male subordinates in return for sex, her lawyer and old friend, Rik Dudek, turns to private investigator ‘Pinky’ Granum for help. 

Pinky, who narrates the story, is an unconventional young woman (mohawk, piercings, bi-sexual, neuro-diverse), with considerable sleuthing skills. Part of the fun of the story (and it is great ‘fun’ despite its serious themes) is watching Pinky defy Rik’s warnings with unexpected consequences. The tension builds slowly, with numerous twists, to a dramatic conclusion where all of Pinky’s talents are exploited.  

This book has everything. Clever courtroom scenes, a topical storyline, plenty of action and wonderful, beautifully-drawn characters. On one level it’s a story of organised crime, revenge, and corrupt cops; in reality, it’s so much more.

Suspect

By Scott Turow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Presumed Innocent and The Last Trial returns with a riveting legal thriller in which a reckless private detective is embroiled in a fraught police scandal.

For as long as Lucia Gomez has been the police chief in the city of Highland Isle, near Kindle County, she has known that any woman in law enforcement must walk a precarious line between authority and camaraderie to gain respect.  She has maintained a spotless reputation—until now. Three male police officers have accused her of soliciting sex in exchange for promotions to higher ranks. With few…


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 Nothing Man

By Catherine Ryan Howard,

Book cover of The Nothing Man

This book is so original. We follow an old man, a retired serial killer, on his journey to read his own newly published true crime story. He stumbles on the book while doing his security rounds and can't resist picking it up, and over the next week finds himself more and more obsessed with reading it, growing fears that he will be discovered after twenty years, and with the author, his only surviving victim- who was a child at the time and is now an adult twenty years later. 

I enjoyed this book, it's original in the sense that the killer is an ordinary, cranky old bastard that no one likes. He's just a guy, who doesn't stand out, hasn't been good at anything all his life, a mediocre man that falls into the crowd. The only thing he's ever been able to succeed at was being The Nothing Man,…

The Nothing Man

By Catherine Ryan Howard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nothing Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

· · THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER · ·

I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.Now I am the woman who is going to catch him...

At the age of twelve, Eve Black was the only member of her family to survive an encounter with serial attacker the Nothing Man. Now an adult, she is obsessed with identifying the man who destroyed her life.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle has just started reading The Nothing Man—the true-crime memoir Eve has written about her efforts to track down her family’s killer. As he turns each page, his rage grows. Because Jim’s…


Loves Music, Loves To Dance

By Mary Higgins Clark,

Book cover of Loves Music, Loves To Dance

There’s nothing scarier than answering personal ads to a complete stranger in my opinion. Women in Loves Music, Loves to Dance who answers a personal ad find themselves the next victim of a serial killer. What makes this particularly frightening is that the situation actually happens in real life. This book might make you rethink answering that personal ad in the newspaper or online. That’s what makes this book a nail-biter and keeps you up until all hours of the night. It is a fun read, and I highly recommend it. 

Loves Music, Loves To Dance

By Mary Higgins Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Loves Music, Loves To Dance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York's trendy magazines are a source of peril when a killer enacts a bizarre dance of death, using the personal ads to lure his victims in bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark's Loves Music, Loves to Dance.

After college, best friends Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott move to the city to pursue exciting careers—Erin is a promising jewelry designer and Darcy finds success as a decorator. On a lark, Darcy persuades Erin to help their TV producer friend research the kinds of people who place personal ads. It seems like innocent fun...until Erin disappears.

Erin's body is found on an…


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