The most recommended books investigation books

Who picked these books? Meet our 38 experts.

38 authors created a book list connected to investigations, and here are their favorite investigation books.
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What type of investigation book?


All Fall Down

By Lee Gruenfeld,

Book cover of All Fall Down

James Tarr Author Of Bestiarii

From the list on technically accurate thrillers.

Who am I?

For people who know something about a technical field, there is nothing that can ruin a book or movie faster than inaccuracies about that field. I’ve worked as an armored car driver, police officer, and private investigator in and around Detroit, and have been writing for outdoor magazines for close to twenty years, so not only do I know a lot about the featured subjects/characters of most thrillers, I care about how accurately they’re portrayed, and have brought that passion to my writing. I’ve written five thrillers set in Detroit, many of them featuring a private investigator, and when writing Bestiarii and its sequels did extensive research on dinosaurs.

James' book list on technically accurate thrillers

Why did James love this book?

This novel, released in 1994, was one of The New York Times’ Notable Books of the Year, but these days, unfortunately few people have heard of it. 

A thriller about a terrorist holding the entire American air traffic control system hostage, this novel stood out because of how accurate all the details of the U.S. ATC were—details Gruenfeld had become aware of while pursuing a pilot’s license. 

Rush Limbaugh, an avid fan of aviation, raved about the book on his #1 rated radio show, and that’s where I heard about it.

By Lee Gruenfeld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the near-crash of a passenger plane, the responsible party demands five million in cash to prevent worse accidents, and former NTSB investigator and Naval officer Jack Webster and combat pilot Bo Kincaid are partnered to investigate--if they can trust each other

Murder at Drury Lane

By Robert Lee Hall,

Book cover of Murder at Drury Lane: Further Adventures of the American Agent in London

R. J. Koreto Author Of Death at the Emerald

From the list on mysteries in the theatre world.

Who am I?

I grew up in New York City, practically within walking distance of the Broadway theatre district. My first show was the original production of 1776. Everything grabbed my attention: Ian McKellan in Amadeus, Patrick Stewart in Macbeth, Richard Dreyfuss in Julius Caesar, and Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. In high school, I was an eager, if not especially talented, member of the theatre club. I became curious about the whole theatre scene, and what could be a better place for a mystery, where actors, directors, and scene designers are already creating an alternate world.

R. J.'s book list on mysteries in the theatre world

Why did R. J. love this book?

Historical setting is the main draw here. Benjamin Franklin is in 1750s London, and the interest comes from the history. Franklin becomes involved in the lively theater scene of the era, and we get to see the sage's particular genius at work. The great joy here comes from all the period details and the delightful descriptions of the theatre world in Georgian England.

By Robert Lee Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder at Drury Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a heckler at the Drury Lane Theatre topples to his death, Ben Franklin--in the Pennsylvania colony on business--probes into the theater's backstage intrigue.

Out Of Sight

By Elmore Leonard,

Book cover of Out Of Sight

Amer Anwar Author Of Brothers in Blood

From the list on ex-con characters you can’t help but root for.

Who am I?

I am a British crime writer and am the winner of the CWA Debut Dagger and have been longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. I have been reading crime thrillers for most of my life and while I love reading about cops and detectives, I seem to have a special liking for amateur detectives, criminals with good hearts, and ex-cons. In my own novels, two crime thrillers set in west London, my main character, Zaq Khan, is an ex-con who gets caught up in dangerous situations and, along with his best friend, tries to get out of them alive. The books I’ve recommended have all inspired and influenced what I write.

Amer's book list on ex-con characters you can’t help but root for

Why did Amer love this book?

Elmore Leonard was the first crime author I ever read, and his books are what got me hooked on the genre.

Like many of his characters, Jack Foley, despite being a criminal, in this case a bank robber, is just so much fun to spend time with and read about.

The book starts with Foley escaping from prison only to find himself bundled into the trunk of a car with a female US marshal. What follows is a cat-and-mouse, cops and robbers tale, as only Elmore Leonard could have written it.

Fabulous characters, amazing situations, and some of the coolest dialogue in all of fiction. The film was great, but the book is even better.

Read it and you’ll want to read everything else he ever wrote.

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

OUT OF SIGHT was made into the highly-acclaimed movie starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.

Jack Foley was busting out of Florida's Glades Prison when he ran head-on into Karen Sisco with a shotgun. Suddenly the world-class gentleman felon was sharing a cramped car trunk with a disarmed federal marshal - whose Chanel suit cost more than the take from Foley's last bank job - and the chemistry was working overtime. Here's a lady Jack could fall for in a big way, if she weren't a dedicated representative of the law that he breaks for a living. And as soon…


By Tade Thompson,

Book cover of Rosewater

Bridget Tyler Author Of The Pioneer

From the list on bold narrators.

Who am I?

I tell stories for the page and the screen (and sometimes to bribe my kid to brush her teeth). The stories I tell have one thing in common – they transport the reader to another world. For me, building a new world starts with building a new character a narrator with strong opinions and a complicated past that will shape how the reader experiences their world. We don't experience the real world objectively no matter how hard we try, our past, our feelings, and even our bodies affect how we experience the world. That's why the worlds I build and the stories I tell are all filtered through the particular truth of a bold narrator.

Bridget's book list on bold narrators

Why did Bridget love this book?

Rosewater is the first book of the Wormwood Trilogy. This adult science fiction story takes place in the decades after a massive alien lifeform dubbed Wormwood lands on Earth and infects Earth (and humanity) with fungal artificial lifeforms that leave some people “sensitive” – able to read thoughts, find objects, and see the future.

Thompson’s narrator, Kaaro, is a sensitive who was once a thief but now works for a secret agency inside the Nigerian Government. Rosewater is non-linear – it jumps back and forth between different moments in Kaaro’s life. This lets Thompson directly contrast young Kaaro’s narration with that of older Kaaro, who knows more about the alien…and himself.

These striking shifts in voice and perspective make Kaaro’s emotional evolution just as delicious as the outrageously creative details of Thompson’s speculative future. 

By Tade Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rosewater is the start of an award-winning trilogy set in Nigeria, by one of science fiction's most engaging voices.

*Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, winner
*Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel, winner

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry, and the helpless -- people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers.

Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn't care…

The Apothecary Rose

By Candace Robb,

Book cover of The Apothecary Rose

Rosie Lear Author Of A Quenchless Fire: The Second Sherborne Medieval Mystery

From the list on historical detectives exploring fact and fiction.

Who am I?

As a great reader from birth, I love books. I am a retired teacher of English literature and love history, particularly the medieval period, inspired by my love of Chaucer. I found my chosen authors entertaining, informative, and able to lead me into my happy place, unaware of my surroundings whilst reading. I read very fast, however, and none of them write fast enough for me so I started to write my own books. Words have the power to move, to excite, to console, to entertain. I hope anyone reading my chosen list will enjoy and may feel like exploring my own books.

Rosie's book list on historical detectives exploring fact and fiction

Why did Rosie love this book?

Set in Medieval York I loved the detail of life in this book. The passion of Lucie Wilton, the apothecary’s wife is apparent and very real. Her anguish at his death and her guilt over her love for Owen Archer, her assistant incite pity and hunger in the reader. It taught me to try and include small details in my own writing and to make my characters come alive as Candace Robb does. I was truly hungry for the next book...and the next...and the next!

Owen Archer became a real fictional hero of mine.

By Candace Robb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This mystery in medieval England is “suspenseful, historically accurate, and blessed with a wonderful cast of characters . . . An absolute delight” (Charles de Lint, author of the Newford Series).
It is Christmastide, 1363, and two suspicious deaths in the infirmary of St. Mary’s Abbey catch the attention of the powerful John Thoresby, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of York. One victim is a pilgrim, while the second is Thoresby’s ne’er-do-well ward, both apparently poisoned by a physic supplied by Master Apothecary Nicholas Wilton.
In the wake of these deaths, the archbishop dispatches one-eyed spy Owen Archer to…


By Diana Palmer,

Book cover of Lawman

Allison M. Azulay Author Of Propositions and Proposals

From the list on romance in any style and era.

Who am I?

I freely admit to reading romances―"Nurse Janes," as one of my teachers used to call them―whenever I need a break from heavier material or just from life. While I have some favorite authors (who doesn't?), I do not limit myself to any particular era or style of romance. To me, romance has many shades and flavours, and I enjoy them all. Believe you me, choosing just five to recommend was no piece of cake.

Allison's book list on romance in any style and era

Why did Allison love this book?

Lawman was my introduction to the novels of Diana Palmer, which have become my go-to for contemporary romance. Perhaps I found Lawman compelling because the heroine's history of trauma stirred some memories of my own. The taut thriller quality of the tale certainly kept me reading, as well. And a happy ending is a must, even if I want to slap a stubborn hero upside the head from time to time. (Well, yes, the heroine sometimes needs an attitude check, too.)

By Diana Palmer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When San Antonio FBI agent Garon Grier buys a ranch in Jacobsville, Texas, the strong, silent loner is hoping to mend some broken family fences. He's not looking for love. Grace Carver grew up in this quiet Texas town, but because of her troubled youth, she's never married—hadn't even thought about it…until Garon.

These unlikely allies are brought together by the most difficult case of Garon's career: hunting an escaped child predator whose former victims are all dead. All except one.

Now a desperate lawman and the woman who is the lone survivor of a madman's twisted rampage have one…

The Final Dossier

By Mark Frost,

Book cover of The Final Dossier

Darragh McManus Author Of Shiver The Whole Night Through

From the list on where the forest feels like a character.

Who am I?

I’m an Irish author who lives close to three very different forests: deciduous, planted coniferous, and the planned gardens of a former stately home that once welcomed WB Yeats and several other famous writers. I’ve always loved the woods – it often feels like stepping through a portal into some other, stranger parallel world – and drew huge inspiration from these places for Shiver the Whole Night Through. I wanted the forest to feel like a character, which was sentient and had agency. I incorporated several real-life locations into the fictional Shook Woods…and wrote a lot of the story in the forest, gazing into the dark trees, waiting for them to speak. 

Darragh's book list on where the forest feels like a character

Why did Darragh love this book?

Essentially two parts of one book, Secret History and The Final Dossier see Mark Frost – co-writer, with the legendary David Lynch, of the equally legendary TV series – returning to the dark, dark woods which cast a baleful shadow on the troubled logging town. The woods are the source of all evil in Twin Peaks: malevolence, mystery, mayhem, murder. In real-life Lynch once described the forest as being “everything those old fairy-tales made you feel”.

By Mark Frost,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The crucial sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Secret History of Twin Peaks, this novel bridges the two series, and takes you deeper into the mysteries raised by the new series.

The return of Twin Peaks is one of the most anticipated events in the history of television. The subject of endless speculation, shrouded in mystery, fans will come flocking to see Mark Frost and David Lynch’s inimitable vision once again grace the screen. Featuring all the characters we know and love from the first series, as well as a list of high-powered actors in new roles, the…

The Negotiator

By Dee Henderson,

Book cover of The Negotiator

Lisa Harris Author Of The Catch

From the list on suspense that will keep you up at night.

Who am I?

As an avid reader growing up, this list of books was influential in not only fostering my love of story, but also for inspiring me to become a writer. These books showed me what makes a page-turning story; from creating a rich setting to developing authentic characters with tension-filled dialogue, to heart-pounding twists and turns. In the end, the readers are taken on a suspenseful journey that will keep them up all night. 

Lisa's book list on suspense that will keep you up at night

Why did Lisa love this book?

Henderson was the first romantic suspense author I read who nailed the romantic thread without relying on tired cliches to keep the couple apart until the end of the book. Add to that her signature, page-turning suspense that takes Kate O’Malley on a terrifying fight for her life, and a compelling and bold hero, and you have the perfect combination of what I look for in romantic suspense.

By Dee Henderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FBI agent Dave Richman from Danger in the Shadows is back. He's about to meet Kate O'Malley, and his life will never be the same. She's a hostage negotiator. He protects people. He's about to find out that falling in love with a hostage negotiator is one thing, but keeping her safe is another!

Introducing the O'Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who have made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O'Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their…

The Silence of the Lambs

By Thomas Harris,

Book cover of The Silence of the Lambs

Paul Indigo Author Of Love Deleted

From Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Novelist Musician Composer Adores radio plays Loves nature walks

Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Paul love this book?

Suspense is the backbone of any story – even a love story. In fact, anything that keeps those pages turning as a puzzle begins to unfold with an intriguing, high-concept idea, I find fascinating! In this case, the high concept is a serial killer making a coat of his victim’s skin. We want to know why, how, and whether he can be stopped.

I normally love heart-warming books with meaningful characters you want as friends, but sometimes the puzzle and suspense are enough to make me tear through a book. Alfred Hitchcock also does that to me! Thomas Harris’s novel is a beautifully engineered study of suspense yet nourishes us with a fascinating knowledge of dark psychology. The intelligence and structure of the book shines through.

By Thomas Harris,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Silence of the Lambs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames "Buffalo Bill," FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him.

That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs--an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.


By Nick Harkaway,

Book cover of Gnomon

Patrick Edwards Author Of Echo Cycle

From the list on changing your mind about science fiction.

Who am I?

I’m still in love with good sci-fi and fantasy after 30 years, but folk can get most terribly sniffy about it: ‘Lack of character’, ‘leaden exposition’, the list of accusations rolls on (sadly, a chunk of today’s SFF earns it). But. Every so often a work pops up that looks to the unwary book clubber like a ‘proper novel’; beneath its sexy but abstract cover and pared-back blurb lies a world of adventure that’s like LSD in an innocent mug of tea. Some writers just refuse to accept that speculation (about time and/ or space) needs to sacrifice truth. I’ve picked a few books that stand out to me for this reason – debate their merits with gusto, preferably over a good Martini at 2am.

Patrick's book list on changing your mind about science fiction

Why did Patrick love this book?

Harkaway has serious literary pedigree but is determined to put exactly what he damn well likes in his books. Gnomon is labyrinthine, its characters sizzle with personality and it is set in researched, vibrant worlds that reek of authenticity, from antiquity to modern-day Greece. It’s also, partly, set in a dystopian, ultra-surveillance future (an arch glance at the political developments of recent years) and shamelessly combines mysticism, time-bending, and no shortage of sharks. Its rejection of convention but adherence to good, thoughtful writing is one hell of a ride.

By Nick Harkaway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'Gnomon is an extraordinary novel, and one I can't stop thinking about some weeks after I read it. It is deeply troubling, magnificently strange, and an exhilarating read.' Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

'The best thing he's ever written ... It is an astonishing piece of construction, complex and witty ... It is a magnificent achievement ... He's never written a bad book, but this is the one that'll see him mentioned in the same breath as William Gibson and David Mitchell ... This book seriously just destroyed me with joy.'…