Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic seemed an especially good one for a fledgling blog. So, here are the top ten books I’d recommend to those new to the thriller genre or fans looking for a new author to try.
#1 – The Eleventh Commandment, by Jeffrey Archer
This is the first and only book by Jeffrey Archer I’ve read, but I definitely want to read more. A very compelling spy thriller.
#2 – The Winner, by David Baldacci
This conspiracy novel has a longer-than-average set-up. But if you stick with it, the rest is highly entertaining, one of my favorite Baldacci novels. The Whole Truth is another good one of his, a global, high-stakes kind of thriller, if that’s more your thing.
#3 – The 13th Hour, by Richard Doetch
This one is a science fiction thriller involving time travel. I thought it was an interesting concept and not as cheesy as something like this could be. (The one thing that IS pretty cheesy is the chapters being numbered in reverse order… but that’s easy enough to overlook.)
#4 – Term Limits, by Vince Flynn
This is a great political thriller. Like the Archer novel, it made me want to read more by this author; also like Archer, I haven’t gotten to it yet. (Stupid, unwieldy TBR.)
#5 – The Last Child, by John Hart
This novel is slower paced and more on the mystery end of the mystery-thriller spectrum. The main character is a young teen boy (but it’s definitely not young adult) and it just gives the whole story a different feel than if we only saw through the eyes of the adults. I absolutely loved it.
#6 – Judgment Day, by Jane Jensen
Initially published as Millennium Rising. Yes, this is the same author who wrote Dante’s Equation, which I (sort of) reviewed last week. Judgment Day is just as good, but without the “WTF” aspect. It fuses faith, philosophy, and politics, and it’s an intense journey. One of my favorites.
#7 – The Dark Half, by Stephen King
This falls under horror, but as one of the best books I read last year, it definitely makes the list. I am fairly new to Stephen King, but I liked this better than the more well-known Misery and The Shining.
#8 – The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
This is the third book in the Pendergast series, but you really don’t need to read the first two (unless you really do need to… trust me, I get it), and this is where the series really starts to take off. Another mystery-ish thriller, with just a dash of horror. Actually, my favorite book by these two is Dance of Death, but that one leads directly into The Book of the Dead (also very good), so if you’re looking for a stand-alone to test the waters, I’d go with this one instead.
#9 – Think of a Number, by John Verdon
This is yet another mystery thriller, the first in a series. Verdon was a new-to-me author just over a year ago, and I’m so glad I discovered him. He really is a good writer, not just a storyteller like many other authors.
#10 – Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson
This psychological thriller makes you experience the main character’s uncertainty right along with her. It had me in an intense, emotional grip the entire time I was reading.
Even though I’ve been cheating all along, mentioning extra titles for some authors, I still can’t resist adding a bonus #11: anything by James Rollins. The Sigma Force series in particular, but his stand-alones are great as well. And there’s another book I would definitely have made room for on this list, but I’ve got a post about it coming up later this week, so… I guess you can spend the next couple days wondering what #12 might be.
What books do you recommend the most?