Sunday, April 2, 2017


There are so many books to read and so little time.  Over the past few years I’ve discovered a pattern in my reading habits: I’d read an author I’ve always liked— Lee Child and Elmore Leonard for example—then I would branch out to find someone new.  It’s during this branching out period that I found myself disappointed and returning to my shortlist of writers who I know would never disappoint.  How I wish I had a clone with my exact taste who could read books then make recommendations, like Pandora for authors.  So I thought I would try to accomplish something with this post—or at least open doors for some worthy writers who might be flying under the Vince Flynn-David Baldacci, radar.

First up, J.A. Konrath.  Even though he’s sold over two million books in twenty countries, it still feels like he doesn’t get the props he deserves.  His writing is succinct and chilling.  He has a very matter-of-fact way of squeezing your larynx and smirking simultaneously.  It’s a rare talent who could make you cringe and grin on the very same page, but Joe makes it happen on a routine basis.
Check out Joe’s webpage here: if you’d like to read one of his more recent Jack Daniels thrillers, check out Last Call.

Next up, Diane Capri.  She began her career as a lawyer, but don’t hold that against her.  Think John Grisham with a sharp wit.  Her writing is simply impeccable.  She doesn’t waste time on narrative that’s unnecessary to the plot, yet you feel like the scene is happening right in front of you.  Her Judge Willa Carson thrillers are my favorite, but her Hunt for Jack Reacher series is probably more known.  I would recommend trying her latest Judge Willa Carson Mystery, True Justice:

Now for Rick Murcer.  He began his writing career later in life, so his style is tight and to the point.  No wasted motions.  As if he only has so many books to write and he wasn’t going to waste time with superfluous storylines.  His Manny Williams series contain some tremendous thrillers.  Don’t believe me? Just read some of the reviews from the readers who’ve followed him along the way.  I would try out his latest, Cajun Fire.  Read the first chapter and tell me you aren’t hooked.

Vincent Zandri is a photojournalist who travels around the globe to capture the feel of his settings better than any author on the planet.  While most writers delve into their imagination to portray the image in the reader’s mind, Vincent can actually paint it for you from memory.  He’s been there, spoken with the natives, and returned with a story that almost certainly was influenced by the adventure he witnessed during his research. Don’t believe me?  Check out his webpage here: And as far as his books, he writes several series, but his Dick Moonlight is the creepiest and most interesting to me.  Try his Murder by Moonlight. This was the book that got me excited about his work.

And Finally, one of my favorites, Claude Bouchard.  Claude is a Canadian businessman who got the writing bug and made it his fulltime job.  And I’m glad he did.  His dialogue-heavy thrillers keep you turning the pages while giving you plenty of chills discovering what his characters are up to.  I would try his latest Vigilante series thriller, Getting Even.  There is a cathartic thrill to watching an assassin exact revenge on people who do bad things.  And don’t we all want justice to be served?

I can assure you that I’ve read at least one book from each of these authors and wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t find their work riveting.  Hopefully you’ll find someone in this group who will fill your days with nail-biting thrills.  They are definitely worth a try.