This semester we have been reading crime fiction in class and even though I was a fan before my appreciation is even higher now. If you want to start reading crime fiction but don’t know where to start, here are some recommendations. These are all books we read in class this term. Click on the title to purchase to book at Barnes and Noble.
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
In the first book of the Phillip Marlow series, Chandler hits a home run. This classic crime novel has violence, suspense, and attitude, and all three from detective Marlow. The book takes place in Los Angeles where Marlow is hired by a rich sleaze ball. Chandler is considered one of the best crime fiction authors of all time and The Big Sleep is required reading for anyone who is a crime fiction fan.
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely
This book also takes place in LA, but in a much different way. Easy Rawlings is a struggling black man who desperately needs money so he takes a job as a detective, even though he has never worked as one. Mosley does a good job of showing the racial tension that took place in the 1940s. This is the first book in a series.
Joyland by Stephen King
Released in 2013, King’s book reached the best seller charts. In this crime novel a young and heartbroken college student named Devin Jones takes a summer job at an amusement park. He soon finds out there are lots of dark rumors about the park and it sparks his interest.
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Mr. Ripley became one of my all-time favorite novels. The story is as much a psychological thriller as it is a crime novel. Tom Ripley is a twisted person who has many talents. However he uses them for evil. This book might make you feel scared or angry, but I can assure you that you will feel something. If you liked the movie make sure to read the book because the novel is 500 times better.
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
This is one of the most gruesome novels I have ever read, and I’m a fan of Stephen King and Robert Bloch. In this book, the second of the Dr. Lector series, Harris presents a little of everything. Cannibalism and kidnapping, to name a few. The movie is good but check out the book as well.
If you are new to crime fiction or are a fan and want to know some good books to read, check these out. Several of them are classics that you will probably enjoy.