Monday, January 17, 2011

Read-alike Guides - James Patterson

If you like the mystery and suspense novels of James Patterson, you might enjoy one of these books:

The Big Picture by Douglas Kennedy
Ben Bradford finds his perfect life falling apart when his wife begins having an affair with a neighbor, Gary. Ben kills Gary in a moment of murderous madness and decides to cover up the crime and steal Gary’s identity. Crossing states and states of mind, Kennedy’s original novel will appeal to fans of Patterson’s fast pacing.

The Devil’s Teardrop by Jeff Deaver
Parker Kincaid, retired FBI agent and the country’s top forensic document examiner, pursues an emotionless assassin planning to wreak havoc on D.C. at four-hour intervals until midnight on New Year's Eve. Deaver is a master of plot twists, detection often enhanced by forensic details, menacing atmosphere, psychological overtones, and a nightmare quality.

Fall from Grace by Phillip Clyde
Like the Women’s Murder Club, the Jane Candiotti mysteries are fast-paced, action-filled thrillers featuring women as investigators and set in San Francisco. When a beautiful socialite turns up brutally murdered, Jane throws herself into an investigation that uncovers the sordid secrets of the city's most powerful families, including those of the victim's estranged husband.

Middle of Nowhere by Ridley Pearson
For suspense with more depth, try Ridley Pearson. In this Lou Boldt and Daphne Matthews novel, many of the Seattle police are on a sick-out and Lou realizes that a series of robberies and assaults are somehow connected to the strike. Pearson is a great choice if you like series detectives, bleak outlooks, and psychological implications.

Mortal Fear by Greg Iles
Iles writes more elegantly, but he tells equally complex stories of hard suspense with plot twists, contemporary settings, alternating viewpoints, and graphic violence. Here, a serial killer is targeting customers of an erotic online service, and Harper Cole devises a deadly plan to impersonate his murdered lover online, hoping to lead the killer out into the open.

No Time to Die by Grace F. Edwards
When her close friend becomes the victim of a bizarre murder, Mali Anderson decides to launch her own investigation to find a serial killer, despite the warnings of her police detective boyfriend. Fans of Alex Cross should like grad student Mali Anderson. Like Patterson, Edwards combines first- and third-person narration in her mysteries.

Rules of Prey by John Sandford
For similar hard-edged suspense, with strong language and graphic violence, try the Lucas Davenport series. In the first title, Lieutenant Lucas Davenport is determined to track down a diabolically clever serial killer who leads a double life, carefully picks out his female victims, and taunts the police with notes signed "Maddog."

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritson
Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles team up to head off serial killers in fast-paced, compelling thrillers that fans of the Women's Murder Club might enjoy. In the first series title, a female heart surgeon is terrorized by a serial killer in Boston who has the same MO as a killer who attacked her during her internship years in Savannah.

Tell No One by Harlan Coben
If you’re looking for a page-turner, look no further than Harlan Coben; start with Tell No One. It's been eight years since Dr. David Beck's wife was murdered by a serial killer, and he receives a message containing a phrase only his wife should know. Either someone is playing a sick joke, or his wife is still alive. After being warned to tell no one, Beck sets out in a desperate search which leads him toward a deadly secret.

Vertical Run by Joseph Garber
Enjoying a satisfactory career and life, David Elliot is astounded when his boss tries to shoot him one morning, an event that triggers an inexplicable series of attempts on his life through the next 24 hours. Good thing he's a Vietnam vet with advanced training who handily remembers his hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship, and booby-trap-setting skills. This is a great read with a breakneck pace.

Also by James Patterson:

The Angel Experiment
A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers in this exciting science fiction thriller. Crossing the country to save their youngest from scientific sadists and to track down their histories (were they born from parents or test tubes?), Maximum “Max” Ride and her “flock” wind up in New York City's sewers. (YAF Pat)

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X
Fifteen-year-old Daniel's secret abilities have helped him survive. He has followed in his parents' footsteps as the Alien Hunter, exterminating beings on The List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma. When he faces his first of the top ten outlaws, the very existence of Earth and another planet are at stake. With signature plot twists and first-person narration, this is a fun superhero narrative. (YAF Pat)

Witch & Wizard
Torn from their parents in a society increasingly controlled by the government, 15-year-old Wisty and her 18-year-old brother Whit are incarcerated in a totalitarian prison where they discover they have incredible supernatural powers. The ruling regime will stop at nothing to suppress life, liberty, music, books, art, magic—and the pursuit of being a normal teenager. (YAF Pat)

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