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Michael Connelly’s Five Favorite Crime Novels of All Time

Michael Connelly is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series and Lincoln Lawyer series and has sold more than sixty million copies worldwide.

When he isn’t writing novels, Connelly is the executive producer of Bosch, the Amazon Prime Original series starring Titus Welliver. He is also the creator and host of the brand-new true crime podcast, Murder Book.

It should come as no surprise that Connelly has excellent taste in crime fiction, so we’re thrilled to share what he told us about his five favorite mysteries and thrillers of all time.

 

 

Related: Thomas Harris is about to publish his first standalone thriller in 13 years.

 

Michael Connelly’s Top Three Tips for Writing Thrillers

Michael Connelly Signing Dark Sacred Night

Michael Connelly is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series and Lincoln Lawyer series and has sold more than sixty million copies worldwide.

When he isn’t writing novels, Connelly is the executive producer of Bosch, the Amazon Prime Original series starring Titus Welliver and he hosts the brand-new true crime podcast, Murder Book.

Needless to say, Connelly knows a thing or two about writing great thrillers—and he shared his top three tips with us here!

 

1. Less is always more.

Reading in the mystery/thriller genre is always about momentum. How does the writer get it and then keep it? To me, the answer is spare prose. Don’t get bogged down.

 

2. Character, character, character.

Fantastic, twisty plots are important. But nothing beats character. The reader wants to ride with a character that entertains them, surprises them, makes them want to know more. So don’t short the characters in your book.

 

3. Write for an audience of one.

Don’t look up. Don’t lick your finger and hold it up to see which way the wind blows. Don’t ask what publishers are looking for. The answer is they are looking for great books. You have to dig it out from inside, not look around at what somebody else did or what the latest runaway success is about. Write for yourself—and audience of one—and trust that if you like it then there will be others out there who will too.

 

Related: Watch Michael Connelly Talk Murder Book Podcast & Bosch

 

Get the latest Harry Bosch thriller:

Watch: Michael Connelly Talks Murder Book Podcast & Bosch

Bestselling thriller author Michael Connelly discusses his latest book, Dark Sacred Night, his new Murder Book  true crime podcast, and his Amazon original series, Bosch.


All the New Mysteries & Thrillers You Need to Know About

The pumpkins are carved, the ghosts are hanging, and the new books giving us chills are all right here.

 

 


 

8 Books for Fans of Stephen King’s Christine

 

When you mention thrillers in which a car plays a major role, everyone thinks of Christine by Stephen King. But with so many cars out there in the world, you’d think there would be a lot more books written about them! Here are eight fantastic books to get your motor running.

 

 


Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot contributor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Steinbeck and Millay. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.

Discover a Bestselling Thriller Series

Start the first book in a bestselling thriller series today.

 

Love mysteries, too? Don’t miss our favorite mystery and suspense series.

 



 

The Best New Mystery & Thriller Beach Reads

 

The smell of sunscreen automatically puts me in a great mood. Add a good mystery or thriller beach read, and I am in summer heaven—this must be what “summer lovin” was referring to.

While I’m a fan of my ereader, I am not a fan of getting it greasy, sandy, or wet (it is also not a fan of any of those things), so paperback is always my choice for beach reads. If you’re excited about summer and reading great mystery and thriller paperbacks while listening to the ocean waves, leave some space in your beach bag for these great new paperback releases.

 

For the psychological thriller fan…

For fans of BIG endings…

For historical mystery fans…

For a delightful beach read…

For your late summer vacation…

For your new series binge at the beach…

For fans of Harry Bosch at the beach…

For fans of suspenseful family dramas…

 

 


Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspectsmystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.

 

The Best Thrillers to Give Dad on Father’s Day


 

You can run, but you can’t hide: Father’s Day is just around the corner and you still need to get dad the perfect gift. There’s no need to panic—especially if you’re shopping for a dad who loves reading thrillers. There’s still time to get dad the perfect gift—one that’s sure to give him a thrill.

 

 

 

The Most Badass Women in Mystery & Thriller

Ever since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became a worldwide phenomenon and Lisbeth Salander a household name, there has been a lot of talk about badass female characters in mystery novels and thrillers.

I was always struck that people found Lisbeth to be a new archetype in crime novels. She definitely stretched the boundaries for a lot of readers, but so did V.I. Warshawski in Sarah Paretsky’s masterful series, James Patterson’s The Women’s Murder Club, Amelia Sachs in Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme novels (and for me, Amelia has always been more interesting than Lincoln), Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles, Kay Scarpetta from Patricia Cornwell, and I could go on… and that’s just recent history!

For me, though, there is no one in the cannon who is more incredibly badass than FBI agent Clarice Starling in Thomas Harris’s seminal novel The Silence of the Lambs.

Those cell block meetings between Clarice and Lecter struck me then—and now—not for Lecter’s viciousness, but rather for Clarice’s ability to get what she needs. She keeps her focus on saving the Senator’s daughter who has been kidnapped by one of Lecter’s former patients. No matter how much Lecter tries to toy with her, Clarice gives as good as she gets and has the chops to decipher the cryptic clues Lecter gives her as rewards for allowing him to delve into her childhood. As Lecter said, “Quid pro quo.”

And while the FBI men race across the country, Clarice figures out where the killer actually is by putting together the clues that every cop and investigator had missed.

That’s what I call badass.

Bonus: The film version of The Silence of the Lambs is one of only three films to ever win all big five categories at the Academy Awards—Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The other two films to do so were It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Looking for more books with badass female leads?


Brian McLendon is the Vice President, Associate Publisher/Marketing Director of Grand Central Publishing and Twelve. When in high school, he discovered the works of Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Scott Turow, who remain three of his favorite authors to this day. Brian says that he has one of the best jobs in the world because he gets to work with some of the best mystery and thriller authors writing today.

Michael Connelly on Bosch, Books, and the (Occasional) Bad Review

Michael Connelly is the author of thirty-one novels, including multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series and Lincoln Lawyer series, have sold more than sixty million copies worldwide. When he isn’t writing novels, Connelly is the executive producer of Bosch, the Amazon Prime Original series starring Titus Welliver.

Michael Connelly was kind enough to share the answers to our Novel Suspects editor’s burning questions about the inspiration behind his famous character, Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch, Amazon Bosch adaptation,  and whether or not he reads reviews of his books.

 

 

Q: Why did you choose the name Hieronymus Bosch?

A: I wanted all aspects of his character, including his name, to be meaningful. I briefly studied the work of the real Hieronymus Bosch in college. He was a 15th-century painter who created richly detailed landscapes of debauchery and violence and human defilement. There is a “world gone mad” feel to many of his works, including one called Hell–of which a print hangs over the computer where I write.

I thought this would be the perfect name for my character because I saw the metaphoric possibilities of juxtaposing contemporary Los Angeles with some of the Bosch paintings.  I was casting my Bosch adrift in a hellish landscape of present-day Los Angeles. I should point out that this is a fictional conceit. I do not consider Los Angeles to be hellish. It can be in certain places and under certain circumstances–and this is where I place Harry Bosch. But overall I love Los Angeles and love writing about it.

 

Q: Is Harry Bosch based on any cop in particular? 

A: Harry is an amalgamation of several real cops I knew as a police reporter, plus aspects of fictional detectives–from both books and movies–that I have loved. I think and hope there are parts of Philip Marlowe in him, as well as Lew Archer, Dirty Harry Callahan, Frank Bullitt, and many others.

 

Q. How much of him is based on you?

A:  Starting off Harry had very little in common with me, other than left-handedness. Over the course of the books, I think that my “worldview” and his are becoming more closely aligned. This probably was inevitable. The more you write about a character, the more you look inside for attributes and thoughts to give him.

 

Q: How do your books relate to the Bosch TV series?

The show is based on the protagonist of the books, and we take plot lines from multiple books and entwine them to reveal and show everything that made Harry Bosch the man he is. I think it is a very accurate take on the character and the books, and I really hope Harry’s fans enjoy it.

 

Q: What books do you like to read?

A: I read less than I used to.  When you are writing this stuff you don’t want to read it, so I read more non-fiction now. But mysteries? Anytime I list writers whose work I enjoy I run the risk of annoying fellow writers who I forget to mention.  So, suffice it to say that I share many of the same favorites that readers of my work have.

 

Q: Do you read your reviews, good and bad, and do they make a difference to you?

A: I read them, good and bad. They rarely affect my writing because I don’t think anyone can fully understand what I am trying to do but me. Just like authors, reviewers are good and bad, and bring everything they know and have read to the plate with them. There are a lot of amateurish reviewers out there who bring personal agendas to their task and there are many who bring thoughtful and unbiased comments. I have had both types praise and slaughter me. So, in the long run, I am always curious to see reviews, but don’t get too worked up about them, good or bad.

 


Michael Connelly is the author of thirty-one novels, including multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series and Lincoln Lawyer series, have sold more than sixty million copies worldwide. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels and is the executive producer of Bosch, the Amazon Prime Original series starring Titus Welliver. He spends his time in California and Florida.

 

 

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