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The best hard boiled detective novels ever written

A guide by Terry Quinn (Minnesota)

Products sampled from this guide:
Night Dogs
The darkest, most honest, police procedural novel ever written. A must read for true noir fans.
The Man in My Basement: A Novel
The Man In My Basement is a great story about the choices we make in life, definitely one of a kind.
The Last Good Kiss
The best hard boiled detective novel ever written.
The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel)
Book one of the Harry Bosch Series!
Death in Uptown: A Paul Whelan Mystery
Dark Gritty Series featuring Paul Whelan a P.I. with a sense of humor.
Set in Chicago one of the best private investigation series that I've ever read.
Right as Rain (Derek Strange/Terry Quinn)
Right As Rain the start of the strange/quinn series
Shutter Island: A Novel
This story isn't a noir novel but its one of the best books I've read in years. This book will haunt you weeks after reading it.
Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder)
Eight Million Ways to Die might just be the best Scudder novel ever written. Definitely one of the top 25 best mysteries of all time.
Hard Revolution: A Novel
The latest and greatest novel from George Pelecanos, this being the prequel to the start of the Strange/Quinn Series.
Blood Hollow (Cork O'Connor Mysteries)
This author is one of the best kept secrets in fiction. This is his latest in the Cork O Connor Series, if your going to start reading him, start from the beginning with Iron Lake.
The Guards: A Novel (Jack Taylor Series)
Ken Bruen takes you to Ireland, an intriguing setting for a noir novel that packs a lot of punch.
The Killing of the Tinkers: A Novel (Jack Taylor Series)
The follow-up to The Guards, packs an even more explosive plot and setting. Jack Taylor is quickly becoming my favorite new detective.
The Forgotten Man: A Novel (Elvis Cole Novels)
The latest Elvis Cole novel is his most intriguing yet, if you've missed out on Elvis Cole start from the beginning with Monkeys Raincoat, definitely a must read for Michael Connelly "Harry Bosch" Fans.
Stefano Novels: "Down By The River", " A Firing Offence", " Nick's Trip"
Although this book is published in the UK, you can find it here in the U.S. looking through online book sellers. This is the very beginning of the Nick Stefanos novels. A firing offense introduces us to Nick as well as his colorful friend Eddie Mcginnes, the story at times moves along slowly but it ends as well as any other pelecanos novel with lots of action and suspense. Nicks Trip is the best of all three stefanos novels. It follows Nick as well as an old friend on a case that takes many twists and turns. You can see much improvement in this story compared to his first "Firing Offense" All three novels are classic Pelecanos and should be read to gain an understanding of his character development as well as the entertaining plots featured within his books.
Rules of Prey
The beginning of the Lucas Davenport novels. This in my opinion is the best Lucas Davenport novel ever written. If you do read Sandford start with his first three novels, they are the most entertaining. I felt as the novels progressed in the series they just became weaker plot wise. I feel Rules of Prey contains one of the best villians I've ever read of in a novel, a must read.
A Drink Before the War
Dennis Lehane known best for his novel Mystic River, a classic novel, first started out writing crime fiction. In this novel he introduces us to his 2 characters who take on Boston in a crime showdown that explores the integrity of street justice. I rate this novel as the best out of the whole series, yes its the first novel, it contains an engaging plot, wise crack humor, as well as very colorful descriptions of Boston. 5 stars all the way.
Mercy Falls (Cork O'Connor Mysteries)
William Kent Kruegers latest novel is intriguing and suspenseful. I'd rate this a solid effort, but to me a lot of what happened in his latest novel was predictable, maybe I was focusing to much on the backdrop of the story and therefore I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. My vote is if your a fan of the series or of Harry Bosch or Jack Taylor, then pickup the novel, it's a solid 4 star effort.
Drive
I first experienced the writing of James Sallis through this book. What I found is a writer who can craft a great storyline with characters that offer razor sharp dialogue. Drive is a quick read only 158 pages, but one that won't soon be forgotten. If your a fan of Harry Bosch, I suggest you look into his Lew Griffin novels. Start with the long legged fly.
American Skin: A Novel
Ken Bruen never does disappoint. American skin is a clever novel with many intermingling plot lines that explodes to the finish line in dramatic fashion. The psychopath in the book "Dade" is one of the best drawn out bad guy that I've read about in a long time. A very solid effort.
The Night Gardener
It's story was intriguing, the characters were fully fleshed out, and I really liked the ending. Much better than last years novel "Drama City". The problem with finding success as a writer. Which I define as having a "cult" following and getting big book advances is that a lot of the writers tend to turn more commercial, more focused on pumping out "one" more book for the sake of making $$$ rather than focusing on the enjoyment of writing a novel. Pelecanos in is early years of Shoe Dog, The Nick Stefanos Novels, King Suckerman, he wrote with a fire and passion to the point that anyone could pickup those books and be fascinated with it. Now ever since Right as Rain, his quality of writing has really dwindled. But on a positive note this is the Best Pelecanos novel I've read in quite a long time. If your looking to read noir that'll take you into the gritty streets of D.C. there is no reason to look further. My favorite recent novels by Pelecanos: Shame The Devil, Hard Revolution, and The Night Gardner.
Echo Park
The latest Harry Bosch novel, is one of Connelly's best written yet. Harry Bosch haunted by his past decides to look into an old case that has never really left him. From there the story takes off and never let's up. The amazing world of Harry Bosch is like none other. You have to read it, to believe it.
The Killer Inside Me
The Killer Inside Me, wow a brilliant read. Brings you into the mind of a psychopath, who just happens to be a deputy sheriff in a small texas town. A bleak novel with tragic consequences that must be read by anyone who likes crime fiction with a deftly written serial killer.
Once Were Cops: A Novel
Once were Cops is about 2 cops with different agendas.

Products mentioned include:
1.  Night Dogs  by Kent Anderson
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2.  The Man in My Basement: A Novel  by Walter Mosley
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3.9 out of 5 stars   (98)
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3.  The Last Good Kiss  by James Crumley
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4.  The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel)  by Michael Connelly
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4.4 out of 5 stars   (898) | 1 customer discussion
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5.  Death in Uptown: A Paul Whelan Mystery  by Michael Raleigh
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4.4 out of 5 stars   (18)
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6.  Right as Rain (Derek Strange/Terry Quinn)  by George Pelecanos
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7.  Shutter Island: A Novel [Deckle Edge]  by Dennis Lehane
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8.  Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder)  by Lawrence Block
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9.  Hard Revolution: A Novel  by George Pelecanos
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4.2 out of 5 stars   (47) | 1 customer discussion
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10.  Blood Hollow (Cork O'Connor Mysteries)  by William Kent Krueger
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4.7 out of 5 stars   (116)
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11.  The Guards: A Novel (Jack Taylor Series)  by Ken Bruen
$11.26 Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars   (120)
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12.  The Killing of the Tinkers: A Novel (Jack Taylor Series)  by Ken Bruen
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4.1 out of 5 stars   (40)
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13.  The Forgotten Man: A Novel (Elvis Cole Novels)  by Robert Crais
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4.4 out of 5 stars   (236) | 1 customer discussion
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14.  Stefano Novels: "Down By The River", " A Firing Offence", " Nick's Trip"  by George Pelecanos
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15.  Rules of Prey  by John Sandford
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4.3 out of 5 stars   (649) | 4 customer discussions
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16.  A Drink Before the War  by Dennis Lehane
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17.  Mercy Falls (Cork O'Connor Mysteries)  by William Kent Krueger
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18.  Drive  by James Sallis
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3.8 out of 5 stars   (117) | 1 customer discussion
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19.  American Skin: A Novel  by Ken Bruen
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20.  The Night Gardener  by George Pelecanos
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3.9 out of 5 stars   (107) | 1 customer discussion
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21.  Echo Park  by Michael Connelly
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4.5 out of 5 stars   (574) | 3 customer discussions
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22.  The Killer Inside Me  by Jim Thompson
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4.0 out of 5 stars   (156)
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23.  Once Were Cops: A Novel  by Ken Bruen
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Customer Discussions about products in this guide
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Really not a cop book 0 Jan 4, 2015
Kindle Pricing of $10 Bucks is Ridiculous! 0 Oct 19, 2014
Advice on Michael Connelly type books 15 Aug 30, 2014
J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) "... In Death" series with Eve Dallas belongs on this list... 1 Nov 4, 2012
Worth the premium price for the Kindle version? 1 Sep 22, 2012
Prey Books 3 Feb 7, 2012
Does the novel give Driver's background? 1 Jan 27, 2012
Which one was he really? Spoiler alert 167 Mar 5, 2011
DNA 3 Sep 17, 2010
Questions (spoilers) 15 Jul 25, 2010
john sanford prey books 8 Jul 24, 2010
Shutter Island Film: When did you realize the plot twist - SPOILERS 3 Jul 4, 2010
 
   

About this Guide

 

Author

Terry Quinn (Minnesota)
Qualifications: frequent mystery reader
Last updated: 12/6/09
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