Since publishing my debut novel, I’ve had a number of friends and contacts ask for some book recommendations. So, here goes. Some of the novels I’ll list here and in future editions have been around for some time. Regardless, they’re ripping good reads that deserve as much love and attention as they can get.
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Gorky Park is the thriller that sets the benchmark as far as I’m concerned. Set in Moscow at the height of the Cold War, it introduces chief homicide investigator Arkady Renko as he investigates a triple murder in a Moscow amusement center.
Cruz Smith’s writing is superb. The level of detail is amazing. The plot is complicated and confusing, but fully engaging and satisfying.
Though first published in the ‘80s, Gorky Park holds up well with the passage of time.
The Governor’s Wife by Michael Harvey
The Governor’s Wife is the latest installment in a Chicago-based detective series featuring PI Michael Kelly. The novel picks up two years after the disappearance of Illinois governor Ray Perry when Kelly receives an email from an unidentified client asking to find the disgraced politician.
Harvey’s writing is spare and strong. The plot is appropriately convoluted and intriguing with enough twists and turns to keep even the most demanding reader on tenterhooks. Harvey knows Chicago and Chicago politics — and that’s where the book really sings.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John LeCarre
This one will make you work — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. LeCarre is a stylish writer with a unique flair for observation. Consider this a treatise on the human condition wrapped in a spy thriller light years away from James Bond.
Tinker Tailor is LeCarre’s follow up to his breakout novel The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and features the unlikely super spy George Smiley. When a mole is detected in the upper ranks of British intelligence, known in LeCarre’s nomenclature as the Circus, it’s up to Smiley to ferret out and catch the traitor.
I envy anyone who has yet to read LeCarre for the first time. He’s simply a master at the genre.
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Life’s a thrill(er). Jump in and enjoy the ride.