1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://contemporarylit.about.com/od/mysteryreviews/

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Mystery and Suspense

Dark, dangerous, gripping: Mystery, suspense and thriller fiction is known for its ability to heighten the tension and wrack the reader with expectation and anxiety.

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
San Francisco in the 1870's, and Blanche Beunon and Jenny Bonnet form an unlikely bond just before Jenny is murdered in cold blood in front of Blanche's eyes.

The Bear by Claire Cameron
When her parents are attacked by a bear on a camping trip, 5-year-old Anna and her younger brother are left to fend for themselves in the wild.

Identical by Scott Turow
Scott Turow has created a complex puzzler in which permutations expand and contract and purported facts unfold so that the clues are buried in a crush of innuendo and long-standing family feuds.

Moonrise by Cassandra King
Moonrise is a suspenseful read that will curl your toes and bring the occasional shiver as you eagerly anticipate what awaits around each turn.

The Cuckoo's Calling by J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling's second novel since Harry Potter is a murder mystery in which a grizzled veteran private eye teams up with a fresh-faced aspiring detective to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of a supermodel.

Joyland by Stephen King
Stephen King's Joyland is coming-of-age, murder mystery set in the summer of 1973 at a haunted carnival on the North Carolina shore.

The Strange Tale of Panorama Island by Edogawa Ranpo
In Edogawa Ranpo's The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, a writer envisions creating a natural utopia he might create by stealing the identity of a recently-deceased wealthy acquaintance.

Broken Harbor by Tana French
In Tana French's fourth Dublin murder squad novel, Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy investigates the case of a triple homicide in an Irish seaside community.

A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage by Marly Youmans
A quintessentially Southern novel, A Death at White Camellia Orphanage follows a boy on a journey across America as he seeks resolution to the unsolved mystery of his brother's death.

Robert Parker's Lullaby by Ace Atkins
Ace Atkins does a brilliant job in carrying Robert B. Parker's torch in the first Spenser novel since Parker's death in 2010. No one will fill Robert Parker's shoes, but Atkins keeps the legacy intact with Robert B. Parker's Lullaby.

Murder in Mount Holly by Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux's slim third novel, Murder in Mount Holly, first published in 1969, is a dark comedy surrounding a bank robbery at the time of the Vietnam war.

Reamde by Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson's Reamde begins with a computer virus engineered to squeeze gold pieces from players in a virtual world but soon morphs into a action thriller with Russian mobsters, British operatives, and al-Qaeda terrorists.

A Caring Man by Akira Arai
An orphaned teen becomes the head of a terrorist cell that levels Tokyo Tower, and a tabloid photographer is swept into the media frenzy in this complex novel about the nature of terrorism and evil.

The Bourne Dominion by Eric Van Lustbader
Jason Bourne is pitted against his longtime Russian ally in this, the ninth, of the Bourne thriller series.

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
James Bond is back and badder than ever in Carte Blanche. Entrusted by Ian Fleming Publications to the capable hands of Jeffery Deaver (The Burning Wire) the young bond comes complete with the fast pace, exotic women, intriguing gadgets, and diabolical villians we've come to love in Ian Fleming's tales.

The Rich and the Dead edited by Nelson DeMille
The 2011 edition of the Mystery Writers of America’s annual anthology is edited by Nelson DeMille and features 20 new stories by some of the best mystery writers working today.

Sixkill by Robert B. Parker
It is entirely appropriate that one of the best and most prolific writers of detective novels should go out with a big bang. With Sixkill, his final Spenser novel, Robert Parker proved that he still had what it takes to captivate his fans when he died in January 2010.

When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley
The reviews for the first two books in Walter Mosley's Leonid McGill series were ones of universal praise. When the Thrill is Gone, the third in the series, is sure to garner the same accolades for this superb exploration of race and self-awareness.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
In the four novellas that make up Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King has crafted some of the most accessible, engrossing gothic tales that showcase his literary bravado while maintaining a firm hand on the suspense.

The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn
Much like Catherine O'Flynn's debut, What Was Lost, The News Where You Are employs themes of loss and absence in gentle ways, interwoven within amusing scenes that will make you reflect and smile.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
The third in Stieg Larsson's Millenium Series begins with Lisbeth Salander, being held under suspicion for three murders, in the intensive care ward at a Swedish hospital. The final book to the trilogy that includes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire.

212 by Alafair Burke
Alafair Burke's sixth novel, the third in the series featuring Detective Ellie Hatcher; one hopes the series continues.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code's Robert Langdon is back and this time is embroiled in a mystery involving the ancient mysteries of the fraternal order of Masons.

The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho's latest novel is like his bestselling 'The Alchemist,' except with a murderer on the loose.

Two of the Deadliest: edited by Elizabeth George
Elizabeth George has brought together 23 authors to use narrative to explore lust and greed, two of the deadliest of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Rain Gods by James Lee Burke
Rain Gods is the most clearly literary novel of James Lee Burke's distinguished career as a novelist. After 17 Dave Robicheaux, four Billy Bob Holland, six miscellaneous golden novels and two collections of short stories, Burke has struck platinum.

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly has woven a thriller that grabs the reader and does not let go until the end.

The Lost Art of Gratitude
The Lost Art of Gratitude is the sixth installment of the Alexander McCall Smith's Dalhousie chronicles, a series which concerns the adventures of a well-meaning Edinburgh academic who too often sets out to restore her own faith in humanity by helping others, only to become overly involved in their affairs.

Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard
Jack Foley returns as the hero of Elmore Leonard's latest thriller, a full-throttle page-turner peopled with bank robbers, gangsters and con men.

The Messenger by Jan Burke
A salvage diver hears a disembodied voice coming from a nineteenth-century shipwreck: "serve me," the voice says, "find Tyler Hawthorne, and I will give you wealth and power."

The Gate House by Nelson DeMille
'The Gate House' has all the elements of a 2009 beach read. There is a lot of sex, mafia dons, murder, divorce, reconciliation, alcohol, in-law troubles, and rich families down on their luck, or not.

Divine Justice by David Baldacci
'Divine Justice' is the fourth in David Baldacci's Camel Club series of novels that asks what secrets the federal government is keeping from citizens.

When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
Kate Atkinson has intertwined what first seem to be many separate stories, giving an added sense of mystery: you know all the characters will connect, but the how and why aren’t always obvious.

What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn
A girl’s disappearance, an intrepid young investigator, a "cozy" mystery feel, and a Jane Tennison-worthy case in a contemporary setting.

Angel’s Tip by Alafair Burke
Alafair Burke continues to expand the power and scope of her writing with 'Angel's Tip,' the second in her new Ellie Hatcher series.

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver
A mastermind killer who has access to the most detailed bank of data on the people of the world; the possibility of our most personal information falling into the hands of a serial killer fills us with dread.

The Fourth Watcher by Timothy Hallinan
Timothy Hallinan's second novel featuring travel writer, Poke Rafferty. A shoot-em-up setin Bangkok, it follows 'A Nail Through the Heart'(2007).

Shadow of Power: A Paul Madriani Novel by Steve Martini
Steve Martini's ninth Paul Madriani legal thriller takes the defense attorney from a California courtroom to the pursuit of a missing Supreme court justice.

The Body in the Gallery by Katherine Hall Page
The latest in Katherine Hall Page's Fair Fairchild mystery series.

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
A community murder mystery with multiple points of view - a patchwork of tragically affected people connected to an incident of callousness and bad taste that festers into murder and suicide.

Now You See Him by Eli Gottlieb
A small town main character tries to make sense of his best friend's murder-suicide, uncovering many secrets while facing his own troubled family life.

The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
Project yourself back to Victorian London, with its teeming thoroughfares and dark alleys. Into that evocative scene now place Edward Moon, a deft stage magician and detective, and his silent associate, the Somnambulist.

The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass
Jefferson Bass has drawn from his five decades of work as the world's leading forensic anthropologist to tell this CSI-style mystery.

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
A simple quest for psychologist and investigator Maisie to explore a rural town in Kent for a prospective land buyer turns up something far more sinister.

Robert Ludlum's The Arctic Event by James H. Cobb
James H. Cobb's latest Covert-One international action thriller involves the discovery in the Arctic of a Soviet strategic bomber that disappeared with its crew more than fifty years ago while carrying two metric tons of weaponized anthrax.

The Blue Door by David Fulmer
Fulmer's "The Blue Door" is a nicely linear investigative thriller with a whole new central character whose vocational trajectory isn't anyone's idea of the norm.

Try Dying by James Scott Bell
Ty Buchanan is a rising star in his L.A. law firm, until the suspicious death of his fiancee forces him into the underbelly of the city to discover the truth behind her death.

Blonde Faith by Walter Mosley
Easy Rawlins, L.A.'s most reluctant detective, comes home one day to find Easter, the daughter of his friend Chrismas Black, left on his doorstep.

Family Secrets by Judith Henry Wall
After their father's death, sisters Vanessa, Ellie, and Georgiana are stunned to learn a well-kept family secret.

Love Kills by Edna Buchanan
Bringing together intrepid journalist Britt Montero and the Cold Case Squad, the lead characters from Edna Buchanan's two successful mystery series, Love Kills is a satisfying, two-for-one deal of a thriller.

The Penguin Who Knew Too Much by Donna Andrews
The newest installment in Donna Andrews' Meg Lanslow mystery series wraps suspense, humor, and a screwball cast of characters into a mystery novel with stand-up quality.

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
As James Lee Burke's new novel is a mystery set amidst the anarchy that is New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Exposure by Kurt Wenzel
In this sometimes bizarre look into the future, Kurt Wenzel seems to be telling us that he has something against society's commercialization, the Hollywood system, media advertising overload...

Dead Connection by Alafair Burke
A rookie detective goes undercover on the Internet dating scene to draw out a serial killer targeting single women in Manhattan.

I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark takes the reader deep into the mysteries of the human mind, where memories may be the most dangerous things of all.

Shell Game by Sarah Shaber
Good things do come in small packages. In only 210 pages Sarah Shaber has created a tightly woven murder mystery, the fifth in the Simon Shaw series.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors - but she's a good P.I. with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations.

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
In Christine Falls, the debut crime novel from Booker-winning author, John Banville (aka Benjamin Black), a Dublin pathologist follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of a conspiracy among the city’s high Catholic society.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Readers who enjoy frightening themselves will enjoy Joe Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box.

Step On a Crack by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge introduce Detective Michael Bennett, an NYPD homicide detective thrust into the middle of a mass kidnapping.

The Collectors by David Baldacci
Four aging misfit crime solvers attempt to solve the mystery of a murder at the Library of Congress while simultaneiously trying to foil a con artist in Atlantic City.

Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby, first introduced in the #1 New York Times bestseller Metro Girl, returns in Motor Mouth, another wild and crazy ride.

The Mephisto Club
PECCAVI - The Latin is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman's brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It's a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli.

The Mission Song by John le Carre
The Mission Song is John le Carre's 20th novel, and even without its eye towards controversy on the world stage, is a compelling addition to the well known espionage author's body of work.

Lisey's Story by Stephen King
To his widow, best-selling horror novelist Scott Landon has left a literary legacy and the scary secret world that was the source of his literary magic.

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
Two years after the events of Case Histories left him a retired millionaire, former detective Jackson Brodie has followed Julia to Edinburgh for its famous summer arts festival...

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum sets out on her latest rounds to haul in bonds-jumping "skips."

The Husband by Dean Koontz
An ordinary man must act to save his abducted wife in Dean Koontz's gripping thriller that's got more twists than Chubby Checker.

Death Dance by Linda Fairstein
World famous dancer, Natalya Galinova has disappeared at the Metropolitan Opera House during intermission of a performance. Death Dance is the eighth in a series of murder mysteries which feature Alexandra Cooper.

Mary, Mary by James Patterson
FBI agent Alex Cross gets a call from the Director. A well-known actress was shot outside her home in Beverly Hills. The killer, known as Mary Smith, has done this before and plans to kill again.

The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes
A stranger who sits down next to Richard Jury in a London pub called the Old Wine Shades. Over three nights Harry spins a story about a friend whose wife and son (and dog) disappeared one day in Surrey.

5th Horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
A hospital and courtroom thriller, the February 2006 addition to The Women's Murder Club series.

Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow
A son is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history and driven to uncover the truth about a father who'd always refused to talk about his war.

The Monsters of Gramercy Park by Danny Leigh
Although neither a typical thriller nor a traditional mystery, The Monsters of Grammercy Park is a perfectly paced work of suspense that keeps you guessing until--and, in some ways, beyond--the end.

The Camel Club by David Baldacci
In The Camel Club, David Baldacci paints a frightening portrait of a world that could be our own soon.

Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett
Bangkok Tattoo, the 2005 sequel to Bangkok 8, chronicles the further adventures of Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a police detective in District 8 of the Royal Thai Police.

Close Case by Alafair Burke
For Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid's thirty-second birthday, she gets an unusual gift: a homicide call out. The victim: hotshot investigative reporter Percy Crenshaw, who has been bludgeoned to death in his carport.

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, The Hot Kid is exactly what you want from an Elmore Leonard novel.

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter—sometimes all at once.

Silverfin by Charlie Higson
What does it take to become James Bond, the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? British writer Charlie Higson has written a tale that uncovers the story of a boy who became one of the most iconic figures of our time.

Rosa by Jonathan Rabb
Jonathan Rabb's novel is at once an historical novel and a mystery. Rosa Luxemburg was actually a socialist revolutionary whose body was found under mysterious circumstances in 1919.

The Final Solution: A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon
In the English countryside, an 89-year old, once-famous detective is roused by a nine year old mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African grey parrot.

State of Fear by Michael Crichton
En route to another riveting techno-thriller, Michael Crichton gets mired in polemic.

Absolute Friends by John LeCarre
In Absolute Friends, John le Carre delivers an epic tale of loyalty and betrayal that spans the lives of two friends from the riot-torn West Berlin of the 1960s to the present day of terrorism and new alliances.

Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson
New York Times bestselling author Diane Mott Davidson whips up another rich soufflé of murder and mischief starring caterer and amateur sleuth, Goldy Schulz.

Prey by Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton's compelling novel yet tells the story of a mechanical plague - nanotechnology - and the desperate efforts of a handful of scientists to stop it.

Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
High stakes, hot nights, cold-blooded murder, sunken treasure, and NASCAR.

Improbable by Adam Fawer
David Caine is a gambler. He gambles at cards and life, always with the belief that his almost savant ability to determine probabilities will keep him afloat.

Tearjerker by Daniel Hayes
In Daniel Hayes' darkly humorous debut novel, Evan Ulmer takes matters into his own hands after his writerly dreams of fame and recognition have stalled. He kidnaps renowned editor Robert Partnow and cages him in a basement.

High Country Fall by Margaret Maron
Read without knowledge of the music and you will enjoy a perfectly fine mystery. Add knowledge of the music and you will find a literary basis seldom if ever achieved in the mystery genre...

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Compelled by his book club to choke down The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon, this reviewer finds his patience in the face of sophomoric and choppy prose rewarded generously with gripping plot and intriguing characters.

Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs
Monday Mourning is Kathy Reichs' seventh Temperance Brennan novel. It is as chillingly good as her first, Deja Dead, a NY Times bestseller which won the 1997 Edgar Award for best first novel. One of the book blurbs for Monday Mourning says she is as "good as Patricia Cornwell at her best." Wrong. Reichs is consistently better.

Mr. Paradise by Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard’s Mr. Paradise is a roller coaster ride of a murder investigation that shows us the seedier sides of people and places usually only seen by cops and their quarry. This master storyteller’s latest suspense thriller does not fail to surprise and delight as we stumble along with his star detective down the road to the truth, and maybe even a little justice.

Burning Garbo by Robert Eversz
So what's the state of the new wave, contemporary mystery? It's niddy-gritty. It's stripped-down, moving fast, landing neat. It's fueled by the ghost of Chandler, shooting straight for the glitzy heart of LaLa Land and the megabuck big screen.

The Woman Who Found Grace by Bett Reece Johnson
Johnson's third novel in The Woman Who series, The Woman Who Found Grace, strikes me as a book straddling the line between genre mystery and literary whodunit. That's a tough line to straddle, no doubt about it...

The Burning Wire
The Burning Wire, Jeffrey Deaver's eighth Lincoln Rhyme novel, grabs the reader like an electric fence that will not let go. Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic, world-class forensic criminologist, and his partner, Amelia Sachs, New York Police Department detective, work against time and with little forensic evidence to track a kille whose weapon is...

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown combines a murder mystery with a religious historical thriller to create a record-breaking best-seller.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.