Best Books 2011: Thrillers

Selected by Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.

Connelly, Michael. The Fifth Witness. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316069359. $27.99.
Mickey Haller defends a woman accused of murdering the banker responsible for her foreclosure. Connelly’s outstanding legal thriller offers an insightful portrait of the current economic crisis. (LJ 2/15/11)

Doetsch, Richard. Half-Past Dawn. Atria: S. & S. ISBN 9781439183977. $25.
A man wakes up to see his obituary on the front page of the newspaper. His wife is nowhere to be found. What follows is a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride with jaw-dropping revelations.

Dugoni, Robert. Murder One. Touchstone: S. & S. ISBN 9781451606690. $24.99.
Attorney David Sloane has found love again in the arms of a former rival. And he must tackle his first criminal case when she’s accused of murdering a drug dealer. Few can deliver legal suspense as well as Dugoni, as this mix of Presumed Innocent meets Basic Instinct proves. (LJ 6/1/11)

Gardner, Lisa. Love You More. Bantam. ISBN 9780553807257. $26.
A police officer claims to have shot her husband in self-defense. But where is her six-year-old daughter? Gardner, a master of the suburban thriller, unveils the police code of silence and its psychological effects. (LJ 1/11)

Hurwitz, Gregg. You’re Next. St. Martin’s. ISBN 9780312534912. $24.99.
Left as a child at an orphanage, Mike as a grown man must protect his family from thugs who might have answers to his past. Hurwitz’s first-rate portrait of someone who has struggled to rebuild his life from trauma features a satisfying mystery and suitable bad guys. (LJ 5/1/11)

Land, Jon. Strong at the Break. Forge: Tor. ISBN 9780765323378. $25.99.
Fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong must recover the kidnapped child of a loved one, plus stop a charismatic cult leader with a vendetta against her. Land concocts a perfect blend of riveting action and profound character study. (LJ Xpress Reviews, 8/4/11)

Rollins, James. The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel. Morrow. ISBN 9780061784781. $27.99.
Mummified bodies found buried in the Rocky Mountains are only the beginning as the Sigma Force races around the country to solve a riddle that links to our nation’s founding. This mix of science, history, and page-turning suspense demonstrates that Rollins is in a class by himself.

Slaughter, Karin. Fallen. Delacorte. ISBN 9780345528209. $26.
Atlanta police officer Faith Mitchell arrives at her mother’s house to pick up her daughter, and the resulting chaos jeopardizes her career and life. Sheer suspense heaven for die-hard fans and new readers. (LJ Xpress Reviews, 6/17/11)

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  1. I was surprised not to see Marcus Sakey’s “THE AMATEURS” on this list. Quite a read! Tense, stunning!