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James Patterson holds Guinness World Records for writing the most #1 New York Times bestsellers, and being the first author to sell more than a million e-books. With work spanning nearly every genre – from thrillers and romance novels to non-fiction and children’s books – Patterson publishes up to a dozen titles a year to legions of adoring fans.
For a recent Goodreads piece on his recommended reading, Patterson spoke on the importance of curling up with a page-turner, now more than ever:
“There has quite possibly never been a better time to stay home and read. I want to thank all of the essential workers who must continue doing their jobs in these uncertain times. For the rest of us, it’s our duty to stay indoors – and lose ourselves in a good book.
And there’s nothing better than a good thriller to transport readers to a different place – and most importantly, keep them turning the pages. Sure, there are crimes galore in these books, but a good mystery is about so much more than a murder. It needs to be packed with interesting characters and surprising twists if it’s going to get me hooked.”
Find James Patterson’s favorite fictional thrillers below, and complement with the reading books of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. For further insight into his process – from developing characters to publishing and marketing a finished work – check out his Masterclass on writing.
Cutter and Bone by Newton Thornburg
Lush Life by Richard Price
The Digger’s Game by George V. Higgins
Night Dogs by Kent Anderson
The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Marathon Man by William Goldman
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Killing Floor by Lee Child
LaBrava by Elmore Leonard
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
Hell to Pay by George Pelecanos
The Poet by Michael Connelly
Chiefs by Stuart Woods
The Black Book by James Patterson
Deliverance by James Dickey
Dark of the Moon by John Sandford
The Force by Don Winslow