Help Recommend Me a Book


I just watched The Fall with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan and was surprised by how addicted to it I became. It was horrifying and I had to fast forward through a good amount of Jamie’s scenes but I really loved watching the process the authorities took in trying to locate the killer.

I’ve always enjoyed a good serial killer/detective story either in book or film/TV. I’ve seen Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs and a whole slew of other detective type movies. I watched a few seasons of Dexter (before it got too dark for me) and tried Criminal Minds (a bit on sensationalized side for me). I watched one episode of Hannibal and was thoroughly creeped out and didn’t tune in to any other episodes though I’ve been promised it is an amazing show.

I’m looking for more detective type stories especially in YA. So far, over the years, I’ve read some adult fiction, non fiction and YA about serial killers and or detectives but wondered if you had any recommendations?

Here’s what I’ve read…

Adult Fiction:

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The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver, Along Came a Spider by James Patterson, Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2) by Thomas Harris, The Collector by John Fowles

Adult Non Fiction:

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Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit (Mindhunter #1) by John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker, The Anatomy of Motive: The FBI’s Legendary Mindhunter Explores the Key to Understanding and Catching Violent Criminals by John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker, Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer–America’s Deadliest Serial Murderer by Ann Rule, The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story by Ann Rule

YA Fiction:

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The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, The Naturals (The Naturals #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen #1) by April Henry, Every Breath by Ellie Marney (this sort of fits?)

Currently Reading:


I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Do you read crime type books? If so, I’d love to hear your recommendations!


  1. says

    I think you might like Tess Gerritsen! I devoured all her books about Rizolli & Isles, a detective and pathologist. The combination of those two characters and their different work makes it really enjoyable and I don’t think the stories are too dense or dark 🙂

  2. Ashlea says

    This is one of my favorite genres! Karin Slaughter is hands-down my favorite thriller writer. Both her Grant County and Will Trent series are exceptional. Also Chelsea Cain’s Gretchen Lowell series! It’s about a female serial killer that just may be creepier than most of the male ones.

    If you need more recs, just let me know on Twitter! I’ve got soooo many 🙂

  3. says

    Ahh, awesome post Kristen 😀 I have not seen this show. But now I am curious. Sounds pretty awesome ;p I hope you’ll manage to find books that are sort of the same. <3 I also very much love Criminal Minds 🙂 Such an awesome show, ack.

  4. Kelly G. says

    In terms of adult NF, Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City is AMAZING.

    I occasionally listen to Ann Rule, but she’s strictly an audiobook author for me!

  5. says

    For YA crime fiction, there’s the Empty Coffin series (currently a duology) by Gregg Olsen, ‘Envy’ and ‘Betrayal’ – I quite enjoyed the books, but I’ve heard some bad reviews of them too. For adult crime fiction, I love Patricia Cornwell, Karin Slaughter and John Connolly – the John Connolly Charlie Parker series gets quite brutal at times, but I think it’s very true to real life, because crimes do get grotesquely brutal.
    I hope some of these recommendations help! 🙂

  6. Bridget says

    You should read the Find Me Series by Romily Bernard it is really good! Also another great series is The Body Finder Series by Kimberly Derting! Also I have to recommend Liars, Inc as well it was a really great read! Hope this helps :)!!!

  7. says

    Crime is really not my thing, but I remember absolutely loving the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first novel in the Millennium Series. it’s just written brilliantly and if you haven’t seen either of the movie adaptations, you’re in for a handful of amazing plot twists!

  8. says

    Have you read Tana French’s IN THE WOODS? I read it for book club last year and thought it was so, so good. As far as YA thrillers and crime-solving books, I haven’t read nearly enough–though after reading THE NATURALS and KILLER INSTINCT I need to read them all because I love that series. I’ve heard Sophie Jordan’s UNINVITED is good though the sequel isn’t the best, and S.E. Green’s KILLER INSTINCT. If you don’t have Jennifer Lynn’s Barnes’s THE FIXER you can borrow my ARC; it’s not as good as THE NATURALS and it’s not exactly a novel about crime-solving, but it’s like a YA SCANDAL and is a more of a political crime-solver with some interesting twists and turns.

  9. says

    Maybe try Paper Valentine? There is a paranormal element as well, but I really enjoyed the mystery. Also, Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout.

    The crime books I usually read are Adult Romances, so I’m not sure that’s exactly what you’re looking for. 😛 But just in case – Julie James and Pamela Clare are my favorites. 🙂

  10. says

    If you’re looking for something in the YA genre, I’d highly highly recommend The Diviners by Libba Bray – it is an absolutely INCREDIBLE book with mystery, horror, historical, and fantasy elements. Other than that, there’s always the ever-classic Sherlock Holmes – it’s my firm belief that you can never go wrong with Arthur Conan Doyle. 😉

  11. says

    I read Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath last year. It’s a really good book about a serial killer in Chicago who sets his eyes on the detective on the case. Though if you don’t want to read a series (it’s currently nine books long) you may want to look elsewhere. I don’t usually read books like that. It came highly recommended by my boyfriend.

  12. says

    Yay — I’m a big mystery/thriller reader and there are so many great recommendations above that I wholeheartedly agree with. Love Tana French and Karin Slaughter. I’m a big fan of UK crime fiction so I’d also recommend Val McDermid and Lynda LaPlante. For American writers, you could also try Michael Connelly (police procedurals set in LA) Laura Lippman (PI series set in Baltimore).
    I just love these kinds of books and am happy that more of them are being done in YA.

  13. says

    Ironically,your post just gave me a lot of recommendations:)I haven’t read any detective or crime YA books,but I love watching movies and TV Shows with that concept.I used to love Criminal Minds and I enjoy Castle a lot,though it isn’t as dark as I want my crime shows to be.
    As for movies,I absolutely love Silence of the Lambs.I was equally terrified and mesmerized by Anthony Hopkins’ performance in the film.He was brilliant!
    And you should try out Seven,Zodiac,American Psycho and some Martin Scorsese movies!I am sure you’ll enjoy them quite a lot.

  14. says

    I LOVED The Fall! Have you watched just the first season, or have you seen the second season, too? I think I preferred the first season, but that might be because I think I hated the last few seconds of the last episode of season 2.

    You should add The Kind Worth Killing to your adult mystery list. It’s about a man and woman who happen to meet in an airport bar, and then find themselves sitting beside each other on the plane. He tells her that he’s married, and that his wife is cheating, and that he’d like to kill her. She very casually offers to assist. Keep in mind – these are strangers. And then….lots of stuff happens. 🙂

    For YA, I’ll add my vote for Liars Inc.


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