Killer Thrillers You Can’t Put Down

Recommended by the Belmont Library Staff

Brown, Dan, 1964-. The Da Vinci Code.  Doubleday, 2003. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon follows a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see -- yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. A lightning-paced, intelligent thriller...utterly unpredictable right up to its stunning conclusion.

Child, Lee, 1954-. Killing Floor. Jove Books, 2006, c1997. 1st in the series. Jack Reacher is a tough ex-military policeman, trained to think fast and act faster. He has lived with and hunted the worst: the hard men of the American military gone bad.

Connelly, Michael, 1956-. The Black Echo. Thorndike Press; Chivers Press, 2001. 1st in the Harry Bosch series. Won the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel awarded by the Mystery Writers of America.  For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch -- hero, maverick, nighthawk -- the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal.

Connelly, Michael, 1956-. Blood Work. Little, Brown, c1998. In 1999 it won the Macavity Award and the Anthony Award. Once the point man for FBI serial-killer hunts in LA, Terry McCaleb is now retired; recovering from heart-transplant surgery, is asked to investigate the murderer of his heart donor. 

Hammett, Dashiell, 1894-1961. The Maltese Falcon. Vintage Books, 1992.  1st published in 1930. The main character, Sam Spade, is noted for his cold detachment, keen eye for detail, and unflinching determination to achieve his own justice. He is widely cited as the crystallizing figure in the development of the hard-boiled private detective genre. 

Forsyth, Frederick, 1938-. The Day of the Jackal. Viking Press [1971].  The Jackal. A tall, blond Englishman with opaque, gray eyes. A killer at the top of his profession. A man unknown to any secret service in the world. An assassin with a contract to kill the world's most heavily guarded man. One man whose mission is so secret  not even his employers know his name. And as the minutes count down to the final act of execution, it seems that there is no power on earth that can stop the Jackal.

Larsson, Stieg, 1954-2004. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. In 2009 it won the Macavity Award and the Anthony Award. Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness, assists crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist investigate the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger.  

Le Carré, John, 1931-. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Walker, c2005. Layering plot over plot, le Carre reveals a dirty game of betrayal and assumed identity in which individuals are expendable and neither side is honorable. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold was hailed as a classic as soon as it was published.

Le Carré, John, 1931-. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Pocket Books, c2002.  George Smiley's in a chess match of wills and wits with Karla, his Soviet counterpart. It is now beyond doubt that a mole, implanted decades ago by Moscow Centre, has burrowed his way into the highest echelons of British Intelligence. His treachery has already blown some of its most vital operations and its best networks. It is clear that the double agent is one of its own kind. But which one? 

Ludlum, Robert, 1927-2001. The Bourne Identity.  R. Marek Publishers, c1980. A man dragged from the sea riddled with bullets, his face altered by plastic surgery -- a man bearing the dubious identity of Jason Bourne. Now he is running for his life, the target of professional assassins, at the center of a maddening, deadly puzzle.

Film Versions

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [videorecording]. Music Box Films, [2010] Swedish with English subtitles, or dubbed in English. Cast Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace.

The Da Vinci Code [videorecording] / Columbia Pictures and Imagine Entertainment present; directed by Ron Howard; screenplay by Akiva Goldsman; produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard; produced by John Calley; a Brian Grazer production; a John Calley production; a Ron Howard film. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, [2006] Based on the novel by Dan Brown.

The Bourne Identity [videorecording] / a Universal Pictures presentation, a Hypnotic and Kennedy/Marshall production, a Doug Liman film; producers, Doug Liman, Patrick Crowley, Richard N. Gladstein; screenplay writers, Tony Gilroy, William Blake Herron; director, Doug Liman. Universal, c2004. Originally released as a motion picture in 2002. Based on the novel by Robert Ludlum.

Blood Work [videorecording] / Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Malpaso production ; producer, Clint Eastwood; screenplay writer, Brian Helgeland; director, Clint Eastwood. Warner Home Video, c2002.  Based on the novel by Michael Connelly. Part of his Terrill McCaleb series.

John le Carré's Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy [videorecording] / A BBC television production in association with Paramount; produced by Jonathan Powell; [directed by John Irvin].  Acorn Media, c2002. Based on the novel by John Le Carre; dramatized by Arthur Hopcraft. DVD release of the 1980 miniseries.

The Day of the Jackal [videorecording]. Universal, c1998. Originally released as a motion picture in 1973. From the book by Frederick Forsyth.
MLN Owned

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold [videorecording] / Paramount Pictures presents; a Salem Production; a Martin Ritt production; produced by Martin Ritt; screenplay by Paul Dehn and Guy Trosper; Martin Ritt.  Paramount Pictures, [2004]  Originally released as a motion picture in 1965. Based on the novel by John Le Carre.

The Maltese Falcon [videorecording] / Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Warner Bros. - First National picture; directed by John Huston; screenplay by John Huston; executive producer, Hal B. Wallis. Warner Home Video, [2010] Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett. Originally released as a motion picture in 1941.



April 2012
Killer Thrillers You Can’t Put Down
Recommended by the Belmont Library Staff
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