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Old 04-25-2013, 12:18 PM   #16
Catlady
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Thanks for the recommendations. I've jotted down the names and looked at some random titles at Amazon.

The Harlan Coben standalones seem to be closest to what I had in mind. Robert Goddard looks especially intriguing as well.

I've read all the Alistair MacLean books already. I also read Lawrence Sanders years ago. Desmond Bagley is a new name to me; I'll keep that one for future reference. John Buchan is only familiar to me from the Hitchcock adaptation, so I may have to check him out.

Andrew Vachss seems a little too hard-boiled for me, even though I like classic hard-boiled. I've never read Dick Francis--I'm not a fan of the horse-racing milieu.

I did want to avoid series--basically because I'm looking for a focus on average people rather than trained professionals, and that pretty much means a stand-alone. But I'm keeping all recommendations for future reference!

Thanks to all!
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:34 PM   #17
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Catlady - A ouple for you, if you haven't already read them:

The Crimes of Jordan Wise by Bill Pronzini.

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Jordan Wise is a mild-mannered accountant with a large San Francisco engineering firm in the late 1970s. By his own admission, the first thirty-four years of his life were dull, empty. But that all changes when he meets and falls in love with Annalise Bonner, an ambitious young woman who craves excitement, a life on the edge. With her as the catalyst, Wise concocts and executes a meticulous plan to steal more than half a million dollars from his firm. They escape to the Virgin Islands, but their plans to live a life of quiet luxury are beset by unexpected pitfalls -- and Wise is forced to carry out two more ingenious schemes as a result. All three of his crimes are perfect -- or are they?THE CRIMES OF JORDAN WISE is a classic tale of love, greed, betrayal, and violence told with Bill Pronzini's characteristic twists and turns and his special brand of suspense. It is also a powerful psychological examination of a man, a woman, and the wages of sin.
He goes into a lot of detail about sailing, but otherwise I thought this book was really good. The romance is in the background.

Another good one:

52 Pickup by Elmore Leonard

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Detroit businessman Harry Mitchell has had only one affair in his twenty-two years of happy matrimony. Unfortunately, someone caught his indiscretion on film and now wants Harry to fork over one hundred grand to keep his infidelity a secret. And if Harry doesn’t pay up, the blackmailer and his associates plan to press a lot harder—up to and including homicide, if necessary.

But the psychos picked the wrong pigeon for their murderous scam. Because Harry Mitchell doesn’t get mad...he gets even.

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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Thanks, NightBird.

I have sampled both Pronzini and Leonard in the far-distant past--long enough ago that I have no idea what titles I read; all that remains now is the memory of dislike for both of them--most especially Leonard. I don't think I would ever willingly read another Leonard novel. I'm less vehement about Pronzini, however, and the plot sounds interesting, so, maybe ... someday ...
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:49 PM   #19
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I don't care for a lot of their stuff, either, and I would have to say these are not typical of the work of either one of them, so I think you might like them.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:54 PM   #20
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Robert Goddard looks especially intriguing as well.
In Pale Battalions is excellent but it's more mystery and suspense than thriller.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:05 AM   #21
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You might like Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:43 AM   #22
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Nancy Kopp has written some good Thrillers with a legal flavor to them. All 5 were out in Kindle format last time I looked.
Blind Trust
Absent Witness
Acts & Omissions
With Intent to Kill
Final Justice
Edit: Some of them seem not to be out currently in Kindle for some reason. Possibly some editing problems.

Last edited by crich70; 04-26-2013 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:29 AM   #23
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If you're willing to dip into the supernatural/horror style of thriller, I'd highly recommend Stephen King. His characters tend to be ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. I'd also recommend Lisa Unger. I've only read one of her books so far, Beautiful Lies. It was an enjoyable thriller and featured an average young woman who is confronted with issues from her childhood. Her other novels seem to feature ordinary people as well. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes is a another recent thriller I enjoyed that I think would be the type of thing you are looking for. Unger and Haynes certainly are comparable as writers to SJ Watson.


I'll second Tana French, especially In the Woods, although her books actually feature police officers.

Happy reading.

Last edited by usuallee; 04-26-2013 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:14 AM   #24
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I'm about as likely to read Stephen King as I am to read Elmore Leonard! After Carrie, Salem's Lot, and The Shining, the books seemed to go downhill, and after a few more, I gave up--even took the extreme step of purging the books from the shelves (except for the three aforementioned titles). I think the last straw was some short story in which a guy got his arm caught in a machine that then developed a taste for blood and chased people around; it was laughable, not scary.

Lisa Unger and Elizabeth Haynes are two authors I was vaguely considering, and I was wondering if anyone would comment on them.

The Nancy Kopp books sound interesting, but not what I'm looking for now; I'll keep them in mind for the future. Ditto the Susan Hill books--I don't want to start another police series.

I appreciate all the recommendations. Even the ones that don't quite seem to fit my mood right now are offering me ideas for new authors to sample in the future. Many thanks!

Last edited by Catlady; 04-26-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:18 AM   #25
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Quote:
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I'm about as likely to read Stephen King as I am to read Elmore Leonard! After Carrie, Salem's Lot, and The Shining, the books seemed to go downhill, and after a few more, I gave up--even took the extreme step of purging the books from the shelves (except for the three aforementioned titles). I think the last straw was some short story of his in which a guy got his arm caught in a machine that then developed a taste for blood and chased people around; it was laughable, not scary.
I think that was "The Mangler" if memory serves. It was in one of his short story collections. Mr. King had worked in a laundry during summers (when he was still a teacher) and used that as part of the basis of the story.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #26
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I think that was "The Mangler" if memory serves. It was in one of his short story collections. Mr. King had worked in a laundry during summers (when he was still a teacher) and used that as part of the basis of the story.
That must be it. I had the vague notion the machine might have been a mangle--but as the story was in one of the books I pitched, I couldn't check.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:08 AM   #27
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It was originally published in Cavalier, one of those magazines you don't buy for the quality of their stories.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:41 AM   #28
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It was originally published in Cavalier, one of those magazines you don't buy for the quality of their stories.

....unless you enjoy Stephen King's early classic short stories.

....or try Knight, where Harlan Ellison published "A Boy and his Dog."

...or try Weird Tales, where....(well, you get the idea).







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Old 04-27-2013, 11:33 AM   #29
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"I've never read Dick Francis--I'm not a fan of the horse-racing milieu."

Like you, I also am not a big fan of horse-racing so avoided reading his books. However, some of his books do not concern themselves with horse-racing or only to a very minimal degree. I have found him to be a wonderful writer and it seems that most of his books are stand-alones.

You might want to try To the Hilt. It has nothing to do with horse-racing:

"Home for Alexander, an artist, is a small bothy on a remote mountain in Scotland. One day, his peace is shattered when he returns home to find some strangers waiting for him. After a scuffle, he is left for dead with only the wind and the words, "Where is it?" ringing in his ears."

and also The Edge which does have horse racing as a backdrop:

"A story of drama and intrigue set on the sinister side of the international racing circuit. Tor Kelsey, an undercover agent for the Jockey Club's Security Service trails Julius Apollo Filmer, a blackmailer and murderer, onto a luxury train carrying several racehorse owners across Canada."

Last edited by bar49; 04-27-2013 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:29 PM   #30
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"I've never read Dick Francis--I'm not a fan of the horse-racing milieu."

Like you, I also am not a big fan of horse-racing so avoided reading his books. However, some of his books do not concern themselves with horse-racing or only to a very minimal degree. I have found him to be a wonderful writer and it seems that most of his books are stand-alones.

You might want to try To the Hilt. It has nothing to do with horse-racing:

"Home for Alexander, an artist, is a small bothy on a remote mountain in Scotland. One day, his peace is shattered when he returns home to find some strangers waiting for him. After a scuffle, he is left for dead with only the wind and the words, "Where is it?" ringing in his ears."

and also The Edge which does have horse racing as a backdrop:

"A story of drama and intrigue set on the sinister side of the international racing circuit. Tor Kelsey, an undercover agent for the Jockey Club's Security Service trails Julius Apollo Filmer, a blackmailer and murderer, onto a luxury train carrying several racehorse owners across Canada."
I'm with bar49. I dislike horse-racing and positively hate watching it on TV, and this kept me away from Francis for a long time. However, I am extremely glad I decided to give one of his books a go in the end (after we reviewed some of his work on a creative writing course). I have since read every one of his novels and really enjoyed all of them.
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