Thrillers, Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Crime Book Recommendations

This is an ever evolving list of novels that I love, and authors I enjoy reading.

This only includes fiction, although I read a lot of other types of books. If you like any of these books, you're likely to enjoy my work too!

Stephen King – The Stand. Probably my favourite book in terms of good vs evil. Plus IT, The Shining, Doctor Sleep and others by King that veer towards the supernatural, rather than the purely horror angle.

Jonathan Maberry – Joe Ledger series, Pine deep series, Rot & Ruin series, Ink. 

Daniel Silva – Gabriel Allon series. Israeli secret agents, religious conspiracy and political thriller plots, plus art history and restoration.

James Rollins – Sigma series for some kick-ass fun (I love Seichan!) and The Sanguines series with Rebecca Cantrell for that supernatural edge

Dan Brown  The Da Vinci Code. The inspiration for my ARKANE thriller series.

John Connolly – The Charlie Parker series. A huge influence on my Brooke and Daniel stories, because it blends a detective with a supernatural underworld.

Dean Koontz – In particular, the Jane Hawk conspiracy thriller series.

Preston & Child – Pendergast series, particularly the early, more supernatural ones like The Cabinet of Curiosities

Michaelbrent Collings  The Deep, This Darkness Light, Predators

Chelsea Cain – Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series

J.A.Konrath – Origin. What do you expect if you keep Beelzebub in a bunker?

Lauren Beukes – Broken Monsters

Scott Hawkins  The Library at Mount Char

Mo Hayder – Jack Caffrey crime series

Matthew Reilly – Fantastic action/adventure Scarecrow series.

Layton Green  The Summoner and Dominic Grey series

Alix E. Harrow  The Once and Future Witches

Naomi Alderman  The Power

Val McDermid – Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series

James Michener  The Source. An incredible epic about Israel that continues to inspire my writing (although the style is outdated).

Clive Cussler — Dirk Pitt series

Wilbur Smith — Egypt series

Clive Barker  The Hellbound Heart

James Herbert  Dark, Ash. I love a lot of Herbert's books.

Gillian Flynn  Dark Places, Sharp Objects. These darker books are so much better than Gone Girl (in my opinion!)

Barnaby Williams  Anno Domini. What if St Paul murdered Jesus? A particularly bloody retelling.

Lee Child – Jack Reacher series. I love a loner out for justice!

Michael Wallace  The Righteous Series. Polygamous Mormons out in the Utah desert tackle mysteries, murder and the apocalypse.

Chuck Wendig – Blackbirds and the Miriam Black series. When Miriam touches someone, she can tell how and when they will die.

Jeremy Robinson – Jack Sigler series, SecondWorld. Non stop action with all kinds of monsters. Check out Island 731 and The Guardian.

Danielle Trussoni  Angelology. The Nephilim live among us.

Jonathan Holt – The Carnivia trilogy. Murder and mystery set in a darker Venice.

Daniel Suarez  Daemon, Freedom. Techno-thrillers with an edge of horror

Zoe Sharp – Charlie Fox thrillers. Kick ass female bodyguard solves mysteries and rights wrongs. Described as a female Jack Reacher.

Terry Hayes  I am Pilgrim. One of the best portrayals of a terrorist character and an enthralling thriller.

Marcus Sakey – Brilliance series. 1% are born with special talents. Kind of X Men but more realistic!

Laini Taylor  Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. What if a devil and an angel fell in love … and the angels were the enemy. Fantastic series!

Leigh Bardugo – Grisha series and Ninth House

Scott Sigler  Infected, Contagious, Pandemic. Michael Crichton-esque but with more horror as the world copes with an alien invasion that turns humans into all kinds of weird

Max Brooks  World War Z. Much better than the film!

Simon Toyne. Sanctus trilogy. What secret lies at the heart of Ruin?

Alan Baxter  Realmshift, MageSign. Dark fantasy with gods and demons and magic.

AJ Hartley & David Hewson  Macbeth, a novel. This fantastic retelling has beautiful language but really brings the story alive as a thriller.

Martin Lastrapes  Inside the Outside. One girl copes with leaving a cannibal cult.

Erin Morgenstern  The Night Circus

Jen Blood – Erin Solomon series, particularly Southern Cross. Fast paced thriller about a cult survivor and a religious conspiracy.

Terry Brooks  Running with the Demon. I loved the early Shannara series too, but the demonic books are more my style.

Frank Peretti  This Present Darkness. I read this as a teenager and the unseen supernatural battle of angels and demons influenced my imagination heavily. I see demons everywhere!

I'll keep adding to this over time as I read so much. These are just some of the books that stick in my mind and influence my own writing.

What do you love reading? Contact me and let me know your book recommendations.