I'm going with Derek Raymond's factory series. I only recently discovered these books, and they're simply amazing. Very grim stuff, kind of a meditation on death and dying, but the writing just sparkles, really remarkable. Robin Cook/Derek Raymond was clearly a fan of Raymond Chandler--you can tell from his dialogue, as well as his choice of pseudonym, but I agree with some of the blurbs that he surpasses Chandler with these books. The five books making up the factory series:

He Died with His Eyes Open (1976)
The Devil's Home on Leave (1985)
How the Dead Live (1986)
I Was Dora Suarez (1990)
Dead Man Upright (1993)

That's my choice, and am interested in other people's favorite series.

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I also liked Leonard's two Raylan Givens books, Pronto and Riding the Rap (I think that's the title of the other.) Givens is one of Leonard's better characters, which says a lot, considering Leonard's other characters.
Leonard's latest...The Hot KId and Up In Honey's Room are excellent. Another US Marshall, but this one is even a bigger hoot.
C.J. Sansom's Shardlake novels are probably my favourite series. The books are Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign and Revelation thus far, all set in Tudor England which as a history geek makes me love them even more.
My long time favorites are the Travis McGee series( John D MacDonald) and the Archie McNally books (only the real ones by Lawrence Sanders.)
Interesting you say that. I have tried one of his books but just could not get into it. I found the writing dull, not sparkling, but I know lots of people really rate his work very highly - as you do. I've another one on the shelves and I will give it a try, as I feel I'm missing something. I'll look for your books too, Dave - I really admire the crime fiction Serpent's Tail publish in the UK.
A lot of my faves have been mentioned - Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder; Peter Temple's Jack Irish and Robert Crais' Elvis Cole. I'll have to throw in Val McDermid's Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series and I'm becoming attached to PD Martin's Sophie Anderson as well.
I'd like to second Eddie Muller's Billy Nichols series and what, no one said The Continental Op?

Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, Robert Crais' Elvis Cole, Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan, and Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins. I've also enjoyed what I've read of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus.
John Sanford's Prey Series with Lucas Davenport comes to mind.

As does Lee Child's Reacher Series.
The books by Carol O'Connell

1. Mallory's Oracle (1994)
2. The Man Who Lied to Women (1995)
aka The Man Who Cast Two Shadows
3. Killing Critics (1996)
4. Flight of the Stone Angel (1997)
aka Stone Angel
5. Shell Game (1999)
6. Crime School (2002)
7. The Jury Must Die (2003)
aka Dead Famous
8. Winter House (2004)
9. Find Me (2006)
aka Shark Music

Plus 'Judas Child'
and 'Bone by Bone' coming out Dec'08

I can hardly wait.

My favourite author.
Funny that no one has mentioned Peter Robinson's Bank's books. Certainly one of my favorites.

The June 20, 2013, issue of New York Review of Books had (what I thought) was an interesting review of Derek Raymond's work by Joyce Carol Oates. For those who might be interested:  The Visionary Detective

I have a couple of favorites. One is John Sandford's Lucas Davenport series: all titles have "prey" in them. He has another series that I don't read, can't identify with the protagonist. I also like Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series. DD works homicide for Boston PD, so most of them are set in the Boston area.


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