We are almost 7.5 years into this decade (where does the time go?). So I am wondering, what is the sole, most influential crime/mystery novel written this decade and why? There are some of you who are numerically challenged out there, so I am asking for just ONE book.

Gumshoe Carl (going through my list).

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The first thing that comes to mind is influenial in what way?

If it is a book that was influential in moving an author to a new height, then I would say Lippman's EVERY SECRET THING (even though I liked TO THE POWER OF THREE more). In it she was able to stretch her wings beyond her series novels and delve deeply into the human condition, movingly look at how decisions people make changes the course of their lives, and how that affects the lives of others.

I loved MYSTIC RIVER, however I believe that Lehane had already been building his credentials so that MR wasn't seen as much of a watershed book for him.

I con't argue with any of the other couple mentioned for the influence they've had in other ways.
Good question.I think Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves will sneak up from behind (as it is more recent than many previous suggestions) and overtake the rest before the finishing line -- unless someone writes something to beat it between now and 2009.
Mystic River is an excellent choice. That one slipped my mind for some reason.
In terms of influencing the publishing industry and the general public, I'd have to say DaVinci Code by a landslide. No crime novel in a long time has had the impact that it did. Most importantly, it influenced people to buy books.

In terms of influencing writers...That's much tougher to judge. I can't think of a book off the top of my head like Presumed Innocent or Silence of the Lambs that really touched off a wave of new books and writers. (Those two helped to inspire entire sub-genres.)

But DVC has undoubtedly influenced a lot of writers -- in addition to the number of copycats, religious/historical thrillers, etc. that it has inspired, it has surely also caused a lot of people (for good or ill) to try writing thrillers of their own.
On reflection, even though it's not my favorite book, I would go with Mystic River, too.
I thought about Mystic River, but couldn't remember when it was published... but yeah I guess it was in the last ten years... for some reason it seems longer than that.
I don't know squat about the DaVinci thingy---have no intention of reading it. I can't think of any one piece influencing me----is that the ?
IMO, this is a question that can only be answered through the lens of time, say 25 years from now. Sure, the DvC has sold a ton of copies and has had a large short term impact. But I think that, 25 years from now, the residual impact of the DvC will be minuscule. THE GUARDS, however...

It's like The Velvet Underground. Not very many people bought their records, but everyone who did, started a band. Their long-term influence was HUGE. It is not a stretch to say that The Velvet Underground changed modern music, in the long-run.

The top-5 singles of 1967 were by Lulu, The Box Tops, Bobbie Gentry, The Association, and The Monkees. The Monkees had the #1 and #2 albums of 1967, and later had a hit television show. They clearly had a short-term impact on the industry, but their long-term influence is not even close to that of The Velvet Underground.

Only time will tell, but I'll pick THE GUARDS.
The Monkees were like a third-generation Xerox of The Beatles, dubbed The Pre-Fab Four by the press. They were created for TV, like The Archies. I don't think The Monkees influenced anyone.

I think your point is valid though, Sean. In a way, The DaVinci Code was also a created phenomenon. I think people will still remember it in 25 years, but its influence on the evolution of the crime novel is dubious.
I think the DA VINCI CODE is one of those books that will be extremely popular for its time, but will fade into obscurity in the decades to come. My vote goes to FIGHT CLUB, even though its genre leans elsewhere.


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