Currently reading Mark Billingham, Michael connelly- Stuart MacBride- (thanks for the tips) love James Patterson as well, but who are some others you guys would recommend? I'm wanting new writers as well as covering all the decades I've been neglecting for too long. 90's anyone? I love Ed McBain. As for the '80's? I have some Lawrence Sanders--going to re read him, too! appreciating your advice in advance!

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Well, I will go with my influences and tell you why, and hopefully that helps you decide if you think they might be of interest to you or not.

Mark Billingham taught me more about dealing with victims in the fiction than anyone else. Laura Lippman once said he breathed more life into a woman who couldn't communicate than most authors breathe into their main characters. But you're already reading Mark...

Laura Lippman has honed her craft and grown book to book. She has a way of writing about issues and provoking thought and making very real people incredibly captivating. One of few authors who's reduced me to tears.

John Rickards is one of the most underrated authors around. Three books along he gets better with every book, which is as it should be in my opinion. And he does not wimp out with his endings. More like sucker punches you. (I'd swear here, but John would know I was cursing him with all due admiration for his work - not sure everyone else would.)

Val McDermid's standalone A PLACE OF EXECUTION is considered one of her best books, and it really is a treat. With three different series and several standalones to her credit, Val has incredible range.

I was teasing Chelbel above - I am a big fan of both Simon Kernick and Kevin Wignall. I consider SImon's A GOOD DAY TO DIE one of my favourite books of the decade, and I've been catching up on Kevin's stuff and extremely impressed by it. Kevin is very theme-oriented as a writer, his characters are well developed and interesting. And they're both responsible for my alcoholic problems last summer and what I endured at customs upon returning to Canada.

I'm surprised a million people haven't already dropped by and said KEN BRUEN. Wow. My first Bruen was AMERICAN SKIN. Wow again. My God, he weaves a plot and makes it all seem so effortless and with the sharp tongue of the Irish he just nails the characterization. I quickly began devouring the books - VIXEN, RILKE ON BLACK, HACKMAN BLUES, etc. etc. etc. and THE GUARDS. OMG, THE GUARDS. I just finished AMMUNITION, and I've already read ONCE WERE COPS. There's something about Ken's work that cuts to the core. He has this ability to make you laugh til your stomach hurts one moment and then cry the next. There was a line in ONCE WERE COPS that was the ultimate kick in the head line. When I read Bruen I track my husband down and read lines to him.

PJ Parrish's A THOUSAND BONES and Steve Mosby's THE 50/50 KILLER are two of my favourite reads of the whole year. Absolutely engrossing. Anyone in the UK should be able to get Steve's book easily enough (Orion is the publisher).

I also couldn't say enough good things about Allan Guthrie. He's a master of craft and incredibly talented. You will not get predictable, run-of-the-mill formulaic crap from him, and that's part of the reason I love his stuff. One of a kind.

I could go on and on...
I keep seeing THE 50/50 KILLER everywhere and have been meaning to get hold of a copy. Sandra, you've just convinced me to get off my arse and sort this out pronto.
she's very convincing! i'm going to get it as well!
It's a heartwarming story about love and relationships. The perfect Valentines read.

(All who've read it snicker. Seriously, one of the last two issues of Crimespree there was an article by Steve that touches on an aspect of the book. Really worth checking out!)
crimespree, will check it out. thanks
Thanks so much. I learned a lot by your post! I was reading a lot--but not these authors, unfortunatley. For the past ten of fifteen years I was reading mainly non fiction, a lot of true crime--from people like Ann Rule to the criminal psychologists--profilers, those sorts of thing. and then when I did read fiction it tended to be supernatural. but i want to get into reading crime fiction now. I did read almost everything that Ruth REndell wrote--over the summer. i love her dark characterizations. I have noted all of the very great suggestions you made. thanks sandra! i'll keep you posted on how I go.
I second Bruen, McDermid, Cody, Konrath, Billingham, MacBride.

I'd add Carol O'Connell, Denise Mina, Cornelia Read, Sandra Scoppetone, SJ Rozan, Elliot Pattison, Giles Blunt and Louise Welch.
Giles Blunt? The books or the author photo?
Can a red-blooded woman do without either? I don't think so!!!!
thank you Scoppetone book coming next week. Lov the title; THIS DAME FOR HIRE! cornelia read right after. made a note of the others. actually I have SJ Rozan down as well. and McDermid is also on its way. thanks! just reading MacBride as well.
thanks Margot! La Plante's well-known here, very good. and I'll get on to the others.
There's also John Connolly, George Pelecanos, John Harvey, I second the Ken Bruen nomination, John Lescroart, CJ Box, Thomas Perry, David Lawrence. I also recommend Sean Chercover's book Big City, Bad Blood-I liked it, recommended it to my dad, he was shocked it was a first novel-it's that good.

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