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15 Authors of Police Novels You Must Read

The stories whose central axis is crime are very attractive to the audience, thanks to the different elements of intrigue and suspense they contain, and today we are pleased to present our list of the authors of police novels.

These authors have been selected taking into account the quality, originality, and creativity printed in their stories, as well as the plot they weave between their characters and the events. 

Only the most recognized creators of police stories integrate our anthology; many of these are the authors of characters that have transcended time and have become part of universal literature.

After an arduous work of search and selection, we have managed to condense in one place, the best exponents of international detective stories. 

Without further ado, we share with you the 15 best authors of police novels, so you can enjoy their best stories in digital format.

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Classic Police Novels Authors

Like most literary genres, detective stories have exponents who have transcended borders and time with their books, we are referring to the authors of classic police novels.

These writers have had the great ability to create unparalleled narratives, and to position their main characters as icons of the literary and cultural world, as in the case of Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, for example.

On this occasion, we are pleased to present you with a wide selection of the 7 best authors of classic detective novels, whose stories will delight you again and again.

1) Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was a British writer and playwright who specialized in the detective genre, for whose work she gained international recognition. 

Throughout her career, she published 66 detective novels, 6 pink novels, and 14 short stories, under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott; in addition to dabbling as a playwright in works such as The Mousetrap or Witness for the Prosecution.

In 2013, her work The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was chosen as the best crime novel of all time by 600 members of the Crime Writers Association.

Here we present 2 outstanding work by Agatha Christie, if you want to read and download other works by Agatha Christie in PDF format we invite you to visit our collection of Agatha Christie books.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a work of detective fiction, first published in June 1926 in the United Kingdom by William Collins, Sons and in the United States by Dodd, Mead, and Company. It is the third novel to feature Hercule Poirot as the lead detective.

Poirot retreats to a village near the home of a friend, Roger Ackroyd, to carry out a project to perfect vegetable marrow. Soon after, Ackroyd is murdered and Poirot must come out of retirement to solve the case.

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel written in the midst of World War I, in 1916, and first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920 and in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head on January 21, 1921.

Styles was Christie’s first published novel. It introduced Hercule Poirot, Inspector Japp, and Arthur Hastings. Poirot, a Belgian refugee from the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him into his new life. 

His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her house. When the woman is murdered, Poirot uses his detective skills to solve the mystery.

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2) Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a British writer and physician, and creator of the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. He was a prolific author whose work includes science fiction stories, historical novels, plays, and poetry.

Doyle wrote that his 56 short stories and four novels about Sherlock Holmes overshadowed the rest of his work: between twenty and thirty works of fiction, history books about two wars, several paranormal science titles, three travel books, and one on literature.

As well as several plays, two books on criminology, two political pamphlets, three collections of poetry, a book on childhood and an autobiography.

Here we present 3 outstandingwork by Arthur Conan Doyle, if you want to read and download other works by Arthur Conan Doyle in PDF format we invite you to visit our collection of Arthur Conan Doyle books.

A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet marks the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, who would become the most famous detective duo in popular fiction.

The book’s title derives from a speech delivered by Holmes, a consulting detective, to his friend and chronicler Watson about the nature of his work, in which he describes the story’s murder investigation as his “study in scarlet: There is the scarlet thread of murder runs through the colorless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, isolate it, and expose every inch of it.”

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, first published on October 14, 1892.

It contains the first tales featuring the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, which were published in twelve monthly issues of “The Strand Magazine” from July 1891 to June 1892. 

The stories are collected in the same sequence, which is not compatible with any fictional chronology. The only common characters in all twelve are Holmes and Dr. Watson, and all are related in the first-person narrative from Watson’s point of view.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dr. James Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes for advice after his friend Sir Charles Baskerville was found dead in the park surrounding his mansion on the Devon moors. 

The death was attributed to a heart attack, but according to Mortimer, Sir Charles’ face retained an expression of horror, and not far from the corpse the tracks of a gigantic hound were clearly visible.

According to an old legend, the Baskerville family has been cursed since the time of the English Civil War, when Sir Hugo Baskerville kidnapped and murdered a woman in the sights of Dartmoor, only to be killed by a huge demonic hound.

Supposedly, the same creature has been haunting the place ever since, causing the untimely deaths of many Baskerville heirs. Sir Charles believed in the hound’s plague and so did Mortimer, who now fears for the next in line, Sir Henry Baskerville.

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3) Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American romantic writer, poet, critic, and journalist, considered the inventor of the detective story, due to the works he developed in this genre, which marked the beginning of a new type of story.

Poe gave birth to the detective story through his analytical and mystery tales, which influenced later authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle, whose Sherlock Holmes is directly inspired by Poe’s Auguste Dupin.

Poe’s contemporaries compared Dupin’s investigations to those of a lawyer, as well as the character himself, and some prosecutors of his time considered such tales to be truly “miraculous”.

Here we present an outstanding work by Edgar Allan Poe, if you want to read and download other works by Edgar Allan Poe in PDF format we invite you to visit our collection of Edgar Allan Poe books.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

XIX Century. The barbaric murder of two women, mother, and daughter, takes place in an apartment on a populous street in Paris. The first investigations do not give any result, showing the impotence of the police to clarify the facts.

Finally, an amateur detective, M. Dupin, takes charge of the case and, after an intense and brilliant investigation, offers an extraordinary explanation.

The Crimes of the Rue Morgue is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most important detective stories and the one that would lay the foundations for much of the noir and crime genre born in the decades following its publication.

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4) Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins

William Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, playwright, and short story author. He was very popular in his time. He wrote 27 novels, more than 60 short stories, at least 14 plays, and more than 100 works of non-fiction.

He is considered one of the creators of the detective novel genre, through a narrative characterized by the atmosphere of mystery and fantasy, melodramatic suspense, and meticulous storytelling. 

His best-known works are The Lady in White (1860), Armadale (1866), and The Moonstone (1868).

Here we present 2 outstanding work by Wilkie Collins:

The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins takes us to the detective and detective world of England and the Orient through his novel entitled: The Moonstone, which is a literary classic in the novels of this genre.

Its story is worth reading, it deals with mysticism, curses, and superstitions. It all begins when an English officer steals a stone belonging to a sphinx of a Hindu god and triggers a series of events after that.

The stone is cursed, and mysteriously disappears from their possession, so they must find it among all those who were present at the celebration on the day of its loss.

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The Woman in White

In the midst of love, there can be a lot of mystery, even supernatural atmospheres full of terror and suspense. The Woman in White is a story faithful to this style and is a worldwide bestseller.

It tells the story of an excellent cartoonist who is hired to give private lessons to the heiress of a very wealthy English baron, but an unforeseen love arises between them, which will be in danger due to the social situation of both.

In the midst of the problems that arise, a mysterious woman appears who greatly changes the course of events surrounding their love, but at the same time, there are a lot of dangers and enigmas around her.

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5) Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett

Samuel Dashiell Hammett was an American writer of crime novels, short stories, and film scripts, many of which feature police plots. 

Among the most remembered characters, he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), the police detective couple Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental agent (Red Harvest). 

Hammett wrote under the pseudonyms Peter Collinson, Daghull Hammett, Samuel Dashiell, and Mary Jane Hammett. Many of his books, including those of a detective nature, were adapted to film.

Here we present 2 outstanding work by Dashiell Hammett:

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon is considered a work of the twentieth century, one of the best literature of the time. When years go by and a book continues to sell, it indicates that its quality is unquestionable.

Its author, a lover of realism and romantic feelings, is responsible for capturing his feelings in this work, which is based on a statuette in the shape of a falcon that the knights of the Order of Malta gave to an emperor.

It turns out that the statuette for more than four centuries has been the object of thefts, misplacements, where murders occur, and conspiracies, among other things.

What is so valuable about the statuette, why is its great attraction, and what makes it so peculiar? You will find the answer in the book, and once you know it, you will not want to lend the book to anyone for fear of losing the statuette.

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Red Harvest

Red Harvest is practically an “autobiography” of the life of the author, who worked as a detective before becoming a well-known writer and screenwriter.

It deals with the expertise of a private detective whose aim is to dismantle a gang of gangsters operating in the city, but to do so he will have to get involved in a way he had not planned.

The plot is quite entertaining, with deep episodes but full of nostalgia, pain, deceit, betrayal, violence, and much more, all the elements that make up a good gothic novel.

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6) Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler

Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American writer of crime novels.

Thanks to him, the crime novel gained a literary dignity unknown until then. His first story was Blackmailers Don’t Shoot, for Black Mask magazine, a pulp devoted to action stories; since then he never abandoned the genre.

The Noir In Festival, held every December in the Italian town of Courmayeur, has been awarding a Raymond Chandler prize for crime novels in his honor since 1991.

Here we present 2 outstanding work by Raymond Chandler:

The Long Goodbye

For many people, including many international critics, Raymond Chandler’s novel The Long Goodbye is considered the best crime novel in history, which has been sold in many countries, translated countless times, and become an international bestseller.

It tells the story of the misfortune of a man named Terry Lennox, who is a war veteran, but this time, he does not cause pain to others, but he will suffer the same when his wife is mercilessly murdered.

However, after the hard news, Lennox does not seek revenge, but takes it as a payment for all the hardships he caused during the war, and asks his friend Philip for help to take him to Tijuana, so he can leave the country where he is currently staying.

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The Big Sleep

The great author of the detective novel Raymond Chandler, was the cause of a reading revolution in the times he was alive, most of his novels made the crowds have a better appreciation for books, and even high criticism sees him as one of the best authors of this genre.

On this occasion, his novel The Big Sleep tells the adventures of a famous detective who is in charge of solving cases of famous or wealthy people. When a crime is in Hollywood, what seems easy is no longer so.

Join Philip Marlowe in his search for the truth, where he will have to go through high society places, bars, and all kinds of places that only celebrities usually frequent.

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7) Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco was an Italian semiotician, philosopher, and writer, author of numerous essays on semiotics, aesthetics, linguistics, and philosophy, as well as several novels that qualify as detective novels.

In 1980 he established himself as a storyteller with The Name of the Rose, a culturalist historical novel susceptible to multiple readings (as a philosophical novel, historical novel, or detective novel, and also from the semiological point of view).

Awarded with several prizes and distinctions, this author of detective novels captivates readers with his fascinating plots, as well as with the suspense he generates in his novels.

Here we present an outstanding work by Umberto Eco:

The Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose is the work that introduced Umberto Eco to the world of fiction, it is a glamorous work full of good reviews from the media and also from the readers.

Many authors try to communicate something in the middle of literary works, while others only know how to fly the imagination while writing. The author’s life and his messages until before his death in 2016 were quite influential in Europe, as they help to understand the history of the twentieth century until today.

The book is specifically a detective novel, where it narrates the activities of the detective William of Baskerville, specifically a crime that needs to be solved, this crime occurs in a Benedictine abbey and is related to Roman Catholicism.

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Current Police Novels Authors

The plots that combine a crime, an investigator, and several suspects with several threads that relate them, are still in force thanks to the authors of current police novels.

As part of the new generation of writers, there are several who focus their inspiration and creativity on building intriguing and very interesting scenarios and situations, with a modern point of view.

It is these writers who are part of our selection of the 8 best current police novel authors; the most recognized and outstanding novelists are the ones you will find on our list.

8) Don Wislow

Don Wislow

Don Winslow is an American writer known for his crime and mystery novels. In 2022 he won the XVII Pepe Carvalho Award in recognition of his career at the Barcelona City Council as part of the Barcelona Negra festival.

In South Africa he worked as a journalist and researcher at the University, has been a private detective and screenwriter for film and television, and two of his works have been made into films.

In 2015 he won the IX RBA Crime Novel Prize for his work The Cartel, the continuation of his acclaimed 2005 novel The Power of the Dog.

Here we present an outstanding work by Don Wislow:

The Power of the Dog

Many times on television you see movies where a government, usually from the United States, fights against drug trafficking, and although there are violent scenes, they are far from what the fight against drug trafficking really is.

The book The Power of the Dog, although it is not based on the real-life of someone in particular, it is developed under real knowledge of what the fight against drug trafficking is, and what drug trafficking itself is. It is a black novel, very raw and violent, although it is in the mystery genre, its thrilling and audacious narration is mixed with terror and action.

It has been highly recommended, but it also warns of its rawness, if you are a sensitive reader, it is difficult to love it, but if you are clear with real and raw issues, read it, it is a chronicle of a terrifying reality.

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The Cartel

The drug issue has always been very much in the media, and in this work, by Don Winslow, we are shown a reality rarely seen in public, although very well known by those who are close to that world.

The Cartel presents the war against drug trafficking from a very raw point of view, where rape, murder, corruption, betrayal, and more are the main course of the day.

The Cartel is the second book in a trilogy, and here we can see how the hero of the first installment is now hunted to death by the most powerful man in drug trafficking, who has been freed from his first imprisonment behind bars.

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9) Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane is an American writer, five of whose novels have been made into films and several have won awards, including A Drink Before the War and the best-selling Mystic River. 

The spaces of his city have served as inspiration for the popular urban settings of his novels. Of Irish descent, his stories portray the lives of immigrant or marginalized groups in Boston.

So far she has written six novels in her series about investigators Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro.

Here we present 3 outstanding work by Dennis Lehane:

The Given Day

The world war is one of those realities that will never be forgotten in the history of mankind. The Given Day takes us back to that time and shows us the experiences of two families who lived through such despair.

Luther is a laborer and Danny Coughlin is a detective and the son of a legendary Irish captain. Both for providential reasons cross their paths, the only thing they have in common is that they both suffered the war.

Now, each from their own environment, they will have to fight against the anarchy of the moment, and they will have to help each other to survive with their families in the terrible situation they are living in.

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World Gone by

Danny Coughlin is still alive despite everything he has suffered after the first world war, now the world of justice seems to be unknown to him, he has left the detective force and is dedicated to counseling in a mafia clan.

His life has been turned upside down, he has a ten-year-old son, but he is unable to live the peace he deeply desires, and even less so when he learns that a price has been put on his head, a matter that he must resolve at any cost.

World Gone By puts an end to the trilogy that begins with “The Given Day” and continues with “Live by Night”, it is the last of the installments and offers us an exciting and emotional dénouement to read.

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Shutter Island

Shutter Island is a novel by American writer Dennis Lehane, published in 2003. Lehane has said that he sought to write a novel that would be an homage to gothic settings, B-movies, and pulp. His intention was to write the main characters in a situation where they lacked 20th century resources, such as radio communications. 

The author was inspired by the hospital and grounds of Long Island in Boston Harbor for the model of the hospital and the island. Lehane had visited it in the Blizzard of 1978 as a child with his uncle and family.

A film adaptation of the novel, adapted by Laeta Kalogridis and directed by Martin Scorsese, was released on February 19, 2010.

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10) Jo Nesbø

Jo Nesbo

Leader and singer of the Norwegian rock band Di Derre, he ventured into the literary field at the end of the 1990s. 

In 1997 he published his first crime novel “The Bat”, the first in the Inspector Harry Hole series, which won the Riverton Prize for the best Norwegian crime novel and the Glassnøkkelen Prize for the best Nordic crime novel.

He has also won the Bokhandlerprisen 2000 for Rødstrupe, and again in 2008 for Snømannen. Mads Wiel Nygaards legat 2002, and Tidenes beste norske krimroman, kåring i Nitimen 2004 for Rødstrupe.

Here we present 3 outstanding work by Jo Nesbø:

The Snowman

Harry Hole is a world-famous detective, he has solved very important cases during his career, but he has never been on the trail of a serial killer.

This time he finds himself in Oslo, where there is a series of murders that have something in common, after the first snow of the year a death occurs, usually a single woman or a mother.

The Snowman is a novel that takes the reader to Norwegian soil, where a macabre story unfolds, a reality that lies behind every crime, but that Harry must find even if it costs him his life.

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The Bat

The first job is always the most difficult, nerves, foolishness and many other factors are present. This scenario shows us the author of one of the best detective novels in history: The Bat.

It tells the story of Harry Hole, a young detective who has been assigned the first case of his career; he must go to Norway to solve a murder that at first glance seems to be a crime of passion.

Harry and his co-worker Andrew suspect the boyfriend of the deceased, but as they delve deeper into the case, they realize that they are on the trail of a serial killer who has begun to wreak havoc.

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The Redeemer

Harry Hole has stopped hazing his cases, he is now a more experienced detective, has earned a good reputation, and is always assigned to the most difficult and controversial cases.

In this opportunity, Harry must do everything possible to catch a hitman from the former Yugoslavia, a man who kills for hire but is very good at what he does, he leaves almost no clues, so he is very difficult to catch.

The Redeemer is a novel that not only focuses on catching the criminal but takes the reader to meditate on the depths of the human condition while reading about the people who make life in the places Harry must travel.

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11) Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell

Henning Georg Mankell was a Swedish writer of detective novels, children’s author, and playwright, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his best-known creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander. 

He also wrote several plays and television scripts. He was a social critic and left-wing activist.

He made considerable donations to charities, mostly related to Africa.

Here we present an outstanding work by Henning Mankell:

Faceless Killers

Faceless Killers is a crime novel by Swedish writer Henning Mankell, the first in his acclaimed Wallander series. The story focuses on Sweden’s liberal attitude towards immigration and explores themes of racism and national identity.

Inside an almost isolated Skåne farmhouse in Lunnarp, an elderly man, Johannes Lövgren, is tortured to death, and his wife Maria is savagely beaten and left for dead with a noose around her neck. Inspector Kurt Wallander, a forty-two-year-old Ystad police detective, is put on the case with his team. Maria Lovgren is taken to the hospital but dies anyway. Her last word: “foreigner.”

Examining the noose around Mrs. Lovgren’s neck, one of the detectives realizes that he has never seen one like it before. He thinks that Mrs. Lovgren’s last words are accurate and that the killers are foreigners. But his conclusion leads to several racially motivated attacks after the information is leaked to the press.

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12) James Ellroy

 James Ellroy

Lee Earle Ellroy, better known as James Ellroy, is an American writer, and author of the novels on which the hit films L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia are based.

He is one of the most famous writers of contemporary crime novels, as well as a writer of “essays” or articles dedicated to analyzing and breaking down real crimes. 

He is characterized by a “telegraphic” narrative, which omits words that other writers would consider necessary or fundamental, in other words, he takes advantage of the harshness and force of the English language to give hard, cutting, and ambiguous sentences.

Here we present an outstanding work by James Ellroy:

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia is a crime novel by American author James Ellroy. Its subject is the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles, California, which received a great deal of attention because her corpse was horribly mutilated and left in a vacant residential lot. 

Although based on the facts of Short’s murder and featuring many real-life people, places, and events, Ellroy’s novel mixes fact and fiction, especially in offering a solution to the crime when it has never actually been solved.

This book is considered to be the one that gained Ellroy critical attention as a serious writer of literature, expanding his fame beyond the crime novels of his early career. The Black Dahlia is the first book in Ellroy’s Los Angeles Quartet, a cycle of novels set in the 1940s and 1950s.

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13) Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist famous for her thrillers.

The themes of her work center around guilt, lies, and crime, and her well-characterized characters are often close to psychopathy and move on the very border between good and evil.

This is very noticeable in his first published novel, Strangers on a Train (from 1950), which was made into a film a year later by Alfred Hitchcock with the same title and whose screenplay was adapted by Raymond Chandler.

Here we present an outstanding work by Patricia Highsmith:

Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train is a psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith about two men whose lives become entangled after one of them proposes to “exchange” murders. 

Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno are passengers on the same train. Haines is a successful architect in the throes of divorce, Bruno a mysterious charlatan with a sadistic proposition: he will murder Haines’ wife if Haines murders Bruno’s father. As Bruno carries out his twisted plan, Guy finds himself trapped in Highsmith’s dangerous world, where, under the right circumstances, ordinary people are capable of extraordinary crimes. 

Strangers on a Train launched Highsmith’s prolific career, proving herself a master at depicting the disturbing forces that tremble beneath the surface of everyday life. The novel was adapted as a film in 1951 by director Alfred Hitchcock and again in 1969 by Robert Sparr.

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14) James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is an American author, best known for his Dave Robicheaux series. He has won Edgar Awards for Black Cherry Blues (1990) and Cimarron Rose (1998) and has also received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Burke’s 1982 novel, Two for Texas, was made into a television movie of the same name in 1998. 

Burke has also written five diverse crime novels, two collections of short stories, four books starring Texas lawyer Billy Bob Holland, four books starring Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland, Billy Bob’s cousin, and two books starring Weldon Avery Holland, grandson of legendary Texas lawman Hackberry Holland.

Here we present an outstanding work by James Lee Burke:

Burning Angel

The Fontenot family has lived as sharecroppers on Bertrand’s land for as long as anyone can remember. So why are they forced to abandon their homes? And what does the murder of Della Landry, the girlfriend of New Orleans fixer Sonny Boy Marsallus, have to do with it?

Marsallus’ secrets seem to be linked to those of the Fontenots. But can Detective Dave Robicheaux make sense of it all before more bodies drop? In James Lee Burke’s intense and powerful crime novel, Robicheaux delves into the bad blood and dirty secrets of Louisiana’s past as he takes on a motley alliance of local mobsters and a hitman.

Part of a thriller series that continues to be a hit with critics and audiences alike, Burning Angel will keep you glued to the pages until the stunning finale.

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15) Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is an American writer of crime and mystery novels. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and his J.D. from Fordham University. He later practiced law before embarking on a career as a novelist. 

He has been awarded the Steel Dagger and Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Wolfe Award and is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader’s Award for Best Short Story of the Year and the British Thumping Good Read Award. 

His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including The New York Times, The Times, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, The Sydney Morning Herald, and the Los Angeles Times.

Here we present an outstanding work by Jeffery Deaver:

The Bone Collector

The Bone Collector is a suspense novel by Jeffery Deaver. The book introduces the character of Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic forensic criminalist.

Lincoln Rhyme was once a brilliant criminologist, a genius in the field of forensics – until an accident left him physically and emotionally shattered. But now a diabolical killer challenges Rhyme to a terrifying and ingenious duel of wits. 

With police detective Amelia Sachs at his side, Rhyme must follow a maze of clues that reaches back to a dark chapter in New York City’s past – and reaches further into the darkness of the mind of a madman who won’t stop until he’s stripped life to the bone.

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Here ends our selection of Authors of Police Novels. We hope you liked it and already have your next book!

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