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Michael Connelly is probably most famous for his creation of the noble LAPD Detective Hieronymous (Harry) Bosch, who deals with the seedier side of the City of Angels. To find authors like Michael Connelly isn’t an easy task, but it isn’t impossible. You simply need some key features:
– The atmospheres are dark and detailed, many L.A.-based. The stories wrap as they twist and turn, sometimes turning back again.
As one of the founders of hard-boiled detective fiction- and a heavy influence on Michael Connelly- he’s considered one of the all-time best.
Chandler was a novelist and a screenwriter, and he created one of the most famous noir characters: Philip Marlowe. His books are almost all Los Angeles-based.
The plots are roller-coasters of clues, usually with a vixen/damsel involved. And the endings can force you to immediately begin at the start to find out what you missed.
A seemingly-innocent young woman goes to Los Angeles and asks for Marlowe’s help to find her missing brother. The clues lead him to gangsters and a Hollywood connection; murders galore (with icepicks, no less); and a super surprising who-done-it reveal.
P.G. Sturges grew up in Hollywood and has been a Jack-of-all-trades: a sailor, a playwright and a musician, to name a few.
His books starring Dick Henry have the hard-boiled noir feel with a sympathetic and humorous edge.
A stellar introduction to Dick Henry, the ‘shortcut man.’ He’s called that because he finds the shortest solutions to difficult problems (using not-strictly legal methods).
He’s hired by a man who wants to find out if his wife is cheating. She is. With Dick Henry. It takes all of his professional ingenuity to try to get out of the mess.
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Steve Martini is an author like Michael Connelly thanks to his smart and complex courtroom thrillers. A former journalist then lawyer, his Paul Madriani series delivers believable characters with page-snapping plots.
Paul Madriani has exiled himself to a small, private practice after a messy affair. When his mentor Ben Potter is killed, the evidence points to his wife, Talia Potter. Who also happens to be Paul’s ex-lover.
The Irish author began as a freelance journalist before exploring his passion for crime fiction. His hero, Charlie Parker, is an ex-NYPD Detective with his own very personal (and real) ghosts.
Charlie goes to Maine to recoup and regroup his energy when he gets caught up in the murder of a mother and child, which echoes his own loss. He joins the manhunt for the serial killer.
Karin Slaughter is an Atlanta-based author that is famous for her Grant County series and a very graphic, grim who-done-it writing style.
Will Trent is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent who was responsible for a lot of ill will from the Atlanta police force. A kidnapping/murder case forces him to pair with homicide detective Faith Mitchell- and she’s not happy about it. The mishandled case leaves them uncovering clues to find out if a victim is still alive.
– Lawrence Block: ‘When the Sacred Ginmill Closes’ (1986, Matthew Scudder Series)
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