Reading Suggestions

Find your next great read here

Serial Killers

Leave a comment

shutterstock_154626923Ingenious, systematic, solitary, these murderers are totally obsessed with their quarry and diabolical in their methodology. Only the most dedicated investigator has a chance at finding them before they kill again.  If you enjoy living the fear of the potential victims and the thrill of the chase, try a few of these titles.

Printer-friendly version

a

a

a

a

a

a

Tami Hoag. Ashes to Ashes.Ashes to ashes

As a serial killer known as The Cremator terrifies a helpless city, witness advocate Kate Conlan struggles to cope with a homeless teenage witness with a hidden agenda, a legendary FBI profiler, and a powerful businessman whose estranged daughter may have been the victim of the deranged predator.

a

a

a

a

a

Jeffery Deaver. The Skin Collector.The Skin Collector

A new type of serial killer is stalking the streets of New York – one more devious and disturbing than ever before. They call this butcher The Skin Collector: a tattooist with a chamber of torture hidden deep underground. But instead of using ink to create each masterpiece, the artist uses a lethal poison which will render targets dead before they can even entertain the prospect of escape . . .

a

a

a

a

David Baldacci. Hour Game.Hour game

In the wake of a series of brutal murders in the Virginia countryside in which the killer leaves watches on the victims’ bodies, investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell discover that the case may be related to one involving an aristocratic southern family a situation that turns worse when a copycat killer enters the fray. 

a

a

a

a

a

Catherine Coulter. Split Second.Split second

While FBI agents Savich and Sherlock track down a female serial killer with possible ties to Ted Bundy, Special Agent Lucy Carlisle learns from her dying father that the murder of her grandmother may be connected to a mysterious group called The Protectors.

a

a

a

a

a

Elizabeth Haynes. Human Remains.HUMAN REMAINS : A NOVEL

Police analyst Annabel wouldn’t describe herself as lonely. Her work and the needs of her aging mother keep her busy. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbors decomposing body in the house next door, and she is appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed the womans absence. Annabel sets out to investigate, despite her colleagues; lack of interest, and discovers that such cases are frighteningly common in her hometown. A chilling thriller and a hymn to all the lonely people whose individual voices haunt its pages, Human Remains shows how vulnerable we are when we live alone, and how easily ordinary lives can fall apart when no one is watching.

a

a

Stephen Woodworth. Through Violet Eyes.Through violet eyes

In a world where the dead can testify against the living, someone is getting away with murder. Because to every generation are born a select few souls with violet-colored eyes, and the ability to channel the dead. Both rare and precious—and rigidly controlled by a society that craves their services—these Violets perform a number of different duties. The most fortunate increase the world’s cultural heritage by channeling the still-creative spirits of famous dead artists and musicians. The least fortunate aid the police and the law courts, catching criminals by interviewing the deceased victims of violent crime. But now the Violets themselves have become the target of a brutal serial murderer—a murderer who had learned how to mask his or her identity even from the victims. Can the FBI, aided by a Violet so scared of death that she is afraid to live, uncover the criminal in time? Or must more of her race be dispatched to the realm that has haunted them all since childhood? 

a

Stephen Woodworth. With Red Hands.With red hands

Natalie Lindstrom was once one of an elite group of investigators with the power to interview the dead victims of violent crime. But now Natalie has had enough. Enough of the violence. Enough of the darkness that has already gotten too close to her five-year-old daughter. Yet as she tries to build a new life and protect her child from the world she has left, Natalie still knows injustice when she sees it. And she knows that in a high-profile California trial, a young man is getting away with murder. The case against Prescott Hyland Jr. is airtight–until a corrupt Violet delivers devastating testimony against another man. Now Natalie is being drawn back into her former career and a danger far worse than she can imagine. For while one killer is being tried in a courtroom, another has gone horribly free: to unleash a storm of vengeance–aimed straight for the heart of Natalie’s new life. Because, in the world of the Violets, sometimes your past can literally come back to haunt you. . . .

Elizabeth Adler. Please Don’t Tell.PLEASE DON'T TELL

Fen Dexter’s quiet life on the idyllic California coast is interrupted one stormy night when a blood-covered man shows up on her doorstep, claiming to have had a car accident. He tells her that he is on his way to San Francisco to help the police solve the murder of his fiancé. Unable to make it to the hospital because of the storm, he stays the night at Fen’s, and the attraction between them is obvious. The next morning he heads to the hospital where Fen’s niece, Vivi, is an ER doctor. Vivi is treating the most recent target of a serial killer whose signature move is to leave a note saying “Please Don’t Tell” taped across his victims’ mouths. When Fen’s mysterious stranger comes to Vivi to have his wounds stitched she agrees to set him up to talk with the police about his fiancé. Who is this man, really? What does he want with Fen and her family? And will they live long enough to uncover the truth? Told with Elizabeth Adler’s knack for terrific female characters and breathtaking twists, Please Don’t Tell will keep you guessing, right up to the end.

a

Lauren Beukes. The Shining Girls.The Shining Girls

A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace– until one of his victims survives. In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back. Working with an ex-homicide reporter who is falling for her, Kirby has to unravel an impossible mystery.

a

a

a

Iris Johansen. Taking Eve.TAKING EVE

Hoping for a more peaceful time after learning the tragic truth about her child’s disappearance years earlier, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is entreated by desperate father Jim Doane to learn the truth about his missing son.

a

a

a

a

a

Alex Kava. Stranded.STRANDED

Discovering the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, FBI special agent Maggie O’Dell and her partner, Tully, embark on a frantic cross-country effort to capture a serial killer who is targeting truckers and travelers at rest stops. 

a

a

a

a

a

Alex Kava. Fireproof.FIREPROOF : A MAGGIE O'DELL NOVEL

When a building bursts into flames on a cold winter night in D.C., investigators see a resemblance to a string of recent fires in the area. There is one difference, however: This one has a human casualty. The local team insists they’re looking for a young white male, suffering from an uncontrollable impulse to act out his anger or sexual aggression. But when special agent Maggie O’Dell is called in, everything she sees leads her to believe that this is the work of a calculating and controlled criminal. Jeffery Cole, a reporter looking for his big break, is also at the scene of the crime and decides to make Maggie part of his news piece, digging up aspects of her past that she would rather forget. Maggie’s brother Patrick is also back in DC where he isworking for a private firefighting company and is frequently called in as these fires continue to light up around the city. As the acts of arson become more brazen, Maggie’s professional and personal worlds begin to collide dangerously. The killer may be closer than she imagines.

a

Debra Webb. Rage.Rage

When Jess Harris moved back to her Alabama hometown, she thought she’d left her past behind her. But the blood bath the new Major Crimes deputy chief finds at a murder scene is beyond even the savagery of Eric Spears, the serial killer who now haunts Jess’s life with terrifying text messages. Amid eerie echoes of the Charles Manson massacre, Jess investigates the dismemberment of a cop’s wife while her baby lay sleeping down the hall. The discovery of two more headless victims makes Jess wonder if it’s a gang-related slaying, a personal vendetta…or something else. And the sudden reappearance of her ex-husband makes her question her future with Chief of Police Dan Burnett. Now as the net widens to include a shocking suspect, Jess realizes that the identity of the killer may lie with an autistic eight-year-old boy. With inner-city tensions at an all-time high and the community calling for blood, Jess must race to save an innocent child-and prevent a final, horrifying act of rage.

a

David Morrell. Creepers.Creepers : a novel

On a cold October night, five people gather in a run-down motel on the Jersey shore and begin preparations to break into the Paragon Hotel. Built in the glory days of Asbury Park by a reclusive millionaire, the magnificent structure – which foreshadowed the beauties of art-deco architecture – is now boarded up and marked for demolition. The five people are “creepers,” the slang term for urban explorers: city archeologists with a passion for investigating abandoned buildings and their dying secrets. On this evening, they are joined by a reporter who wants to profile them – anonymously, as this is highly illegal activity – for a New York Times article. Frank Balenger, a sandy-haired broad shouldered reporter with a decided air of mystery about him, isn’t looking for just a story, however. And after the group enters the rat-infested tunnel leading to the hotel, it becomes clear that he will get much more than he bargained for. Danger, terror, and death await the creepers in a place ravaged by time and redolent of evil. 

a

PJ Tracy. Monkeewrench.Monkeewrench

Grace McBride and the team at her software company are horrified when events in their murder mystery computer game are replicated in the real world by a ruthless killer, a situation that prompts them to analyze the game in order to anticipate his next move.

a

a

a

a

a

Kate Watterson. Frozen.Frozen

When Bryce Grantham keeps stumbling upon the dead bodies of missing women, Detective Ellie MacIntosh puts her career on the line as she determines whether Bryce is a manipulative, cold-blooded killer or the victim of a twisted madman.

a

a

a

a

a

Jillian Hoffman. Retribution.Retribution

When a distinguished female prosecutor is confronted by the most dangerous predator she has ever encountered, she discovers that she must make a difficult choice between justice and retribution.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Lisa Jackson. Afraid to Die.Afraid to die

Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli investigate after two women’s bodies are found frozen and deliberately displayed with both victims wearing a piece of Selena’s jewelry.

a

a

a

a

a

Jeff Lindsay. Dexter series.Darkly dreaming Dexter : a novel

Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened–of himself or some other fiend.

a

a

a

Alan Jacobson.  7th Victim.The 7th victim : a novel

The Dead Eyes killer lurks in the backyard of the FBI’s famed Behavioral Analysis Unit. His brutal murders, unlike any others previously encountered, confound the local task force, despite the gifted skills of Special Agent Karen Vail, the first female ever promoted to the profiling unit. But along with her keen insight, she brings considerable personal and professional baggage – both of which threaten to derail their investigation. As the Dead Eyes killer grows bolder by the unit’s inability to stop him, Vail discovers that the seventh victim holds the key to all that stirs this killer … the key that will unlock secrets too painful for Vail to beat. Secrets that threaten to destroy her, that could bring down her storied and promising career. For Karen Vail, the truth rests at the heart of a lie. And uncovering it might just get her killed. 

a

Dan Wells. I Don’t Want to Kill You.I don't want to kill you

John Wayne Cleaver has called a demon—literally called it on the phone—and challenged it to a fight. He’s faced two monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. As he wades through the town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of cat and mouse with a supernatural killer, you are always the mouse.

a

a

a

a

Ethan Black. Broken Hearts Club.The Broken Hearts Club

They meet every week in the dingy back room of Mackey’s Steak and Ale Tavern in New York City. An informal group of men with one thing in common: They all suffer the sting of a broken heart. But soon the anger turns to hate. The rejection turns to rage. And the Broken Hearts Club spins violently out of control exploding into murderous acts of vengeance. Named “the richest cop in New York” by the Daily News, a man both intense and chivalrous, Detective Voort is assigned the case, determined to catch an elusive killer who is always one death ahead … who appears to switch identities with each new victim … and who knows how to cover his tracks with cold efficiency. Then Voort falls victim to his own broken heart – his growing anguish threatening to compromise the investigation – as his ex-girlfriend unknowingly becomes the target of a frightening new breed of serial terror. 

a

Thomas Harris. Red Dragon.Red dragon

Will Graham stands in a silent, empty house communing with a killer. An FBI instructor with a gift for hunting madmen, Graham knows what his murderer looks like, how he thinks, and what he did to his victims after they died. Now Graham must try to catch him. But to do it, he must feel the heat of a killer’s brain, draw on the macabre advice of a dangerous mental patient, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and follow a trail of microscopic clues to the place where another family has already been chosen to die–and where an innocent woman has found the Dragon first.

a

a

a

James Patterson. Along Came a Spider.Along came a spider

Washington, D.C., police detective Alex Cross becomes caught up in a kidnapping case that may involve Gary Soneji, a teacher at an elite private school who is also a schizophrenic psychopath and serial murderer.

a

a

a

a

a

James Patterson. Kiss the Girls.Kiss the girls

As two serial killers terrorize different regions of America, the FBI begins to suspect that the two are competing with each other, and Washington, D.C. police detective Alex Cross embarks on a personal quest to find the perpetrators.

a

a

a

a

a

Tess Gerritsen. The Surgeon.The surgeon

Dr. Catherine Cordell, recovering from a brutal attack and hiding her fear behind a mask of professionalism, is the only one that can stop a psychotic killer known as “The Surgeon,” due to his horrific methods of murder, before he kills again.

a

a

a

a

a

Sherman Alexie. Indian Killer.

A murderer is stalking and scalping white men in Seattle. While this so-called Indian Killer terrorizes the city, its Native American population is thrown into turmoil. John Smith, an Indian adopted as a newborn baby into a white family, is increasingly dissatisfied with his life and dreams of the existence he might have led on the reservation – he is gently descending into madness. In his search for connection he meets Marie, a strident young student at the local university who is isolated from her tribe; she is highly educated, but not in her own traditions. Marie is particularly enraged with people such as Jack Wilson, a local ex-cop and now a popular mystery writer who passes himself off as part Indian in a desperate attempt at acceptance. Jack is determined to write about the brutal killings in his next novel, a novel that he believes will truly reveal what it is like to be Indian. With each new murder, the city is gripped by fear, and hate crimes perpetrated by white men against the Native American community grow increasingly violent. As the murderer searches for his latest victim, and the Indian population of Seattle is filled with a strange combination of fear and relief, Indian Killer builds to an unexpected and terrifying climax. 

a

Sandra Brown. Chill Factor.Chill factor

When a serial killer who leaves a blue ribbon at the site of his victims’ last sightings appears in the peaceful town of Cleary, North Carolina, police chief Dutch Burton finds the case complicated by his ex-wife’s disappearance during a blizzard.

a

a

a

a

Robin Cook. Marker.Marker

Investigating a series of deaths that have taken place among seemingly healthy young people after routine surgeries, doctors Montgomery and Stapleton confront institutional politics that prevent them from proving that the deaths were intentional.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s