Book picks similar to
Ghosts by Ed McBain


The Red Scream

Mary Willis Walker - 1994
    Now on death row, Louie's sentence is about to be carried out. Molly will be there as a witness, and she wants to write about it, the final coda to Louie's story. But suddenly, she's being strongly discouraged by her boss at the Lone Star Monthly and by Charlie McFarland, the millionaire real estate developer whose first wife, Tiny, was Bronk's most famous victim and the only one whose murder is a capital offense. Then Molly starts to receive dark hints that Louie may not have killed Tiny after all. There is another murder following Louis's M.O. one he could not have committed. The veracity of Molly's book is threatened and then her very life. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Molly realizes that by attempting to save Louis she is putting her own life on the line, and discrediting her own work. Mary Willis Walker brings a lusty new voice to the mystery scene. Already recognized for her first novel, she has now created a character just cheeky and gusty enough to take her place among the top ranks of female protagonists such as Kinsey Millhone and Kay Scarpetta.

Sleep Tight

Anne Frasier - 2003
    DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?He's looking for the perfect woman. Someone who won't disappoint him, like so many have before. Someone who'll love him ... someone who won't have to die for her mistakes.GIVE UP, LITTLE DARLING....FBI agent Mary Cantrell has been called to Minneapolis to hunt down a killer. Her reluctant return home is shaking her to the core, reviving dreadful memories. Years ago, her best friend was murdered. Now the man convicted of the crime, Gavin Hitchcock, is free--and Mary's own sister, Gillian, a local cop, has befriended him.NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM BUT ME.As each clue to the new killings leads them closer to Hitchcock, Mary and Gillian put their differences aside and set themselves up as the perfect target--and the perfect trap. Unless Mary's own past has blinded her to an unimaginable truth ... and will plunge them into a waking nightmare....

Inspector Morse: The Complete Collection

Colin Dexter - 2002

Dead Before Dying

Deon Meyer - 2001
    Three men who have nothing in common are found murdered, and the string of vicious killings pushes the city toward panic. Captain Mat Joubert is left scrambling for answers in a case that might be his last chance to prove that his life's slow spiral will not pull him under. DEAD BEFORE DYING is a heart-racing thriller about a troubled detective determined to find the single thread that weaves together what is otherwise just an assortment of strangers, dead by the same hand.

The Murder Code

Steve Mosby - 2012
    However horrific the act, the reasons behind a crime are usually easy to explain. So when a woman is found bludgeoned to death, he suspects a crime of passion and attention focuses on her possessive ex-husband. But when a second body is found, similarly beaten, Hicks is forced to think again.When more murders arrive in quick succession, Hicks realizes he is dealing with a type of killer he has never faced before, one who fits nowhere within his logic. Then the letters begin to arrive . . .As the death toll rises, Hicks must face not only a killer obsessed with randomness and chaos, but also a secret in his own past. If he is to stop the killings, he must confront the truth about himself . . .

Ice Shear

M.P. Cooley - 2014
    A former FBI agent, she ditched the Bureau when her husband died, and now she and her young daughter are back in upstate New York, living with her father, the town’s retired chief of police.When June discovers a young woman’s body impaled on an ice shear in the frozen Mohawk River, news of the murder spreads fast; the dead girl was the daughter of a powerful local Congresswoman, and her troubled youth kept the gossips busy.Though June was born and raised in Hopewell Falls, the local police see her as an interloper—resentment that explodes in anger when the FBI arrive and deputize her to work on the murder investigation. But June may not find allies among the Feds. The agent heading the case is someone from her past—someone she isn’t sure she can trust.As June digs deeper, an already fraught case turns red-hot when it leads to a notorious biker gang and a meth lab hidden in plain sight—and an unmistakable sign that the river murder won’t be the last.

Open Season

Archer Mayor - 1988
    Joe Gunther of the Brattleboro, Vermont police force has a serious problem: in a community where a decade could pass without a single murder, the body count is suddenly mounting. Innocent citizens are being killed—and others set-up—seemingly orchestrated by a mysterious ski-masked man. Signs suggest that a three year-old murder trial might lie at the heart of things, but it’s a case that many in the department would prefer remained closed. A man of quiet integrity, Lt. Gunther knows that he must pursue the case to its conclusion, wherever it leads.Open Season is the first of Archer Mayor’s twenty-three Joe Gunther novels, a series of gripping police procedurals set in New England, where small-town charm, stoicism and civility sometimes conceal brutal truths.

Probable Cause

Ridley Pearson - 1990
    Carmel's lone police detective, he had hoped his new post would ease the memories of his wife's death . . . until the man he blames for it appears -- hot on the heels of an ingeniously disguised murder. Shackled by a web of red tape and corruption, Dewitt now fights desperately to solve a string of murders cleverly staged to look like suicides. Submerged in the deranged world of the psychopathic mind, Dewitt struggles to outwit the killer -- the man they call the trapper -- before it's too late.

City of Fire

Robert Ellis - 2007
    Best-case scenario for lead detective Lena Gamble: Nikki Brant’s husband killed her, case closed.Unfortunately for Lena, she knows that best-case scenarios only happen in the movies. The murder is only the first in a series of brutal crimes against beautiful women thought to be perpetrated by the same man, a serial killer dubbed Romeo in the press. It’s the case of a lifetime, and promises to either elevate Lena to the upper echelons of a publicity-hungry LAPD in need of heroes, or bring about a very public and painful fall from grace. Lena has been in the public eye before, on the night her rock-star brother was gunned down on a dark street in Hollywood--an unsolved murder so grisly she’s never recovered.As the investigation plays out and a massive forest fire blankets the city with acrid smoke, a cloud of conspiracy descends on Lena’s investigation, and she knows she’ll have to grind this one out . . . because Nikki Brant’s death just breathed new life into more than one closed case . . . because the web of conspiracy is spun more intricately than she can possibly imagine . . . and because Lena knows there’s only one rock solid rule to murder in L.A.: the deeper you dig, the darker it gets.

The Girls Next Door

Mel Sherratt - 2016
    Only four will come out alive.Six months after the stabbing of sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more? Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mountford, goes missing, the case gets personal. With the kidnapper threatening Jess’s life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?

The Last Detective

Peter Lovesey - 1991
    To solve the "Lady of the Lake" mystery, and save a woman unjustly accused, Sussex Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond must find two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen, and defy his superiors.

Scarecrow (Danny Sanchez, #1)

Matthew Pritchard - 2013
    You things always do. Now it’s time for us to part.’ He watched, expressionless, as the thing raised a feeble arm; then he released a handle on the winch. The thing slumped, disappeared into the foot wide gap between the walls. He turned to the pile of loose bricks, looking for his trowel... – from ScarecrowWhen Danny Sanchez, a hard-bitten journalist working in the Almeria region of Spain is sent to cover the demolition of the home of a retired expat couple, he lands a much bigger – and more grisly – story than he bargained for. As the diggers begin to tear down the house, a body, partially decomposed, its face swathed in a strange black sheath, is suddenly revealed dangling in the depths of the brickwork…From the deeply sinister opening pages, Scarecrow draws the reader down an inexorable, tortuous path of discovery and into the gruesome activities of a serial killer so depraved it almost defies comprehension. Via thuggish cowboy builders, a missing drug-addicted teenage boy, and a house with a stinking secret wall, Danny’s scoop of a lifetime becomes a personal crusade to snare the elusive murderer. Alternating between Spain and England, the story takes us into the mind of the complex, highly driven Danny. An expert at ferreting out information from even the most recalcitrant of contacts, this skilled journalist will stop at nothing, even risking his own life, to find the answers that have escaped the authorities for decades.Moving with a Chandleresque efficiency, the narrative is compelling and full of unexpected but highly credible twists; the dialogue stark and often harsh. Pritchard’s mastery lies in the psychology of his characters, his vivid descriptive abilities and his subtle pacing. An essential read for anyone who relishes burning the midnight oil with a superlatively terrifying crime novel, Scarecrow will keep the reader guessing right to the end.

Eleven Days

Donald Harstad - 1998
    But all that changes the day Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman's dispatcher receives the terrifying 911 call. The day cops find the mutilated bodies at a remote farmhouse. The first of eleven days Carl will never forget.As hotshot investigators fly in from New York, Carl and his fellow cops use old-fashioned detective work to piece together clues. But to turn suspicions into suspects, Carl must search among his closest friends to find a killer who has shocked and bewildered cops who'd thought they'd seen it all. And before it's over, Carl will be forced into an unrelenting spiral of chaos, coming face-to-face with evil he never dreamed could exist in Maitland...or anywhere else.

The Last Good Place

Robin Burcell - 2015
    She’s also the author of award-winning thrillers. Now she uses that unparalleled experience to reboot Carolyn Weston’s groundbreaking series of books, which were the basis for the hit TV show "The Streets of San Francisco." Sgt. Al Krug and his younger, college-educated partner Casey Kellog are investigating a string of strangulation killings when another victim is found at the Presidio…but a surprising, violent incident at the crime scene makes them wonder if everything is what it seems. The two miss-matched cops, with sharply conflicting approaches to detective work, are under intense pressure to get results. It’s a race-against-the-clock investigation that propels them into the deadly intersection of politics, real estate, media and vice… the fertile, fog-shrouded killing field of a ruthless murderer."Robin Burcell has expertly updated the Krug & Kellog series for old and new readers alike. She knows her stuff and puts it to good use in this entertaining and authentic police procedural." —Alafair Burke, New York Times Bestselling Author of All Day and a Night"The Last Good Place is a fabulous reboot of a beloved classic. With smart, clever writing and an elegant plot, Robin Burcell has nailed it. All hail the reincarnation of Krug and Kellog." —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of What Lies Behind

Spider's Web

Mike Omer - 2016
    He stalks and murders young women seemingly at random, and he always warns them first… Twenty year old Kendele Byers is savagely killed and buried in a shallow grave. She had a violent past, a bizarre kinky line of work, and the suspect list grows longer every day. But when another woman is murdered, Detective Mitchell Lonnie realizes that there’s something much more sinister afoot, a connection between the two murders. Both victims had received a clue hinting their incoming demise several minutes before they were attacked. There’s a serial killer in Glenmore Park. Even worse, he seems to be accelerating his murder pace. Now Mitchell and his partner need to locate the killer before more innocent women die. But when his sister gets involved, Mitchell’s focus begins to unravel. Soon his pursuit becomes personal, and the stakes rise very high… Fans of Angela Marsons, Michael Connelly and Peter James will be hooked by this new police mystery novel