Help, please?

Hello everybody. You guys were extremely helpful when I asked for international author recommendations, so I figured I’d ask for your help with something else. If you have a moment, I’d like your help with an ongoing project of mine. In an attempt to broaden my horizons, I’ve been reading many firsts in series and new-to-me authors. My favorite genres are dark literary fiction and literary horror, but I enjoy thrillers and action novels as well. Please no horror for horror’s sake. I’ve had my fill of the Edward Lee’s of the writing world and numerous Laymon clones. I tend to stay away from paranormal suspense and urban fantasy, but I’ve been known to dabble in both. Loved the first two Sandman Slim books. I cannot stand romance of any kind. I told you all that not because I’m filling out an application for a reader-targeted dating site, but because I want to narrow down my search criteria. 


I’m looking for bestselling authors I have not read before. Below, I have a list of authors I’ve tried or plan to try over the next year. I’ve marked the ones that I didn’t enjoy or have burned out on. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comment section. 


Oh, and to be clear about romance, I’m talking about romance as the main storyline. You know, bodice-rippers and straight-laced love stories. If the thriller/horror/lit fic your posting has a romantic subplot, I’m cool with that. But please, don’t let romance be the only thing going on. I don’t care for erotica either.


Any and all help is greatly appreciated. 


J.K. Rowling (Liked two out of seven Potter books, but I’ll be reading her Strike series)

Dean Koontz (His last ten books were horrible, and I’ve read everything else)

Stephen King (Read everything he’s written aside from his latest collection)

Robert Ludlum

James Patterson (Hate is not a strong enough word)

John Grisham

Dan Brown

Michael Crichton

Clive Cussler (This guy is just as bad as Patterson)

Ken Follett

Jim Butcher

Paulo Coelho

David Baldacci

Robin Cook

Mary Higgins Clark

Patricia Cromwell

Tom Clancy

Tami Hoag

Kathy Reichs

Brandon Sanderson

Janet Evanovich

John Sanford

Jeffery Deaver

Michael Connelly

Nelson DeMille

Greg Iles

Seth Grahame-Smith

Dennis Lehane

Jo Nesbø

Chuck Palahniuk

Sue Grafton

Robert R. McCammon

Peter Straub

Clive Barker (Amazingly talented writer, but I can rarely finish his books)


Thanks in advance!


*hugs and high fives*





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9 thoughts on “Help, please?

  1. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. Definitely recommended. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher are pretty good, and the closest thing to fantasy that I will read now.

    Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures, Thieves World.

    Anything by Carlton Mellick. Start with the Assgoblins of Auschwitz for an immediate education.

    Have you ever tried any pulp adventures? Like the Shadow, Doc Savage, Green Lama, or the Avenger? They’re a bit dated, but usually well written and decent adventure tales.

    1. I’ve read quite a bit of Mellick. THE MENSTRUATING MALL and the BABY JESUS BUTT PLUG come to mind. The only pulp adventure stuff I’ve read is the Edward S. Aaron ASSIGNMENT series.

      I’ll definitely check out Robert Asprin. Thanks, Rich.

  2. So are you asking for recommendations of books for those listed, other authors to consider, or both?

    Until a few years ago I’d read everything Grisham had written. As with any author who writes in a specific subgenre (legal thriller is where he made his bones) there is a tendency for them to start to feel like there is a formula. (I’ve always said “if you like the formula, that isn’t a problem. A bazillion romance fans agree with me.) However, the one exception is “A Time to Kill” which was his first. In some ways, it’s not as good, as in the writing is a bit rougher, but I also think it has something (maybe more passion coming through?) and is also a plot I think you’d like.

    As for someone to consider, while the genre isn’t one you mention (I’ll call it “comedic crime”) one of my all time favorite authors who was definitely a bestseller in his time in Donald Westlake. Any of the Dortmunder series would be a good place to start.


  3. If you’re looking for dark, take Janet Evanovich off your list. If you insist on reading the Stephanie Plum books, borrow one from the library and reread 20 times. You’ll have read the series.

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