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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Alternatives for Baldacci and Patterson

David Baldacci comes out with The Forgotten on November 20 and James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge give us Merry Christmas, Alex Cross on November 12. Most people who like those two authors, are already waiting for the title. If you are on the list for it or if you want to read something while you are waiting, I have a few suggestions. These authors are what I call on the B list. They aren't quite as popular but in many cases, perhaps they should be. In fact, one of the ones I am going to suggest, is my favorite author. So....if you are looking for suggestions try one or two of the ones below.

Stephen J. Cannell (now deceased) wrote character driven, fast-paced, suspenseful stories. His most recentt, Vigilante, came out in Dec of 2011. It is part of his series featuring LAPD detective Shane Scully. This story about the death of a political activist who frequently filed law suits against the police department hurtles toward its climax. It is well plotted and smartly paced.

Harlan Coben (my favorite) is gaining popularity with each title. He writes fast paced, compelling suspense stories. His latest, Stay Close, came out in March of 2012. Three people--a suburban housewife, a talented documentary photographer, and a detective--living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past doesn't recede    I think the reason I like Coben so much is that he write with wit and irony and he keeps you on edge for the whole book. Really an author that is hard to put down once you start.

Ridley Pearson is another author who specializes in fast-paced, plot-driven mysteries. You might want to start reading him at the first in his Walt Fleming series, Killer Weekend. 8 years after saving the life of a U.S. attorney general, Fleming is the county sheriff in Sun Valley, Idaho. He finds himself once again protecting the high-profile politician, now a presidential hopeful, during a billionaire's communications conference.

Phillip Margolin is a retired attorney. His titles though are a far distance from Grisham's. Margolin's are plot driven and fast paced. His most recent is Capitol Murder which just came out in April of 2012. It is the third in his Dana Cutler and Brad Miller series. Dana is the private detective and Brad Miller an attorney and they are brought back together when a convicted serial killer they put away, escapes. This author is for those who are really focused on plot and may overlook standard characterizations.

Finally, Robert Crais writes hardboiled mystery in his Elvis Cole series. He develops engaging plots and well-developed characters with a clean, terse style. There is humor in these titles also. His latest, Taken, came out in January of 2012. The daughter of a wealthy businesswomen and the daughter's boyfriend are kidnapped. The mother hires Cole and Joe Pike to determine if it is a fake kidnapping. Cole finds that they have in fact been kidnapped by professional border thieves but in the process gets himself taken also. Pike is left to rescue all three.

Hopefully, you will find something you like in one of these authors. Enjoy!

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