Detective and mystery stories

Cul-de-sac

By David Martin

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"Once the scene of a grisly murder, Paul and Annie Milton bought the dilapidated mansion known as Cul-de-Sac to restore it. But strange things are happening at the old house: Paul and Annie are being stalked, and Paul is slowly losing his mind--yet he refuses to leave. Ex-cop Teddy Camel begins to investigate the mystery surrounding Cul-de-Sac, starting with the violent killing that took place there seven years before. And what he and Annie uncover--about a high-level cover-up, a family with dark and expensive secrets, and a furlowed prisoner bent on exacting his own brand of horrific justice--will chill them to the core...and could very well kill them all."
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Blind Judgement

By Grif Stockley

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Taking on a client accused of murder, Gideon Page returns to his hometown in Bear Creek, Arkansas. There he realizes his own memories are more complicated and treacherous than he imagined. In the midst of wrestling with an angry judge and a terrifying proficient prosecutor, he begins to fall in love with the woman he left behind a lifetime ago, and must face the man who destroyed his family's business and his mother's life.

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The Surgeon

By Tess Gerritsen

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"He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer's methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him 'The Surgeon.'

"The cops' only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and a well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.

"Cordell's careful facade is about to crack as this new killer recreates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell's own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands--and savors--the secret fears of every woman he kills."

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Sleepyhead

By Mark Billingham

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Dear Detective Inspector Thorne. What can I say? Practice makes perfect. And don't you just envy her that perfect...distance? I invite you to consider the concept of freedom. True freedom. Have you ever really considered it? I'm sorry about the others. Truly. I shall not insult your intelligence with platitudes about ends and means but offer in mitigation the thought that a massive undertaking often has an appropriate margin of error. It's all about pressure, Detective Inspector Thorne, but then you'd know all about that. Seriously, though, Tom, maybe I'll call you sometime.

"Mark Billingham's arresting debut novel Sleepyhead, an international bestseller, is a mesmerizing, psychological thriller. Tense and unnerving, this menacing tale of obsession is as scathingly witty as it is bone chilling, and it introduces a stunning new talent in detective fiction.

"Alison Willetts is unlucky to be alive. She has survived a deliberately induced stroke, and although she can see, hear, and feel, she is completely unable to move or to communicate. In leaving Alison alive, the police believe her assailant has made his first mistake. Until Detective Inspector Tom Thorne discovers the horrifying truth: Alison is the psychopath's first success; the three women he killed before her were the mistakes. 'An appropriate margin of error' is how their killer dismissed them; his true intention was to leave them just like Alison: put to sleep for the rest of their natural lives. And Thorne knows they won't be his last victims. To save innocent lives, he must find a criminal whose agenda is terrifyingly unique. But this untraceable, sadistic madman is smart, elusive, and cryptic -- he enjoys toying with the police almost as much as he savors pursuing his sick fantasy -- and the only lead Thorne has is the tragically uncommunicative Alison."

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Rules of Prey

By John Sandford

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"The murderer was intelligent. He was a member of the bar. He derived rules based on professional examination of actual cases: Never kill anyone you know. Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used. Beware of leaving physical evidence. There were more. He built them into a challenge. He was mad, of course . . . .

"It is after the third murder that Lucas Davenport is called in. It is the opinion of his colleagues that everything about the lieutenant is a little different, and they are right – in the computer games he invents and sells, in the Porsche he drives to work, in the quality of the women he attracts, in his single-minded pursuit of justice. The only member of the department's Office of Special Intelligence, Davenport prefers to work alone, parallel with Homicide, and there is something about this serial killer that he quickly understands.

"The man who signs himself 'maddog' in taunting notes to the police is no textbook sociopath; he has a perverse playfulness that makes him kill for the sheer contest of it. He is a player. Which means that Davenport will have to put all his mental strength – and physical courage – on the line to learn to think like the killer. For the only way to beat the maddog is at his own hellish game. . ."

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Nine

By Jan Burke

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"When a brutal felon on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list turns up dead in Los Angeles County, few mourn him; in fact, the public begins to cheer his unknown assailants as heroes. But as more brutalized corpses of fugitive outlaws are found, Sheriff's Homicide Detective Alex Brandon knows that the vigilante group the public has nicknamed 'The Exterminators' may be far more ruthless and sadistic than its victims. The corpses bear eerie similarities to victims of a serial killer investigated by Brandon ten years ago."
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Cold, Cold Heart

By James Elliott

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"He's a Russian defector given a new life in America by the U.S. government. Now he's exploded into violence--driven by a mad lust to kill young women. An embarrassed CIA knows it must stop him--and that only one man can do the job. But former agent Mike Culley is in prison, sold out by his bosses, stripped of his family and everything he holds dear.

"Now they'll free him: to hunt down a killer before he kills again. The CIA has betrayed Culley once. It won't happen again. He will find his man. And with the help of a beautiful reporter, he'll bring him down. But suddenly the rules change. Culley's target has answered back: snatching the one person who means more to Mike Culley than life itself."

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Blood Work

By Michael Connelly

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"Thanks to a heart transplant, former FBI agent Terril McCaleb is enjoying a quiet retirement, renovating the fishing boat he lives on in Los Angeles Harbor. But McCaleb's calm seas turn choppy when a story in the 'What Happened To?' column of the Los Angeles Times brings him face-to-face with the sister of the woman whose heart now beats in his chest. From her McCaleb learns a terrible truth: that the donor of his heart was not killed in an accident, as he'd been told, but was murdered.

"Wracked with guilt over the fact that he's alive because another human being was slain, McCaleb springs into action. Reactivating his FBI connections and his expertise in crime scene interpretation, he embarks on a private investigation of his donor's murder -- a search that leads him to a crime more horrific than anything he ever encountered as a serial killer investigator for the FBI."

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1st to Die

By James Patterson

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"Imagine a killer who thinks, 'What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?'--and then goes far beyond it. Now imagine four women --a police detective, an assistant DA, a reporter, and a medical examiner --who join forces as they sidestep their bosses to track down criminals. Known as the Women's Murder Club, they are pursuing a murderer whose twisted imagination has stunned an entire city. Their chief suspect is a socially prominent writer, but the men in charge won't touch him. On the trail of the most terrifying and unexpected killer ever, they discover a shocking surprise that turns everything about the case upside down."
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The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper

I am a hopeless romantic, so of course I fell in love with Sarah Addison Allen’s charming books. She writes adult fairy tales where love is worth the risks. Pack her four novels in your beach bag and enjoy. The books are magical. The Peach Keeper, her latest work, is about what happens when secrets come out in the open. Walls of Water, North Carolina, has strange breezes that sound like whispers of secrets. Regret haunts the main characters and smells like lemons. 

Twins Colin and Paxton Osgood, Willa Jackson, and Sebastian Rogers all went to high school together. They were known as the Princess, the Stick Man, the Joker and the Freak.  Happiness has eluded all of them.  Paxton Osgood is thirty years old, unmarried, and living at home, and president of the Women’s Society Club. Colin has run away from Walls of Water, his rigid ways, and his heritage. Willa has settled for a quiet life running a sporting goods store and doing laundry regularly every Friday night. Sebastian, now a dentist, has come back home but must face his difficult past.