***Sara Henry – Learning to Swim (2011); When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking to save him, only to find he is mute except to give his name. (A Cold and Lonely Place–2012). Stand alones.
***Robert Harris – The Fear Index (2011); in the world of high finance, the fear index tracks human emotions for profit. Ingenious thriller. (The Ghost –2007). Stand alones.
***Steve Hamilton — – A Cold Day in Paradise (2000); series character Alex McKnight. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula cop retires after being wounded. Lots of Native American plot lines.
***Taylor Stevens – The Informationalist (2011); Vanessa Munroe Series –Munroe searches for a woman who vanished in Africa. Wonderfully strong female heroine.
Barbara Vine/ Ruth Rendell — In addition to police procedurals starring Chief Inspector Wexford, Rendell is the queen of psychological crime novels. Dark but quality writing. A Judgment in Stone (2000). Stand alones.
Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl (2012); brilliant thriller about a missing wife and a marriage gone wrong. (Sharp Objects –2006)
***S.J. Watson – Before I Go To Sleep (2011); what if you lost your memory every time you went to sleep? And you found a note saying not to trust your husband?
***Lee Child – Killing Floor (1997); start from the beginning with 17 Jack Reacher novels about an ex-military policeman who roams the US trying to help the little guy.
Laura Lippman — What the Dead Know (2009); after fleeing a car accident, a middle-aged woman with no ID refuses to reveal her identity, insisting that she is the younger of two sisters who disappeared in 1975. Several good stand alones.
***Harlan Coben – Play Dead (1990); Terrible secrets lead basketball star to fake his death while honeymooning in the tropics. Eleven excellent stand alone thrillers.
Dennis Lehane — Mystic River (2001); both a murder mystery and a novel of character. This thriller covers grief, sin, hope and the lack of hope, the importance of family ties and the countless ways the past touches the present. (Shutter Island, 2003)
CJ Box — Open Season (2001); Wyoming game warden.
***Nevada Barr — Track of the Cat (1993); Law enforcement park ranger Anna Pigeon; each book takes place in different National Park with wonderful local color.
Paula Hawkins — The Girl on the Train (2015); stand alone high drama– woman with psychological issues sees murder from a train window.