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I love mysteries that are definitely NOT cozy. I love 'em with some grit and intelligence. Here are a few of my favorites that I don't think are quite as mainstream as authors like Patterson or Michael Connelly:
John Connolly (Charlie "Bird" Parker series)
Ken Bruen (Jack Taylor series)
Michael Harvey (The Chicago Way)
Adam Baron (SuperJack)
G M Ford (Frank Corso series)
Harry Hunsicker (Lee Henry Oswald series)
Declan Hughes (Ed Loy Series)
Kris Nelscott (Smokey Dalton Series)
Wallace Stroby (Barbed Wire Kiss...could you find a better title???)
Dan Simmons (the Joe Kurtz books 1, 2 &3...Hardcase, Hard Freeze and Hard as Nails)
These are only a few of my favorites...anyone else like to pass on suggestions?
I am more of a science fiction guy...so maybe it shouldn't be any surprise that Isaac Asimov is my favorite mystery author. His book A Whiff of Death is probably my favorite. In fact I think I like it better than any of his SF, and it is definitely not a cozy :p
Oh gosh - don't get me started!!! LOL Let's see:
1. Mary Willis Walker - hometown gal whose books are all set in Austin, TX
2. David Wiltse
3. Stephen White
4. Jeffrey Deaver
5. Greg Iles
6. Alex Kava
7. Chelsea Cain - Heart Sick and Sweetheart are FABULOUS
8. Carroll O'Connell
9. P. J. Tracy
10. F. Paul Wilson
11. Ridley Pearson
etc. etc. etc.
Would John Sanford count? I just started his "Prey" series.
Lately I find myself drawn more toward the hard boilded and /or gritty types of mysteries. I gave cozies a fair shot but they just don't hold my attention anymore.
Denise Mina!! I just read "Field of Blood" and I'm waiting on the second in that series. Her other series is the "Garnet Hill" series. Her books are set in Glasgow, Scotland. Beautifully written and NOT for the faint of heart. Very gritty.
How about trying a non-fiction mystery? For instance, My Dark Places by James Ellroy. He was 10 years old in 1958 when his mother was murdered, and in this book he describes how it affected his life by sending him on a very dark downward spiral. He also chronicles his attempt, years and years later, to solve the mystery. The book is very gritty and "noir", and might open you up to the true life genre. (And it's on my bookshelf, if you're interested!)
I think T. Jefferson Parker is vastly under appreciated. Really good writer. John Sandford would definitely be in this class, esp. his early ones.
Otherwise mine have been mentioned.
Oops, guess I'm not done .... I'd also add Jo Bannister, another English writer that gets very gritty and Lee Child, Jeff Abbott. Nevada Barr can get pretty gritty but milder than these others--still excellent.