Discussion Forums - Mystery & Thrillers

Topic: Stand Alone Books

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Stand Alone Books
Date Posted: 3/24/2010 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 40
Back To Top

I am going to have a week off in a couple of weeks.  I would like to read a few good books.  I absolutely cannot stand to read a series out of order.  I have a strong need to read them from first to last--IN ORDER!  :)


Can anyone give me some good recommendations for stand alone books that they have enjoyed?  I don't mind getting recommendations for series as well, but I just figure that I probably already have them on my list, or I have already read the series.  But, who knows, I might find a new series that I like!


I would just love to pick up a book that I can't put down! 

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
Back To Top

What are some of your current favorite authors? And are you looking for cozies or more page count than that? any preferences to what kinds of mystery/thriller u r looking for?

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
Back To Top

Two that I really liked were Eye of the Needle by Follet and The Shadow of the Wind by Zafon.

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
Back To Top

Harlan Coben has several stand alones.  I enjoyed them, though not as well as his series.


James Patterson has a few stand alone books. His latest Worst Case is pretty good.


I totally get the reading a series on order, I am obsessive about it.

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 40
Back To Top

I like a little bit of everything.  I like Jeffery Deaver, Patricia Cornwell's earlier books, James Patterson, Kathy Reichs, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, Robert Parker, John Grisham, Diane Mott Davidson, Lisa Scottoline, Alex Kava, Harlan Coben, Leslie Glass, Karin Slaughter...

I have read most of the books from the above authors.  I will have to check out James Patterson's latest.  I haven't read that one yet.  Thanks for the reminder. 

I like some cozies, but really am not in the mood for anything like that right now.  I would love to read something really suspenseful!


Melani--I really like Harlan Coben.  His books have lots of twists and turns.

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2009
Posts: 59
Back To Top

Have you read "Honeymoon" by James Patterson.  It is a stand alone and it is great, one of his books that you can hardly put down until you finish it.

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
Back To Top

You could try "A Reliable Wife" by Robert Goolrick.  You won't be able to put it down.  (I warn you that it is rather steamy.)

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
Back To Top

I like most of the authors you mentioned and I would suggest Greg Iles.  My favorites of his being 24 Hours, which was the basis for the movie Trapped, and The Quiet Game, which is the first book in the Penn Cage series.  Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill was very suspenseful if a bit creepy.  Some older books that you may have read:  Intensity by Dean Koontz. (The name says it all.)  Silent Witness by Richard North Patterson.  Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow.

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
Back To Top

The Quiet Game is one of my all time favorite books (altho the last one he wrote was a bit too disturbing - even for me!)  Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane would be perfect, I also love Nelson Demille - The Gold Coast is another one of my favorites...

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 3/25/2010 7:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,911
Back To Top

I hate reading a series out of order the only one I can do that with is Aaron Elkins. Love his stuff. I good stand alone book a read recently is the Given Day by Dennis Lehane, set in 1918 Boston.


Date Posted: 3/25/2010 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
Back To Top

I will second the Greg Isles, I love the Penn Cage series, but to me Blood Memory was the most intense and Black Cross was the most moving and intense historical book I have ever read. I still think about it today.  Nelson Demille, I love his John Corey character and my fav is The Lion's Game.

I will also recommend Michael Palmer if you want a good medical mystery and they are all good. John Lescroat is a good one and even though his character Dismas Hardy has several books, they don't have to be read in order and in fact his first books weren't very well written, IMO. Two of my favs are Nothing But The Truth and The 13th Juror. Gregg Hurwitz is a good one, but his Tim and Dray Rackley series really need to be read in order, they are well worth it, although the first book, The Kill Clause is gut-wrenching to say the least. He does have a fav standalone that I would recommend and that is Do No Harm

Another good author that doesn't get much airplay is Tim Downs, his Nick Polchak is a wonderful quirky guy that solves crimes through the study of entomology(like a CSI, only better), so if you have a weak stomach u might not like the series. Start out with Shoe-Fly Pie to get a feel for the series, they are all my favs. Last but not least is Carl Hiassen, all his books are standalones and they are all really good. If I had to pick a fave it would be Sick Puppy, but I haven't read all of his yet. Happy Reading! :-)

Last Edited on: 3/25/10 2:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/25/2010 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2008
Posts: 48
Back To Top

I totally get the need to read books in order.  I am fanatical about it.  I have to agree with the recommendation of Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.  I recently read  the book and really enjoyed it.  I have not seen the movie yet but I would like to.  I have read most of James Patterson's stand alones and like most of them as well as Harlen Coben.  One of my favorite stand alones is The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen.  It was the first Tess Gerritsen book that I read.  I immediately requested her Rizzoli/Isles series after that. 

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 40
Back To Top

Thanks so much for all of the recommendations.  This should be really helpful when I go to the library.  Now I won't be wandering aimlessly just picking books off of the shelf!! 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 3/27/2010 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
Back To Top

I thought P J Tracy's Monkeewrench was suspensful.  It is a series and Monkeewrench is the first.  I was hooked immediately and for the first time read the series close together.  I didn't want to get burned out reading them so I seldom read a series one after another but this one was close.

Date Posted: 3/27/2010 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

If you like historical mysteries:

I liked The Fig Eater by Jodi Shields and The Anatomy of Deception by Lawrence Goldstone.

Date Posted: 4/1/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 40
Back To Top

I am reading The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen.  It is really good so far.  Thanks for the rec.

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
Back To Top

While I didn't like the Joe Pickett series by CJ Box, I just read Three Weeks to say Goodbye (a standalone) and liked it a lot.  Any of Harlan Coben's standalones are great, and Jeffrey Deaver also has had a couple of standalones - Praying for Sleep, Speaking in Tongues, Devil's Teardrop to name a few.

John Lescroat has a couple of books about a new hero, The Hunt Club was the first, and Treasure Hunt (which I just finished) is the second.  Good stuff!

I also loved The Bone Garden.