Michael Connelly is one of the most popular authors within the genre of crime and detective novels.
A multi-award-winning novelist, Michael is the creator of 31 best-selling novels, and perhaps most notably the series that includes fan-favorite character, Harry Bosch.
With over 74 million copies of his books available worldwide and two of his novels being adapted into Hollywood movies, it’s safe to say that Michael has earned his place as one of the greatest authors of a generation.
And of course, you’ll agree with this if you’ve read his crime novels like The Lincoln Lawyer – and if you have, you’ll definitely love reading John Grisham, Nelson Demille, Jeff Lindsay, Harlan Coben, and Jeffrey Deaver just to name a few!
So, ready to find out more about some of these great authors to add to your reading list? Read below and discover some great recommendations.
Books By Michael Connelly
We’ll kick off by taking a look at some of the existing work by Michael Connelly.
As we mentioned earlier, perhaps the best-known series by Michael Connelly includes the highly popular character Harry Bosch, who first appeared in The Black Echo.
However, what makes his story even more intriguing is his past from the Vietnam war.
In this first novel, Bosch must make the decision between what is right objectively and what is right in his heart, choosing either justice or vengeance as he investigates happenings with the FBI.
What is interesting about Connelly’s style of writing is his approach to it.
He’s stated in interviews before that he doesn’t exactly know where he’s going with it, but has somewhat of a hunch.
This is brought out in the pacing of the novels and as a reader, we feel the “hunch” and await the exposure of the answers.
With somewhat of a dark style of writing, we notice some recurring themes in the work of Michael Connelly including the following:
- Past and present
- Retribution vs redemption
- Love and romance
- Good vs evil
So, if you’ve read some of these novels or you like the sound of the work written by Michael Connelly, then it’s time we showed you our picks for authors just like him.
Authors Like Michael Connelly
When it comes to any crime novel, you cannot go much further without talking about John Grisham, who is one of the biggest and most famous authors in the crime genre.
Another great American author, John Grisham has won multiple awards for literature and for works outside of writing.
Perhaps most impressive is the fact he is an author of forty-seven consecutive number-one best sellers!
However, whilst John Grisham’s work is within the same overarching genre and shares some similarities with Michael Connelly’s work, there are some clear differences.
John Grisham’s work is often focused on the legal implications and “courtroom” area of crime, whereas Michael Connelly’s work for the most part is about finding the truth outside of the courtroom.
Having said that, you are hard-pressed to find novels in this genre written by much better writers, and many of the themes that are present within Michael Connelly’s novels are clear to see in John Grisham’s novels, which we will look at in a moment.
Some of the books you should look at written by John Grisham are among the following.
A Time To Kill is a fan favorite, which follows the story of a father whose African-American daughter was beaten and raped by two white supremacists.
This novel was the first in the Jake Brigance series. Much like Connelly, Grisham wrote a series that followed one central character.
Jake however is not a cop, but a highly talented and unorthodox lawyer.
- The novel keeps you guessing as to whether justice will prevail
- Great pacing throughout
- Touches upon very important things in our society today
- Whilst it is still in the crime genre, it’s much more focused on the justice system and legal aspects of cases, rather than detective work
Themes: Crime, family, retribution, racism, right vs wrong
Jeff Lindsay is an author that might not be as especially famous as Michael Connelly or John Grisham, but one of his best-selling novels was adapted to the small screen which saw multiple more copies being sold rapidly – Darkly, Dreaming Dexter.
As a crime novelist, many of Jeff’s novels are similar to that of Michael Connelly’s, but it is the Dexter series that is by far the most popular and more in-line with Connelly’s work – but it’s worth noting Lindsay wrote nonfiction books about his uncle-in-law Ernest Hemingway!
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the first in the Dexter series and it follows Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter analyst at Miami Police Department who helps to solve horrendous crimes, but also holds a dark secret of being a psychopathic serial killer.
- Very similar to Connelly’s Bosch series
- Tense read wondering if or when the character will be caught
- Fantastic character development
- Can be a little too dark for some readers
Themes: Love, psychopathy, crime, murder, false identity
Nelson Demille is an American author who is best known for his suspenseful and action-packed novels.
He has written various series’ of character-focused novels, but one of the most popular follows John Corey.
John Corey is a former homicide detective who was forced to retire from the NYPD due to three gunshot wounds.
However, John moved over to the FBI and works with the anti-terrorist task force.
He was first introduced to us in the highly acclaimed Plum Island, the name of which is borrowed from the Northern Long Island that our hero must investigate during the novel, whilst discovering himself and understanding other characters.
- Follows a very intriguing character
- Interesting pacing that rapidly alters between two extremes
- Can be a little difficult to keep up with “who is who” sometimes
Themes: Crime, mystery, dark history, substance abuse, love
Jeffrey Deaver is an American crime and mystery novelist who has written many highly acclaimed novels, but arguably his most popular series is the Lincoln Rhyme series which includes huge titles such as The Bone Collector.
The series follows the protagonist Lincoln Rhyme who used to be known as one of the world’s most renowned criminologists and forensic investigators, but due to an awful accident, he was sidelined – until a deadly serial killer forced him out of retirement.
The series is very fast-paced and you feel an affinity with the protagonist to not only find the person responsible for such horrific events but also to get back to the former glory that got him his name in the first place.
- Lightning paced
- Keeps you guessing
- Connects you to the characters
- Short stories often get interwoven into the work which can get a little confusing at times
Themes: Crime, mystery, past glory, redemption, power
The final addition to our list is an American crime and mystery writer who recently has seen his works take huge center stage on Netflix, due to the streaming service acquiring the adaptation rights for several novels.
He was the first author to win all three of the Edgar, Seamus, and Anthony awards.
Now, while Coben has written a few character-focused series, arguably his best work is shown through his standalone novels – and from these, probably The Stranger is best.
It follows the story of Adam Price who seemingly has a great life. A wife, a great house, a great job, and two sons.
However, his life is turned upside down when the stranger arrives who informs him of mysterious secrets which turn out to be true.
The novel has Adam trying to discover the truth of these secrets, along with who this mysterious stranger is and what her motives are, uncovering dark events along the way.
- Easy to follow
- Twists and turns
- Slow start
Themes: Mystery, intrigue, infidelity, family, broken relationships
So there we have it! If you’re a huge fan of Michael Connelly’s style of writing and the intrigue that comes along with crime and mystery – we hope these authors can fill the void for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Read Character Series Chronologically?
Absolutely – it can get very confusing otherwise, so try to start with the first entry.
How Many Books Has Connelly Sold?
Worldwide, Michael Connelly has sold around 80 million copies of his books.