Authors Like Tana French (18 Book Recommendations)

Are you looking for an author who brings the complexity of human emotions to their stories? Do you love detective fiction and suspense?

Authors Like Tana French (18 Book Recommendations)

Tana French is one of the most acclaimed authors in today’s literary world.

She has gained international recognition for her captivating mystery novels set in Ireland.

Her works have been compared to those of J. K. Rowling, John Grisham, and Agatha Christie.

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers and cleverly crafted stories, then Tana French is the perfect author for you.

In this article, we will introduce some authors like Tana French who bring magic to their writing with vivid characters and gritty plots that keep readers hooked till the end.

If you’re someone who has loved Tana French’s novels for years now, and you’re on the lookout for something similar to read, then check out our recommendations below for authors just like her, such as Gillian Flynn, Thomas Harris, Tania Carver, and Stig Larsson.

Books By Tana French

Books By Tana French

Tana French is a talented writer and theatrical actor who was captivated by creative outlets since her childhood.

She read countless mystery and crime novels while growing up, which sparked her interest in writing as well. 

In her later 30s, she reignited her passion for writing during the extended breaks between casting sessions. 

In the Woods: A Novel

After months of hard work, the result of this endeavor was Tana French debut novel In the Woods – published in 2007 to international acclaim and received rave reviews from publications around the world. 

The book is an exploration of identity and justice set within a modern murder mystery storyline; it has become a critically acclaimed favorite amongst its avid readers.

The Likeness

The Likeness: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

In Tana French’s novel The Likeness, Cassie Maddox, a former member of the Dublin Murder Squad, has returned to the police force.

She’s hoping that she can put her experiences with murder cases behind her; however, before she even settles, an urgent phone call arrives from an old colleague. 

She is called back to duty when a woman’s body in bizarre circumstances has been located – she looks like Cassie! 

This strange case is one Cassie could never have anticipated, and something tells her that it will be even more difficult than cases she has worked on before.

The Secret Place

The Secret Place: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

The Secret Place is the fifth novel in Tana French’s thrilling Dublin Murder Squad Series.

It follows Detective Stephen Moran, who is desperate to join the elite ranks of the squad and show what he can do. 

His opportunity finally arrives as a sixteen-year-old girl walks into his office brandishing a photograph of a dead boy with the chilling caption “I Know Who Killed Him”. 

Broken Harbor

Broken Harbor: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

Broken Harbor is a 2011 mystery novel by Tana French, featuring Scorcher Kennedy, a star detective in Dublin.

It follows Kennedy as he is called to investigate a murder scene at an abandoned estate of the same name. 

There he finds two young children dead and a man, and a woman, in an ambulance on the way to intensive care. 

Authors Like Tana French

Stig Larsson – The Millennium Trilogy

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy : (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) (The Girl Who Played with Fire) (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) (Millennium Trilogy)

Stig Larsson was known for being a journalist and writer who gained their reputation through the Millennium Trilogy.

The trilogy has three main crime novels, including, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and The Girl Who Played with Fire.

The series kicked off from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

The story is centered around the disappearance of a woman named Harriet Vanger, a descendant of one of Sweden’s richest families forty years prior. 


  • An enticing series of books that have been written impeccably well.
  • Readers won’t be able to put the books down once they start.


  • Some readers say the book has been poorly edited, possibly a translation issue.

Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects: A Novel

Gillian Flynn is a renowned scribbler, well-known for her hard-hitting and dark fiction.

She started her writing career with the publication of her very first book, ‘Sharp Objects’, and since then she has not looked back. 

Even though it may appear to be unpleasant at times, Flynn is known for her unapologetic honesty present in her writing style. 

The award-winning novel, “Sharp Objects” was a great hit among readers that led to New York Times bestseller “Dark Places” being published. 

To start your journey with Gillian Flynn, we would suggest beginning with “Sharp Objects” and continuing reading through “Dark Places” and the hit venture “Gone Girl”. 


  • A great author who thinks outside the box when writing.
  • Great attention to detail throughout her novels.
  • A successful chain of novels that shows well from readers’ feedback.


  • Some readers have been left unsettled by some of her novels.

Alex Michaelides – The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient

Alex Michaelides is known for thrilling and suspenseful mystery works, and readers are sure to love him if they are fans of Tana French. 

His first novel, The Silent Patient, was an unprecedented global bestseller.

It is a breathtaking psychological thriller focused on a woman’s unimaginable violence thrust upon her husband.

The protagonist, Theo Faber, who can’t escape his obsession with uncovering the events that caused her act of violence, becomes invested in unraveling the mysterious reason behind this tragedy as he works with Alicia Berenson, the patient. 


  • Full of mystery and suspense in all of his novels that readers thrive on.
  • A great addition to classic thriller novels worldwide.
  • Well-written characters throughout his series.


  • Easy to get lost in his novels sometimes.

Thomas Harris – The Hannibal Lecter Series

The Silence of the Lambs

The Hannibal Lecter Series by Thomas Harris is a classic that never fails to captivate and excite mystery readers.

Written by Thomas Harris, these four novels: “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Red Dragon”, “Hannibal: Harris”, and “Hannibal Rising” offer a thrilling and intense reading experience. 

Having started his writing career in 1975 with his first novel “Black Sunday“, his later works have gained worldwide popularity for their suspenseful twists and terrific storytelling.

If you are searching for writers similar to Tana French who provide thought-provoking thrillers, The series will not disappoint you. 


  • A classic series of novels that are known worldwide for their themes.
  • Enticing novels as usual from this author.
  • Gripping storylines that leave a mark on the reader.


  • Some themes are disturbing for some readers, for obvious reasons.

Alex Marwood – The Killer Next Door

The Killer Next Door

In this novel, The Killer Next Door, the sweltering summer of 23 Beulah Grove was one no one living there would soon forget.

The crumbling house stood like a beacon of brokenness in the Southern London skyline, filled with inhabitants who wanted to keep whatever secrets they had from being discovered. 

Even though the tenants mostly kept to themselves, on a fateful night, an accident occurred that forged them together into a fragile alliance against an unknown common enemy. 

None of them suspected that the killer they should have been searching for was amongst them all along.


  • This author knows how to write an enticing novel that is engaging.
  • Well-written characters and the plot links well as a whole.


  • As usual for thrillers, some content can be disturbing.

Tania Carver – Cage of Bones

Cage of Bones

Carver’s novel Cage of Bones is a heart-pounding mystery thriller that will have readers yearning to unravel the intricate threads woven into its pages. 

In a building headed for demolition, sinister remains are found in the basement, and tucked away inside is a cruel cage constructed with human bones.

This devastating discovery carries far greater repercussions behind it. 

Digging deeper, there’s another grisly element hidden, one worse than the others: a feral child.

With these two cornerstones of horrific deeds already uncovered, readers can anticipate an even more chilling ride as they follow Carver on her journey of suspenseful suspense and intrigue.

Cage of Bones is the perfect story for readers looking for something unnerving but completely captivating.


  • Captivating storyline that is hard to put down.
  • Character dynamics are well written within the story.
  • Thrilling plot.


  • Some may find this novel to be too unnerving, but that is the intention.

Final Thoughts

For readers looking for mystery and suspense in the vein of Tana French, Cage of Bones by Tania Carver, and The Millennium Trilogy by Stig Larsson are all great choices.

Each novel offers a unique twist on the genre while still providing a thrill that will keep readers hooked until the very end. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Novel Made Tana French Want To Be A Writer?

When she was a child, her dad began reading The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Every evening, right when he started to get tired, he would begin with an exciting chapter. 

The vivid storytelling by Grahame evoked such strong images in her mind that she felt like she knew what it was like to be living one of their wilder escapades. 

What Novel Would Tana French Recommend To Anyone?

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon is her go-to recommendation for any reader looking for an engaging and original novel. 

Chabon’s lyrical prose produces vivid imagery and memorable characters, who weave a captivating tapestry of complex relationships that orbits around themes like justice, courage, and belonging.

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Noah Burton