Nine Thrilling Crime Books Set in New York City
New York is a mysterious city. It’s the city that never sleeps, and it’s home to more than 8.4 million people from diverse backgrounds and with unique stories. With a constant hustle-and-bustle lifestyle that can be both exciting and chaotic, New York is the perfect backdrop for a crime story. We’re sure this won’t be our only New York roundup, but here are some of the many crime fiction novels set in The City That Never Sleeps.
Caleb Carr’s bestselling novel The Alienist transports readers to the Big Apple in 1896. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—and his friend, newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore, are trying to track down a killer who targets young boys. To find this dangerous killer, the pair will endeavor to do something that will totally revolutionize the field of criminology: create a psychological profile of the killer based on the details of his crimes. In order to capture the murderer, they will first have to enter the mind of the murderer.
Related: Tracking Down a Gilded Age Serial Killer in The Alienist
Faithless in Death
This series is written by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. Set in New York in the mid-21st century, the mystery books follow NYPSD ("New York City Police and Security Department") Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke. The most recent novel in the series, Faithless in Death, starts with a crime that seems at first glance like a lover’s quarrel turned fatal. But as details of the crime are uncovered, Eve and her team discover much more terrifying motives behind it.
Mario Puzo; Francis Ford Coppola (Introduction by); Anthony Puzo (Notes by); Robert J. Thompson (Afterword by)
The Godfather is a now-classic suspense book that is an epic tale of betrayal within the Mafia underworld of New York City in 1945. This is the story of the Corleones, who are considered the first family of American crime fiction. The Godfather rises above other mafia fiction as an iconic suspense novel because of the way the book addresses family responsibility, revenge, the fight for power, and the destructiveness of greed.
The Coffin Dancer
In The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver, NYPD criminalist Lincoln Rhyme and his protégé Amelia Sachs are on the hunt for a dangerous killer who frequently changes his appearance. He’s called the Coffin Dancer, and Rhyme and Sachs know one thing about him that could lead to his capture: a tattoo of the Grim Reaper waltzing with a woman in front of a coffin. But with only forty-eight hours before the killer strikes again, Rhyme and Sachs will have to work quickly.
NYPD Red 6
by James Patterson
by Marshall Karp
James Patterson and Marshall Kapp’s NYPD Red Series follows a special task force who is sworn to protect Manhattan's wealthiest and most powerful citizens. NYPD Red 6, which was just released at the end of 2020, sees the NYPD Red task force being called to action after a kidnapper threatens the most lavish New York wedding of the season. In fact, reality tv star Erin Easton’s extravagant wedding is being called “the Wedding of the Century.” But it all goes horribly wrong when at the reception, Erin disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-spattered wedding gown behind.
Blind Man with a Pistol
Chester B. Himes
Blind Man With a Pistol is the final and most thrilling novel in Chester Himes’ mystery suspense Harlem Detective series. Set in 1960s Harlem, this book follows detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones as they investigate two extremely dangerous cases, featuring knife fights, beatings, and riots that threaten to tear Harlem apart.
A top nuclear scientist goes mad and takes an innocent family hostage at gunpoint, killing one and causing a massive standoff.
A plume of radiation above New York City leads to a warehouse where, it seems, a powerful nuclear bomb was assembled just hours before.
Sifting through the evidence, authorities determine that the unthinkable is about to happen: in ten days, a major American city will be vaporized by a terrorist attack.
Ten days. And Gideon Crew, tracking the mysterious terrorist cell from the suburbs of New York to the mountains of New Mexico, learns the end may be something worse–far worse–than mere Armageddon.
Jack Ruskin is uniquely qualified to commit a series of perfect murders. A former prosecutor, and now the respected partner of a prestigious law firm, he has the means and the knowledge to kill without leaving a trace of evidence behind.
His targets are criminals themselves, sexual predators beyond reform. He has no connection to them: he simply finds their names in public records, But Jack knows firsthand the devastation these depraved monsters leave in their wake—his own fifteen-year-old daughter was herself a victim. And he’s determined to save others from the same excruciating pain.
A thousand miles away, FBI agent Amanda Lee has carefully balanced motherhood with her meteoric career as one of the agency’s brightest and bravest experts in her field. Then a botched investigation rocks Amanda’s life as well as her career, and she is assigned to a case some people don’t want to see solved. Following the trail of the man who is stalking sex offenders across tile country, Amanda is unaware that her past is catching up with her and that she—and her children—are in the gravest danger.
Run for Your Life
by James Patterson
by Michael Ledwidge
What to Read Next