Piecing together the puzzle—whether it’s a murder mystery or a spy thriller or a police procedural—is one of the most satisfying parts of reading mystery books. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as mystery suspense books that draw on forensic science. These six books focus on forensic investigators and the fascinating and often unusual tools they use to analyze evidence and solve cases. Whether you’re looking for classic suspense books with plenty of shocking twists or novels that weave history and personal drama into the narrative, you’ll be sure to find something you can’t put down on this list.
Eve has encountered many gruesome cases in her career, but she faces danger unlike anything she's seen before in Shattered Mirror. Somebody mails her a human skull, with a note instructing her to reconstruct it. She does so and is startled to discover a beautiful face looking back at her. But when she meets a woman in real life with the mirror image of that face, Eve knows that something truly strange is going on. Full of surprising twists and fascinating (if gory) insights into forensic science, this is a thriller you won't want to miss.
In Chain of Evidence, a detective must confront some unsettling truths about his former mentor if he wants to get to the bottom of his latest case. Years ago, Joe "Dart" Dartelli ignored evidence in a case deemed a suicide that may have been a murder. That evidence pointed to the involvement of his mentor and brilliant forensic investigator, Walter Zeller. Now, Dart is investigating another similar case...and Zeller has mysteriously disappeared. Delving into big questions of ethics and morality, this thriller is the perfect blend of action-packed and thought-provoking.
Gothic with a dark Southern setting, Agent Pendergast faces his most unexpected challenge yet when bloodless bodies begin to appear in Savannah, GA, in this installment of a #1 New York Times bestselling series.
In The Steel Kiss, detective Amelia Sachs teams up with forensic specialist Lincoln Rhyme to track down a dangerous killer. It all starts while Sachs is chasing a suspect through a crowded department store. When an escalator malfunctions, Sachs has to give up the chase to help a man caught in the machine's gears. But she soon realizes that the malfunction is far from a coincidence—the killer she's tracking turns common, everyday objects into dangerous weapons. It'll take all of her quick thinking and Rhymes's forensic know-how to stop the killer before it's too late.
Trace Evidence is the first book in Elizabeth Becka's Evelyn James series, in which the author draws on her own experience as a forensic specialist. Cleveland detective Evelyn James is a forensic trace evidence expert who's called in to investigate a strange crime: a woman has been drowned, her feet suspended in a concrete block. As if that isn't bad enough, another victim is found, one connected to a powerful Cleveland family. As Evelyn attempts to untangle the evidence, the case grows more complicated, and soon Evelyn is caught in a web of betrayal and secrets. When her own teenage daughter is pulled into the killer's orbit, Evelyn has to draw on every reserve of strength to stay focused and find the killer before her daughter—and others—are found dead, too.
The Lost Girls of Rome by Italian author Donato Carrisi is a thrilling blend of Roman history and modern forensic science. Sandra Vega is a forensics investigator for the Roman police department. She's also a widow grieving the death of her husband, a rising star in the journalism field, who fell to his death from the top of a high-rise building. The police have ruled it an accident, but Sandra is convinced he was murdered. She decides to investigate, and soon she's on the trail of a case involving a secret Roman society, and some of the city's darkest secrets. This constantly surprising mystery is a must-read for history fans and readers who enjoy an atmospheric story.
by Maxine Paetro
No list of suspense novels would be complete without the master of suspense himself, James Patterson. In Private, the CEO of a global investigation company returns home to investigate a murder close to his own life. Jack Morgan has been running Private for years. It's a company that specializes in sensitive cases—it's where the world's most powerful people turn when they want their secrets protected. Jack uses the most innovative forensic tools to get results, fast. But when the wife of his best friend is murdered, it almost breaks him. He rushes home to investigate—and face his own past.
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