Tana French readalikes, or other good, character-driven mysteries?
April 13, 2014 1:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm not usually a mystery reader, but I recently read In the Woods and The Likeness, by Tana French, on a friend's recommendation. I loved them, but I'm not familiar enough with the genre to find others like them. What I like about them: strong characters, suspense that is mainly psychological in nature, clear prose. I also enjoyed the Stieg Larsson books; other Scandinavian mysteries have been hit or miss. Any recommendations, MeFites?
posted by missrachael to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler novels. I liked Imogen Robertson's The Paris Winter.
posted by jeather at 1:27 PM on April 13, 2014

Have you read any Agatha Christie? I suggest trying And Then There Were None to see how you like her style.
posted by imalaowai at 1:38 PM on April 13, 2014

Denise Mina's Garnethill series.
posted by BibiRose at 1:39 PM on April 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ruth Rendell
posted by scratch at 1:40 PM on April 13, 2014

Before I Go To Sleep
Watching You (this one is in a series but I have not read the others)
posted by something something at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2014

Any book by Kate Atkinson.
posted by cooker girl at 2:04 PM on April 13, 2014

Joyce Carol Oates wrote some amazing dark, psychological thrillers under the names Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly.

Another vote for Ruth Rendell, but the non-Wexford ones such as The Bridesmaid. Also Val McDermid: A Place of Execution is magnificent.
posted by BibiRose at 2:13 PM on April 13, 2014

Gone Girl, for sure.
posted by mochapickle at 2:24 PM on April 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt - if To Kill a Mockingbird were a murder mystery, this would be it. 12yo girl investigates the cold case of her brother's lynching in their own yard. Awesome set of characters, very atmospheric and suspenseful.

Donna Tartt's newest, The Goldfinch, isn't a mystery per se... It's more a coming of age story about a kid who steals a painting... but probably one of my favorite books of all time, extremely inspiring prose, and it does get a bit thriller-y at the end.

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel - set in Florida, kinda modern noir. I liked it a lot.

Haven't read Sophie Hannah yet, but she's supposed to be psychological / unreliable narrator ish and quite like Tana French.
posted by wintersonata9 at 2:29 PM on April 13, 2014

Response by poster: Loved Gone Girl (and its humorous analog, Where'd You Go, Bernadette), double loved The Goldfinch. Many of these others sound great.
posted by missrachael at 2:31 PM on April 13, 2014

Erin Kelly is the other writer who, along with Tana French, I've been pushing on people recently.
posted by tiger tiger at 2:38 PM on April 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris.
posted by quincunx at 2:39 PM on April 13, 2014

Donna Tartt, yes. Why not start with her first, The Secret History?
posted by BibiRose at 2:43 PM on April 13, 2014

Response by poster: Also love The Secret History (that was part of the appeal of The Likeness), and everything by Joanne Harris.
posted by missrachael at 2:44 PM on April 13, 2014

If you loved The Secret History, then the Ruth Rendell book you need to read first is A Fatal Inversion.
posted by BibiRose at 2:45 PM on April 13, 2014

Nthing both Kate Atkinson and Denise Mina. Elly Griffiths. Malla Nunn.
posted by mareli at 3:28 PM on April 13, 2014

Erin Kelly is co-writing the Broadchurch novel! Count me in!
posted by orrnyereg at 5:26 PM on April 13, 2014

Laura Lippman's stand-alone novels.
posted by matildaben at 5:47 PM on April 13, 2014

Since you liked Where'd You Go, Bernadette? I nominate Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.
posted by tomboko at 6:23 PM on April 13, 2014

If you like Tana French, you'll also like Karin Fossum!
posted by the twistinside at 8:20 PM on April 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Richard Price's Clockers is a great psychological page-turner in my opinion.

Dennis Lehane's Mystic River has some similarities to In the Forest. (From reading other Lehane, his prose style isn't similar to French's. I've only seen the movie.)
posted by slidell at 11:02 PM on April 13, 2014

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes, by Marcus Sakey (I liked his book Brilliance even better, but Daniel Hayes was more a straight up mystery)
posted by mazienh at 5:40 AM on April 14, 2014

Minette Walters?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:06 AM on April 14, 2014

I think we have similar tastes so you might be interested in this question I asked a while ago that got a ton of great answers.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:53 AM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked Gillian Flynn's first two novels better than Gone, Girl in a lot of ways.
posted by BibiRose at 4:46 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

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