Serial Killer fiction is extremely popular right now and I, for one, enjoy reading it when it’s well done (not too gory). My fascination with Jack the Ripper back in high school spurned my reading of this sub-genre of thrillers. James Patterson, Thomas Harris and many more I’ve had the pleasure to read. But what serial killer fiction is on my bucket list of books you have to read? Here’s my top five:
The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
In The Devil in the White City, the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
The Poet: A Novel (Jack McEvoy Book 1) by Michael Connelly
FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE HARRY BOSCH AND LINCOLN LAWYER SERIES An electrifying standalone thriller that breaks all the rules! With an introduction by Stephen King. Death is reporter Jack McEvoy's beat: his calling, his obsession. But this time, death brings McEvoy the story he never wanted to write--and the mystery he desperately needs to solve. A serial killer of unprecedented savagery and cunning is at large. His targets: homicide cops, each haunted by a murder case he couldn't crack. The killer's calling card: a quotation from the works of Edgar Allan Poe. His latest victim is McEvoy's own brother. And his last...may be McEvoy himself.
Criss Cross (Alex Cross Book 27) by James Patterson
When a mysterious serial killer known as "M" launches a deranged "investigation", Alex Cross and his partner must unearth long-forgotten secrets to survive -- or risk getting buried themselves.
In a Virginia penitentiary, Alex Cross and his partner, John Sampson, witness the execution of a killer they helped convict. Hours later, they are called to the scene of a copycat crime. A note signed "M" rests on the corpse. "You messed up big time, Dr. Cross."
Was an innocent man just put to death? Alex soon realizes he may have much to answer for, as "M" lures the detective out of the capital to the sites of multiple homicides, all marked with distressingly familiar details -- details that conjure up decades-old cases. Details that conjure up Cross family secrets. Details that make clear that M is after a prize so dear that -- were the killer to attain it -- Alex's heart would no longer have reason to beat.
It Ends With Her by Brianna Labuskes
An Amazon Charts bestseller.
He started the game. She’ll end it.
FBI special agent Clarke Sinclair doesn’t give up easily. She’s spent years tracking serial killer Simon Cross, forced to follow his twisted clues and photographs across the country. Clarke knows that Cross selects only redheaded women and that he doesn’t target another victim until Clarke discovers the previous one.
He’s never broken pattern…until now.
A girl has already gone missing in upstate New York when a second one is kidnapped—a blonde. The killer’s MO has changed, sending Clarke back to the drawing board. The closer she gets to the truth, the deeper she’s drawn into an inescapable trap made just for Clarke. Whatever Cross’s ultimate game is, it ends with her.
The Devil You Know by Terry Tyler
Every serial killer is someone's friend, spouse, lover or child.... Young women are being murdered in the Lincolnshire town of Lyndford, where five people fear someone close to them might be the monster the police are searching for.
One of them is right. Juliet sees an expert's profile of the average serial killer and realises that her abusive husband, Paul, ticks all the boxes. Maisie thinks her mum's new boyfriend seems too good to be true. Is she the only person who can see through Gary's friendly, sensitive façade? Tamsin is besotted with her office crush, Jake. Then love turns to suspicion... Steve is used to his childhood friend, Dan, being a loud mouthed Lothario with little respect for the truth. But is a new influence in his life leading him down a more sinister path? Dorothy's beloved son, Orlando, is keeping a secret from her—a chilling discovery forces her to confront her worst fears. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a character-driven psychological drama that will keep you guessing until the very end.
What are some serial killer fiction books you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.