This is an ever evolving list of novels that I love, and authors I enjoy reading.
This only includes fiction, although I read a lot of other books too! You can also check out my reviews on BookBub here. If you like any of these books, you're likely to enjoy my work too!
Stephen King – The Stand. Probably my favorite book in terms of good vs evil. Plus The Shining, Doctor Sleep and others by King that veer towards the supernatural, rather than the purely horror angle.
Jonathan Maberry – Joe Ledger series, Pine deep series, Rot & Ruin series, Ink.
Daniel Silva – Gabriel Allon series. Israeli secret agents, religious conspiracy and political thriller plots, plus art history and restoration.
James Rollins – Sigma series for some kick-ass fun (I love Seichan!) and The Sanguines series with Rebecca Cantrell for that supernatural edge
Dan Brown – The Da Vinci Code. The inspiration for my ARKANE thriller series.
Dean Koontz – In particular, the Jane Hawk conspiracy thriller series.
Michaelbrent Collings – The Deep, This Darkness Light, Predators
Chelsea Cain – Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series
J.A.Konrath – Origin. What do you expect if you keep Beelzebub in a bunker?
Lauren Beukes – Broken Monsters
Scott Hawkins – The Library at Mount Char
Mo Hayder – Jack Caffrey crime series
Matthew Reilly – Fantastic action/adventure Scarecrow series.
Alix E. Harrow – The Once and Future Witches
Naomi Alderman – The Power
Val McDermid – Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series
Preston & Child – Pendergast series, particularly the early, more supernatural ones like The Cabinet of Curiosities
James Michener – The Source. An incredible epic about Israel that continues to inspire my writing (although the style is outdated).
Clive Barker – The Hellbound Heart
James Herbert – Dark, Ash. I love a lot of Herbert's books.
Gillian Flynn – Dark Places, Sharp Objects. These darker books are so much better than Gone Girl (in my opinion!)
Barnaby Williams – Anno Domini. What if St Paul murdered Jesus? A particularly bloody retelling.
Lee Child – Jack Reacher series. I love a loner out for justice!
Michael Wallace – The Righteous Series. Polygamous Mormons out in the Utah desert tackle mysteries, murder and the apocalypse.
Chuck Wendig – Blackbirds and the Miriam Black series. When Miriam touches someone, she can tell how and when they will die.
Jeremy Robinson – Jack Sigler series, SecondWorld. Non stop action with all kinds of monsters. Check out Island 731 and The Guardian.
Jonathan Holt – The Carnivia trilogy. Murder and mystery set in a darker Venice.
Daniel Suarez – Daemon, Freedom. Techno-thrillers with an edge of horror
Zoe Sharp – Charlie Fox thrillers. Kick ass female bodyguard solves mysteries and rights wrongs. Described as a female Jack Reacher.
Terry Hayes – I am Pilgrim. One of the best portrayals of a terrorist character and an enthralling thriller.
Marcus Sakey – Brilliance series. 1% are born with special talents. Kind of X Men but more realistic!
Leigh Bardugo – Grisha series and Ninth House
Scott Sigler – Infected, Contagious, Pandemic. Michael Crichton-esque but with more horror as the world copes with an alien invasion that turns humans into all kinds of weird
Max Brooks – World War Z. I'm not usually one for zombie books, but this one is incredibly well written. Much better than the film!
Simon Toyne. Sanctus trilogy. What secret lies at the heart of Ruin?
Alan Baxter – Realmshift, MageSign. Dark fantasy with gods and demons and magic.
AJ Hartley & David Hewson – Macbeth, a novel. This fantastic retelling has beautiful language but really brings the story alive as a thriller.
Martin Lastrapes – Inside the Outside. One girl copes with leaving a cannibal cult.
Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus
Frank Peretti – This Present Darkness. I read this as a teenager and the unseen supernatural battle of angels and demons influenced my imagination heavily. I see demons everywhere!
I'll keep adding to this over time. I read so much – these are just some of the books that stick in my mind and influence my own writing.