It was an exceptional year for mysteries and thrillers! Plenty of murder, tortured heroes and globe-hopping from here to Venice—and beyond. Read on for the 10 best mysteries and thrillers of the year, as chosen by Whodunit columnist Bruce Tierney and the editors of BookPage.

ghostmanGhostman
by Roger Hobbs


Starring an antihero detective with no fixed identity, Hobbs' debut thriller is “what the mystery novel would look like if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had decided that Moriarty was his central character." Noted editor Gary Fisketjon handled the project, and film rights have already been sold.


Read our interview with 24-year-old Hobbs.

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perfecthatredPerfect Hatred
by Leighton Gage


In his sixth adventure from Gage (who died earlier this year), Chief Inspector Mario Silva faces a nasty suicide bombing and the assassination of a popular politician. Whodunit columnist Bruce Tierney called it "the first 'do not miss' mystery of 2013!"

Read our full review of Perfect Hatred, an excerpt from the book and our 7 questions interview with Gage.

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goldeneggThe Golden Egg
by Donna Leon


Leon's newest Commissario Brunetti novel dashes readers off to Venice, where the introspective investigator looks into the death of a kind, simple-minded man. "One of the finest mysteries to come out of Europe in quite some time."

Read our full review of The Golden Egg.

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murderasafineartMurder as a Fine Art
by David Morrell


Morrell, the "father of the modern action novel" and creator of Rambo, heads in a new direction with this taut historical thriller set in foggy Victorian London. The murder mystery features the real-life Ratcliffe Highway murders and stars Thomas De Quincey, the real author of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.

Read our interview with Morrell and an excerpt from the book.


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A Delicate TruthA Delicate Truth
by John le Carré


Le Carré is at the top of his game with this year's military thriller, full of whistle-blowers and evil bureaucrats. A 2008 counter-terrorism operation is considered a success, but it actually goes horribly wrong. Three years later, the truth comes out.

Read our review of A Delicate Truth.

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abominationThe Abomination
by Jonathan Holt


This exceptional debut techno-thriller and the first book in the Carnivia trilogy unfolds in two Venices: one, the real beloved city; the other, an online replica. When a woman is found dead, dressed in the robes of a Catholic priest, Captain Kat Tapo begins an investigation into the Church, the CIA and the streets of Venice—both real and virtual.

Read our review of The Abomination.

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mysterygirlMystery Girl
by David Gordon


Sam Kornberg’s life is in shambles, so he decides to take a job as an assistant to morbidly obese private detective Solar Lonsky. The gig: Following the “mystery girl.” The result: A complicated, darkly comedic ride through L.A. with shootouts, murder and a little romance.

Read our review of Mystery Girl and our 7 questions interview with Gordon.

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howthelightgetsinHow the Light Gets In
by Louise Penny


Penny's reputation as a top-notch mystery writer keeps growing with each new book in her Inspector Gamache series. Gamache is headed toward retirement when he takes on a murder case in the quaint village of Three Pines. The victim turns out to be the last surviving member of the Ouellet quintuplets, whose birth fascinated Canadians almost 80 years earlier.

Read our full review of How the Light Gets In.

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tatianaTatiana
by Martin Cruz Smith


Arkady Renko, the world-weary Moscow detective introduced in Smith's iconic mystery Gorky Park, is trying to make his way in the corrupt post-Soviet Union Russia. Investigating the apparent suicide of reporter Tatiana Petrovna, he is drawn into Russia's Cold War past, and to the "secret city" on the Baltic which could conceal some of its most horrific crimes.

Read our review of Tatiana.

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deathofanightingaleDeath of a Nightingale
by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis


From the Danish duo behind the best-selling The Boy in the Suitcase comes a standout tale of overlapping, tragic lives. When Natasha Doroshenko, a Ukrainian woman convicted of the attempted murder of her fiancé, escapes police custody while on her way to Copenhagen, she has one thought on her mind: Get her daughter back. Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, while trying to keep Natasha's daughter safe, unveils a bloody history that traces back to Stalinist Ukraine in 1934.

Read our review of Death of a Nightingale.

 

Readers, share in the comments below: What are your favorite 2013 mysteries ad thrillers?

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