1. Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris, because he can scare me – not an easy task.
2. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, because of his style. He took a real life crime and novelized it, but yet retained the grit of a true crime drama, complete with quotes.
3. The Firm, John Grisham, because it was the first legal thriller that I ever read that didn’t bore me during the legal parts.
4. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane. I loved the way Dennis Lehane told one story through three characters and then tied all the characters back up again at the ending. That took a lot of skill.
5. The Monster of Florence, Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. I think it is the true crime aspect of this book, coupled with the author’s personal involvement in the case that I found intriguing. Not your run of the mill crime story.
6. Stephen King, It scared the heck out of me when I was a teenager. It was the book that got me hooked on reading. Then I devoured Pet Cemetery, Tommyknockers, Carrie, The Shining and everything else that had Stephen King’s name on it. I admire his twisted mind.
7. Cathedral, Nelson DeMille, The Gold Coast, Nelson DeMille. Actually anything by Nelson DeMille. I love how every story he writes is different and fresh. It’s almost like rediscovering an author with each new book.
8. The Exorcist, William P. Blatty, Again we’re talking scare factor. I think the book was actually scarier than Linda Blair’s pock-marked possessed face.
9. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck. Just good writing. Steinbeck was simply a great storyteller. It was the first book a teacher made me read in school that I actually liked.
10. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee. The legal drama that started it all. Like Steinbeck, a classic.