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Friday, April 23, 2010

More Mysteries: Legal Thrillers


There are a variety of mystery subgenres – from cozy to police procedural, techno-thriller to medical mystery – and of course legal thrillers. When I finally decided to try mysteries, it was legal thrillers by writers like John Scott Turow that first caught my fancy. Here is one writer’s definition of the genre:

“A legal thriller . . . usually reveals whodunit at the beginning or makes it clear that it doesn't matter whodunit so much as whether he or she will get caught. The plot that follows focuses on whether or not justice shall prevail. Thrillers by definition have no mystery qualities. When you read a thriller, you expect to be thrilled. When you read a mystery, you expect to be puzzled and then pleasantly surprised.”

In addition to Grisham and Turow some lesser-known writers are just as good at tackling this subgenre. Here are a few titles from a “Best Legal Thrillers” list:

The Quiet Game by Greg Iles

Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson

Wild Justice by Phillip Margolin

The Judge by Steve Martini

Criminal Intent by Sheldon Siegel

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