James Patterson has written more 'New York Times' bestselling books than anyone else — these are his best ones

When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

  • James Patterson is one of the bestselling American authors of all time.
  • We turned to Goodreads members to rank his most popular novels.
  • Readers' top favorites include " Along Came a Spider " and " Kiss the Girls ."

Insider Today

James Patterson is a bestselling American author known for his mystery novels, thrillers, and crime fiction. He's one of the highest paid authors of all time , has the most New York Times bestsellers , and became the first author to sell one million ebooks in 2010. He is also a proud philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to fund classroom libraries across the country. 

To rank the most popular James Patterson novels, we turned to Goodreads members . On Goodreads, over 125 million readers rate, review, and share their favorite books . So whether you're looking for a new thrilling James Patterson read or hoping to find your next favorite mystery or thriller , here are the 21 most popular James Patterson novels, according to Goodreads members.

The 21 most popular James Patterson novels, according to Goodreads members: 

'along came a spider'.

best rated books by james patterson

"Along Came a Spider," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.19

With over 400,000 ratings, " Along Came a Spider " is the most popular James Patterson novel amongst Goodreads members. This is the first mystery novel in the " Alex Cross " series, which now has 28 novels (and another due to be published next month). This first book introduces readers to Alex Cross, a brilliant homicide detective determined to stop a psychopathic murderer in this electric thriller.

'Kiss the Girls'

best rated books by james patterson

"Kiss the Girls," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.98

" Kiss the Girls " is the second mystery featuring homicide detective Alex Cross who is now hunting for two collaborative, conniving serial killers working from coast to coast. Told in short chapters, this thriller is fast-paced and gripping, demanding readers' attention until the very last page.

'1st to Die'

best rated books by james patterson

"1st to Die," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.36

The first book in the "Women's Murder Club" series, " 1st to Die " is a mystery about four friends with different careers linked to criminal investigation: A homicide inspector, a medical examiner, an assistant district attorney, and a crime reporter. Together, they sidestep their bosses to collaborate and catch a killer who's tormenting San Francisco.

'The Angel Experiment: A Maximum Ride'

best rated books by james patterson

"The Angel Experiment," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $4.59

As a teenager, I was completely obsessed with this young adult fantasy series about six homeless, parentless children that all have special abilities including the ability to fly. Bred in a lab with avian DNA, the six kids have escaped and must evade the evil scientists that are constantly trying to recapture them.

'Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas'

best rated books by james patterson

"Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $16.99

" Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas " is a James Patterson romance novel about Katie Wilkinson, who has found everything she's ever wanted in her perfect life partner. When he suddenly and mysteriously disappears from her life, she's left with a strange diary that reveals heartbreaking secrets in this overwhelming and emotional read.

'School's Out—Forever'

best rated books by james patterson

"School's Out—Forever,"   available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.73

In this second installment of the " Maximum Ride " series, Max and her flock are discovered by the FBI after an accident leaves one of them hurt and in the hospital. Making a deal with the FBI in exchange for their brother's treatment, the flock attends a special school as Max uncovers how she's meant to save the world.

'2nd Chance'

best rated books by james patterson

"2nd Chance," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.27

In this shocking thriller, the four women of the Women's Murder Club reconvene when two terrible and tragic events seem to be linked. When the women discover the connection, the answer and the killer's motive stun the entire nation in this action-packed murder mystery.

'Sam's Letter to Jennifer'

best rated books by james patterson

"Sam's Letters to Jennifer," available at Amazon,  $15.99

This contemporary romance follows Jennifer, who returns to her hometown to be with her ill grandmother while still mourning the loss of her husband. When Jennifer discovers a packet of letters addressed to her from her grandmother, the writing inside unveils the stories of her grandmother's life.

'Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports'

best rated books by james patterson

"Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.95

" Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports " is the third book in the " Maximum Ride " series, where Max and her flock discover a sinister plot to genetically engineer a select population into a superior race and eliminate the rest of humanity. Though the group has been separated, they must work together to stop the experiment and save the world.

'3rd Degree'

best rated books by james patterson

"3rd Degree," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.36

In this third installment of the "Women's Murder Club" series, Detective Lindsay Boxer discovers three dead bodies, accompanied by a mysterious message. When more bodies are discovered, she brings in her three friends to help find a killer who has vowed to kill every three days — and it seems the next target is one of their own.

'4th of July'

best rated books by james patterson

"4th of July," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.20

This "Women's Murder Club" mystery focuses on Lieutenant Lindsey Boxer who finds herself on trial after a dramatic chain of events that all began when she fired her weapon. In this suspenseful story, Lindsay's friends must help her clear her name and stop a killer before they strike again.

'The Beach House'

best rated books by james patterson

"The Beach House," available at Amazon, $10

"The Beach House" is a compelling mystery novel about law student Jack Mullen and his brother, Peter, who works as a valet in the Hamptons. When Peter's body is found on the beach, Jack knows his brother did not drown by accident. As it seems the police have been paid off to turn the other way, Jack must take the investigation into his own hands.

'Jack & Jill'

best rated books by james patterson

"Jack & Jill," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.36

In this third suspenseful mystery in the " Alex Cross " series, a US senator is murdered in his bed while Alex is called to the devastating murder scene of a little girl. As Alex Cross rushes to solve the murders, the killer strikes again, sending the homicide detective on a desperate race against the clock.


best rated books by james patterson

"Max," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.99

In this fifth book of the " Maximum Ride " series, something is destroying ships and animals off the coast of Hawaii and the Navy elicits the help of Max and her flock in their top-secret investigation. At the same time, they discover Max's mom is being held prisoner underwater and they must deep-dive through evil waters to rescue her.

'Cat & Mouse'

best rated books by james patterson

"Cat & Mouse," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.99

In this " Alex Cross " mystery, an infamous killer returns for revenge, determined to kill Alex before his terminal diagnosis takes his life. At the same time, Thomas Pierce is hunting his own murderous rival and when their path crosses with Alex's, the outcome could prove deadly.

'The 5th Horseman'

best rated books by james patterson

"The 5th Horseman," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.50

In this 2006 installment of the "Women's Murder Club" series, a new woman joins the club- attorney Yuki Castellano. With the help of Yuki, the Murder Club women uncover a merciless killer that may be linked to a string of mysterious patient deaths in a hospital that's determined to protect its reputation more than anything — or anyone — else.

'Hide and Seek'

best rated books by james patterson

"Hide and Seek," available at Bookshop , $9.20

In " Hide and Seek ," Maggie Bradford is a famous singer on trial for murdering two of her husbands, a celebrity trial that has drawn the attention of the nation. As this standalone crime thriller untangles the mystery, it seems one of Maggie's famous husbands had dark and dangerous secrets of his own.

'Roses Are Red'

best rated books by james patterson

Roses Are Red, available at Amazon, $8.99

In this nail-biting thriller with elements of touching romance, detective Alex Cross is hunting down a brilliant killer who calls himself "Mastermind," robbing banks and killing bank employees that don't comply with his explicit instructions. While juggling a personal crisis at home, Alex must stop the bank robber before he can pull off one final crime.

'The Final Warning'

best rated books by james patterson

"The Final Warning," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.59

In this suspenseful and action-packed fourth novel in the young adult series "Maximum Ride," Max and her flock escape to Antarctica to help study the causes of global warming. Though Max thought she'd finally escaped the dangers that have been following her for years, it becomes obvious that she and her genetically engineered siblings have a constant target on their backs.


best rated books by james patterson

"Cross," available at Amazon, $8.79

"Cross" is the 12th novel in the " Alex Cross " series, where Alex Cross is trying to move on years after his wife was killed by an unknown shooter. Now a free agent from the police and FBI looking for a calmer life, Alex Cross is called to help his former partner in tracking down a serial rapist when a connection is revealed that might lead Alex to his wife's killer.

'Pop Goes the Weasel'

best rated books by james patterson

"Pop Goes the Weasel," available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.36

" Pop Goes the Weasel " is the fifth " Alex Cross " mystery, where detective Alex Cross pursues complex, dangerous, and thrilling murderers. In this novel, a series of twisted murders have left Washington, D.C. investigators reeling but when Alex Cross identifies a suspect, proving he's the murderer could become a deadly task.

best rated books by james patterson

  • Main content
  • Start Reading
  • Action and Adventure
  • Detective and Mystery
  • Literary Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Short Stories
  • Children’s Book
  • pennbookcenter.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Top 28 Best James Patterson Books of All Time Must Read [2022]

Top 24 Best James Patterson Books of All Time Review 2020

James Patterson is a famed American thriller writer. He’s a best-selling author who has written more than a hundred novels, such as people who have co-authors. He writes series and stand-alone books and has authored novels of varying genres.

If you have read James Patterson earlier, you know his fast-paced composing and brief chapters. Otherwise, it is something that you ought to take notice of as it may not interest you if you’re not into that rate of growth. Following this article to get all information about the best James Patterson books !

Overview About James Patterson

Who is James Patterson

James Patterson is the most famous American detective writer born in Newburgh, New York, is the world’s bestselling author, famous for his most enduring literary personalities and series, such as Alex Cross series , the Women’s Murder Club , Along Came a Spider , Michael Bennett , Maximum Ride , Middle School (a number one New York Times bestseller ), I Funny, along with Jacky Ha-Ha.

James Patterson’s writing profession is distinguished with one mission: to prove everyone, from kids to adults, so that there’s no such thing as an individual who does not want to read, only individuals who have not found the ideal book.

James Patterson has given more than a million books to schoolkids and over forty million dollars to support instruction and endowed more than five million college scholarships for teachers.

Best James Patterson Books 2024 To Read

Top Rated Best Selling James Patterson Books To Read

Below is a list of the best books by James Patterson so that  Penn Book recommended reading:

Along Came a Spider

Along Came a Spider is the first book in James Patterson’s hottest show, Alex Cross series where each book is utterly addictive.

Compelling and twisty, this is a quintessential thriller and the ideal place to get started with his job. The story kicks off with the kidnapping of a celebrity’s daughter and a politician’s son.

This crime thriller was one of James Patterson’s most popular novels of all time, reaching number two on the New York Times bestsellers list for paperbacks.

Along Came a Spider (Alex...

The Murder of King Tut

James Patterson is famous for his page-turning books, but sometimes he brings his literary prowess into nonfiction. Explore one of the oldest unsolved puzzles through the lens of Howard Carter’s rocky discovery of this Pharaoh’s hidden grave. It can be accurate, but the narrative still has all of the intrigue, passion, and betrayal of their best thrillers .

Cross Justice

Alex Cross returns to his North Carolina hometown for the first time in more than three years to assist his cousin, who has been convicted of a crime. But hunting for this particular killer will unearth secrets about his past he never understood.

Hope to Die

The stakes have never been more significant as Alex Cross may need to forfeit to provide a killer they need to save the people he enjoys the most. But how much will a madman attempt to make Alex go until he could get back his family?

Hope to Die (Alex Cross, 20)

Cross My Heart

There’s nothing more important to Alex Cross compared to his household: his wife, Bree, his grandma, and his kids. That also means he’s an Achilles heel, one an unidentified enemy will exploit, forcing Alex to discover what he is ready to give up to keep them secure.

Target: Alex Cross

As the nation mourns a fallen leader, Alex Cross has to assist his wife, Bree Stone, to locate a sniper until they charge Bree her occupation and Washington, D.C.’s lives. Appointed to the President’s task force, Alex starts to suspect that the attacks would be the launch of a bigger plot but can they stop it in time.

Roses Are Red

Alex Cross is up against the very elusive enemies of the profession as he searches for many bank robbers who’ve been frightful in Washington D.C. using a series of heists that end in murder.

Since Alex races to get the people responsible, he learns that there could be one brilliant nevertheless harmful mastermind pulling strings.

Roses are Red (Alex Cross)

Kill Alex Cross

And last, however, a couple of the virtual instances of Alex’s professional career. Detective Alex Cross is among those very first on the scene following the President’s kids’ abduction. Still, it immediately becomes evident that somebody very high-up is attempting to keep him off the situation.

Soon after, a deadly contagion is discharged into Washington D.C.’s water source. Alex must work quickly to resolve both dreadful crimes, regardless of the resistance to his participation.

Formed from the New York Mayor, this unit is tasked to protect the exceptionally influential and wealthiest Manhattan styles. Detective Zach Jordan and his ex-girlfriend Detective Kylie MacDonald of the particular unit are equally assigned to look into the situation of Sidney Roth, a planet’s famous producer that had been murdered by poisoning.

Step on a Crack (Michael Bennet, #1)

Here comes the most challenging situation in Detective Michael Bennet’s profession: a hostage taking tragedy happens throughout the funeral of a former First Lady, and the lives of a few of the most prominent and most influential individuals in the nation are at risk.

Michael Bennet is probably one of my beloved James Patterson creations. The emotional and psychological struggle of the most crucial character has when doing his obligation, adds more character development in the story. This book brings readers into psychological changes by the mystery/crime thriller events into the touching scenes.

Step on a Crack (A Michael...

Kiss the Girls

This book is the mother of suspense books, not due to its attractive plot but due to two serial killers creating the narrative much more complicated. Alex Cross has a great deal of work to perform, such as searching for the cousin who’s probably intimidated by one of the killers.

Casanova, one of those killers, is somewhat more suggestive in the kidnapping and finally raping young and lovely ladies. The Gentleman Caller, an insane murderer, is much more barbarous. This novel was also adapted for the film in 1997 and hit number one on the New York Times bestsellers list.

James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series is an excellent illustration of the kind of fast paced, intriguing novel he can write: A group of four successful ladies with varied abilities and skills gets together to track down a serial murderer who preys on couples.

Inspector Lindsay Boxer investigates the double murders of a newlywed couple at the Grand Hyatt hotel after being diagnosed with a rare, possibly lethal ailment. The Honeymoon Murders are a series of murders that target couples on their honeymoon.

James Patterson’s book becomes intriguing due to its four woman analysis team leading in a group’s manner and is bringing much stalled killing evaluation to the entire life.

The credit belongs to James Patterson because of this box creativity that has caused the writing of this type of renowned book. The girl team shares their differently discreet departmental advice for discovering clues of double homicides occurring a journalist, a medical examiner, a fellow cop.

The Angel Experiment

Fantasy and fiction are at their finest when we talk about James Patterson’s books. It includes six children who’ve gained magic powers, and they’re running to their survival as somebody hunts them. Mostly devoid of any function in their lives due to being homeless, they’re captured in doldrums concerning their special powers.

The Angel Experiment: A...

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

This psychological novel is based on a romance that has jagged ends. Katie Wilkinson, adored by her spouse, considers her love life to be perfect till her boyfriend abruptly leaves her alone.

She finds a journal in which a gorgeous romance of a household is composed whose protagonist is her very own boyfriend, which has abandoned her. Suzanne’s problem is to learn the reason behind her boyfriend’s abrupt disappearance from her entire life.

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and other Extreme Sports

Third, in the James Patterson series of this much read Maximum Ride, James Patterson produces a profound effect on the reader’s soul once it depicts Max and her winged flock to find their real goal in life by rescuing humanity. Their enemies are attempting to re-evolve a pick population to make them clinically superior to present human inhabitants.

The Beach House

James Patterson collaborated on this unusual standalone thriller with journalist Peter De Jonge, and the outcome is one of his greatest because of the story’s genuinely shocking conclusion. This book throws some light on the corrupt system in which a lousy servant’s death finds no justice.

Jack Mullen, a law student, makes use of boundless human humor and finally conquers billionaire suspects that strive their best to conceal his brother’s departure. Such an astonishing book barely loses its grip over its readers.

Beach House

Woman of God

This is a literary thriller about a girl who might or may not, become the next Pope. The principal character, Brigid, is an unbelievable woman whose religion hasn’t come easily to her.

This is set against the background of a Sudanese civil war, drug dens, high-powered lawyers, Boston churches, and a growing Catholic Church.

Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club Series)

The 13th book in James Patterson’s favorite Women’s Murder Club series, Unlucky 13, finds Detective Lindsay Boxer alive the fantasy with a brand new baby, a beautiful husband, a fantastic job, and a group of buddies who only get her.

What’s going right for Lind say that is, until her exceptionally harmful nemesis Mackie Morales surfaces, together with revenge in her thoughts.

The mission of the Women’s Murder Club is to protect Lindsay’s vulnerable household by discovering Morales until she discovers them. Of course, the gruesome crime scenes, a few stressed interlocking storylines will keep you hooked from beginning to finish.

Get ready to burn the midnight oil since there is a frightening new James Patterson stand alone thriller coming this June, and I forecast several sleepless nights in your future.

Invisible tells the story of Emmy Dockery, an FBI researcher who becomes obsessed with the notion that she’s found a connection between millions of upsetting, unsolved instances.

James Patterson is in top form, and it’s among the most grisly, spine tingling tales yet. Pre-order in hardcover or even NOOK to get a June 23 launch.

Invisible (Invisible, 1)

Gone (Michael Bennett Series)

Co-authored with Michael Ledwidge, detective Michael Bennett is doing what he knows is ideal for his loved ones protecting his ten adopted kids from the consequences of his reckless, high stakes profession by concealing them off in an isolated farm in California. However, his callous archenemy, the crazed killer Manuel Perrine, is out of prison and out for blood revenge.

The People vs. Alex Cross

Alex Cross was charged with shooting the followers of nemesis Gary Soneji; however, Alex Cross has never been on the wrong side of the law until today.

Alex Cross becomes the flipped poster that believes they activate the cops who believe they were over the law. Just Alex Cross knows what he’s done was self-defense.

Alex Cross struggles with professional life together with his life’s liberty along with his spouses’ John Sampson. Regardless of his suspension, Cross started the illegal investigation that contributes to the world wide web’s darkest corners.

The People vs. Alex Cross: the trial of this century, watched from the entire country and cupboard to the Cross starts to doubt that innocence.

An outbreak empties the roads and also preys on childhood. With turning the holiday, Barouche did not tell the complete story of this perfect community and mortal vice.

Local cops discover a crime scene that has been buried yesteryear in forests. They consult Bennett from New York City along with the town road and know him quite well.

Haunted (A Michael Bennett...

Sam’s Letter to Jennifer

Not long after two consecutive declines, Jennifer is welcomed with her grandma’s sad news. She receives a telephone and goes back to her grandma’s place the same city in which she grew up. While spending some time there, she finds many letters recapping the romance of her grandmother, Sam.

If you are not fond of thriller tales but wish to read James Patterson, I’d advise you to read this book. I provided that you don’t mind reading a romance book , also.

Reading this book may also be a fantastic rest if you have been consecutively reading James Patterson’s thriller works. If you are looking for a fantasy romance novel , this might also be for you.

The President Is Missing

The book confronts a danger so enormous that it jeopardizes Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street and most of America. Uncertainty and fear hold the country.

There are whispers of cyberterrorism and espionage along with a traitor from the Cabinet. The President himself becomes a suspect; then, he goes missing from public opinion.

Filled with advice that just a former commander in chief may understand, this is the most accurate, frightening novel to come along in several years. The novel made it number one on the  New York Times  bestsellers list.

The Thomas Berryman Number

You are just about to start one of those traditional American novels of humor from a few of the world’s bestselling authors. It begins with three frightening murders from the South.

It finishes with a constant and unforgettable search from the North. In between is the most bizarre story of a fearful assassin, the girl he loves, and the beloved leader He’s hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

The Thomas Berryman Number

Confessions of a Murder Suspect

Sixteen-year-old Tandy Angel, along with her three brothers, is out of a wealthy and productive family. They’re overachievers and prodigies in their fields. But following the mysterious death of the parents, things begin to change.

Law enforcement can’t identify other suspects apart from Tandy, along with her brothers. The matter is, she might even be guilty of this offense herself, even though she can not say for sure. She must learn the facts behind their parents’ death and find a few of the strangest and most shocking family secrets.

This book has more of a thriller and not as much of a pursuing storyline than the earlier mentioned show from the young adult list. The personality, Tandy, narrates the story right to the crowd, which adds a stimulating effect. This is suggested for readers who like reading about family secrets and mysteries.

Brutal animal assaults are hurting entire towns all around the world. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, is growing increasingly concerned as events unfold. The scope of the oncoming bloodshed becomes terrifyingly evident as he sees an organized lion ambush in Africa.

The Murder House (2015)

The Murder House is a co-written film with David Ellis about a detective with a shady history who travels to the Hamptons to investigate a murder case. The Los Angeles Times bestselling list included both the paperback and hardback editions of the Murder House.

A deadly explosion occurs during a fundraiser in a room filled with New York’s elite. The A-listers the NYPD Red task team was created to safeguard may be accountable for devastation of an unbelievable magnitude, they learn as they conduct their investigation. Get it for the Patterson enthusiast in your life to show them how kind you are.

Humans, Bow Down

Who, let’s be honest, doesn’t like Sarah Connor? Six is a fierce woman with little to lose in a world where robots have recently won the Great War. Six and her criminal accomplice, Dubs, are the only thing preventing humanity from being completely wiped off. They have to rely on the most unlikely of alliances to do this.

Filthy Rich

This is the real-life account of Jeffrey Epstein, a successful financial entrepreneur. He lost favor because he preferred young girls. The females who worked at Epstein’s house, the police who were looking into the allegations, and Epstein himself are all discussed in this book.

Filthy Rich: The Shocking True...

The Injustice

Theo’s Twitter account remained private until a user shared a viral picture that caused him to be banned. To figure out who set them up, he teams up with Sasha, who was also expelled for a crime she didn’t commit. Even his closest buddy from his family cannot be ruled out as a suspect.

Jackson Oz, a biologist, has attempted in vain to warn the world about his idea of the impending clash between humans and animals. He could be too late to avert the disaster, given the growth in vicious animal assaults.

School’s Out—Forever

In the second book in the “Maximum Ride” series, Max and her flock are found by the FBI after one of them is injured in an accident and taken to the hospital. The flock enrolls at a particular school while Max learns how she is destined to rescue the world after striking a deal with the FBI in return for their brother’s medical care.

School's Out - Forever...

In this disturbing thriller, the Women’s Murder Club’s four members get together again when it seems that two awful and sad occurrences are connected. In this suspenseful murder mystery, the ladies make a link. When they do, the explanation and the killer’s motivation shock the whole country.

Detective Lindsay Boxer finds three dead corpses and a puzzling message in this third book in the “Women’s Murder Club” series. When additional corpses are found, she enlists the aid of her three friends to track down the murderer who has promised to commit a murder every three days. It seems that one of their own is the next victim.

4th of July

Lieutenant Lindsey Boxer is the main character in this “Women’s Murder Club” mystery. She is on trial following a dramatic series of events that all started when she discharged her weapon. In this thrilling tale, Lindsay needs the support of her friends to clear her reputation and put a murderer on the run before they can attack again.

4th of July [Paperback] James...

Jack & Jill

In the thrilling third novel in the “Alex Cross” series, a U.S. senator is found dead in his bed as Alex is sent to a little girl’s horrific murder scene. The murderer strikes again as Alex Cross scrambles to solve the crimes, pushing the homicide investigator into a frantic race against time.

Cat & Mouse

In this “Alex Cross” mystery, a notorious murderer makes a comeback out of vengeance and is out to get Alex before his terminal illness claims him. Thomas Pierce is also on the prowl for his own violent adversary. Should their paths meet with Alex’s, the consequences might be fatal.

The 5th Horseman

Yuki Castellano, an attorney, is a new member of the “Women’s Murder Club” in this 2006 book. The Murder Club ladies, with Yuki’s assistance, discover a ruthless murderer who may be connected to a series of unexplained patient murders at a hospital that is determined to preserve its reputation above all else — or anyone else.

The 5th Horseman (Women's...

Hide and Seek

In “Hide and Seek,” Maggie Bradford, a well-known singer who has attracted national notice, is on trial for the murder of two of her husbands. As the mystery is unraveled in this stand-alone criminal thriller, it seems that one of Maggie’s renowned spouses had his own deadly and sinister secrets.

The Final Warning

Max and her group flee to Antarctica in this thrilling and action-packed fourth book in the young adult “Maximum Ride” series to assist in research on the causes of global warming. Max believed she had finally escaped the perils that had been chasing her for years. Still, it soon becomes clear that she and her genetically modified siblings are always being watched.

Pop Goes the Weasel

The sixth “Alex Cross” mystery, “Pop Goes the Weasel,” has detective Alex Cross was pursuing challenging, exciting, and hazardous murders. In this book, a string of bizarre killings has police in Washington, D.C. baffled, but when Alex Cross names a suspect, proving he is the culprit might prove to be a fatal undertaking.

Pop Goes the Weasel (Alex...

How Many Books Has James Patterson Written?

James Patterson has written over 150 books in his career, with many of them being bestsellers. He has written novels in a variety of genres, including suspense, mystery, crime, and romance. Patterson’s books have sold over 375 million copies worldwide, making him one of the most popular authors of all time.

His most famous series include the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, and Maximum Ride books. Patterson has also written several stand-alone novels, such as Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls, which have been adapted into successful films. In addition to his writing, Patterson is also a philanthropist and an advocate for literacy.

He has donated millions of dollars to bookstores and libraries, as well as to organizations that promote reading.

What should I read if I like James Patterson?

If you like James Patterson, you should read the Alex Cross series. The series follows the life and crimes of Alex Cross, a homicide detective in Washington D.C. It is a great story and it is very well written.

What is the order of the books in the Michael Bennett series?

The Michael Bennett series can be read in order or as stand-alone novels. The series starts with Step on a Crack and continues with Run for Your Life, Worst Case, Tick Tock, I, Michael Bennett, Gone, Burn, Alert, and Bullet.

What is the order of the books in the Maximum Ride series?

The Maximum Ride series should be read in order, as each book builds on the last. The series starts with The Angel Experiment and continues with School’s Out – Forever, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, The Final Warning, Max, Fang, Angel, and Nevermore.

In conclusion, James Patterson is a great author and his books are definitely worth reading. If you’re looking for a good book to read, Penn Book highly recommend any of his books. Thanks for reading!

Related Article: How Many Books Has James Patterson Written?

Watch more videos: Why James Patterson used to hate books and what changed his mind .

Want exclusive content, like free chapters, news, and sweepstakes?

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

' data-src=


Penn Book Center, Founded by Matthew Duques and Diana Bellonby. We are expertise in bibliology. With an experience of 5 years in the field, we will bring the world of greatest books to your shelf.Follow us on Social Media: Facebook ; Twitter ; LinkedIn #pennbookcenter #pbc

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

best rated books by james patterson

  • Novels to Change Your Whole Life
  • Books with Movie Adaptations
  • The Greatest Novels Ever Written
  • Books Everyone Should Read
  • The Best Selling Books of All Time
  • The Most Overrated Books Ever
  • The Best Works by Stephen King
  • The Best Horror Books of All Time
  • The Best Novelists of All Time
  • Books Everyone Lies About Reading
  • Books No One Ever Finishes
  • The Best Mystery Novels Ever Written
  • The Greatest Great American Novels
  • The Greatest Fantasy Book Series
  • The Best Science Fiction Novels
  • The Best Poems Ever Written
  • The Greatest Books You Were Forced to Read
  • Good Books to Read to Kids
  • The 9 Best Movies About Bookstores

The Best James Patterson Books


List of the best James Patterson books, ranked by voracious readers in the Ranker community. Patterson is known for writing his books as part of a series, including the Maximum Ride, Alex Cross, and Women's Murder Club series. With commercial success and critical acclaim, there's no doubt that James Patterson is one of the most popular authors of the last 100 years. If you're a huge fan of his work, then vote on your favorite novels below and make your opinion count. This poll is also a great resource for new fans of James Patterson who want to know which novels they should start reading first. With memorable characters and excellent storytelling, there's no reason why you shouldn't check out his work if you're a big reader.

Along Came a Spider

Along Came a Spider

Kiss the Girls

Kiss the Girls

1st to Die

The Beach House

Roses Are Red

Roses Are Red

Run for Your Life

Run for Your Life

Pop Goes the Weasel

Pop Goes the Weasel

Step on a Crack

Step on a Crack


The 5th Horseman

Cat and Mouse

Cat and Mouse

Four Blind Mice

Four Blind Mice


4th of July

Jack & Jill

Jack & Jill

Judge and Jury

Judge and Jury

Double Cross

Double Cross

London Bridges

London Bridges

Mary, Mary

The Big Bad Wolf

Cross Country

Cross Country

Kill Alex Cross

Kill Alex Cross

2nd Chance

I, Alex Cross

When the Wind Blows

When the Wind Blows

Violets Are Blue

Violets Are Blue

The 6th Target

The 6th Target

  • James Patterson

Ranking the best novels and non-fiction books of every genre.

Novels to Change Your Whole Life

Self Publishing Resources

25 Best James Patterson Books: Must Reads By The Bestselling Author

  • February 21, 2022

James Patterson’s books are well known to readers of many genres. A best-selling author who frequents the New York Times Bestsellers List, the 74-year-old writer is responsible for Alex Cross, one of the modern times’ most beloved book characters. He also wrote the Alex Cross series, Michael Bennett series, Women’s Murder Club series, and many others. Arguably the world’s bestselling author, Patterson’s books deliver, regardless of your preferred genre. Patterson has dabbled in nearly all of them.

The 25 Best James Patterson Books

The work of james patterson.

James Patterson has written books that span several genres , including romance, psychological thriller, mystery, young adult fiction , thriller, and crime fiction. He also frequently collaborates with other authors such as David Ellis, Michael Ledwidge, writer and journalist Peter de Jonge, and even President Bill Clinton. He has had 114 New York Times Bestseller books, setting a record. The following is a list of some of the best James Patterson books and a brief description of each.

Best James Patterson Books

1. Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross Series)

best rated books by james patterson

This is the first book of the Alex Cross series and would entice nearly any reader to continue with the sequel to learn more about the genius that is Detective Alex Cross. Cross is a cunning homicide detective with an interesting and full personal life and perhaps James Patterson’s best-written protagonist.

Put up against killer Gary Soneji, who seems just as intelligent and cunning as Alex Cross, the stakes continue to be raised. With the help of Jezzie, the female supervisor of the Secret Service, they try to stop a diabolical serial killer. Not afraid to risk his own life, the intensity of any Alex Cross book is palpable, but Along Came a Spider is a definite fan favorite.

2. 1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club Series)

best rated books by james patterson

This book introduces and sees the formation of the Women’s Murder Club, a group of four women who work outside their typical jobs to identify, stop, and find a killer targeting newlywed couples in San Francisco. Beginning with a murder at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Detective Lindsay Boxer tries to solve the crime before the body count rises further. Realizing that other people are the key to solving this case, she enlists the help of a female medical examiner, a defense attorney, and a reporter. Inspector Lindsay Boxer must then piece together the clues each woman can provide and stop a madman. The Women’s Murder Club series spans thirteen novels.

3. Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett Series)

best rated books by james patterson

Written with Michael Ledwidge, a frequent collaborator of James Patterson’s, this begins the book in a series that spans 15 books about a detective who not only has his hands full on complicated and dangerous cases but in his personal life as well. This book introduces Detective Michael Bennett, making it one of the best James Patterson books, aside from being incredibly written.

Detective Michael Bennett and his wife have adopted ten children, and when we meet him, we learn that Michael’s wife is dying of cancer. Trying to steer his family through the emotional stress the holidays bring, Michael’s efforts are interrupted when criminals storm the church and hold hundreds of people hostage at the funeral of a former First Lady.

Called to the scene, Bennett has to make the unthinkable decision—negotiate with madmen, get everyone out as safely as possible, and deal with his grief over losing his wife. This is a favorite James Patterson book for many fans, and it is not difficult to see why after reading it.

best rated books by james patterson

Another literary work by Michael Ledwidge is a simple but thrilling story . Not the usual crime fiction that some of his fans are used to, this two-book series is about Jackson Oz, a biologist, who notices an emerging trend of animals turning on and attacking people. After collecting the data and warning people as quickly as possible, Jackson must try to figure out what is causing this odd animal behavior and get the word out so that people can be kept safe. This story is simple but fascinating in its premise and was adapted into a TV series.

5. The Murder House

best rated books by james patterson

The Murder House is a standalone book James Patterson wrote with frequent collaborator David Ellis. It involves a house in the posh area of the Hamptons that the locals call the Murder House due to murders that occurred there years ago. Native Jenna Murphy moves back to the area from New York, where she was a police officer, and assumes that she is getting away from the excitement of the city when she agrees to be a cop for her uncle, who is the police chief in her native town.

The murders start back up at the Murder House, and Jenna has to hurry to solve the mystery so that more people do not fall victim to whoever or whatever is lurking there. This is a book that many fans suggest beginners should start with. If you have never read James Patterson, this one may be the one for you to begin with.

6. NYPD Red

best rated books by james patterson

Written by James Patterson and Marshall Karp, this book is about Detective Zach Jordan and is crime fiction that takes many twists and turns in this six-book series featuring Zach Jordan. The New York mayor has created a new division of the NYPD, and Zach is a part of it.

Detective Zach Jordan and his ex, Kylie, are assigned to a special unit of the NYPD tasked with keeping the rich and famous of New York safe and promptly investigating any crimes committed against them. Sidney Roth is a famous producer who dies due to poisoning, and Zach and Kylie have to figure out who the culprit is. This is not your ordinary crime fiction, as you have two people who were together and are at the top of their game playing off each other in this story.

7. The Beach House

best rated books by james patterson

This story differs from James Patterson’s other works and is some of the best James Patterson content because it is dark, does not center around a detective, and leaves the reader guessing for much of the story. Written by author and journalist Peter de Jonge, this standalone novel is one thriller story that makes you think about it long after reading.

Law student Jack Mullen goes to the Hamptons where his brother died due to accidental drowning on the property of some wealthy playboy. Jack knows this was no accident after a glance at Peter’s body. The police, judges, and other people of authority have been paid off, and the deck is stacked against Jack. However, this crime fiction takes a darker turn than most of James Patterson’s books when Jack decides that the only way forward is to take the law into his own hands and seek vigilante justice.

Best James Patterson Books

8. Angel Experiment

best rated books by james patterson

This is the first book in the Maximum Ride series, written for middle school to adulthood adults. This is more science fiction than a crime thriller or crime fiction. In this book, genetically engineered and advanced teens are held captive at the school they live in and attend.

Born with wings, the teens in Maximum Ride are extraordinary yet still encounter the same issues every young teenager has to deal with, which helps the young fans and readers bond with them. Maximum Ride is an excellent series for anyone, but it caters to younger people.

9. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

best rated books by james patterson

James Patterson leaves crime behind in this book and switches to romance . We meet Katie Wilkinson, a successful editor, happy and in love with her boyfriend, Matthew, in this genre change. Everything seems to be going well until Matthew disappears. To understand what happened, Katie starts reading a diary that she finds written by someone named Suzanne, telling the story of a man named Nicholas. It offers unsettling clues as to what might have happened to Matthew.

10. Kiss the Girls

best rated books by james patterson

In the second Alex Cross book, we follow the homicide detective as he tries to track down two serial killers working together in locations that are thousands of miles away. The stakes are raised even higher when the killers kidnap the niece of Alex Cross as the next potential murder victim.

11. Confessions of a Murder Suspect

best rated books by james patterson

Written with Maxine Paetro, this young adults thriller book reveals shocking family secrets, a mystery that seems impossible to solve, and interesting characters . Affluent Tandy and her siblings are left shell-shocked after their parents are murdered. As the only suspect of the crime, sixteen-year-old Tandy has to do her best to solve the mysterious death of her parents while not entirely sure that it was not her.

12. Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

best rated books by james patterson

In the third book in the Maximum Ride series, this plotline follows Max and her “flock” as they try to stop an evil plot to genetically modify specimens and create a “perfect race,” then kill the rest of society.

13. Never Never (Harriet Blue Series)

best rated books by james patterson

Written with Candice Fox, this novel begins a five-book series featuring Detective Harriet Blue of the SVU unit. When her brother is arrested for murder, Harriet is sent to Australia to escape the swarm of media and bad PR that arises because of his relationship with the killer. While there, she gets entangled in a mystery about missing miners. This book has short chapters, a trademark of Patterson books, and appeals to readers.

14. Woman of God

best rated books by james patterson

This is another book written by Patterson in collaboration with Maxine Paetro. This book steps away from the Alex Cross-type crime thriller novels that James Patterson is known for. This book follows Brigid, a priest who is quickly climbing the ladder of Catholicism and could end up the next Pope. She finds her passion in trying to help those who seem to lack faith. This book is full of justice, religion, and underlying messages from Boston churches to people in power and even a Sudanese civil war.

15. Gone (Michael Bennet)

best rated books by james patterson

The sixth novel in the Michael Bennett series is less a mystery and more a quintessential thriller. Patterson again collaborated with Michael Ledwidge on this book. The character development and emotion that this story brings to the table make for some touching scenes involving this fan-favorite character.

Bennett is retired and living his life when a cartel member he put behind bars escapes and targets Bennett and his family. A deadly contest ensues surrounding who can get to who first—this story kicks the mystery to the curb and is a hard and fast thrill ride.

Best James Patterson Books, james patterson's best books

16. The Thomas Berryman Number

best rated books by james patterson

The very first published novel by James Patterson, this story moves much more slowly than his subsequent books. A journalist researching a murder uncovers some similar cases that he believes are related. Thomas Berryman, the killer, uses a numbering system to kill his targets and has to stay a step ahead if he does not want to get caught.

17. Murder Games

best rated books by james patterson

Patterson wrote this book with Howard Roughan, and it is the first book in a five-part series. A cop investigating a murder case teams up with a professor to solve the mystery of killings happening in which the killer leaves a single playing card as a calling card. With the help of Howard Roughan, Patterson delivers nonstop twists and thrills in this crime novel.

18. Jacky Ha Ha

best rated books by james patterson

Written by Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, this book is geared towards children and features a troubled child who deals with her issues by telling ill-timed jokes. With a military mom and a busy dad, Jacky has a lot going on at home, and after getting into some trouble, she realizes that her comic relief is only making things worse. She ends up being faced with deciding whether she should find a new coping mechanism.

19. Pop Goes the Weasel

best rated books by james patterson

Another Alex Cross book (number 5) centers more around mind games than action. With Cross finally in love and happy, James Patterson had to come along and disturb that with this book. After a string of murders, Alex Cross has reason to believe that he knows who the killer is. The problem is that proving it and catching the murderer is much more dangerous than Cross anticipated initially.

20. Out of Sight (Amy Cornwall Series)

best rated books by james patterson

Written with Brendan DuBois, James Patterson kicks off a series featuring Army Intelligence Officer Amy Cornwall. In this book, Amy is contacted by an unnamed criminal who demands the release of someone in just two days, or her husband and child will be murdered. Having to investigate, sneak around within the military, and save her family—Amy is in a tight spot that will hurt her no matter what she does.

21. Roses Are Red

best rated books by james patterson

The sixth Alex Cross book by James Patterson is about bank robbers who make particular demands and murder the bank employees and their families if those demands are not met exactly. Assigned to the case, Alex Cross quickly decides that this is no ordinary criminal, and he must figure out how to stop him before he kills more people.

22. The People Vs. Alex Cross

best rated books by james patterson

This is the 25th Alex Cross novel by James Patterson, and this one has a huge plot . Branded as a loose cannon, Alex Cross waits to stand trial for murder. Stuck at home and desperate to clear his name, he starts counseling cops in his basement. When his old partner shows up and asks for help solving a murder, Cross sees it as a chance to redeem himself.

23. The First Lady

best rated books by james patterson

Written with Brendan DuBois, the premise of this book is fairly simple. The President of the United States is caught with a mistress when the First Lady goes missing. Agent Sally Grissom is tasked with finding the First Lady and keeping her safe once she is located.

24. The Inn

best rated books by james patterson

Written in collaboration with Candice Fox, this book is about Bill, a retired detective running a quiet bed and breakfast. Bill goes head to head against a killer who is wreaking havoc in the area together with his long-term tenants.

25. Fear No Evil

best rated books by james patterson

Alex Cross and his partner team up and go to Montana in one of the best James Patterson books of the series. Being hunted by two groups of assassins, the pair of police officers must not only survive the wilderness but several attempts to take their lives. A thrilling novel and a must read.

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Sign up to our newsletter!

Related articles

Motivational Quotes About Writing

120 Motivational Quotes About Writing To Inspire A New Writer Like You

How To Register A Kindle On Amazon

How To Register A Kindle On Amazon To Enjoy Your Ebooks In 4 Easy Ways

How To Market A Self-Published Book

How To Market A Self-Published Book And Be Profitable In 9 Easy Ways

Book Maverick

10 Best James Patterson Books

' src=

James Patterson is one of the biggest selling authors of all time. He’s sold more than 300 million books worldwide, including 84 million in just the past decade . That’s also landed him at the top of the list of wealthiest authors according to Forbes.

The reason isn’t complicated: Patterson is very good at writing fast-paced, tense thrillers. His signature style of short chapters that end on exciting story beats, straightforward prose, and unflinching descriptions of brutal crimes have driven his popularity among readers. While Patterson has written—and found success—in almost every genre, he’s best known for his crime thrillers, and that’s the genre where you find his best work. So if you’re looking for a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, here are the 10 best James Patterson books to check out.

1. Along Came a Spider

best rated books by james patterson

Alex Cross is James Patterson’s most famous and popular character, and the book that introduced Cross remains not only the best example of the series but the best Patterson book overall. If the basic template of the book—a brilliant detective teams with a fiercely driven female Secret Service agent to stop a deranged, brutal serial killer—seems familiar, that’s because Patterson perfected it.

What really elevates Along Came A Spider to the top of the list is the character work. Alex Cross is a modern version of the classic gentleman detective—highly intelligent, educated, and cultured, but capable of decisive action when necessary. By bridging the old-school Sherlock Holmes/Nero Wolfe detective onto a grisly story of serial murder and mental illness, Patterson struck gold and launched a franchise that is three films and nearly 30 books strong.

2. 1st to Die

best rated books by james patterson

Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series is a prime example of the sort of efficient, exciting story Patterson excels at: A team of four professional, accomplished women with disparate talents and resources combine forces to chase after a serial killer who targets couples. After being diagnosed with a rare, potentially fatal disease, Inspector Lindsay Boxer encounters the double homicide of a newlywed couple at the Grand Hyatt hotel. More couples are murdered, and the killings are dubbed the Honeymoon Murders.

As Boxer assembles her team of kick-butt women—a journalist, a medical examiner, a fellow cop—the story starts to feel like a superhero origin story. The contrast between some of Patterson’s most effective and gruesome descriptions of horrific crime scenes and an examination of female friendship gives the story a sense of stakes and surprising depth, making it one of his most consistently successful novels.

3. Kiss the Girls

best rated books by james patterson

The second novel to feature Alex Cross is almost as good as the first. Kiss the Girls is fast-paced, complex, and filled with twists, but Patterson keeps a steady hand on the story. Two distinct sociopaths working on opposite coasts, The Gentleman Caller and Casanova, are serial killers linked by their choice of beautiful young women as victims. When Casanova abducts Alex Cross’s niece, he has no choice but to take on the case—risking his life and the lives of his loved ones as he does so.

Alex Cross is a brilliant investigator, and so coming up with suitable adversaries can be a challenge. Having two horrifying killers is an exciting solution to the problem. The doubling of the antagonists makes for a plausible challenge for the otherwise unstoppable Cross, and Patterson efficiently guides his villains into the same zip code while expertly raising the stakes. It’s a dense book, but it’s written with remarkable clarity and control.

4. Pop Goes the Weasel

best rated books by james patterson

Cross is once again on the trail of a terrifying psychopath, but a bold structural twist elevates what could have been merely a thriller into one of Patterson’s best works. A former MI-6 agent working in the British embassy revives a bizarre “game” he once played with several spies, disguising himself and murdering women he lures into his taxi. Nick-named the Jane Doe Murderer, he catches the attention of Cross who finds himself weighed down by politics in his efforts to solve the case.

Just when you think Patterson is following a familiar plot trajectory, he throws a curveball: Cross actually captures and charges the killer, a dapper man named Geoffrey Shafer, relatively early on. That sets up the rest of the novel, where Shafer subverts the legal process and launches a convincing argument that Cross has framed him. It’s a brilliant twist that flips several tropes at once, making Pop Goes The Weasel a must-read for thriller fans.

5. The Thomas Berryman Number

best rated books by james patterson

Patterson’s first published novel is largely forgotten nearly 50 years after its publication, but it’s still a terrific book. The Thomas Berryman Number won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1976 and immediately established the hotshot advertising executive as a force to watch in the writing world.

Set in the early 1970s, the novel begins with the murder of one of the first black mayors in Nashville’s history. A journalist, drawn into the story by the nervous ramblings of one of the killers, suspects the explanation for the killing is too easy, so he investigates. He quickly discovers a deeper conspiracy that is soaked in the sort of political paranoia infamous of the 1970s. Multiple shifts in POV give the story a sense of constant motion, but it’s tempered by a stronger focus on detail and description while Patterson unveils his well-constructed plot.

best rated books by james patterson

Co-authored with Michael Ledwidge, Gone is a bit of a departure for Patterson in that it’s a straight-up thriller with almost zero mystery elements. New York City Police Detective Michael Bennett is the only law enforcement officer to ever put drug cartel leader Manuel Perrine behind bars. When Perrine engineers his escape, he targets Bennett and his family for revenge. Bennett comes out of retirement to hunt Perrine one more time, prompting the drug lord to launch a campaign of terror, killing enemies, former associates, and anyone else who crosses his path—all while his homicidal daughter hunts for Bennett’s family.

Gone launched the Michael Bennett series, and the novel has the breakneck pace and strong character work that marks all of Patterson’s stories. It’s an example of two skilled writers producing a nearly flawless example of the genre.

7. The Cornwalls Vanish

best rated books by james patterson

Originally published under the title The Cornwalls are Gone , this collaboration with Brendan DuBois shows that Patterson sometimes produces his best work when he tweaks his usual thriller formula. Army Intelligence officer Amy Cornwall comes home to find her husband and daughter have been kidnapped. To secure their safe return, she has to find a way to free a mysterious prisoner, risking her life and her career. This sort of impossible scenario where the protagonist has no good choices makes for a terrifically tense story.

Patterson’s character work is once again exemplary. Amy’s reaction to an existential threat to her family lines up well with her training, career choice, and personality—but Patterson and DuBois don’t neglect the other Cornwalls, giving her family individuality and emotional heft. They could have existed simply to kick the plot into motion, but instead they come alive on the page. Combined with Patterson’s expertise in pacing and twisty plotting, and you’ve got a top-notch modern thriller.

8. Roses are Red

best rated books by james patterson

The key to enjoying many of Patterson’s thrillers is to view them as superhero stories: The villains are almost superhuman in their cruelty and intelligence, while the hero—here again the brilliant but lovable Alex Cross—is burdened with far too much humanity. The antagonist here calls himself The Mastermind, and he delights in manipulating people into complex crimes that end in bloody massacres. His cool, icy brilliance is contrasted with Cross’s messy personal life as his relationship status fluctuates and his daughter suffers a mysterious malady.

It’s a clever trick—the many messy challenges in Cross’s life make him the underdog despite being a world-class detective and brilliant investigator, and The Mastermind’s cruel horrors remind the reader that none of us are as safe as we think we are. It’s a particularly tense example of what Patterson does best.

9. The Murder House

best rated books by james patterson

No one weaponizes plot twists like Patterson. Working with frequent collaborator David Ellis, Patterson constructs a master class in fooling the reader without irritating them. The opening sequence of The Murder House is pure bravado: No fewer than three seemingly unconnected mysteries are introduced in the first pages, including the mystery of what happened to the book’s protagonist, former NYPD detective Jenna Murphy, when she was a child.

Murphy has moved home after resigning from the force in disgrace, but a double murder in the town’s infamous “Murder House” where several violent tragedies have occurred over the years, pulls her back in. Her investigation is as much about discovering her own past as it is about the current murders. While the Murder House is obviously the center of the web, Patterson and Ellis continuously surprise the reader and keep them off-balance. Twists are often used like sledgehammers in thrillers, exploding logic at the end of stories to shock and amaze. Patterson and Ellis instead wield their twists like scalpels, slowly transforming and shaping the story. It’s a book you’ll want to read twice in order to spot how it all hangs together.

10. The Beach House

best rated books by james patterson

Patterson teamed up with journalist Peter De Jonge for this rare standalone thriller, and the result is one of his best because it employs a truly surprising resolution to the story. When law student Jack Mullen is told his brother Peter accidentally drowned on the property of shady billionaire Barry Neubauer, he’s shocked. When he sees Peter’s body, he knows he didn’t drown. But Neubauer’s money goes a long way, and Jack finds his attempts at finding out the truth frustrated by crooked cops and intimidated officials. Aided by his hometown friends and his grandfather, Jack accepts that the law, for once, can’t help him and pursues justice on his own.

The pivot into a dark vigilante story removes any chance that even the most experienced fan could guess where the story is going. You’ll be hard-pressed to guess the ending, making The Beach House a modern classic of its genre.

' src=

Jeff Somers

Jeff Somers (www.jeffreysomers.com) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and regrets nothing. He is the author of nine novels, a book on the craft of writing, and numerous short stories. His guitar playing is a plague upon his household and his lovely wife The Duchess is convinced he would die if left to his own devices.

Further Reading...

9 best neil gaiman novels, 11 best aldous huxley books, 10 best isaac asimov books, 8 books like fangirl, 15 books like the cruel prince.

  • Book Category Tool
  • Gadgets and Gizmos
  • All About Me

12 Best James Patterson Books to Suit Every Mood

  • by Sam Howard

James Patterson once said: “I want to prove to everyone, from children to adults, that there is no such thing as a person who doesn’t like to read, only people who haven’t found the right book.” He then went on to write the ‘right book’ for many, his genres ranging from thrillers, suspense, and horror, to romance and YA. 

Since his first published book, No products found. (1976), won The Edgar Award for best novel of the year, Patterson has had a string of success stories (literally!). Today, he is among those who have written the most number of New York Times bestsellers in history. 

He’s most famous in the thriller and suspense realm, because he has a way of keeping you hooked from the first line, making sure you turn the pages to the very end with his fast-paced writing style. And I, like many other Patterson fans, got to know and love him through his crime and mystery novels. Then I read a bunch of other genres he’s written in and, just as I expected, he did right by those books too. 

So I’ve compiled a list of some of his best page-turners here for you, and since my heart always sings for the romance genre, I included two of his best romance novels as well. 

How I rated these books

I’m a mood reader, so whatever I felt at the end of the book makes it into my rating. But there are a few more things I think of when deciding on it:

  • Whether the plot makes sense
  • Whether there are interesting characters and character arcs
  • If the style of writing is appealing
  • Whether the book is worth a second read
  • What other readers say about them

Best James Patterson Books List

Best james patterson book reviews, 1. along came a spider – my favorite.

No products found.

Gary Soneji, the psychotic killer, is about to commit the ‘crime of the century’. The latest of his unspeakable crimes happen at the precinct of the brilliant homicide detective, Alex Cross. Soneji is soon becoming his worst nightmare, especially since he needs to be at the top of his game and not be distracted by the smart and seductive Jezzie Flanagan, the first female supervisor of the Secret Service.

Nobody ever truly forgets their first Patterson and for me, it was Along Came a Spider from the Alex Cross series. My favorite genre after romance is mystery thriller (probably because I binge read the Nancy Drew series as a kid) so when I came across the first book featuring Alex Cross, I didn’t think twice about reading it. I was delighted to find that it was a chilling read featuring a psychopath wreaking havoc in Washington D.C. 

Our psychopathic antagonist, Gary, is the kind that deserves a spot on Criminal Minds because he’s ruthless, manipulative, and treats all humans as his next victim. Patterson writes about him very skillfully, especially about Gary’s human side. I was left thinking about the motives behind the killer, what made him who he is, and his mental health. The story is about him committing his latest crime in the precinct of Alex Cross, the skilled homicide detective. 

Cross is brilliantly portrayed as a detective who started from the ghettos and rose up the ranks, working up to a massive career. In short, it’s so easy to root for this protagonist – I was completely invested in him winning both cases and at life. 

I loved the tension between Alex and Jezzie. Their forbidden romance gave us some great angst and longing scenes, but my one complaint is that Jezzie’s portrayal wasn’t as fleshed out as I would’ve liked it to be. I hate when FMCs are just there as a plot device with little to no character development of their own, and that’s what happened with Jezzie too.

That aside, the thriller/mystery element of this book was top-notch. I couldn’t rest without finding out the truth behind the mysterious killings and the plot twists just kept throwing me off my guard. 

Along Came a Spider has the best parts that make a great mystery thriller: a relatable detective, a frightening psychopath, and a fast-paced plot. This is your quick weeknight read for when you need something to pick up your mundane work days.

  • Best for – Fans of psychopath villains, homicide detectives, forbidden romance
  • Not for – Readers who are uncomfortable with murders, depiction of child murders/kidnapping

2. 1st to Die

Four crime-solving women team up to pursue a killer whose crimes have shocked San Francisco. But just as they near the end of their chase, a shocking revelation leaves them reeling with more questions than answers about everything they thought they knew.

What is the best thing that could make a James Patterson mystery thriller better than it already is? A women’s murder club, tasked with solving brutal crimes. I literally squealed when I read the synopsis of book 1 of the Women’s Murder Club, 1st to Die, because it’s about four women teaming up to catch a killer in San Francisco. 

My favorite thing about this book is the individualities of these four women. Each one has a specific career in the field of forensics and criminal science, and each one has their own battles to win. We love strong FMCs over here, so I was engrossed in their stories from the beginning. It certainly helped that Patterson expertly painted the female dynamics, their sisterhood, and teamwork throughout the story. 

Now let’s get to the thriller aspect of it. I have one thing to say: what on earth was that plot? The plot had me holding my breath until the end of the story to let out a sigh of relief, only to scream at that last twist. I won’t say more here because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but Patterson really hit a home run with this mystery. 

This is one of my favorite Patterson mystery thrillers for two reasons: the nail-biting plot and the fabulous group of women who are intent on solving the mystery. Since reading this book, I’ve been a staunch fan of the Women’s Murder Club, and I’m sure you will be too. Pick it up for strong FMCs and a killer plot (yes, literally).

  • Best for – Fans of strong FMCs, female investigators
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for a slow burn

3. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

Katie thinks she has found the perfect man until he suddenly leaves her with no explanation. When a diary turns up at her door with a note from her lover urging her to read it, she doesn’t hesitate. But will the answers she’s looking for be more painful than the breakup she’s just been through?

I first came across the movie version of Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, but when I saw the reviews online, I decided to give the book a chance. I was left with tears in my eyes at the end of this book – a reaction I never thought I’d have to the work of a writer best known for mystery thrillers.

We start the story with Katie sitting in a bathtub in tears, after having read the diary that Suzanne had written for Nicholas, her son. She realizes that Suzanne’s husband is Matt, her lover who had suddenly left her, the night before she had received the diary. Patterson’s opening lines were enough to catch me off guard because it was clear that both Suzanne and Katie were so in love with Matt. 

After Katie’s initial shock of reading the diary, there was an almost eerie calmness in her that I got a bit confused. You wouldn’t have expected a woman who had just found out that her lover was married to be this calm about everything, right? Did her love run so deep that she wasn’t angry? What was in the diary that made her feel empathy for Matt, even after he had wronged her? 

In answering these questions, Patterson treats us to two beautiful love stories in this novel. The plot twists and the ending were slightly predictable but Patterson’s portrayal of characters was the true winner in this book because we get to see the surprising tenderness and understanding between all of them. Their vulnerabilities were so heart-wrenching that I was ugly crying my way through the entire book 😭. 

Ultimately, this is a story which shows us that love isn’t black or white and that it instead exists, in a multitude of colors, in the ordinary moments of everyday life. I loved reading this mature romance and I would 100% recommend it for those of you looking for a slow, emotional, romance.

  • Best for – Fans of slow burn romances, mature romances
  • Not for –  Readers who are looking for a one love trope

4. Sam’s Letters to Jennifer

Six months after losing the love of her life, Jennifer moves back to Wisconsin to care for her ill grandmother. Here, she finds a painful secret that her grandmother has been harboring for years and discovers another chance at love.

I swear, I didn’t pick this book up because of the namesake. It’s just that Patterson did such a great job with Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, I decided to dive right into his other romance novel, Sam’s Letters to Jennifer. This was another haunting love story with themes of grief and loss, which left me at a loss for words once I was done with it. 

I love the second-chance love trope in this book where Jennifer, our FMC, returns to her hometown to care for her ill grandmother and ultimately ends up falling for Brendan. The way she falls in love with him is so heartwarming to see because Jennifer is giving herself a second chance at love, after going through the grief of losing her former partner. I found the depiction of her loss very painful to read about, but it was so beautifully written, capturing the mourning that follows the loss of a partner, and the conflicting feelings that come with finding love again. 

Patterson once again explores two love stories in this book. The second one is Jennifer’s grandmother, Sam’s, told through the letters that she has left for her granddaughter. I really enjoyed picking out the similarities between the stories of Jennifer and Sam, and I think this plot device really shows Patterson’s skills as a writer. Sam’s story is also a great (and pretty heartbreaking) insight into marriages from a different era. 

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer is a haunting, occasionally painful story of love and loss and I can confirm that James Patterson did wonders in the romance genre this time around as well. I’m recommending this with high praise, but be warned, you might need a weekend blocked out to sob your heart out as you read this book.

  • Best for – Fans of themes of love and loss, second chance love 
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for a quick burn, happy romance

5. The Murder House

Former NYC cop Detective Jenna Murphy has just moved back to the Hamptons in an attempt to escape her troubled past and to rehabilitate her struggling career. The last thing she expects is the town’s cursed gothic mansion to be the scene of depraved killings. With everything on the line, Jenna must risk her life to expose the truth behind the murders.

Haunted houses both terrify me and intrigue me, so when I found that James Patterson has a mystery thriller set around a creepy house, I knew I had to read it. This turned out to be one of the best stand-alones of Patterson’s I’ve read, mostly because I loved reading the chapters written from the point of view of the unknown killer. 

The book is told in a series of POVs, mainly between Detective Murphy and the unknown killer, who calls himself Holden. Reading his perspective gave me the shivers, but I loved that deep dive into the deranged thoughts of the criminal. 

Now, when they caught Noah Walker — the bad boy carpenter of the Hamptons for the murders — I immediately knew something smelled fishy. He didn’t really come across as a ‘deranged criminal.’ But (I’m ashamed to say) that was the only thing about this book that I was able to predict. I kind of pride myself on being able to figure out who the killer is before the end of the book, but Patterson almost always wins this game in his books. This was the same for The Murder House, and the twists had me jumpy right to the very end. 

The only issue I had with this story was the depiction of Detective Jenna Murphy’s character. She came off a bit annoying and careless as a detective, ready to point fingers at everybody instead of thinking things through first. 

However, if you’re in the mood for a fast-paced murder mystery, this is the perfect book for you. Check it out for its FMC who’s also a former NYC cop, the town bad boy who’s arrested for murder, and the POVs from the killer himself. And the cherry on top is the eerie, abandoned house where the story takes place.

  • Best for – Fans of murder mysteries, fans of abandoned houses
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for a likable FMC

6. The Postcard Killers

NYPD Detective Jacob Kanon is on an adventure through Europe’s cities for a heartbreaking reason: his daughter was a victim of a series of murders while holidaying in Paris. The killings are always preceded with a riddle written on a postcard to local newspapers, and the killers always claim couples on vacation. Enlisting the reluctant help of reporter Dessie Larrson, Kanon is ready to bring justice for his daughter.

Since murder mysteries are a surefire way of turning a boring weekend around, I picked up this novel during one slow weekend, and was completely blown away by the chilling murder spree depicted here. I had to call a fellow Patterson fan in the middle of reading this book just to calm myself down. 

I really loved that this book was set in Europe with the murders being in multiple locations, giving a sense of adventure to the whole mystery-solving aspect of the book. I also enjoyed that the detective pursuing the crimes, Kanon, was doing so for a very personal reason, bringing his determination front and center throughout the book. There’s nothing quite like a personal vendetta in a thriller novel to keep you captivated in the story. 

The book carried elements of erotica and historical art within the themes of murder and mystery. Adding that to the backdrop of adventure, the combo of themes made it a captivating read, especially as the crimes were linked to two killers who have a very interesting relationship to one another. 

I do wish though that the characters of the two killers were more fleshed out in this story. I was excited to find out what made them killers and how they connected, but my questions went unanswered and now I’m trying to manifest a sequel or spin-off featuring the killers.

So while I draft a letter to James Patterson asking for more of the Postcard Killers, go read this book! It’s an amazing stand-alone novel featuring a spree of gruesome killings, an adventure, and a detective with a personal vendetta.

  • Best for – Fans of adventure novels, murder mysteries
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for well-developed villains

7. Red Alert

Detective Zach, from NYPD Red, is in his element with his partner Detective Kylie, doing what they do best: solving high-profile crimes. What’s keeping them up at night is their next case: investigating the connection between two bomb explosions and the suspected murder of a high-profile NY-er known for her kinky sexual interests. Adding fuel to the suspense of solving a high-stakes, complicated mystery is the romantic tension between the duo.

The NYPD Red series is no stranger to the hardened Patterson fan. I pretty much binge-read the books as they were released because they feature one of my favorite tropes in murder mysteries, NYPD detectives. Patterson writes about an NYPD special unit named NYPD Red, featuring Detectives Zach and Kylie, and my favorite happens to be Red Alert.

I completely believe that the secret to a great detective story is one thing: the messiness. Hear me out, nobody wants a ‘clean’, easily predictable mystery where we can see the twists coming a mile away. But when there are multiple mysteries with little to no connection between them, that’s when things get a little messy and a whole lot interesting. 

Red Alert is the perfect example of such a book with the mysteries ranging from a bomb explosion at a fundraiser and a suspected murder of a high-profile New Yorker known for her kinky sexual explorations to a second bomb explosion. And I assure you, all these interconnected puzzles and the NYPD Red squad’s attempts to untangle everything will keep you hooked from the beginning. 

As usual, my favorite NYPD detective, Zach, was well characterized in this book. His witty banter with Kylie is hilarious while his longing for her is delightfully angsty. I loved seeing their personal relationship develop as a backstory, though I sometimes wanted to throw the book at the pair because they couldn’t see that they were good for each other. 

This remains my favorite NYPD Red book because of the insight it offers into the investigation of three gruesome crimes and the personal relationship between Zach and Kylie. I love the book for its pace, and I’m sure you’ll love it too – it’ll keep you occupied, twisting and turning the mystery in your head until you reach the very end.

  • Best for – Fans of NYPD-detective trope
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for a low-stakes mystery

8. Woman of God

Brigid Fitzgerald has faced a life of trials and tribulations, from a difficult childhood with drug-addled parents to a career as a doctor on the frontlines of war-torn Sudan. Her faith in God has only grown stronger through the years, but it must be put to the test again as those who fear that the Church has lost its way have made her a target.

Ever since I read the likes of Dan Brown’s No products found. , I’ve been fascinated with books inspired by religious history and mythology. That’s how I stumbled across Patterson’s Woman of God, which left me reeling from the story about politics in the highest institution of religious power in the world, and about one’s personal relationship with religion. 

I love when FMCs disrupt things (especially patriarchal institutions) and I had a good laugh reading this book as Brigid, our FMC, pretty much wreaks havoc in Rome. She is called for an audience with His Holiness Pope Gregory XVII for starting a movement to modernize Roman Catholic views, and she does NOT hold back. 

What I enjoyed the most about this book was the soft portrayal of a woman’s evolving relationship with God and faith because it was fascinating how Brigid’s character arc took shape with her faith. Her character development itself was very fast paced (true to the classic Patterson style) and it kept me gripped throughout the novel. 

I’m used to Patterson’s harsh-edged crime thrillers, so it came as a surprise when this story broke my heart with the personal trials that Brigid went through. The portrayal of loss and grief was so acute that for a second I forgot I was reading a thriller writer. 

I do have to say though that this book has some critical undertones of religion, especially about Roman Catholicism. If that’s not your cup of tea, I totally get it; but if you do decide to give it a chance, I recommend going into it with an open mind because it’s a fascinating fresh perspective on topics that have been hashed out for centuries. If you’re looking for a read that veers from conventional thriller and suspense novels, Woman of God might fit the bill.

  • Best for – Fans of religious history, fans of strong FMCs
  • Not for – Readers who are uncomfortable with religious politics

9. The Murder of King Tut

The life and death of the ‘Boy King’ has fascinated the minds of many across the decades. Howard Carter went a step further and made it his life’s mission to find answers to the 3,000-year-old mystery, and finally uncovered the long lost crypt. In The Murder of King Tut, Patterson unpacks these findings to disclose the truth behind the mystery.

I was digging around for some reading on ancient Egypt when I came across Patterson’s The Murder of King Tut. I was immediately obsessed because I’ve been invested in Tutankhamun like everyone was, for the same reason: the mystery surrounding King Tut’s death. This book was a thorough, intriguing collection of information and narratives that really opened my eyes to the scale of the mystery surrounding the Boy King.

I loved the cross-mixing of forms explored in this book. It starts with personal introductions by Patterson while the story is written in almost a report-style, making it an interesting take on true crime and historical writing. These liberties that Patterson has taken play a pivotal role in bringing to life the case of a murder mystery that has gone cold centuries ago. 

I also loved that writing this story meant that Patterson himself got to play detective, a role dedicated to his MCs in most of his other novels. He takes us on his journey of combing through history and Howard Carter’s findings to give us this compelling read. It’s not one of his fast-paced mystery thrillers, but it made me admire his skill as a writer all the more. 

In short, this book is such a fun and fascinating deep dive into a niche of history. If you’re a history buff, you would definitely love this book. If you’re not a history buff, you would still love this book because the mystery/suspense element is as appealing and fulfilling as any other James Patterson. Happy exploring, folks!

  • Best for –   Fans of Egyptian history
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for a fast-paced mystery thriller set in contemporary times

10. Filthy Rich

Starting from humble origins, Jeffrey Epstein amassed wealth with his penchant for numbers. But even after rising to the highest rungs of society, he wanted more and this meant indulging in his pedophilic tendencies. Filthy Rich examines all sides of his case as he fell from grace, rocking the foundations of high society.

When Jeffrey Epstein died in his jail cell in 2019, I, like literally everybody else on the internet, searched high and low for all details of his vile actions. That’s how I came across this book that Patterson had written three years prior to Epstein’s death, detailing the shocking nature of Epstein’s conduct.

Nothing has ever really prepared me for the horrors of true crime. I know that these stories are part and parcel of the society we live in, but I can never seem to wrap my head around how these atrocities are real and all possible. However, Patterson’s writing on the Epstein case was so direct and to the point that I had to come to terms with the existence of evil and those who commit it. 

It was difficult to stop reading about the horror show (akin to how we cannot look away from a car accident) because Patterson’s recreation of interviews and conversations with victims were extremely informative and captivating. 

I also really admired that Patterson critically examined the justice system in this book, showing us just how lightly they handled Epstein’s crimes when they were first brought to light. This, coupled with Patterson’s criticisms of the rich and powerful, made for a compelling and bone-chilling read. 

I finished the book thinking, “What a damning portrayal of today’s society” so I want to warn you – this book is difficult to stomach because the story is about some gruesome crimes towards children. With that warning in place, I really do urge you to read this story for a very dark but much needed insight into the world’s capacity for unspeakable acts against humanity.

  • Best for – Fans of true crime
  • Not for – Readers who are uncomfortable with the depiction of child abuse

11. The Injustice

Theo Foster is expelled when his anonymous Twitter account is used by someone to post a compromising photo of the school’s star quarterback player. Resigned to a life of working at the local mini-mart, he runs into Sasha Ellis, his long-time crush, who has also been expelled for a crime she didn’t commit. Teaming up together, they decide to uncover the truth behind who set them up.

I haven’t read a lot of Young Adult mysteries because I haven’t come across well-recommended ones, but since The Injustice is a James Patterson product, I decided to give it a go. I was so thrilled to find that this was a Pretty Little Liars meet The Breakfast Club kind of a book because I loved both of them as a teen. 

Right from the start, I enjoyed the friendships between the group of students expelled from their high school for various reasons. They are so different from each other that they wouldn’t have been friends in another lifetime, but in the book, their common experience brings them together. Then they have to learn to put up with each other to find out who used Theo’s social media account to upload a compromising video of Parker, in order to clear their names. 

Our MMC, Theo, had excellent character development. He’s no perfect teenager by any means, and Patterson expertly captures the conflicting nature of young adulthood. Theo grew to be resilient and learned to fight back, and I was so moved by the way he handled the challenges that life threw at him. 

Similar to Theo’s, the storylines of two of the other three MCs were also great. I loved reading about Jude’s struggles with his sexuality and Parker’s personal story, but I was not a fan of Sasha’s storyline because the twist at the end about her home life came off a bit unnecessary. There was absolutely no need to give her that character arc, and then just leave us hanging there with no explanation or resolution. 

However, if you’re looking for an easy-read YA mystery, this is the book for you. It has some beautiful explorations of friendship and an interesting plot, so it’ll quickly fill up your slow weekends!

  • Best for – Fans of YA mysteries
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for a mature mystery/crime thriller

12. Humans, Bow Down

Hu-bots, originally created by humans as perfect versions of themselves, have waged war against humankind and won. Under the hu-bot rule, the remaining humans are either imprisoned or forced to work as servants. One teenage girl, Six, unknowingly holds the device that can change everything, but will the hu-bots get to her before she realizes its potential?

From Divergent to The Hunger Games, I love reading post-apocalyptic dystopian novels which show the alternative worlds that humans can create, and the fight to ensure that they are just and fair. That’s why I decided to give Humans, Bow Down a go, and I was completely taken by it. 

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was Six’s character development. In a post-apocalyptic world where humans are enslaved to robots, she unknowingly holds the secret to a device that could change everything because she’s the granddaughter of the inventor of the first original robot. We get to see how she tries to do right by humankind while dealing with the trauma of being kicked out of her family and the hu-bot war that nearly wiped down humanity; I was impressed by the high stakes and the challenges they presented, especially in a YA book. 

I also really loved the symbolism in this book because Patterson used symbols to draw parallels between the dystopian world of the novel and the world we live in today – like the modern-day class structure, for example. It’s a bit of a jarring outlook on reality but I like it when authors force me to see the world in a different light. That’s what reading’s all about, right?

The novel was really rushed though. I think a great dystopian novel is one that properly fleshes out the world, the plot, and the characters so we can connect with the story. In Humans, Bow Down, there’s no space for this to happen because Patterson’s classic short chapters aren’t structured for comprehensive worldbuilding. 

However, it’s still a fresh take on a common dystopian trope of robots ruling the world with its symbolism, the FMC, and the reflections it left me with. So if you’re looking for a fast-paced YA dystopian novel with a strong FMC, this is the book for you.

  • Best for – Fans of YA dystopian genre
  • Not for – Readers who are looking for slow-paced dystopian books

And that’s my list of the best James Pattersons! Whether you’re new to reading or a seasoned bookaholic, Patterson has something for everyone from true crime to mystery thrillers to romances. Pick up your next Patterson read to dive into worlds of crime, shrouded by mystery and thrill.

What Are the Must Read James Patterson Books?

Patterson’s Alex Cross series is his most popular one, and its first book, No products found. , is definitely a must read. Many Patterson fans were indoctrinated into the fanbase through this book and it remains a winner, even today. 

The NYPD Red series is another one of his most famous works, and the biggest James Patterson fans will tell you that the fifth installment in this series – No products found. – should not be missed. 

From his recent works, No products found. follows the shocking true crime tale of Jeffrey Epstein. The depiction of America’s richest communities and the scandal that rocked their foundation is a must read.

What to Read Next

If you enjoyed my list of James Patterson books, especially ones from the true crime/mystery thriller genres, then my list of Harlan Coben books might feature your next mystery read!

No products found. is considered his best book because it’s wildly popular – it’s the most reviewed Jamed Patterson book on Goodreads and it has over 200 published editions.

James Patterson is mostly known for his thriller and suspense novels.

James Patterson has written many series of novels that can be read as stand-alones, so you can read any book without too many confusions. That said, it’s good to start a series with its first book. For example, you can start the Alex Cross series with No products found. , Women’s Muder Club series with No products found. , the Private series with No products found. , the NYPD Red series with No products found. , and the Maximum Ride series with No products found. .

No products found. is the first book of the Alex Cross series, so it’s good to start from there.

James Patterson books are easy to read as the author draws us in quickly with accessible language and fast-paced action. However, keep in mind that though his books are easy to read, they contain serious and dark themes like crime, substance abuse, and psychopathy.

No products found. , No products found. , No products found. , No products found. , and No products found. , No products found. are a few stand-alone novels by James Patterson.

Lee Child, David Baldacci, Robert Ludlum, and John Grisham have a similar writing style and write in similar genres.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

25 Best James Patterson Books (2023)

James Brendan Patterson was born on the 22 nd of March, in the year of 1947, in Newburgh, New York, United States of America. Patterson is an extremely famous author of thriller novels , of romance works, and, from time to time, of non-fiction, as well. Patterson’s works have sold more than three hundred million copies and his net worth is approximated to be well above five hundred million.

James was born to father Charles Patterson, who worked as an insurance broker, and mother Isabelle, who was employed as a teacher. Pattersons were a working-class family of Irish heritage.

Best James Patterson Books

Before writing.

Patterson attended Manhattan College, where he acquired his Bachelor of Arts in English, summa cum laude. His Master of Arts came from Vanderbilt University.

While James was, in fact, a candidate for a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University, he instead opted for an advertising job. James worked for J. Walter Thompson, where he was the advertising executive. In 1996, however, Patterson devoted himself completely to writing. With all of that noted, let’s now see what the best James Patterson books are.

Alex Cross Series

Famous series.

Patterson’s Alex Cross series is home to some of the most popular James Patterson books out there. The Alex Cross novels by Patterson are genuinely some of the best works that the author has published. Patterson’s Alex Cross series order goes as follows:

  • Along Came a Spider
  • Kiss the Girls
  • Jack & Jill
  • Cat and Mouse
  • Pop Goes the Weasel
  • Roses Are Red
  • Violets Are Blue
  • Four Blind Mice
  • The Big Bad Wolf
  • London Bridges
  • Double Cross
  • Cross Country
  • Alex Cross’s Trial

Just to name a few.

Now, with Patterson’s Alex Cross series in order written up, we can take a look at what Patterson’s Alex Cross books are all about. Worth mentioning that the order we specified is Patterson’s Alex Cross series in chronological order, though it does coincide with the order of publishing, just as well. The first of Alex Cross books by Patterson – sometimes called Patterson’s Cross series, for short – is, of course, Along Came a Spider.

Can’t Stop Him

The first book begins with a girl named Maggie Rose who is currently missing. There has also been a brutal killing of a three-member family and an elementary school teacher.

The fiend that perpetrated these crimes is so inventive and intelligent, yet all the more revolting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Police Force, and the Secret Service aren’t able to one-up him, even though he’s in their custody.

Stalking Fiend

Gary Soneji is a man that, out of all the desires he could have, desires to go through with the century’s greatest crime. Alex Cross, the eponymous character, is the homicide detective that is given the case.

A person of interest for Alex is Jezzie Flanagan, a woman that will be involved in a disconcerting love triangle; she works as the supervisor of the Secret Service. Even with this premise alone, one can see why it is one of the best James Patterson books.

Hidden Love

Jezzie and Alex are set to enter into a forbidden affair, though there could never have been a less appropriate time for such a thing. Gary Soneji, for one, is a man that notices and observes many things, so him knowing about their affair would hold a rather inauspicious time for both of them.

Then, the madman strikes again, this time in the police precinct. It is hopefully obvious that Patterson’s Alex Cross novels are some of James Patterson’s best books.

Too Close to the Case

One of the best Patterson Alex Cross books in Patterson’s Alex Cross series order is certainly Kiss the Girls. The story starts with the so-called Casanova killer, a man that had slain more than one hapless lady.

While some have gotten killed, others have just vanished. One of the latter is Alex Cross’s niece. While usually he wouldn’t be allowed to work on a case like this, Alex pulls some strings and gets the chance to find his niece.

One That Got Away

Casanova goes on preying with the utmost meticulousness and care, with his latest victim being Doctor Kate McTiernan, with whom he’d become infatuated by means of the lady’s books.

Luckily for her, Kate manages to escape from the house of pain that Casanova had set up, and she tells of the experience she had, noting that the house supposedly vanished when she came out of it. Alex and Kate have no choice but to become close friends seeing as plight and suffering have a way of doing that.

Not Too Different

As the investigation continues, a connection is established between Casanova and a different fiend named The Gentleman Caller. Becoming pulled into a different case altogether, Alex Cross, along with Doctor Kate, start piecing together things about the Gentleman Caller, and they find out what his true identity is.

Having no time to waste, the two of them are trying to find a way to get to the bottom of their mystery, but it seems that all may be lost. The Alex Cross series by Patterson is with due reason one of the best James Patterson series.

Couple of Killers

Book number three of Patterson’s Alex Cross novels in order is Jack & Jill. Overnight, the life of a United States senator, albeit a rather controversial, was taken in the apartment where the man was staying.

Upon investigating the scene of the murder, the police find only a single clue, that being an ominous rhyme, surely a portent of things to come, noting that this is merely the beginning; it was signed by Jack and Jill.

Too Close to Home

While this is happening, Alex Cross is called to the site of a slaying mere blocks away from his home. The victim is a pretty, little girl that had been brutalized and left in front of the elementary school, where Alex’s son, Damon, goes to.

Having now a double incentive to find out who the prowlers are and to put a stop to their demonic doings, Alex starts trying to find a connection between the Jack and Jill murder and the one he was called to.

No One Is Safe

Soon enough, it becomes manifest that there is no one in all of D. C. that is safe; be it a child, be it a politician, be it even the United States’ president: everyone is a target. With such a case, there is surely little time left to act before another body drops, so can Alex Cross manage to thwart the plans of Jack and Jill or will he fail this time around?

We could never rank the whole Alex Cross series as we recommend every single book out of the series.

Women’s Murder Club Series

Brilliant series.

Women’s Murder Club is another of the best James Patterson series. Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club consists of twenty books in total, so we can make our selection for this particular series in order.:

  • 1 st to Die
  • 2 nd Chance
  • 3 rd Degree
  • 4 th of July
  • The 5 th Horseman
  • The 6 th Target
  • 7 th Heaven
  • The 8 th Confession
  • The 9 th Judgement
  • 10 th Anniversary
  • 12 th of Never
  • 14 th Deadly Sin
  • 15 th Affair

Among others.

Afflicted and Anguished

The first book of Patterson’s Murder Club series is the novel titled 1 st to Die. It should be noted that because of the first book’s title, the series is sometimes referred to as Patterson’s 1 st to Die series.

Lindsay Boxer – in whose honor the series is sometimes called Patterson’s Lindsay Boxer series – is a Detective working for the San Francisco Police Department when she, out of the blue, is thrust into a veritable conundrum.

First, she learns that she is suffering from a disease, a blood disease that is often fatal, while secondly, she learns that she now has a double murder case in which two newlyweds have been killed on the eve of their wedding. What a day.

Deadly Friends

Lindsay’s partner is Chris Raleigh, who had just been transferred from the mayor’s office. It does not take long before Lindsay realizes that she has far too much on her mind, so she decides to clear her head with her best friend Claire.

Claire is also the co-worker of the Medical Examiner on the current case. Although Claire often works with lifeless bodies, she seems to have the most heartfelt and lively advice one could ever hope for.

Close-Knit Group

Cindy, a newspaper reporter trying to get her name on the map, contacts Lindsay to get her career on the right track. Although Lindsay can by no means just talk about the case, they come to some kind of agreement, let’s say quid pro quo.

Soon enough, a second newlywed couple is found killed and the investigation points to a prominent mystery writer , Nicholas Jenks, a pervert with allegations of sexual abuse. Jill, the assistant D. A. on the case, joins the so-called Murder Club soon, as Lindsay and the others try to make headway with the gruesome slayings. These are some of the absolute best Patterson Women’s Mystery books.

Miracle or a Hit?

Book two of Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club novels is, of course, 2 nd Chance. In 2 nd Chance, the ante is upped even more, as the four members of Murder Club have a brand new case to work on.

A completely repugnant and certainly crazy person fired a hail of bullets at a crowd of children who got out of a church in San Francisco, though somewhat luckily, only one person was killed in the chaos.

Link to Be Found

It seems like a candid miracle that there was only a single victim, but, hey, take what you’re given. Before any time is given to the investigating officers, a black lady, in her senior years, is found having been hung.

Lindsay Boxer, along with Claire, Jill, and Cindy, believes that there is a clear connection between the two events and crimes, so they are busy figuring out what the missing chain is before another person is killed. Worth noting is that Patterson’s Murder Club books are some of the best-selling James Patterson books, as well.

On a slight side note, the series at hand is home to some of the recent books by James Patterson, too. One of the top Patterson books is 3 rd Degree.

3 rd Degree is the novel that sees San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer as she jumps into a townhouse set on fire and burning furiously, only to find three bodies, with an ominous, disturbing message at the scene of the murder. It seems that Lindsay has an arsonist as well as a seasoned killer on her hands.

Next One to Go

Before any proper progress can be made on the case, however, more and more dead bodies begin piling up at the morgue and Claire’s office. Lindsay asks her loyal Murder Club members to help her out on this one, seeing as the killer has made a promise to take a life every three days. Even more uneasy is the fact that one of the Murder Club members is a target and a prospective victim for the savage murderer. But, which one exactly?

We really cannot recommend the books in this James Patterson’s series enough. Likewise, out of the whole Patterson’s series list, this one has perhaps the best-rated Patterson books, period.

Maximum Ride Series

Young adult audience.

Patterson’s Maximum Ride series is another fantastic work of the famous author. Patterson’s Maximum Ride books are some of the best James Patterson teenage novels.

In our opinion, the books present in this series can be seen as some terrific James Patterson’s children’s books as well as some of the best James Patterson young adult books. Now, let’s take a look at Patterson’s Maximum Ride series in order:

  • The Angel Experiment
  • School’s Out – Forever
  • Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
  • The Final Warning
  • Maximum Ride Forever

With Patterson’s Maximum Ride books in order settled, we should note that the series also contains some of the latest James Patterson books, too. We start with The Angel Experiment, where we meet Max for the first time. Max is a teenager who is also a hybrid with human-avian characteristics. Max lives alongside Fang, Nudge, The Gasman, Angel, and Iggy, who are also human-avian hybrids.

All six of them resided in a school where malevolent scientist engendered them, but they managed to get out of there and have been hiding ever since. These two names for the series – Patterson’s Max series or Patterson’s Angel series – are also not unusual.

Missing a Member

When the so-called Erasers, human-wolf hybrids, come out of seemingly nowhere and begin attacking the Flock – the group we mentioned above – it becomes clear that they are no longer hiding. As they try to fight back, the young member of the Flock, Angel, is captured.

Angel is also the one who has mind-reading abilities. Knowing well where Angel is going to be taken, the group comes together to save their friend. It’s decided: Iggy and Gasman will keep their HQ safe, while the other three go and get Angel back. These Patterson’s Young Adult novels are truly some of the best he’s ever penned.

For the Hatred of Science

In the so-called school, Angel wakes up in a kind of dog crate where she is forced to take several tests so that her abilities can be measured safely by the damn scientists who work there. Max, Fang, and Nudge know that time is running out, but they cannot just storm in with guns, mainly because they do not have any weapons.

But if they do not come up with a plan soon, they could lose everything they have fought for. A worthy contender for being James Patterson’s best book, especially of James Patterson’s books for teens.

Following what happened in the previous installment, the second book of Patterson’s Maximum Ride books in order is School’s Out – Forever, where the Flock is going to Washington, D. C.. They will try to get some answers to the countless questions they have about what they are, why they are, who they are, and the like.

However, a flying Eraser injures Fang so that they are forced to take their friend to a nearby hospital. An agent of the FBI, Anne, agrees to let them stay with her for the nonce if they let her analyze them.

Shady Corporation

The Flock seems to have a break from all the running away and keeping hidden they were used to. Here they even attend a private school, although it later turns out that this was all a deception of the diabolical corporation that has the plan to ruin the world.

Since the group has no other way out, they agree to go to Florida, but even that is not a safe choice for the Flock. When Angel arrived there, she remembered hearing about a corporation called Itex.

Inferior One

Since the fake FBI agent is now their enemy, the group has little choice of what to do. The Itex Corporation even sends a clone of Max, one that is fated to either succeed in killing Max or be killed in turn by Max. After a terrible battle, the clone loses, but Max refuses to put it out of its misery.

From then on, the inferior iteration is continually called just Fake Max or the Other Max. For now, the Flock can enjoy the limited shelter and protection they have, if nothing else. We feel we should add that all of Patterson’s Maximum Ride novels – a truly remarkable James Patterson’s teen series – receive our recommendations.

Second Generation

Another terrific choice out of the books by James Patterson for kids is the series’ third novel, namely Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports.

In this novel, The Flock has the mission of keeping the world safe from the terrible corporation called Itex, along with its shadowy, malevolent leader, referred to as the Director. The plans are to half the population of the world. For this reason, they begin replacing the Erasers with the Flyboys, which are robotic, and more efficient.

Caught Unawares

Max, in her heart of hearts, wants to put an end to Itex, but Fang believes that they have a chance to just get up and leave the fight to someone else, someone who is better prepared. However, Max does not know if she can let it go.

The two of them take a trip to a small cave where they have a wonderful time, but when dawn breaks they discover that the rest of the Flock has been captured. A terrible discovery is also made when Angel announces that she is now working for Itex, but Max and Fang do not know if this is a trick or if the betrayal is real.

Split Apart

As the Flock, helped by Max and Fang, and a very unlikely acquaintance, they somehow manage to free themselves from the grip of Itex, but soon they separate after a big fight between the members.

As this happens, Max and Fang are no longer together, though they keep in touch. Before it all ends, though, a truly mind-bending revelation is made, one that throws the world of Max upside down completely. Out of all Patterson’s kids’ books, even those present in the James Patterson’s kids’ series, the ones here are our favorites.

Michael Bennett Series


Patterson’s Michael Bennett series is the next one we will be taking a look at and it is a very fantastic work. The Michael Bennett series by Patterson ranks among our favorite works of the author; they are some of the best James Patterson novels. Now, let’s take a look at Patterson’s Michael Bennett series in order:

  • Step on a Crack
  • Run for Your Life
  • I, Michael Bennett
  • The Russian, which is yet to be published

Prepared for Anything

With Patterson’s Michael Bennett series order well behind us, we would just like to note that the series contains some of James Patterson’s newest books, along with one of Patterson’s upcoming books.

Now, the first of Patterson’s Michael Bennett books is Step on a Crack. Another key point is that the series is co-written by Patterson and Ledwidge. New York Police Department Detective Michael Bennett is a man that has endured many things in his lifetime and he is prepared to endure even more things, all for his family.

Man in Mourning

Currently, Michael Bennett is focusing on helping his family of ten adopted children who are going through the mourning and bereavement process after the death of Bennett’s wife Maeve. However, duty calls, and Bennett is called to help out as the funeral of an ex-First Lady suddenly goes wrong. A group of armed men get inside and hold the funeral attendants as hostages.

Making a Deal

Michael’s job is to reason with an insidious man called Jack, who sort of complies by letting everyone go except the most well-known people. However, he does have his own demands and desires and it is not so hard to guess, what they are. Yeah, you are right, only a million dollars for each of the hostages.

Biding their time is not something they have the leisure to do as Jack begins a murderous rampage inside. With time running out, can Bennett save the hostages and stop the fiend before it is all too late? This is one of Patterson’s crime books that we just love rereading.

In the second of the Michael Bennett books by Patterson, namely Run for Your Life, we follow the detective once more. There is an inventive, elaborate killer stalking and prowling the street who refers to himself only as the Teacher. The Teacher is haunting the streets of New York City, where he kills the mighty and the obnoxious people. For a murderer as savage as the Teacher, he sure does have a keen eye for manners.

Loud and Clear

The message that the Teacher is trying to instill and inculcate into the masses of New York City is quite loud and very succinct – keep your manners in check or you will be punished in a manner both terrifying and just.

Some people might think that it’s only fitting for the rich to be held in check like this, but others are terrified by the fiend that takes lives like that. There is just one man for this kind of a job and that is Michael Bennett. With proper reason, these are some of the best-selling books by Patterson.

War on Two Fronts

Michael Bennett, a detective for the New York Police Department, has a lot on his mind these days. He misses his wife Maeve, he has to keep his ten children safe, secure, happy, fed, and cared for, and also work a job that puts his life at risk pretty much anytime he exits the front door.

What’s worse, the kids have all contracted the flu at the same time as the Teacher begins making noise in the media. Fighting a war on two fronts, Bennett needs to get to the bottom of one mystery and keep his children safe, at the same time.

Making a Statement

Continuing on with the third book of Patterson’s series Bennett is in, we have Worst Case. Worst Case is where the kids of the most prominent, most affluent, and most famous of New York’s elite are being abducted. The perpetrator of this ghastly crime is not someone that wants a load of money or some kind of power, but he just wants to know whether the highest of society are aware of the tole that their inferiors have to pay so that they can enjoy their glamorous lives?

When one confesses to being unaware of such a thing, then, they are dispatched in the swiftest of ways. Detective Michael Bennett knows that these slayings are all connected in some way and that they are surely going to serve as a sensational demonstration of something.

But, as he has to work with the FBI agent Emily Parker, the city is slowly pulled in by the most chaotic of forces. If you are not careful, you may end up on the fiend’s list and the whole society will be present just to see what he chooses as punishment. Out of all the James Patterson book reviews, the ones here perhaps the best James Patterson books to start with.

Private Series

Firm of detectives.

Patterson’s Private series is a brilliant source of the best James Patterson books. Patterson’s Private series belongs among our favorite works of the author, simply because it is such a pleasant and fulfilling series to read and enjoy. Patterson’s Private series in order goes as follows:

  • Private #1 Suspect
  • Private Games
  • Private London
  • Private Berlin
  • Private L. A.
  • Private: Oz
  • Private India
  • Private Vegas
  • Private Paris
  • Private Rio
  • Private Sydney
  • Private Delhi
  • Private Princess
  • Private Moscow

Jack Morgan

With Patterson’s Private novels put in order, we think it is important to note that here one can find some of James Patterson’s recent books. Now, the first novel of Patterson’s Private books is called Private. Jack Morgan used to work for the Central Intelligence Agency, but now he owns Private, a famous, well-respected company for investigations.

Close to the Heart

Private has many branches all over the world, ones that work with the utmost discretion and loyalty, but also with the greatest degree of force and dutifulness.

While investigating an x-million-dollar scandal with the National Football League and gambling, along with the case of eighteen schoolgirls that were killed and the perpetrator not yet found, Jack learns of something that puts him ill at ease: the wife of his best friend, a woman with whom he had a fling once upon a time, has been murdered.

Just Another Day

Jack Morgan’s line of work sees him learning of the many, deep, dark secrets that powerful, famous, and even ominous people have daily, while his team of investigators, utilizing some of the most bleeding edge and top of the line tools try and make a break in the cases.

However, it now has become clear that Jack doesn’t have to work by the rules or by any limits anymore. One of the best Patterson books out there and one of those Patterson’s books that we’d recommend to any reader.


The second novel of Patterson’s Private books is Private #1 Suspect. This particular entry on the list of James Patterson’s books for adults or, more appropriately, James Patterson’s crime novels, stands as one of our favorites in the whole series. Ever since Jack Morgan began his own company Private, it has easily become one of the most revered firms for investigation in the whole, wide world.

All of the most famous, most influential, and most venerated members of society have used the services of Jack Morgan and Private, as the Private investigators are some of the wisest, quickest, and keenest investigators that money can buy.

When Jack Morgan’s ex-lover is founded killed in his own bed, it doesn’t take long for people to begin pointing the finger in Jack’s direction. As Jack is being investigated by the police, the mobsters blackmail him into getting some thirty-million US dollars recovered for them, while a luxury hotel manager coaxes Jack Morgan to help and examine a series of killings and slayings that have been perpetrated on the hotel chain’s premises.

No Other Choice

As Jack Morgan is very much fighting for a better life, while he is blackmailed, strong-armed, persuaded, and coaxed, he finds out that his very loyal colleague might just get up and leave Private altogether.

Without wasting his breath, Jack Morgan tacitly understands that what is happening must be the work of some of the most devious, most intelligent enemies that he has faced thus far. Nonetheless, he’s not going to give up. This entry among James Patterson’s murder books is one that you must not miss.

Following these particular James Patterson novels in order, we come to the third novel of the series, namely the one titled Private Games. Out of the whole list of the Private novels by Patterson, Private Games might be the deadliest.

The famous and venerated company for investigation has just been chosen to be the security for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The agents of Private who are some of the best agents in the whole world fly to London to keep the competitors safe.

Devious Events

In one of Patterson’s best-selling books, we see as Nigel Steele, an investigator for Private and the lonesome dad of two children, is summoned to the scene of a merciless killing.

One of the highest-ranking members that stood on the organizing committee of the Olympic Games has been slain along with his mistress, but it soon becomes evident that the crime is not one of passion, but one that was perpetrated by cruel, cold, meticulous hands. This is one novel that is a genuine contender for being the best James Patterson book.

Shadow Lurker

Karen Pope, a reporter for a newspaper, is sent a letter by someone referring to himself only as Cronus, who is taking the fullest of responsibilities for the two killings that took place. Cronus says that he has been sent to bring back the olden glory that the Olympic Games had and that he will make sure all those games that have been touched by corruption and subterfuge will be annihilated completely.

Nigel and Karen thus begin working together to thwart the plans of Cronus, but can they do it before it’s too late? Taking into account the whole list of Patterson books in order, in regard to the series at hand, there’s not a single book that we wouldn’t recommend – they’re all such treats.

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

Gone without a trace.

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas is one of James Patterson’s love storybooks and what a book it is! Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas ranks as one of the best books by James Patterson by a wide margin. It was published in the year of 2001, spanning a bit less than three hundred pages.

The book at hand is the story of Katie Wilkinson who has just managed to find herself the most perfect man she could ever hope for. The man is a brilliant author, doesn’t use other people’s ideas and he even knows how to paint houses; that is pretty much all that she has ever desired in a man. However, it just so happens that one seemingly random, ordinary, and uneventful day, the man disappears, traceless, with only a single diary left for Katie.

Do What You Need to Do

As Katie begins reading the diary, she sees that it is a kind of love letter that was written by a new mom, all for her newborn, Nicholas. In the diary, Suzanne has managed to mention and elaborate on several key events that led to Nicholas’ conception and eventual birth.

Suzanne’s writing also makes mention of a father, whom she dearly loved, but they could never be together. As Katie reads on, she comes to a realization that shakes her to the quick.

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer

Amazing novel.

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer is no small feat as a literary achievement. The book was among the top ten selling hardcover books of the year when it was published, namely in 2004. It is comprised of a total of 263. This is a novel that needs no recommendation because it is so brilliantly and seamlessly written.

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer is among the most touching, sweetest, most gentle, and tender novels that the author has ever penned. It, without our paying regard to the story or the words inside, powerfully speaks to us, both on an emotional level and on a psychological one. It is a wholly special book that we think our readers are going to love, if our love for it is any indication.

Main Protagonist

The eponymous character, Jennifer, is our protagonist. We see Jennifer as she is still reeling from the passing away of her spouse, still deep in the grieving process, still in the grip of mourning, still pained, still hurting. When Jennifer’s grandmother falls into a comatose state, Jennifer has no choice but to forgo her grieving and mourning and be by her grandma’s side. When there, however, she makes a great and strange discovery.

Jennifer finds a packet, wherein she sees a number of letters addressed to her grandma, named Sam. Jennifer begins reading the letters, following through the love-filled, poignant pages. The story at hand is about Sam, who had married quite young to a man from Stanford, but it was a lot less than true, human, deep love. Later on, Sam meets a man nicknamed Doc with whom she fell in love, but the letters have only just begun at this point.

As far as Jennifer is concerned, she, after meeting a childhood friend named Brendan, sees herself falling for him. Unfortunately, she learns that Brendan is deep in a battle against a tumor in his brain, slowly making him weaker and weaker. As the days pass, the season comes to an end, and Sam awakens from her coma. Brendan, on the other hand, tries to have a very risky and potentially life-taking surgery in order to get his tumor out.

Family Friend

Even though Brendan hadn’t told Jennifer that he was going to have surgery, she finds out and stands by his side with great support. Luckily, Brendan’s tumor is removed and he successfully recovers. With Sam once again able to speak, she tells Jennifer that the Doc in the book was a family friend named John. Not long after, Sam passes away, with Jennifer mentioning that she is pregnant. She promises to name her daughter Sam in honor of her lovely grandmother.

When the Wind Blows Series

Short series.

Patterson’s When the Wind Blows series is Patterson’s best-selling series. When the Wind Blows is home to some of the best James Patterson novels, even though there are just two of them here. Now, let’s take a look at these Patterson books in chronological order:

  • When the Wind Blows
  • The Lake House

Repeated Crime

When the Wind Blows follows Frannie O’Neill. Frannie is a pleasant, lovable young veterinarian, who resides in the Rockies of Colorado, attempting, albeit mostly fruitlessly, to forget the gruesome and bizarre slaying of her spouse.

Soon enough, another neighbor bites the bullet, so Kit Harrison, an agent with the FBI, comes to Frannie’s home to discuss the ongoings. Kit, himself, is resolute about wanting to put an end to this rampage, even going against the wishes of the FBI.

Greater Than Anticipated

As Kit surreptitiously continues to investigate and analyze the situation, more and more witnesses begin dying. Without any announcement, though, Frannie comes by an astounding find in the woods near her home, a discovery that will change the lives of everyone involved.

As the deaths pile up, the mystery foggier than ever, Kit and Frannie come by a subterranean network of labs that puzzles them further. A top book among Patterson’s mystery novels .

The Beach House

The Beach House is one of the best Patterson stand-alone books. The novel is rightfully seen as one of the most intriguing James Patterson thriller books. The Beach House was published in 2002.

The main character of The Beach House is a man named Jack Mullen. Jack Mullen is a man studying law school, while his brother Peter is a man that works as a sort of valet, parking the vehicles of the wealthiest living in the Hamptons.

The two seem to enjoy their life as they’re going about it, seeing as even their most private needs are met with satisfaction, just as well. Then, however, something terrible happens.

Big Fish to Fry

The lifeless body of Peter is discovered on a nearby beach. The police seem to think it’s a case of drowning, probably an accident, but Jack doesn’t share that opinion.

What Jack doesn’t know immediately is that one big fish already has the police and judicial system under his control. As Jack’s determination never wavers, he doesn’t stop trying to undermine and get satisfaction for Peter’s death. A novel that many fans view as the best James Patterson novel.

Hide and Seek

America’s sweetheart.

Hide and Seek is a terrific book from Patterson’s stand-alone novels, one that was published in the year of 1995, with a page count in the mid three hundreds. Hide and Seek is also one of James Patterson’s best mystery books.

Hide and Seek is a brilliant tale from Patterson and one whose story weaves seamlessly. Maggie Bradford is the one we follow, even though Maggie is rather stationary for nonce. Maggie is charged with murder, and with her position in society in mind, this is the trial of the decade as far as celebrities are concerned.

Out of Sight, Out of Heart

Everyone knows Maggie Bradford as a kind, humane singer and songwriter, who doesn’t look like she could ask for anything more. Then, how is it that she could possibly have killed not just one of her husbands, but two of them?

Will Shephard was the second spouse of Maggie, who is just as well-known as Maggie, herself is. Will stars in movies, is a fantastic athlete, but what no one knows is that Will is keeping a secret, one that would change public opinion drastically.

Sundays at Tiffany’s

Imaginary friend.

Sundays at Tiffany’s, another of James Patterson’s stand-alone books, is a tremendous tale that won’t let the reader just breeze through it or not pay attention to the key things happening. Sundays at Tiffany’s was published in the year of 2008, with a page count of about three hundred.

When she was just a young, little girl, Jane had no one by her side. Jane’s mother was the mighty leader of a theater company on Broadway, who rarely, if ever had time to spare for her child. As such, the only person that was present in Jane’s life that gave her the attention and love she desired was a beautiful, peaceable man called Michael; the catch here is that Jane is the only one that can see Michael.

Did You Call?

Years and even decades into the future and Jane is just as lonesome, just as lonely as she ever was. It is at this point in her life that Jane once more meets Michael, who has maintained his dashing good looks, charm, and general loveliness.

However, neither Michael nor Jane know why it is that he has come back just now. One thing is for certain: if one were to ask us which Patterson books are the best or what are the best James Patterson books to read, we’d pick one of James Patterson’s best novels – Sundays at Tiffany’s.

The Coast-to-Coast Murders


The Coast-to-Coast Murders is one of James Patterson’s mystery books and one of the top-rated Patterson books, as well. If one were to ask us how many books James Patterson has written, even though the number is quite great, we’d say not enough – a testament to our love for the author. This entry among the best James Patterson books was published in 2020.

Michael and Megan Fitzgerald are brother and sister, both of whom share a distressing, uneasy past. Both of them were adopted, with Michael growing up to be a truck driver on the long haul, while Megan is in college, with a major in psychology.

Throughout all of their life, they have had only person to trust – each other. The parents of Michael and Megan are a renowned clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist. Knowing their background, it will not surprise anyone that a misty, experimental atmosphere pervaded the family time.

All Along the Road

In L. A., Garrett Dobbs, a detective, and Jessica Gimble, an FBI agent, have come together to work as a murder case necessitates it. Suspect number one is found and arrested, but then a second murder identical to the first takes place.

And that is not just one more, but a number of them, and they are not even limited to L.A. They seem to happen all over the country, but how can that be? Among Patterson’s best-rated novels with a reason.

Honeymoon Series

All she ever wanted.

Patterson’s Honeymoon series is one of the finest James Patterson books series ever. The series is home to some of the best James Patterson romance novels, though a definite sense of mystery can be felt. The following Patterson’s books in order go as follows:

  • Second Honeymoon

Surely, throughout one’s lifetime, one has asked herself how just it would be like to be wanted, desired, or coveted by every man in the world, while all the women had an envious countenance in regard to one. Well, for Nora Sinclair, there was no need for her to imagine such a thing as that is very much how her life went – it is a life that she worked to have, a life that she would not just throw away.

Sticking His Nose in Everywhere

Nora’s effect on men isn’t just a simple attraction or allure; Nora strikes excitement into the men’s hearts. When John O’Hara, an FBI agent, comes snooping around, with an interest in Sinclair, she might think it’s the most ordinary thing in the world, but John is there on official business – things have been happening to the men around Sinclair that they can’t explain.

With a sense of pervasive dread and the need for skin to mingle with other skin, the Honeymoon novels are truly some of Patterson’s best books ranked.

Middle School Series

Marvelous series.

Middle School is one of the best James Patterson series that we’ve had the pleasure of picking up. Middle School series by Patterson is comprised of twelve novels, with Patterson’s Middle School series order going like this:

  • Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
  • Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!
  • Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar
  • Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill
  • Ultimate Showdown
  • Just My Rotten Luck
  • Dog’s Best Friend
  • Middle School: Escape to Australia
  • Middle School: From Hero to Zero
  • Born to Rock
  • Middle School: Master of Disaster

Enough Problems

With the order of the Middle School series Patterson wrote behind us, let’s see what the story is about. The first of Patterson’s Middle School books is Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. The main character is Rafe Khatchadorian, who has an abundance of troubles back home, so much so that going to middle school only adds to the innumerable issues he was already facing.

Passing the Time

However, Rafe also has a hell of a plan for having the best possible year ever, but there are a few things to work out. With Leonardo the Silent, Rafe’s best friend, giving him points, Rafe is going to try and break every single one of the school’s Code of Conduct rules. The Middle School books by Patterson are fantastic James Patterson children’s books.

Judge & Jury

Not the best judge.

Judge & Jury is one of the best James Patterson books ranked on our list here, but also on the James Patterson best-selling books list. Judge & Jury is one of Patterson’s top books and it was published in 2006.

Andie DeGrasse is a single mother whose ambitions would see her as an actress. As such, Andie is not a common juror by any means. With the hope that she would get dismissed, she informs the judge that she hasn’t the slightest clue about judicial matters, the law, and such, but that doesn’t stop the judge from giving her the title of juror number eleven as the trial against a mob boss is set to begin.

Twist in the Case

Dominic Cavello, also familiar to people as the Electrician, is the don of the Mafia who has been connected to dozens upon dozens of terrible, brutal crimes, many of which had to do with murder or swimming with the fishes. FBI agent Nick Pellisante has been on Cavello’s trail for years and now he finally has him.

However, before the jury can come to its decision and either dub Cavello as innocent or guilty of the crimes, something happens, something that changes everything that the trial stood for. It is not without reason that this is among James Patterson’s best-selling novels.

The Quickie

Unique tone.

The Quickie is a fantastic entry among the books written by Patterson and it stands as being one of the best James Patterson books of all time. The Quickie was published in 2007 with a page count somewhere in the mid-three-hundred range. Of all James Patterson’s books, The Quickie has perhaps the most unique tone.

Back at Him

When Lauren Stillwell found out that her husband had been having an affair and when she sees him exiting a hotel room, she makes a decision to one-up him at the very same game he was playing. However, while Lauren is busy with her plan, her husband has his very own idea of what to do. Following a quick sexual encounter with one of her colleagues, Lauren hears some kind of an argument or confrontation outside of her window. When she looks out, it’s her husband loading the lifeless body of the colleague she’d have sex with.

Unexpected Turn of Events

When the body is found to be in shallow water, later on, Lauren goes to the scene of the crime as she is a police officer with the New York Police Department. Just her luck, she gets this very same case, but there is something that continually irks her.

She has a secret that would change her life forever, but she can’t be sure of what she saw. One thing is very much for certain, Lauren doesn’t have much time. Rightfully among the best-selling James Patterson novels.

Invisible Series

Patterson’s Invisible series is yet another dazzling example of the author’s prowess and literary might. The two books in the series are also among James Patterson’s new books. Now, let’s take a look at Patterson’s books in order:

The series at hand begins with the first book titled Invisible. Invisible’s main protagonist is Emmy Dockery, a woman that is believed by many to be on the crazier side. Dockery is a researcher for the FBI and bears a terrible and mighty obsession with finding the connection between hundreds upon hundreds of cases that were never solved.

She has even taken a leave of absence from work. Now, all that Emmy does is examine the innumerable newspaper clippings all over her bedroom and facing the terrible, constant nightmares that come.

Something Is Missing

Emmy’s greatest gripe is that no one, not even her former boyfriend Harrison Bookman, an agent on the field, will trust in her that all of the cases of rape, cases of murder and abduction bear a link between each other.

However, that all changes when Dockery comes upon information that can’t be denied. With the cases piling up daily, with no suspect, can she really prove that there is a single force behind it all?

The Murder House

World of hurt.

The Murder House is by no means just another novel to add to our James Patterson novels list, but a very satisfying, entertaining book that we, frankly, could barely put down the first time we read it. The Murder House was published in 2015, spanning four hundred and fifty or so pages.

Wealth, privilege, luxury, and glamour are unlimited so far as Number 7 Ocean Drive, a beachfront Hamptons estate, is concerned. However, the markedly intense and mesmerizing gothic aesthetic bespeaks of a terrible history, one where several brutal murders took place but were never solved by the police. The home is known as The Murder House, with the local people staying far away from it at all times.

Out of the Frying Pan

Jenna Murphy, a detective, once viewed herself as a local around these parts, but she’s been gone from the region for quite some time. After having to get away from her history, the ex-NYC officer finds herself in the Hamptons. Just in time, a power broker and his lovely mistress are found murdered in the lonesome Murder House, a scene of crime that reminds Jenna all too much of those in New York.

While initially the case seemed to be rather straightforward, with time, the many secrets of the house of murder become evident. This is one novel that we cannot recommend just enough to all of our readers; it belongs rightfully among the picks for the best Patterson books.

Now You See Her

Life she’s built.

Now You See Her is a fantastic entry on our list of James Patterson’s books that we consider to be the best and most recommendable to the wider audience. Now You See Her was published in the year of 2011, boasting a page count of approximately three hundred and fifty. Nina Bloom is a woman that enjoyed a perfectly fine, pleasant life.

Nine is a lawyer and a great mother, one might even call her life idyllic. Nina would do anything just so she could keep the life she’s made for herself in New York, even if it involves deceiving everyone she knows and cares about, even if it includes her daughter. However, when an innocent man is being used as a scapegoat for murder, Nina can’t just let it go.

Something No One Knows

Nina was living a life without any cares, a life with her police officer spouse, and she was as attractive as any beauty you could think of.

However, when she got pregnant, life seemed to be truly just giving to Nina all that she wants, that is until she learns of a sincerely distressing and dismal thing. This is when Nina’s life changed completely. We hope that our readers will pick this mesmerizing volume up as soon as possible.

One-Man Army

Beach Road is one of those novels by Patterson that we loved from the minute that we bought it, only from looking at the premise on the back of the cover. Beach Road was published in the year of 2006, with its page count coming close to the four hundred mark. The main character of Beach Road is none other than Tom Dunleavy.

Ton Dunleavy is a man that works for himself in a single-man law company in one of the richest places in all of the United States – the East Hamptons. However, the job of Tom Dunleavy is hardly a prosperous one, meaning that it doesn’t exactly rake in the money. The clients he has are ones that work for the rich, while the rich have their own lawyers and attorneys that they pay by the hour.

An Opportunity

When one of Tom’s pals gets taken into custody for allegedly committing a triple homicide in the proximity of a film star’s mansion, Tom springs into action. For one, Tom is sure that his friend, Dante Haleyville, is an innocent man, so he accepts to be his lawyer for the coming trial, one that will get all the media buzz one could ever imagine.

With a little help from a mega-lawyer called Kate Costello, Tom’s ex-girlfriend, Tom might be able to pull off this case but also get some traction for his law firm. We suggest picking this book up whenever one can because it is just that terrific. One of the best James Patterson summer novels we’ve read.

Savage Attacks

Zoo series is an immense entry among the list of all James Patterson books. Patterson’s Zoo series is comprised of just one novel and one tie-in novel, but fans are holding out hope that one day one of the upcoming James Patterson books could come to this series.

Zoo is the novel where we first learn of terrible, savage attacks that are bringing whole cities across the world to their knees. Jackson Oz is a fairly young man, a biologist by occupation, who is looking at the accelerating events unfolding with a sense of grimness. When Oz, himself, sees an ambush of lions, all working together in unison and perfect coordination, he knows that what is to come will be frightening, to say the least.

Little Time to Waste

Helped by the ecologist called Chloe Tousignant, Oz decides to try and warn the leaders of the world to act before all is lost. With each attack being more savage, more elaborate, and more violent than the one before, there is little time to waste.

Before long, if they don’t act soon enough, the world will be run over by the growing fearsomeness of the animals that have come together. A definite and sure pick for being one the best James Patterson books ever.

Instinct Series

Murder games.

Patterson’s Instinct series is one of the best series that Patterson has penned, to this day. The series is comprised of just two books, but they are just such treats to read. Alternatively, the series is sometimes called Patterson’s Dylan Reinhart series or Patterson’s Murder Games series. The books are ordered like this:

  • Killer Instinct

Book on the Matter

Doctor Dylan Reinhart authored a book that touches and examines the behavior of criminals. However, when some such volume finds itself on the scene of a horrible murder, with a distressing message from the perpetrator to boot, it seems that Dylan’s writing might have been helpful to a killer.

Elizabeth Needham, a terrific and resolute detective for the New York Police Department gets Dylan to accompany her to another scene, where another card is left from the killer.

Who’s Next?

With each kill comes a new card and a new hint towards who the next victim is going to be. Before long, the killer is dubbed the Dealer by the media, with New York City falling into turmoil and panic.

The cops don’t have a clue who the killer could be, so it’s left for Elizabeth and Dylan, themselves, to work together and solve the case. But, what if the card points to one of them? A very tense, very suspenseful novel that we can’t recommend enough.

Rory Yates Series

Give it a shot.

The Rory Yates series by Patterson is a wonderful entry among the author’s lengthy and extensive oeuvre. It is comprised of only two novels, but they are both worthy of being called the best James Patterson books. Patterson’s books chronological order for the series at hand goes as follows:

  • Texas Ranger
  • Texas Outlaw

Going through the ranchlands, towns, and cities of the state he calls his home, Rory Yates’ skills, abilities, and resolute disposition has brought him from the position of an ordinary highway patrolman to the position of being a Texas Ranger.

However, a case in Waco might just have put the promotion in peril for Yates, so he decides to take some time off and enjoy life with his family in Redbud. When he arrives, he discovers a ghastly crime scene and he is accused of murdering his former spouse, Anne.

Something Missing

At the funeral, Rory, by means of a heartfelt and beautiful hymn, makes those present succumb to the yearning of tears. Anne’s widower, Calvin, is present, too, so Rory chooses to ask Calvin a few questions seeing as no one else wants to. As the case twists and turns more and more, with even another body coming, Rory is forced to make a dire choice, one that will impact his life as he knows it.

Treasure Hunters Series


Patterson’s Treasure Hunters series is one of those series that we loved from the moment that we picked it up. Patterson’s Treasure Hunters books are also some of the best kids’ books by Patterson. The order of the series is as follows:

  • Treasure Hunters
  • Danger Down The Nile
  • Secret of the Forbidden City
  • Peril at the Top of the World
  • Quest for the City of Gold
  • All-American Adventure
  • Treasure Hunters: The Plunder Down Under

Deep Blue Sea

The Treasure Hunters Patterson series has some of James Patterson’s famous books that children from around the world love and adore. The Kidd children have been brought up learning how to dive deep down to the wrecks of ships and traversing the world, aiding their parents in retrieving things like swords and some such trinkets from the ocean’s bottom.

Adventure Like No Other

However, when the parents of the Kidd children mysteriously vanish while on the job, the children have no choice but to do what they do best: to uncover the greatest treasure of all – their parents.

With vile, villainous, and unfriendly pirates standing as their enemies, they are going to have to do their best to both uncover the cryptic hints that point to the treasure while trying to stay alive against a far more experienced foe. Some of the best James Patterson children’s novels out there are right here.

House of Robots Series

More than enjoyable.

The House of Robots series is a candidly fantastic James Patterson’s children’s book series that we’ve enjoyed getting and spending the time to read. The House of Robots series is comprised of four novels and their order is as follows:

  • House of Robots
  • Robots Go Wild!
  • Robot Revolution!
  • House of Robots 4, which has yet to be published

Robotic Companion

James Patterson’s books for kids right here are some of the most enjoyable, engaging, and gratifying to read, not just for the youngest of children. Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez never had an easy time fitting in with the other kids at school, but when his brilliant mother comes up with the idea to take a mobile robot capable of speaking called E to school, even Sammy knows that it’s a bad idea.

More Than a Brother

Sammy is familiar with robots and how they work, seeing as his mother focuses and works on robots more than anything else. E, however, is convinced that it’s Sammy’s brother and with all of its quirks, it seems to be even more of a so-called geek than Sammy, himself, is.

Now whether E and Sammy are two sides of the same coin, two pees in a pot, or it’s a friendship waiting to be ruined, we can’t say as only picking up the novel will give you the answers.

Other Recommendations?

The following few series are ones that we thoroughly enjoyed reading as well: Patterson’s Harriet Blue series, Patterson’s Wizard and Witch books , the Confession series by Patterson, and Patterson’s Jack Morgan series.

best rated books by james patterson

Alissa Wynn

Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.

Pat Conroy Featured

17 Best James Patterson Books

All products were independently selected by our editors and contributors. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

James Patterson is a famous American thriller writer. He is a best-selling author who has written over a hundred books, including those with co-authors. He writes series and stand-alone novels and has authored books of varying genres.

If you’ve read James Patterson before, you’re already familiar with his fast-paced writing and short chapters. If not, it’s something you should take note as it might not appeal to you if you aren’t into that speed of development.

Here is a list of some of his famous novels to help you decide where to start or what to read next:

Table of Contents

1. Along Came A Spider (Alex Cross, #1)

2. nypd red (nypd red, #1), 3. never never (detective harriet blue, #1) with candice fox, 4. step on a crack (michael bennet, #1) with michael ledwidge, 5. 1st to die (women’s murder club, #1), 6. zoo (zoo, #1) with michael ledwidge, 1. the thomas berryman number, 2. the first lady by james patterson & brendan dubois, 3. woman of god by james patterson and maxine paetro, 4. the inn by james patterson and candice fox, 5. the murder house by james patterson and david ellis, 6. the president is missing by james patterson and bill clinton, 1. the angel experiment (maximum ride, #1), 2. the dangerous days of daniel x (daniel x, #1) with michael ledwidge, 3. confessions of a murder suspect (confessions, #1) with maxine paetro, 4. suzanne’s diary for nicholas, 5. sam’s letter to jennifer, best james patterson thriller series.

James Patterson is best known for his investigative/crime-thriller novel series. In fact, the majority of his works are in this category. Some works were single-authored by him, while others were co-authored by some of the most popular writers of the genre.

Here are some of Patterson’s thriller series  you should check out!

51zeMayrKsL. SL500

If you’re wondering whether you should read James Patterson, I’d suggest this book as a good start, although be warned because this series is quite long.

No hardcore James Patterson fan would not know Alex Cross, the protagonist of this book. Alex Cross is a brilliant detective who’s in a cat-and-mouse chase with Gary Soneji, a brilliant serial murderer, too brilliant that the authorities struggle in subduing him. Together with Jezzie Flannagan, the supervisor of the Secret Service, Alex tries to capture and outwit the villain while solving murder cases.

The book is a complete set of mystery, crime, suspense, and thriller genre.

The unpredictable page-turning plot twists will leave you wondering how everything will unfold.

Unlike the Maximum Ride series, the chase in this book is more dynamic and interest-sustaining. When you have a brilliant detective chasing an equally brilliant villain, you are off to a one-of-a-kind chase filled with outwitting scenarios.

Needless to say, the book isn’t just about the chase between Alex and Gary; it also introduces into Alex’s relationships with his family and with someone special to him. 

There’s too much to say about this book, so it’s better to experience it yourself. It is fast-paced, so no need to worry about the long installment you will need to catch up with (each book will definitely leave you wanting for the next one, anyway). Although it’s unlikely that all books in this series would satisfy you, the first installments are definitely worth the read in my opinion.

41MWWqoEgAL. SL500

Introducing, the elite Special Task Force,  NYPD Red !

Formed by the New York Mayor, this unit is tasked to protect the highly influential and wealthiest personalities of Manhattan.

Detective Zach Jordan and his ex-girlfriend Detective Kylie Macdonald of the special unit are both assigned to investigate the case of Sidney Roth, a world’s famous producer, who was killed of poisoning. Although Zach and Kylie’s have orders  to stop at nothing to catch the killer, this is proving to be more difficult than they had imagined.

One thing to appreciate about Zach and Kylie’s relationship is their undeniable dynamics.

If you are into investigative cases where crimes are done bizarrely out in the open, you might want to try this novel. It’s easy to read, and the cases, as well as the point-to-point location changes, are easy to follow.

Series info:  co-authored by Marshall Karp; currently at its 5th installment, with the 6th book scheduled to be released in 2020

Adaptation/related works:  no adaptations yet

51sLy2VYGXL. SL500

Following the arrest of her brother as the prime suspect of a murder case, sex crime detective Harriet Blue is transferred to Perth, a small town in Western Australia, away from the media’s attention. Together with Detective Whittacker, she investigates the case of the missing mine workers.

For Candice Fox readers, this is a must-read! The short chapters, a Patterson trademark, go well with Fox’s characterization of Harry. If you like Women’s Murder Club, you will get the same Lindsay Boxer vibe from Harry.   

Series info:  Detective Harriet Blue series has 5 books including Book 0.5,  Black & Blue .

best rated books by james patterson

Here comes the most challenging case in Detective Michael Bennet’s career: a hostage-taking crisis occurs during the funeral of a former First Lady, and the lives of some of the most prominent and most influential people in the country are in danger. To add to that, he also finds out that his wife, who has cancer, is already counting her days.

Michael Bennet is probably one of my favorite James Patterson creations. The touching and emotional struggle the main character has while performing his duty adds more character development in the story. This novel brings readers into emotional shifts—from the mystery/crime-thriller events to the touching scenes.

Series info:  There are currently 15 books in the installment. Book 12,  Blindside , is the latest installment.

Adaptation/related works:  Last 2017, it was reported that a TV adaptation by ABC is on its way.

41sdgGaWeqL. SL500

An inspector, an assistant DA, a chief medical examiner, and a newspaper reporter—four women form the Women’s Murder Club to investigate the mystery and find the killer behind the murders of newlyweds.

What’s to look forward to this series is how each woman plays her role with her specialization. They’re a dynamic team of four women who gather information to solve the crime.

Each book in the series has its own case, though familiarity with the previous installments will make you appreciate it more.

Series info:  There are 13 books in the Women’s Murder Club series.

Adaptation/related works:  1st to Die TV Series (2003); Women’s Murder Club TV Series (2007-2008)

41I8q79aFrL. SL500

Animals have been attacking humans, and the world knows nothing about it.

Jackson Oz, a young biologist, is determined to prove that something unusual is certainly going on. He quits graduate school and collects data on the attacks. What’s causing all these behaviors? Can he convince the world before more dreadful attacks occur? Or is it too late for them to secure a safe space for humans?

Of all Patterson’s works, this novel has the simplest premise, and James Patterson, together with Michael Ledwidge, put a relevant take on it. Compared to his other works, this has less thriller effect. Some readers may not be into scenes of animal attacking humans, and if you’re one, better not read this book.

There are only two books under this series, so if you want a James Patterson series with few installations, you have this to keep you occupied.

Series info:   There are 2 books in the series.

Adaptation/related works:  CBS-TV Series,  Zoo  (2015); Zoo: The Graphic Novel

Best James Patterson Stand-Alone Novels

If you are not into series, you may want to try some of James Patterson’s stand-alone books.

512weshglmL. SL500

Journalist Ochs Jones researches on the murder of a high-profile politician, Jimmie Lee. After finding out about two other murder cases, he believes these murders are related, so  he is determined to track down the killer.

Meanwhile, Thomas Berryman is a ruthless assassin who labels his assassination through a number. Can Jones track this cunning assassin?

You might want to read the first ever book James Patterson has written. It will show you Patterson’s early writing style before he changed into a fast-paced and short chapter narration.

A lot has changed in Patterson’s writing style, so if you are new to his works, I suggest you put this book on hold and try his other novels first.

If, however, you are into a slightly slow development (relative to Patterson’s other works), then reading this novel first shouldn’t be a problem.

This James Patterson’s debut novel won the 1977 Edgar Allan Poe Award for First Novel category.

41D b5sv DL. SL500

The current president, Harrison Tucker, is weeks away from being re-elected, and he is all but assured of a second victory. But when the media caught him leaving the Atlanta hotel with Tammy Doyle, his mistress. This exposed his love affair, and his reputation plummeted. Suddenly, his victory in the election is not secured.

Meanwhile, the First Lady, Grace Tucker, has suddenly gone missing. Agent Sally Grisson is tasked to investigate and find the First Lady, whose disappearance appeared to be more than just her running away to recuperate from the news of her cheating husband. Agent Sally is determined to find out the First Lady’s whereabouts– and keep her safe.

What I like about this book is it didn’t steer away from the usual fast-paced writing James Patterson is well-known for. I’d say some parts are definitely predictable, but the thriller ride still lived up to my expectations.

If you are new to James Patterson and would like to try him by reading a stand-alone novel, this is one of the two books I recommend starting with.

61sFLl8k9FL. SL500

Bridgit Fitzgerald has been through a lot in her life. A former physician now a priest, she can even possibly be the next pope. How will she change the lives of those who challenge her church?

I did not expect a novel like this from James Patterson, but it was my mistake not to expect something different from him. The plot was definitely intriguing, although I think it would have sufficiently justified the developments through a second book because I find it lacking in that aspect.

The novel is filled with religious overtones, although the book is more about the action than religion. If you are not comfortable with this kind of story, you can skip this book.

Related:  Best Christian Fiction Books

41wGGjLKShS. SL500

Released in August 2018, this book is the most recent addition to the long list of James Patterson’s thriller books.

It all goes down with our main character, Bill Robinson, a former detective, who’s reovering from the death of his wife and is now running a bed-and-breakfast inn after his dismissal from the service. His plan for a fresh start fails when strings of death start to occur in his area.

Incidentally, what (or who) he needs to fight off the crimes that have been going on are right under the same roof. Bill, together with his long-term tenants, battle out Mitchell Cline, the drug lord responsible for the killings in their town.

As someone who has read Patterson’s early works, I can say that the writing style has changed a bit. What I like about this novel is the fresh set of characters. James Patterson and Candice Fox took their time to develop the relationship between the characters to justify the foundation of the team.

They will soon form to fight the villain of the story. How the characters with different past complemented each other and worked towards the same goal is for you to find out.

If you are not particularly looking for a full crime-thriller novel, I recommend that you read this before reading the other series by James Patterson. If you’ve read his other books (for instance, any of the Alex Cross or Women’s Murder Club series), this book might disappoint you.

If you are new to James Patterson and want to experience his crime-thriller writing style, reading this stand-alone novel might not be a good start, so you might want to choose from his other books as your first read.

41KO YjJ3YL. SL500

A stand-alone novel I would recommend to new readers of James Patterson, the story is about the mystery surrounding the multimillion-dollar beachfront house in Hamptons and the series of killings that have been going on in this Murder House as to how locals refer to it.

As for the former NYPD cop Jenna Murphy, after many years of being away, she is back in Hampton and is offered a post in Southampton Town PD by Langdon James, the Chief of Police, and her uncle. Here she gets involved with the mystery concerning the Murder House and Noah Walker, the prime suspect. Now, Jenna is determined to solve the mystery behind the killings.

I highly recommend reading this novel. Among all thriller stand-alone books Patterson has written, this one doesn’t disappoint. The level of unpredictability, plot twists, and fast-paced events will keep you turning the pages until the conclusion.

This is recommended for those who want to experience James Patterson’s signature fast-paced and short chapters, as well as the tension-inducing thriller genre he is well-known for.

For newcomers, you would absolutely be enticed to read more of his works.

51C7+TKiBJL. SL500

Yes, you read that right. The president is missing, but not quite.

Cyberterrorism threatens the United States, and President Jonathan Duncan faces the allegations of being the suspect! Faced with an impending impeachment, the president goes missing.

Written by James Patterson and former US President Bill Clinton, this political thriller novel will surely blow your mind with its twists and turns and realistic narration on the matters of politics.

What makes this novel unique is the almost testimonial writing you can get from the novel. The point of view of the president is even more realistic when a former president himself is involved in the writing.

I cannot tell how much of this novel is the president’s writing. However, the novel stayed true to the Patterson style of short chapters and fast-paced development.

There are quite a lot of novels (and even films) that have president themes in them, so if you enjoy those kinds, I would highly recommend this book to you.

Adaptation/related works:   A TV adaptation for  The President Is Missing  is scheduled to be released.

Best James Patterson Young Adult and Romance Novels

If you think thriller series or the previously mentioned stand-alone novels aren’t to your liking, check out this list of YA and romance novels by James Patterson.

Don’t let the previous lists fool you; although most of his work are thrillers, he is as good when it comes to writing romance and young adult themes!

51OC6AN5UYL. SL500

The story follows six genetically engineered (half-human half avian) kids as they try to escape from the School that has been imprisoning them.

Max is the leader of the group; she is strong-willed and edgy, and she leads the group through her thoughtful analysis of their situation. As they run for their lives, they try to discover the secret of the School and their own identity. The plot is something that appeals to a specific audience group (I’d say teens who are currently into YA genres). Each chapter is packed with to-ing and fro-ing scenarios as they’re being chased by the Erasers (the School’s men, basically). I would recommend this series for those who are not a huge fan of the crime-thriller-mystery genre but want to have a bit of those in their reading experience. If you find teen angst likable, you will definitely love Max. 

If you are more into crime/thriller genre and want more investigative plots, there’s definitely a James Patterson book for you, but unfortunately, this book isn’t it.

Continue reading through the list; the next book might be the one for you!

Series info:  The series has nine books concluded with the release of the 9th book, Maximum Ride Forever.

Adaptation/related works:  Maximum Ride (2016 film); Marvel Comics adaption Max Ride: First Flight, Max Ride: Ultimate Flight, and Max Ride: Final Flight; Manga adaptation released by Yen Press This book was nominated for 2010 Golden Archer Award, Middle/Junior High Category.

51ylygrZ5jL. SL500

Daniel X has the power and ability to create. At a very young age, Daniel X learned to survive on his own after his parents were brutally murdered in his presence. He uses his secret abilities to hunt down his parents’ killers. Now, he goes through  The List  in the hope of finally taking down the killer.

If you loved Maximum Ride, then you should give this one a try! If you didn’t like Maximum Ride (or have not read it) but are into science fiction (and aliens maybe), read this book and see if you’d like James Patterson’s science fiction writing. It certainly is shorter than the Maximum Ride series but is nothing short of an adventure!

Related:  Best Science Fiction Books Ever Written

Series info:  There are six books in this series, including one in graphic novel format (Book 1.5 Alien Hunter). 

Adaptation/related works:  Daniel X: The Ultimate Power (video game)

51Mpdl2LpdL. SL500

Sixteen-year-old Tandy Angel and her three brothers are from a wealthy and successful family. They are overachievers and prodigies in their fields. But after the mysterious death of their parents, things start to change.

The police cannot identify other suspects besides Tandy and her brothers. The thing is, she may even really be guilty of the crime herself, although she can’t say for sure. Now she must find out the truth behind their parent’s death, and discover some of the deepest and most shocking family secrets.

This novel has more of a thriller and less of a chasing plot, compared to the previously mentioned series in the YA list. The character, Tandy, narrates the story directly to the audience, which adds a more stimulating effect.

This is recommended for readers who enjoy reading about family secrets and mysteries.

Heads-up  for those who have read Maximum Ride and are looking for a similar one; this is different and may not be your cup of tea.

41yuvyTHpIL. SL500

Katie Wilkinson, an editor who works for a publishing house, is in a relationship with Matthew Harrison, an author, and a poet. Just as she thought everything is going well, Matthew suddenly disappears.

Katie discovers a diary written by a woman named Suzanne. She goes through the diary in pain as she learns about the past of the man she loves, but with hopes of finding out if they still have a chance.

This novel is James Patterson’s first work in the romance genre and proves his versatility in writing different genres. I recommend this to readers who are looking for a romance novel and are not much into thriller stories. If you’re worried that this novel might be a thriller romance, it is— in a romantic way.

Adaptation/related works:  Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas (TV Movie 2005)

51SvbWaDvNL. SL500

Not long after two consecutive losses, Jennifer is again welcomed by the sad news of her grandmother is sick. She receives a call and immediately goes back to her grandmother’s place—the very same town where she grew up. While spending time there, she discovers a pack of letters recapping the love story of her grandmother, Sam.

If you’re not a fan of thriller stories but want to read James Patterson, I would suggest you read this novel. Of course, given that you don’t mind reading a romance novel, too.

Reading this book can also be a good break of you’ve been consecutively reading Patterson’s thriller works. If you are looking for a good romance novel, this may also be for you

This book was listed in the Top 100 National Bestsellers of 2004.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Lesley Ann Sorra

best rated books by james patterson



  • Where To Start Reading

7 Best James Patterson Books: Where to Start

We recommend starting with one of these seven books.

Share this:

best rated books by james patterson

The blog is where I share reading tips, lifestyle how-to's, book lists, reading guides, share conversations with authors, offer free mini-trainings, plus all the things I'm currently obsessed with and find inspiring.

best rated books by james patterson

Find Out Your Reader Type

Discover your reader type and get the resources you need to start reading, maintain the habit, and get intentional.

best rated books by james patterson

all categories

  • Author Features
  • Book Collections
  • Anti-Racism Books
  • Armchair Travel
  • Autumn Reading
  • Books About
  • Books about Books
  • Books About Family and Friends
  • Campus Novels
  • Children's Books
  • Classic Literature
  • Cozy Mysteries
  • Creepy, Spooky, Scary Books
  • Diverse Books
  • Fairy Tales
  • Feel Good Books
  • Folklore and Mythology
  • Gothic Literature
  • Historical Fiction
  • Holiday Themed Books
  • Literary Fiction
  • Most Anticipated Books
  • Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Sci-Fi Fantasy Horror
  • Self-Help Books
  • Short Books To Read
  • Short Story Collections
  • Spring Reading
  • Summer Reading
  • Time Travel Books
  • Top Ten Books
  • Translated Books
  • Winter Reading
  • Witch Books
  • Young Adult
  • Entertaining
  • Epigraph Literary Festival
  • Gift Guides
  • Reading Challenges
  • Reading Guides
  • Reading Tips
  • The Reader's Couch Podcast

Last Updated on January 21, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle

7-Must Read James Patterson Books Where to Start Reading

James Patterson is one of the world’s most successful authors, having sold more than 350 million books worldwide.  He has written in a wide range of genres, from suspense to horror to romance and even children’s books, but his greatest success comes from his crime and mystery novels.  So whether you’re a long-time fan or new to his work, if you’re looking for some great reads by James Patterson, look no further!  Here are seven must-read books by James Patterson that will surely entertain and intrigue readers everywhere and keep readers hooked until the very end.  So grab your copies now and get ready for a fantastic journey!

About James Patterson

But first, who is james patterson.

James Patterson was born in 1947 in Newburgh, New York, and attended Manhattan College before graduating from Vanderbilt University.  After college, he worked as an advertising executive but quit his job to focus on writing full-time.  His first book, The Thomas Berryman Number, was published in 1976 and won the Edgar Award for best novel of the year.  It began a string of best-selling novels that have kept readers coming back for decades.

Why is James Patterson so popular?

James Patterson is one of the most popular authors in the world because of his gripping stories and page-turning suspense.  His books are filled with unexpected twists and turns, engaging characters, and plenty of mystery.  His writing style is easy to read and draws readers in quickly as they become immersed in the world he creates.   He also knows how to captivate his audience, so many of his novels have been adapted into films and TV series.

Did James Patterson use ghostwriters?

James Patterson works with a team of co-writers and ghostwriters, which helps him to produce his numerous works.  While this does not diminish the quality of his books, it does mean that James Patterson himself is not always the one literally writing them.  However, I’ve read that Patterson conceives, outlines, and provides exhaustive notes, is involved in every aspect of the creative process, and is heavily involved in the writing process.

7-Must Read James Patterson Books

For James Patterson newbies, these seven must-reads James Patterson books are great starting points plus that will keep you entertained for hours:

  • The Murder House
  • Along Came a Spider
  • The Postcard Killers
  • Confessions of a Murder Suspect
  • Filthy Rich

The Murder House by James Patterson, David Ellis

The Murder House by James Patterson, David Ellis

If you are new to James Patterson, we recommend starting with The Murder House.  This is a standalone James Patterson book about the multi-million dollar beachfront mansion in the Hamptons that holds a dark secret.  The neighborhood may seem perfect, but then a series of mysterious deaths start to pile up.  Now it’s up to Detective Jenna Murphy must get to the bottom of this dark secret before it’s too late.  The Murder House is a chilling, page-turning story of murder, money, and revenge.


Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

Along Came a Spider is James Patterson’s classic thriller.  The book follows Detective Alex Cross in his pursuit to track down a criminal mastermind who has kidnapped two children from an exclusive private school in Washington, D.C., and taken them to Baltimore.  It’s a thrilling, suspenseful journey with plenty of twists and turns.  This book was also made into a movie in 2001 starring Morgan Freeman as Cross.

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson, Liza Marklund

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson, Liza Marklund

The Postcard Killers is James Patterson’s exciting collaboration with Swedish author Liza Marklund.  It’s a heart-pounding mystery novel about two detectives who must work together to catch a killer who sends postcards to the newspapers after each murder.  This book is an intense psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.  This book was also made into a movie in 2020.

1st to Die by James Patterson

1st to Die by James Patterson

1st to Die is James Patterson’s first novel in the Women’s Murder Club series, which has gone on to become one of his most successful book franchises.  It follows four women – a cop, an assistant district attorney, a medical examiner, and a reporter.  They form a powerful alliance to catch San Francisco’s deadliest killer and end the slaughter of newlywed couples.  This is a thrilling page-turning mystery novel full of unexpected twists and turns.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

Confessions of a Murder Suspect is James Patterson’s edge-of-your-seat young adult mystery novel about a mysterious murder that rocks an affluent family.  The children of the Angel family wake up to their parents dead in their bed.  The kids are all suspects, but one of the daughters, Tandy, is determined to figure out who did it.  She must battle her demons to solve the crime and prove her innocence.  This book is full of suspense, intrigue, and twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.  Confessions of a Murder Suspect is the first book in a four-book series, and throughout the series, Tandy Angel solves a variety of different mysteries.

Filthy Rich by James Patterson, John Connolly, Tim Malloy

Filthy Rich by James Patterson, John Connolly, Tim Malloy

Filthy Rich is James Patterson’s explosive true crime novel about Jeffrey Epstein, the powerful financier and convicted sex offender who died in prison in 2019. This book is co-written by Tim Malloy and John Connolly and features interviews with some of Epstein’s victims, as well as legal experts, law enforcement officials, and those close to him. It’s an eye-opening and riveting exploration of power, money, corruption, and the hidden secrets that lurk in the shadows.

Zoo by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge

Zoo by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge

Zoo is James Patterson’s chilling science fiction and adventure novel.  The book follows a small group of scientists and animal behaviorists who must figure out how to stop the mysterious wave of violent attacks on humans by animals all over the world.  This fast-paced, action-packed science fiction thriller is full of twists and turns as they battle against nature and time to save humanity from destruction.


What do you think about these James Patterson books?

Have you read any James Patterson books?  Are any of these books or his other works on your TBR?  What James Patterson books are your favorite?  What James Patterson books would you add to this list?  Let us know in the comments below.

Book List 7-Must Read James Patterson Books Where to Start Reading

+ show Comments

- hide comments, add a comment, leave a reply cancel reply, 7 must-read john grisham books + where to begin reading », « the 2023 fall reading challenge for adults, previous post, back to blog home.

bookshelf organization: 10 ways to organize your books

Bookshelf Organization: 10 Ways To Organize Your Bookshelves

best rated books by james patterson

39 Screen-Free Activities To Do At Home

Morning Pages

A Daily Ritual To Help You Get Out of Your Rut

So hot right now, free guide.

best rated books by james patterson

With the cold weather rolling in, it's time to find a warm spot and cozy up with a good book. So if you're looking for the best new books of the season, this guide is just for you. The 2024 Winter Reading Guide has twenty-one new releases organized across six categories. You’ll also find some fun things to do at home, winter-themed recipes, plus more.

Download The 2024 Winter Guide

best rated books by james patterson

A once-weekly e-newsletter to inspire your desire to read and live a life filled with books.

follow along on social:





Links to third-party sites may include affiliate links.  As a Bookshop, Amazon and Libro.fm Affiliate, BiblioLifestyle earns from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

T.L. Branson

15 Best James Patterson Books You Should Read Right Now

James Patterson has written so many great books that it can be hard to choose which ones you’ll read first. To help with your decision, here is a list with some of the best James Patterson books that you should read. 

Patterson is one of the most popular authors due in large part to his thriller novels. His books are bestsellers and have been adapted into movies, TV series, and even video games. In addition to thrillers, he has written young adult fiction, children’s literature, short stories, memoirs, and more.

Who is James Patterson?

James Patterson is a bestselling author. He has penned many successful series, including Alex Cross , the Women’s Murder Club , Michael Bennett , Maximum Ride , and more. Collectively his books have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.

In 2010, Patterson was the first author to sell more than one million e-books . This milestone was achieved nearly 35 years after Patterson published his first novel The Thomas Berryman Number in 1976, which is a true testament to his legacy.

Also, Patterson frequently collaborates with others on writing projects. This includes two collaborations with former US President Bill Clinton. The first is The President Is Missing, published in 2018. The pair collaborated again on another novel, The President’s Daughter, published on June 7, 2021.

Patterson has also donated millions of dollars to schools, teachers, and independent bookstores.

Summary of the Best James Patterson Books

Patterson’s novels are renowned for their unique style and gripping storylines. Continue reading to find summaries for the 15 best James Patterson books. 

Along Came a Spider James Patterson

1. Along Came A Spider

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji is playing at the top of his game.

The latest of the unspeakable crimes happens in Alex Cross’s precinct and it happens under the noses of Jezzie Flanagan’s men.

Now Alex Cross must face the ultimate test: How do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath?

This is the first novel in the Alex Cross series.

best rated books by james patterson

2. 1st to Die

Inspector Lindsay Boxer, medical examiner Claire Washburn, assistant defence attorney Jill Bernhardt, and reporter Cindy Thomas all hold a key to the puzzle. When their usual procedures aren’t bringing them any closer to stopping the murder, they join forces outside of work. In creating the Women’s Murder Club they develop intense bonds with one another as they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered.

This is the first novel in the Women’s Murder Club series.

Kiss the Girls Alex Cross Books in Order

3. Kiss the Girls

Kiss the Girls is the second Alex Cross novel.

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. Then, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears.

Meanwhile in Washington D.C., Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever serial killers are collaborating, cooperating, and competing – and they are working coast to coast.

Pop Goes the Weasel James Patterson Book in Order

4. Pop Goes the Weasel

Detective Alex Cross is back in this fifth Alex Cross novel – and he’s in love. But his happiness is threatened by a series of chilling murders in Washington, D.C. Murders with a pattern so twisted they leave investigators reeling.

Cross’s pursuit of the killer produces a suspect: British diplomat Geoffrey Shafer. But proving he’s the murderer becomes a potentially deadly task. As Shafer engages in a brilliant series of surprising counter moves, Alex and his fiancée become hopelessly entangled with the most memorable nemesis Cross has ever faced.

The Thomas Berryman Number Best James Patterson Books

5. The Thomas Berryman Number

James Patterson’s debut novel begins with three terrifying murders in the South. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North.

In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

Gone Michael Ledwidge

Gone is the sixth novel in the Michael Bennett series, a collaboration between James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.

Manuel Perrine doesn’t fear anyone or anything. A charismatic and ruthless leader, Perrine slaughters rivals as effortlessly as he wears his trademark white linen suit.

Detective Michael Bennett once managed to put Perrine behind bars, the only official in the US ever to accomplish that. But now Perrine is out, and he has sworn to find and kill Bennett and everyone dear to him.

Detective Bennett, along with his ten adopted children, their nanny, and his grandfather, are hidden safely on a rural California farm, with guards courtesy of the FBI’s witness protection program. But then Perrine begins to embark on an escalating series of assassinations across the country, killings whose brazenness and audacity bring into question the possibility of safety and law in the US.

The FBI has no choice but to ask Detective Bennett to risk it all in Perrine’s war on America.

The Cornwalls are Gone Brenda DuBois

7. The Cornwalls are Gone

The Cornwalls are Gone was written in collaboration with Brendan DuBois. It is the first in the Amy Cornwall series. While it was initially published as The Cornwalls are Gone, the title was changed to The Cornwalls Vanish for subsequent printings.

In her career as an Army intelligence officer, Amy Cornwall has seen haunting sights half a world away. None compare to the chilling scene at her Virginia home.

A phone rings with a terrifying ultimatum: Locate and liberate an unnamed captive in forty-eight hours, or her kidnapped husband and ten-year-old daughter are dead.

Now, and in open defiance of Army Command, Amy must employ every lethal tactic she has to save them. To succeed, she must discover not only who dispatched her on this mission, but why. Without her family, she’s dead either way.

Roses Are Red Best James Patterson Books

8. Roses Are Red

Roses Are Red is James Patterson’s sixth Alex Cross novel.

In a series of crimes that has stunned Washington, D.C., bank robbers have been laying out precise demands when they enter the building. Then they are killing the bank employees and their families if those instructions are not followed to the letter.

Detective Alex Cross takes on the case, certain that this is no ordinary bank robber at work. The pathological need for control and perfection is too great. Cross is in the midst of a personal crisis at home, but the case becomes all-consuming as he learns that the Mastermind is plotting one huge, last, perfect crime.

The Murder House David Ellis

9. The Murder House

The Murder House is a standalone novel written in collaboration with David Ellis.

No. 7 Ocean Drive is a gorgeous, multi-million-dollar beachfront estate in the Hamptons, where money and privilege know no bounds.

But its beautiful gothic exterior hides a horrific past: It was the scene of a series of depraved killings that have never been solved. Neglected, empty, and rumored to be cursed, it’s known as the Murder House, and locals keep their distance.

Detective Jenna Murphy used to consider herself a local, but she hasn’t been back since she was a girl. Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, the former New York City cop hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity.

But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself.

Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker than even the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined. As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth – before the Murder House claims another victim.

The Beach House Peter De Jonge

10. The Beach House

The Beach House is a standalone novel written in collaboration with Peter de Jonge.

Jack Mullen is a driven student of the law. His brother Peter is a servant of the rich, parking the cars of the Hamptons’ elite and perhaps satisfying their more intimate needs as well. Then Peter’s body is found on the beach.

Jack knows the drowning was no accident, but someone’s unlimited power and money have bought the cops, the judges, and the system. Now Jack is learning a lesson in justice that he never got in law school. His astonishing plan to beat the billionaires will have you reeling, and cheering, to the very last page.

NYPD Red Best James Patterson Books

11. NYPD Red

NYPD Red is the first in James Patterson’s NYPD Red series which is written in collaboration with Marshall Karp.

It’s the start of Hollywood on Hudson, and New York City is swept up in the glamour. With this many celebrities in town, special task force NYPD Red is on high alert. And they can’t afford to make a single mistake.

Then a world-renowned producer fatally collapses at his power breakfast, and top NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan is the first one on the scene. Zach works with his beautiful new partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald – who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend – to discover who the murderer might be.

But this is only the beginning. The most brutal, public, and horrifyingly spectacular crimes they’ve ever encountered are about to send all of New York into chaos.

Zach and Kylie know there’s no way of telling what a killer this deranged will do next. With the whole world watching, they have to find a way to stop a psychopath who has scripted his finale down to the last explosive detail.

Never Never Candice Fox

12. Never Never

This novel is the first in James Patterson’s Detective Harriet Blue series, written in collaboration with Candice Fox.

When Sydney police department sex crimes detective Harriet Blue is called into her boss’s office, she never imagined it would be to tell her that her brother is the prime suspect in the brutal murders of three women.

Shocked and in denial, Harry is transferred to Perth to avoid the media exposure this case will attract. Harry is sent into the outback – the never never – to investigate the disappearance of mine worker Danny Carter. The mining town is a seedy place, full of money and immoral ways to spend it.

As Harry delves deeper into the murky lives of these miners, she finds that Danny isn’t the first to go missing.

Step on a Crack Michael Bennett

13. Step on a Crack

This is the first in the Michael Bennett series, a collaboration between James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.

NYPD detective Michael Bennett is concentrating on getting his family through a particularly difficult Christmas. He and his 10 adopted children are facing the loss to cancer of his brave wife, Maeve.

But a major crisis calls him away. The funeral of a former First Lady at St. Patrick’s Cathedral goes horribly awry when men storm the church and take hundreds of attendees hostage. Michael is asked to try to reason with a sinister man named Jack.

Jack releases all but the most famous people, and makes his demands. He wants several million dollars from each celebrity hostage. Once Jack starts killing, Michael realizes he’s up against a truly diabolical foe. 

The People vs. Alex Cross Best James Patterson Books

14. The People vs. Alex Cross

This is the 25th installment in James Patterson’s Alex Cross series.

Alex Cross is on the wrong side of the law. Serving a suspension from the force while he awaits trial for murder, Cross has been branded as a trigger-happy cop, another bad apple walking the streets with a gun, an accusation that Cross will do anything to refute.

To make himself feel useful again, Cross opens a counseling office in the basement of his home. When his former partner Sampson shows up needing his help, Cross jumps at the chance, even if it may end up costing him what’s left of his career.

When a string of young blonde women go missing, the investigation leads Cross and Sampson to the most depraved, darkest corners of the internet. Struggling to prove his own innocence and uncover the truth lurking online, Cross must risk everything to save his most at-risk patient of all…himself.

The President is Missing Bill Clinton

15. The President is Missing

As mentioned, The President is Missing was written in collaboration with Bill Clinton. It is a standalone novel.

As the novel opens, a threat looms. Enemies are planning an attack of unprecedented scale on America. Uncertainty and fear grip Washington.

There are whispers of cyberterror, espionage, and a traitor in the cabinet. The President himself becomes a suspect, and then he goes missing.

15 Best James Patterson Books Wrap-Up

  • Along Came a Spider (1993)
  • 1st to Die (2001)
  • Kiss the Girls (1995)
  • Pop Goes the Weasel (1999)
  • The Thomas Berryman Number (1976)
  • Gone (2013)
  • The Cornwalls are Gone – Also published as The Cornwalls Vanish (2019)
  • Roses Are Red (2000)
  • The Murder House (2015)
  • The Beach House (2002)
  • NYPD Red (2012)
  • Never Never (2016)
  • Step on a Crack (2007)
  • The People vs. Alex Cross (2017)
  • The President is Missing (2018)

If you are a lover of thriller novels, then you should consider reading the James Patterson books. You will love the action and suspense with which Patterson fills his novels and this list of the 15 best James Patterson books is a great place to start.

Looking for more book recommendations?

Check out this list of all the James Patterson books in order .

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 Best James Patterson Books of All Time

Our goal : Find the best James Patterson books according to the internet (not just one random person's opinion).

  • Type "best james patterson books" into our search engine and study the top 5+ pages.
  • Add only the books mentioned 2+ times.
  • Rank the results neatly for you here! 😊 (It was a lot of work. But hey! That's why we're here, right?)

(Updated 2024)

As an Amazon Associate, we earn money from purchases made through links in this page.

Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

  • Best James Patterson Books

Along Came a Spider

Along Came a Spider

Alex cross, book 1.

James Patterson

1st to Die

Women's Murder Club, Book 1

Kiss the Girls

Kiss the Girls

Alex cross, book 2.

The Murder House

The Murder House

The President Is Missing

The President Is Missing

Roses Are Red

Roses Are Red

Alex cross, book 6.

The Angel Experiment

The Angel Experiment

Maximum ride, book 1.

The Beach House

The Beach House

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

The Thomas Berryman Number

The Thomas Berryman Number


NYPD Red, Book 1


Michael Bennett, Book 6

Step on a Crack

Step on a Crack

Michael bennett, book 1.

Pop Goes the Weasel

Pop Goes the Weasel

Alex cross, book 5.

Woman of God

Woman of God

Confessions of a Murder Suspect

Confessions of a Murder Suspect

Confessions, book 1.

  • Articlesjames Patterson Bestelling Novels www.masterclass.com
  • 10 Best James Patterson Books - Book Maverick bookmaverick.com
  • The 21 Best James Patterson Books, Ranked by Goodreads Members www.businessinsider.com
  • 17 Best James Patterson Books [to Read in 2023] - UpJourney upjourney.com
  • Top 28 Best James Patterson Books Ranked, Top Review 2023 pennbookcenter.com

View all James Patterson books in order

What are some of the top James Patterson novels?

When considering the best of James Patterson, fans often recommend "Along Came a Spider" and "Kiss the Girls," both part of the famous Alex Cross series. Another highly-rated novel by Patterson is "1st to Die," the first entry in the Patterson series Women's Murder Club series, which blends mystery with strong female characters. Many of these books, including the stars of his bibliography, are published by the Hachette Book Group, a leading publisher for Patterson's works.

Which novel is considered James Patterson's best?

Many readers regard "Along Came a Spider" as James Patterson's best book. Not only does it introduce the beloved character Alex Cross, but it also set the tone for Patterson's gripping style of thriller fiction and started the Patterson cross run that fans love. This best novel is often at the top of readers' lists when they discuss their favorite Patterson works, making it a flagship title for the Hachette Book Group.

What makes James Patterson's Private series so popular?

The series Patterson created, Private, stands out for its fast-paced Patterson series adventures and international intrigue. Readers love the mix of action and private investigations that span across the globe. Each book Patterson delivered in this series brings a new and thrilling case, keeping the reading experience fresh and engaging.

Is there a James Patterson book featuring sports stars and murders?

Yes, readers who love a blend of sports and crime should check out "Private Games," which takes place during the London Olympics. The Patterson Private series continues to captivate fans with this entry, as it combines high stakes competitions with a chilling series of murders. In this book, Patterson has seamlessly integrated sports stars, adding an extra level of excitement to the story.

Can you recommend a great James Patterson book to start with for newcomers?

A great starting point for new fans would be "Along Came a Spider." This book is often hailed as one of Patterson's finest works and is an excellent introduction to his style of thriller and suspense writing, which involves complex characters and enthralling plots. Plus, it's part of the Alex Cross series, where fans can follow the character on another riveting cross-series journey in subsequent novels.

Where can I find trustworthy reviews for James Patterson's novels?

Our website features comprehensive ratings and reviews for all of James Patterson's books. These reviews are gathered from a wide range of readers which allows you to get various perspectives before you decide to add a book to your cart and buy it, ensuring that the Hachette Book Group fosters a wide readership for these popular titles.

How do I buy a James Patterson book on your website?

While Most Recommended Books doesn’t sell books directly, we provide convenient links directly to Amazon for each title published by the Hachette Book Group. You can read the synopsis, check out user ratings, and if you find one you'd love to dive into, just click on our link to buy it from Amazon at the best price available. Add it to your cart and continue your reading journey with ease by choosing from the vast Patterson series collection or dive into a standalone Patterson book.

What To Read Next


Explore other lists

Share this page

Email us if you have any feedback

BookScouter Blog

Buy and sell your books at the best price

James patterson’s best books to read in 2024.

james patterson best books

James Patterson stands out among contemporary literary fiction as one of the masterful storytellers known for creating complex plots and memorable characters and taking readers on an emotional journey through his words. Patterson proves his versatility with every book he publishes – from gripping crime thrillers that keep readers riveted to emotionally powerful tales that touch readers’ hearts – demonstrating both genres equally with every offering he produces.

James Patterson’s best books reveal his immense creativity and profound understanding of human emotions by depicting the psychological journeys of detectives pursuing criminals, depicting difficulties faced by women banding together against daunting odds to accomplish important missions, or providing tales of love and loss. They all testify to his extraordinary skill at exploring our humanity. 

His stories, filled with suspense, romance, and interpersonal dynamics that resonate deeply with everyday reality, capture readers and shed insight into its intricacies. Through many stories penned over his career thus far,  James Patterson firmly cements himself as a literary giant while delighting audiences worldwide with each page turn.

Along Came a Spider  

“Along Came a Spider,” written by James Patterson, introduces readers to Alex Cross – one of America’s premier detectives and forensic psychologists based in Washington D.C. The novel chronicles how Dr. Alex Cross becomes involved in an intricate kidnapping case spanning Washington, D.C. Beginning the film is Gary Soneji’s abduction of Maggie Rose Dunne and Michael Goldberg from an elite private school through Gary Soneji himself. 

As this case proceeds, it becomes evident that Soneji’s motivations extend far beyond merely seeking ransom; his true ambition may lie in perpetuating an act of violence that will remain an iconic crime. Cross and Jezzie Flanagan form an unlikely bond during this high-stakes game of cat and mouse, becoming intimately involved personally and professionally with the investigation. 

best rated books by james patterson

1st To Die  

“1st to Die” marks James Patterson’s inaugural novel of his Women’s Murder Club series. This captivating tale centers around four dynamic San Francisco women: Lindsay Boxer (homicide inspector), Claire Washburn (medical examiner), Cindy Thomas (crime reporter), and Jill Bernhardt (assistant D.A.). These women join together as an unofficial team known as “Women’s Murder Club” to collaborate outside of their departments and collaborate on an elaborate plot that involves several grisly murders on newlywed wedding nights – murderous sprees! 

As they further investigate, Lindsay becomes personally affected when diagnosed with an incurable blood disease and begins receiving treatments in her hospital room.

Meanwhile, evidence leads them to suspect someone from within their inner circle as part of this story arc.

The four women become closer as a group as they navigate the challenges this case presents, their personal lives, and any inherent risks of their professions. “1st to Die” sets an exciting scene for this series with its captivating blend of suspense, romance, and interpersonal dynamics – emphasizing female collaboration in high-stakes environments while keeping readers enthralled until its very conclusion. Patterson perfectly crafts her tale to keep audiences turning pages until the last page has been read!

best rated books by james patterson

The Angel Experiment

“The Angel Experiment,” by James Patterson’s “Maximum Ride” series, is an intriguing blend of science fiction and adventure that introduces readers to Max (Maximum Ride), her friends Fang Iggy Nudge the Gasman Angel as well as Max herself. These children aren’t ordinary; they’re genetically engineered creatures created through hybridization between human DNA and bird DNA that gives them wings that allow them to fly! After fleeing “The School,” where they had been subject to experiments, a flock lives in hiding while searching for answers about themselves and why they came into being. 

best rated books by james patterson

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

“Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” by James Patterson offers an emotional tale of love, loss, and healing. Katie Wilkinson, an established book editor living in New York City, is devastated when Matt ends their relationship abruptly. While grieving this sudden departure, she discovers a diary written by Suzanne that chronicles their journey of love, tragedy, and resilience over five years – an ordeal which she chronicled through writing this diary that addressed directly to Nicholas – who now reads it aloud to Katie at an earlier point during his writing stint.

best rated books by james patterson

School’s Out – Forever

“School’s Out – Forever” by James Patterson continues the adventures of Max (Maximum Ride), Fang Iggy Nudge Gasman Angel, and their “flock.” Following their escape from “The School,” Max is being pursued by both FBI agents and unknown individuals who wish to capture or eliminate her and her flock members.

As part of their search to learn the truth about themselves and why they were created, the flock heads toward Washington, D.C. Along the way, they encounter new threats, make unexpected allies, and experience what appears to be normal life when briefly enrolling at school – only for this to quickly end as danger lurks around every corner – particularly with Erasers (wolf-human hybrids) constantly on the lookout. Their pursuit stresses cohesion among members of their flock, putting its cohesion under scrutiny.

best rated books by james patterson

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer

“Sam’s Letters to Jennifer,” written by James Patterson, explores love, loss, and rediscovery themes. When Chicago newspaper columnist Jennifer is informed about Sam, her grandmother who has fallen into a coma, this prompts her to return home to Lake Geneva, where they spent their childhood years.

Jennifer quickly discovers a series of letters written by Sam that illuminate his deeply emotional love story with Brendan, chronicling their passionate, heart-wrenching, and hopeful moments together. While reading through them, Jennifer learned more about Sam and began healing herself after recent tragedies, such as losing her husband and miscarrying their baby girl.

best rated books by james patterson

“3rd Degree” by James Patterson continues the Women’s Murder Club series by following four female protagonists: Homicide Inspector Lindsay Boxer, Medical Examiner Claire Washburn, Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt, and reporter Cindy Thomas as they work together to solve crimes in San Francisco.

Patterson masterfully crafts an intriguing thriller to keep readers engrossed, interweaving personal relationships and high-stakes crime-solving to create “3rd Degree”, an electrifying read that offers suspenseful mystery plotlines and explores their complex dynamics as four friends.

best rated books by james patterson

4th of July  

“4th of July” by James Patterson is the fourth book in his Women’s Murder Club series and features suspense, action, and interpersonal drama. This novel centers around Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer, a San Francisco Homicide detective caught in an intense legal dispute.

Boxer and her partner were attacked during a routine traffic stop; during her response to these assaults, she shot back, hitting and killing an 18-year-old teenager. Following this tragedy, she is charged with police brutality and stands trial, while their former client’s family has accused her of murder.

Patterson masterfully weaves Boxer’s court proceedings together with an unfolding murder mystery in Half Moon Bay. Her writing provides an absorbing look into police work, justice system complexities, and one’s determination to uncover the truth; her Women’s Murder Club provides an unbreakable bond that remains at its heart throughout.

best rated books by james patterson

Pop Goes the Weasel  

“Pop Goes the Weasel” by James Patterson is another thrilling novel featuring Alex Cross, an expert detective and forensic psychologist. This time, his narrative delves deep into a dark world: serial killing in Washington D.C. targeting young women; hence, the title comes from its use by this serial killer as their signature refrain in nursery rhyme form – hence its intriguing name as well.

Cross discovers during his investigation that Geoffrey Shafer, a British diplomat with diplomatic immunity, is the prime suspect. Shafer leads an unconventional life both publicly and underground as part of dangerous role-playing games; their cat-and-mouse game with each other becomes ever more intimate and potentially risky as time progresses.

best rated books by james patterson

Four Blind Mice  

James Patterson’s Alex Cross series provides readers with one of its riveting novels in “Four Blind Mice.” Detective Alex Cross finds himself involved with an emotionally charged case: his longtime partner John Sampson has asked for help when one of their former Vietnam War comrades has been wrongfully charged and sentenced to death; these efforts eventually resulted in their team working tirelessly on clearing his name – Sampson was determined to clear their friend’s name! Sampson and Cross collaborate to investigate deeper.

best rated books by james patterson

If you like James Patterson’s books, check out our list of the best psychological thriller books . Perhaps the thriller we recommend will give you the same excitement as a rollercoaster ride.

' src=

Athena Nagel

Athena is a seasoned freelance writer, influencer, and blogger with 22 years of expertise. She likes to breathe life into words and transform them into engaging stories and compelling content. With a passion for blogging, Athena is on a mission to inspire and inform through the art of storytelling.

You may also like

best rated books by james patterson

Top 100 Books Searched in 2011

best rated books by james patterson

10 Most Searched Sociology Books on BookScouter in 2024

best rated books by james patterson

10 Most Searched History Books on BookScouter in 2024

Copy and paste this code to display the image on your site

Last Updated on January 4, 2024 by Sammy Wilson

  • Follow Us On

Use LEAP24 for 20% off site wide + free shipping over $45

The 10 Best Alex Cross Books by James Patterson

idney Baldwin/Summit Entertainment

If you are familiar with James Patterson, you know that he is not only one of the world’s bestselling authors, but also one of the most prolific. He has been publishing books since the 1970s, but it was his first book about former FBI agent and Washington, D.C. psychologist Alex Cross,  Along Came a Spider , that catapulted him into the literary spotlight. And he’s stayed there ever since. (Fun fact: he holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1  New York Times bestsellers.)

In the 25th book in the series, Criss Cross , Alex Cross and his partner, John Sampson witness an execution in a Virginia penitentiary, followed hours later by a copycat crime that includes a note for Alex: “You messed up big time, Dr. Cross.” Alex and John race to discover the meaning behind it, hoping an innocent man wasn’t just put to death.

Twenty-five is a lot of books in a series! If you’ve always wanted to read James Patterson, his Alex Cross series is a great place to begin. But with so many titles, which ones should you pick up first? Here’s a list of the ten best Alex Cross books according to Goodreads, to help you get started.

Cross Justice

Cross Justice

By james patterson.

Average Rating: 4.23

Alex Cross returns to his North Carolina hometown for the first time in over three decades to help his cousin, who has been accused of a horrible crime. But searching for this killer will unearth secrets about his own past he never knew.

The People vs. Alex Cross

The People vs. Alex Cross

Average Rating: 4.2

Alex Cross is involved in the trial of his life—and this time he’s on the other side of the law. Alex is accused of murdering the followers of his nemesis, Gary Soneji, in cold blood. His only hope of walking out of the courtroom a free man is proving it was self-defense. But even those closest to him are starting to doubt his intentions.

Hope to Die

Hope to Die

Average Rating: 4.16

The stakes have never been higher as Alex Cross might have to sacrifice to give a killer they want in order to save the people he loves the most. But just how far will a madman try and make Alex go before he can get his family back?

Along Came a Spider

Along Came a Spider

Average Rating: 4.1

The book that started it all! Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. Jezzie Flanagan is the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Drawn to one another, Alex and Jezzie start a forbidden love affair, but it’s not to last if deranged psychopath Gary Soneji gets his way.

Cross Fire

Average Rating: 4.07

Detective Alex Cross has to put his wedding plans on hold when someone executes two of Washington D.C.’s most corrupt politicians. As Alex investigates the crime, more crooked politicians die, sparking a debate: is the killer a hero or a vigilante?

Alex Cross, Run

Alex Cross, Run

Average Rating: 4.06

Detective Alex Cross has his hands full as the crime scenes start piling up: first a murdered woman and a missing baby, followed by two more murders. The city is buzzing about three potential serial killers, but Alex may be up against one killer who literally changes faces.

Get recommended reads, deals, and more from Novel Suspects

By clicking 'Sign Up,' I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Hachette Book Group’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Cross My Heart

Cross My Heart

Nothing is more important to Alex Cross than his family: his wife, Bree, his grandmother, and his children. That also means he has an Achilles heel, one that an unknown enemy is about to exploit, forcing Alex to discover just what he’s willing to give up in order to keep them safe.

Target: Alex Cross

Target: Alex Cross

Average Rating: 4.05

As the nation mourns a fallen leader, Alex Cross must help his wife, Bree Stone, find a sniper before they cost Bree her job and the city of Washington, D.C., more lives. Appointed to the task force by the President, Alex begins to suspect the attacks are the beginning of a larger plot—but can they stop it in time.

Roses Are Red

Roses Are Red

Average Rating: 4.04

Alex Cross is up against the most elusive enemies of his career as he hunts for a group of bank robbers who have been terrifying Washington D.C. with a string of heists that end in murder. As Alex races to find the people responsible, he learns that there may be one brilliant yet dangerous mastermind pulling all the strings.

Kill Alex Cross

Kill Alex Cross

Average Rating: 4.03

And last, but not least, two of the most important cases of Alex’s professional career. Detective Alex Cross is one of the first on the scene after the abduction of the President’s children, but it quickly becomes clear that someone very high-up is trying to keep him off the case. Shortly after, a deadly contagion is released into Washington D.C.’s water supply. Alex must work fast to solve both horrible crimes, despite the opposition to his involvement.

What to Read Next

The 10 Best Western Mysteries and Thrillers

Pardners in Crime: The 10 Best Western Mysteries and Thrillers

James Patterson's 10 Best Women's Murder Club Books According to Goodreads Featured Image

The 10 Best Women’s Murder Club Books by James Patterson

Capital Crimes: The Best Washington D.C. Crime Novels

Capital Crimes: The Best Washington D.C. Crime Novels

True Crime Books About Serial Killers

The Best True Crime Books About Serial Killers

12 LGBTQ+ Characters in Crime Fiction Featured Image

12 LGBTQ+ Characters in Crime Fiction

Novel Suspects Featured Image Every James Patterson Reader

Which James Patterson Book Should You Read First?

Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive .

To revisit this article, select My Account, then   View saved stories

Find anything you save across the site in your account

How James Patterson Became the World’s Best-Selling Author

By Laura Miller

An illustration of James Patterson sitting with piles of books

“Man, do I have stories to tell,” James Patterson writes in his new autobiography, “ James Patterson ” (Little, Brown). The best-selling author does serve up stories, lots of them; the book is a grab bag of anecdotes, many of which have the tone and the import of a humorous icebreaker in a Rotary Club speech. There was the time that Patterson and a fellow altar boy—Patterson grew up in a devoutly Catholic family—almost got caught with a stash of unconsecrated Communion hosts that his friend had squirrelled away for post-Mass snacking. Or the time that, as a junior in college, he went to a Broadway production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” and the woman seated next to him began stroking his leg, distracting him from the performance. Or the time he and a buddy were caddying for a surly golf pro at a country club in Patterson’s home town of Newburgh, New York, and the buddy stole one of the pro’s balls—while it was in play.

Because Patterson has been selling more books than any other living author for many years now, these tidbits often involve famous actors, politicians, and recording artists. Patterson has almost as many names to drop as he does stories to tell, although the celebrity encounters tend to be less amusing than his boyhood escapades. Serena Williams makes a brief appearance on a plane, whispering to Patterson of the other passengers, “They want my autograph, but I want yours.” Patterson once had a meeting with Tom Cruise, who was “smart and a total pleasure to talk to,” and also “not that short,” although nothing much came of the potential collaboration they discussed. (He relates a similarly anticlimactic meeting with Warren Beatty.) Hugh Jackman and Charlize Theron, Patterson tells us, “both look amazing in real life. Also, they don’t seem full of themselves.”

These stories aren’t very interesting, but Patterson himself is. As with many popular authors, his success—his books have sold more than four hundred million copies—rankles those who wish the reading masses had different tastes. Critics complain about his generic characters, his workmanlike, plot-driven prose, and, above all, his practice of churning out multiple titles per year with the aid of co-writers. This productivity is the secret of Patterson’s success. He has published two hundred and sixty Times best-sellers, and Publishers Weekly has determined that he is the best-selling author of the past seventeen years. And yet no Patterson title made the magazine’s list of the hundred and fifty best-selling books since 2004. The number of titles is the key. Like the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which, in the early twentieth century, produced hundreds of novels for young readers, featuring such characters as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, Patterson supplies detailed outlines for his books. His co-writers then flesh out these narrative skeletons into installments of popular series that include the Women’s Murder Club (a crime-solving group of friends in San Francisco) and Michael Bennett (a police detective in New York City with ten adopted children). But, where the Stratemeyer Syndicate masked its legion of ghostwriters behind collective pseudonyms like Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon, Patterson credits his co-writers, even if his eminently bankable name appears in much larger type on their books’ covers.

As frustrating as “James Patterson” can be to read if you’d like to know more about how Patterson came to create his publishing empire, the book does generate some sympathy for its author. Patterson is keenly aware of the disdain heaped on his work, and he seems to feel every slight. In 2009, Stephen King described him as a “terrible writer,” and Patterson occasionally starts speaking engagements by joking, “Hi, I’m Stephen King.” In 2016, Patterson planned to publish a novella titled “The Murder of Stephen King” but withdrew it after King’s representatives complained. (In “James Patterson,” he insists that King is the hero of the novella and “ doesn’t get murdered .”) But Patterson will have you know that he is not a philistine. A reluctant reader throughout his childhood, he fell in love with books while working the night shift as an aide at a psychiatric hospital; he recounts devouring the work of James Joyce and Gabriel García Márquez, but also writers offbeat enough (John Rechy, Evan S. Connell, Stanley Elkin) to ward off suspicions that he’s just dropping more names.

“I was a full-blown, know-it-all literary snob,” Patterson writes of himself back then, describing a guy who looked down on the sort of genre fiction he now writes. But how to communicate to other literary snobs that he does indeed appreciate the great novelists, thank you very much, and yet avoid implying that he thinks less of pulp fiction and those who prefer it—namely, his own fans? It isn’t easy to defend yourself without coming across as defensive. Patterson is rich and famous , and things would be easier for him if he didn’t care what King or some literary critic says about him, but he clearly does, despite his efforts to hide it. Perhaps this is why “James Patterson” contains so little about its author’s writing processes and strategies.

Patterson’s thrillers may be formulaic, but if anybody could write them everybody would, and Patterson would not be selling millions of books a year. Some inkling of the particular techniques that helped him attain this supremacy would be welcome. Patterson offers a few recommendations to aspiring writers: pare off every speck of fat and keep things moving along—fairly basic action-writing advice. He also instructs writers, from would-be novelists to elementary-school children composing book reports, to “outline, outline, outline”—the title of his two-page chapter on craft. Patterson’s breakout thriller, “ Along Came a Spider ” (1993), began as a full-length outline of the plot, and then essentially stayed that way. “When I went back to start the novel itself,” Patterson recounts, “I realized that I had already written it .” The short chapters and one-sentence paragraphs that became his signature style, and that are often the object of critics’ scorn, struck him as the ideal way to keep the novel “bright and hot from beginning to end.”

“Along Came a Spider” launched twenty-eight sequels featuring the Washington, D.C., police detective Alex Cross; it’s a series that Patterson writes without a collaborator. Patterson explains that he’d originally conceived of Alex as a woman, then got stuck. After he changed the protagonist’s gender, the novel “seemed to write itself.” But Alex Cross is also Black, like the politician targeted by an assassin in Patterson’s first published novel, “ The Thomas Berryman Number .” And in “Along Came a Spider” Cross’s race is more than just a bit of liberal-minded color-blind casting. For a commercial novel written by a white man in the early nineteen-nineties, “Along Came a Spider” is notably alert to structural racism and what are now called microaggressions. Cross protests when his investigation of the murders of three Black residents in his neighborhood in southeast D.C. gets sidelined by a high-profile kidnapping of two white children from an exclusive private school. When he and his partner show up at the school, he immediately notes that they are among the very few Black faces in the lobby. After Alex begins an affair with a white colleague, his sage grandmother tells him, “I do not trust most white people. I would like to, but I can’t. Most of them have no respect for us.”

Anyone curious to know how Patterson came to create his most celebrated character, what interested him in writing about the experience of Black Americans, and how he researched that experience will find no answers in “James Patterson.” (Anyone who wants to read about Patterson’s golf game, if such a person exists, will be well served.) Patterson describes the “thick folder of ideas” he keeps in his office, but not where he finds the materials in it. Does he have criteria for the heroes and heroines of his series? Rules of thumb for concocting a hateable villain? Types of conflict that reliably keep readers engaged? Tricks for getting the maximum effect out of the minimum description? Mistakes he’s learned never to make again? Wider or deeper thoughts about the thriller genre and what makes it so popular? These are mysteries “James Patterson” leaves unsolved.

Patterson’s common touch may have something to do with his onetime day job in advertising. After starting out as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson, in the early nineteen-seventies, he rose to become the C.E.O. of the agency’s North American branch and held that position until 1996, when he left to pursue writing full time. Although Patterson refers to the quarter century he spent at Thompson as “advertising hell,” he seems to have loved it: the wild characters, the location shoots for TV commercials, the celebrities he met, the nutty campaigns like “The Battle of the Burgers” between Burger King and McDonald’s, a gimmick for which Patterson claims credit. There are more stories about advertising in “James Patterson” than there are about his writing process. (There are even more stories about advertising than there are about golf, which is saying a lot.) Patterson recounts the day he met with his publisher and proposed releasing multiple books under his name each year, a plan initially regarded with skepticism. He doesn’t, however, explain why he wanted to do this. “James Patterson” implies that its author is so overflowing with story ideas the only way he could find peace was to outsource them to collaborators—but why not just winnow that folder down to the very best of the bunch?

A 2010 profile of Patterson in the Times Magazine portrays him as a brilliant marketer closely involved in every level of the publication and promotion of his books. According to the profile, Patterson felt so strongly that “Along Came a Spider” should be advertised on television that he produced a commercial at his own expense. He urged his publisher to release the subsequent titles in the Alex Cross series with a signature style of cover art, making himself not just an author but a brand. This marketing savvy is another side of Patterson that’s absent from “James Patterson.” Instead, the author presents himself as a “blue-collar kid” (his father was an insurance salesman, a detail also not mentioned in the book) who lucked into the best job in the world. In the book’s first chapter, he ascribes his success to a saying drummed into him by his grandmother: “Hungry dogs run faster.” Yet the ravenous ambition that so obviously drives him is a subject he skirts again and again.

“One thing that I’ve learned and taken to heart about writing books or even delivering a good speech is to tell stories,” Patterson writes. “Story after story after story.” In “James Patterson,” the stories—a cavalcade of mostly trivial tales, often told out of chronological order and sometimes having little to do with the author—come across as a screen he hides behind. The book has occasional moments that pierce this veil, in particular three chapters on Jane Hall Blanchard, a woman Patterson lived with for seven years before she died of a brain tumor, at the age of thirty-nine. He describes holding Blanchard’s hand as she slipped away, then ends the chapter with “I can barely write these words, even now, after all this time.” It’s a rare instance in which Patterson’s brevity seems less an economizing measure than an allusion to a feeling too deep for words. In another moment of candor, Patterson admits, “My entire life, I honestly have had no idea who the hell I am. It’s still that way. I look at myself as just another idiot wandering planet Earth with no real idea what makes the world go ’round, no particular identity, just another lost soul.” And this is perhaps the most forlorn aspect of “James Patterson”: that a man so relentlessly bullish on storytelling seems never to have formulated the story of his own life. ♦

New Yorker Favorites

A reporter’s relationship with Kurt Cobain , before and after the singer’s death.

Who owns London’s most mysterious mansion ?

The politics behind the creation of “ Harriet the Spy .”

The aesthetic splendor of “ The Simpsons .”

Fiction by Alice Munro: “ Passion .”

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the best stories from The New Yorker .

Books & Fiction

By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement . This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Patrick Langley on Comedy and Violence

By Willing Davidson

The Best Books We’ve Read in 2024 So Far

By The New Yorker

Sterling HolyWhiteMountain Reads Roberto Bolaño

Get recommended reads, deals, and more from Hachette

By clicking ‘Sign Up,’ I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Hachette Book Group’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

James Patterson – Books

Recent releases, titles list.


“Turn. Up. The. Heat” (New York Times) with this psychological thriller. New York City detective Michael Bennett faces his most terrifying killer ever. It could be anyone. They could be anywhere. A killer uses fearsome precision to take out impossible… Read More

Missing Persons

Missing Persons

In Afghanistan, a US pilot is shot down during a covert mission.  In New York, a mother is forced to flee with her two young children.  Finding the connection between the two will lead the Private team right into a… Read More

Holmes, Marple & Poe

Holmes, Marple & Poe

Crime! Murder! Who are you going to call? In New York City, three intriguing, smart, and stylish private investigators open Holmes, Marple & Poe Investigations. Who are these detectives with famous names and mysterious, untraceable pasts? Brendan Holmes—The Brain: Identifies suspects… Read More

The Girl in the Castle

The Girl in the Castle

Beloved #1 bestselling author James Patterson delivers a thrilling novel about a teen caught between two worlds and the truths that could set her free—or trap her foreverMy name is Hannah Dory and I need you to believe me  … Read More

What Really Happens in Vegas

What Really Happens in Vegas

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—until now. James Patterson shows the real Vegas in a dazzling journey through “lively tales of those who labor and dream in Sin City” (Kirkus). “Wild and wonderful…The magic of Sin City doesn’t just… Read More

Alex Cross Must Die

Alex Cross Must Die

“One of the greatest fictional detectives of all time” (Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child) is in the sights of the Dead Hours Killer, a serial murderer on a ruthless mission. An airport killer targeting pilots expands his scope. Alex Cross Must… Read More

12 Months to Live

12 Months to Live

“Patterson and Lupica make a great team” (Carl Hiaasen) who get “deep into the lives of strong women” (Louise Penny) and Jane Smith is their greatest creation—a badass lawyer with a year to live. “Jane Smith is the best character… Read More

23 1/2 Lies

23 1/2 Lies

Enjoy three heart-racing thrillers from the New York Times bestselling master of suspense.23 1/2 LIES: Lindsay Boxer's estranged father is gunned down execution-style, and her investigation uncovers life-altering truths. (with Maxine Paetro)FALLEN RANGER: To Rory Yates, being a Texas Ranger means absolute… Read More

Lion & Lamb

Lion & Lamb

Veena Lion and Cooper Lamb are rival PIs in Philadelphia in this “fun ride…the romance between Cooper and Veena is artfully handled…endearing characters including Cooper’s two preternaturally clever kids and his Rhodesian ridgeback puppy.” –Publishers Weekly​“Great storytelling…a spectacular murder case.” –Kirkus, starred… Read More


In this startling psychological thriller, a killer is targeting young women in New York City and is obsessed with Michael Bennett’s daughter. A killer is obsessed… with Detective Michael Bennett’s oldest daughter. Michael Bennett is obsessed…  with keeping his family safe.… Read More

Circle of Death

Circle of Death

In this action-packed story from a New York Times bestselling author, a ruthless killer is seeking to overturn the world order—and our only hope is vigilante justice. Since Lamont Cranston—known to a select few as the Shadow—defeated Shiwan Khan and… Read More

Ali Cross: The Secret Detective

Ali Cross: The Secret Detective

The #1 bestselling kid detective is back! Mysteries, crime-solving, homeroom—all in a day's work for Ali Cross.  Ali Cross has always looked up to his father, the famous detective Alex Cross. And after helping to solve two big cases, Ali… Read More

Private Moscow

Private Moscow

In this action-packed thriller, an invitation from an old friend draws Private Investigative agency founder Jack Morgan into a deadly conspiracy.  On a cold January morning, Jack Morgan stands inside the New York Stock Exchange with his former US Marine… Read More

Cross Down

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Alex Cross is gravely injured. Only his partner and friend John Sampson can keep him safe . . . and get justice. For the first time, John Sampson is on his own.    The brilliant crime-solving… Read More

Treasure Hunters: The Greatest Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunters: The Greatest Treasure Hunt

In the finale of James Patterson's bestselling series, the Kidds compete for fame and glory—but can they solve a mystery, restore their family name and uncover the biggest treasure yet? Bick, Beck, Storm, and Tommy Kidd have uncovered and rescued… Read More

The 23rd Midnight

The 23rd Midnight

In this #1 New York Times bestseller,an attention-seeking copycat from the Women’s Murder Club’s past is recreating murders by a famous killer—with devastating new twists. Detective Lindsay Boxer put serial killer Evan Burke in jail.    Reporter Cindy Thomas wrote… Read More

Minerva Keen's Detective Club

Minerva Keen's Detective Club

James Patterson has just created the most spine-tingling, creepy-crawling, giggle-producing kid’s detective club ever. That’s ever.   Living in the luxurious Arcanum building—with its interior balconies perfect for playing tag, an elevator like an iron birdcage, and quirky neighbors behind… Read More

Things I Wish I Told My Mother

Things I Wish I Told My Mother

An artist and her perfectionist mother unpack a lifetime of secrets while on vacation in Paris in this moving novel—perfect for fans of One Italian Summer. A mother and daughter on vacation in Paris unpack a lifetime of secrets and… Read More

Dog Diaries: Big Top Bonanza

Dog Diaries: Big Top Bonanza

This laugh-out-loud funny illustrated book in James Patterson’s New York Times bestselling series finds our favorite dog Junior on a high-flying circus adventure! Imagine my WAG-NIFICENT excitement when I found out the circus was coming to town! I’d do anything… Read More


From the bestselling author of The President Is Missing, an undercover CIA officer has seven days to save her country—and her family—from the world’s most dangerous double-agent.   Agent Amy Cornwall excels at working from the shadows—until a botched field operation… Read More

Elephant Goes Potty

Elephant Goes Potty

New York Times bestselling author James Patterson captures the struggle—and delight!—of potty training in this irresistibly adorable book. Everyone seems to think that today is the BIG day for Ellie to go potty…everyone, except for Ellie. Her family can cheer… Read More

3 Days to Live

3 Days to Live

The people closest to you can be your most dangerous enemies in this heart-pounding collection of three thrillers from master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author James Patterson.3 Days to Live: A CIA-agent bride is on her European… Read More

Walk the Blue Line

Walk the Blue Line

From the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of Walk in My Combat Boots: true-life stories from the men and women who protect and serve our homes, families and communities.Protect These men and women are our eyes. Our ears. Our… Read More

Jacky Ha-Ha

Jacky Ha-Ha

In this #1 New York Times bestselling novel, get to know Jacky Ha-Ha, a funny class clown who loves to make people laugh—even when everything else in her life feels anything but silly. With her irresistible urge to tell a joke… Read More

Jacky Ha-Ha: My Life Is a Joke

Jacky Ha-Ha: My Life Is a Joke

In the #1 New York Times bestselling series, class clown Jacky Hart discovers she's a triple threat onstage–but will she have a chance to shine?    Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she's a… Read More

The House of Wolves

The House of Wolves

Instant New York Times Bestseller! James Patterson and Mike Lupica are the thriller dream team! Jenny Wolf’s murdered father leaves her in charge of a billion-dollar empire—and a family more ruthless than Succession's Roys and Yellowstone’s Duttons.   The Wolfs, the most powerful… Read More

Hawk: City of the Dead

Hawk: City of the Dead

Hawk, the daughter of Maximum Ride, teams up with her mother to help save their beloved but dangerous city in this action-packed thriller. For Hawk, being a hero weighs heavily on her wings.  In the City of the Dead, life happens in… Read More

The Perfect Assassin

The Perfect Assassin

Prof. Brandt Savage—grandson of the legendary action hero—is forced into a top-secret training program where he discovers his true calling…as the perfect assassin.   Dr. Brandt Savage is on sabbatical from the University of Chicago. Instead of doing solo fieldwork… Read More

Middle School: Winter Blunderland

Middle School: Winter Blunderland

Sometimes middle school feels like a dangerous mission in the cold, unforgiving tundra. Sometimes it literally is. Will Rafe survive his most (frost)biting adventure yet?   Things heat up at Hills Village Middle School when Rafe gets an invitation from Dr. Daria Deerwin… Read More

Triple Cross

Triple Cross

James Patterson's #1 bestselling hero Detective Alex Cross hunts down a serial killer who targets entire families—and who will next be coming for the Crosses.    A precise killer, he always moves under the cover of darkness, flawlessly triggering no… Read More

The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas

The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas

Move over, Dickens—America’s favorite storyteller has written a gift, “a delightful Christmas story to be shared by the whole family” (Kirkus), destined to become as treasured as A Christmas Carol.   At Christmastime, a family of three are missing someone dear to… Read More

The Girl in the Castle

Beloved #1 bestselling author James Patterson delivers a thrilling novel about a teen caught between two worlds and the truths that could set her free—or trap her forever My name is Hannah Dory and I need you to believe me… Read More


From the New York Times bestselling author of The President Is Missing, America has elected its most brilliant president ever, but he’s also a psychopath—and about to start a world war with our most dangerous enemy. US President Keegan Barrett… Read More

The Ninth Month

The Ninth Month

In this action-packed thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Midwife Murders, a mother-to-be sees the women in her social circle start to disappear—and she could be next . . . Emily Atkinson leads a complicated life… Read More

Diana, William, and Harry

Diana, William, and Harry

Instant New York Times Bestseller! “She was the best mother in the world,” said Princes William and Harry at Diana’s 10-year memorial. “Entertaining and persuasive,” (Publishers Weekly) this is the first big book about the private Diana, the mother of two princes.“Royal fans… Read More

The Elephant Girl

The Elephant Girl

AN INDIE NEXT PICK AND AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH!  #1 bestselling author James Patterson and award-winning author Ellen Banda-Aaku deliver an unforgettable story of a girl, an elephant, and their life-changing friendship—perfect for fans of The One and… Read More


Nothing could tear Detective Michael Bennett away from his new bride—except the murder of his partner and best friend—in this suspenseful thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling series. NYPD master homicide investigator Michael Bennett and top FBI abduction… Read More

Nura and the Immortal Palace

Nura and the Immortal Palace

Aru Shah and the End of Time meets Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away in this mesmerizing portal fantasy that takes readers into the little-known world of Jinn.Nura longs for the simple pleasure of many things—to wear a beautiful red dupatta or to bite into… Read More

Ali Cross: The Secret Detective

In this companion to #1 New York Times bestseller The Black Book, Detective Billy Harney chases down a billionaire crime boss and a prison escape artist while a young girl's life hangs in the balance. As Chicago PD’s special-ops leader,… Read More

The Runaway's Diary

The Runaway's Diary

A page-turning graphic novel of sisters, secrets, and second chances. I’m running away. Not to a place—to a person.  Eleanor is happiest when she’s left alone to dream up elaborate stories. Sam is polished, fun, and popular. Still, the sisters… Read More

James Patterson by James Patterson

James Patterson by James Patterson

“It's quite a life, Patterson's, and this fizzing, funny, often deeply moving memoir is a perfect way to understand the dizzying world of a best-selling writer." —Daily Mail  “Damn near addictive. I loved it . . . that Patterson guy… Read More

Treasure Hunters: The Ultimate Quest

Treasure Hunters: The Ultimate Quest

Dodge missiles, map undersea caves, outrun secret agents, and uncover the ultimate treasure? That’s a day in the life of the Kidds! The Kidd family is on an exciting new mission: use the augmented reality gear their parents created to uncover… Read More

22 Seconds

In this thriller from a #1 New York Times bestselling author, SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer has guns on her mind and only twenty-two seconds until she loses her badge—or her life. SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer has guns on her mind.… Read More

Death of the Black Widow

Death of the Black Widow

She destroys the men she loves—and escapes every time. The most dangerous killer James Patterson has ever created is also his most seductive. On his first night with Detroit PD, Officer Walter O’Brien is called to a murder scene. A terrified… Read More

Dog Diaries: Dinosaur Disaster

Dog Diaries: Dinosaur Disaster

Junior, the first dog author to top the New York Times bestseller list, leads the canine heist of the century to fetch the ultimate treasure: DINOSAUR BONES! We’re in luck, my person-pal, because we are going to see DINO-ROARS! Yes,… Read More

Dog Diaries: Doggy Doubleheader

Dog Diaries: Doggy Doubleheader

The bestselling hits Dog Diaries: Mission ImPAWsible and Dog Diaries: Curse of the Mystery Mutt are together in one volume for the first time! First, you’ll read about the RUFF time Junior had when his pet humans went on a… Read More

Run, Rose, Run

Run, Rose, Run

From America’s most beloved superstar and #1 New York Times bestselling author James Patterson comes a thriller about a young singer-songwriter on the rise—and on the run—and determined to do whatever it takes to survive. Every song tells a story. … Read More


Art galleries and casinos, mansions and brothels, billionaires and thieves—only New York Times bestselling author James Patterson could create a triple-cross this decadent and suspenseful. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Carter von Oehson, a sophomore in Dr. Dylan Reinhart’s Abnormal Psychology… Read More

Middle School: It's a Zoo in Here!

Middle School: It's a Zoo in Here!

Rafe feels like a caged lion at his summer job at the zoo–until a real lion desperately needs his help. Rafe Khatchadorian is days away from sweet, sweet summer freedom until bad grades threaten to land him in . .… Read More

The Horsewoman

The Horsewoman

This "hugely entertaining, riveting page-turner" (Louise Penny) follows the complicated relationship between mother and daughter as they face off in the Olympics—and into a ride they can barely control. Maggie Atwood and Becky McCabe, mother and daughter, both champion riders, vowed to… Read More

The Paris Detective

The Paris Detective

The most revered detective in Paris puts his skills to the test in three thrilling cases from the creator of Alex Cross and Detective Michael Bennett.French Kiss: Very handsome and charming French detective Luc Moncrief joined the NYPD for a fresh… Read More

The Defense Lawyer

The Defense Lawyer

From a master of true crime comes the story of the criminal lawyer who represented everybody from Manuel Noriega to John Gotti to Bernie Goetz—and won every single case. Known for his sharp mind, sharp suits, and bold courtroom strategies, Bronx-native Barry Slotnick is… Read More

Katt Loves Dogg

Katt Loves Dogg

In this funny and paw-some story, lifelong rivals Molly and Oscar are forced to team up and brave the great outdoors and help their families before it’s too late. Wilderness adventurers and expert trackers Molly the katt and Oscar the… Read More

Girls of Fate and Fury

Girls of Fate and Fury

New York Times bestselling author Natasha Ngan delivers a stunningly beautiful, heartbreaking finale to the epic Girls of Paper and Fire series. "Don't struggle, Lei-zhi. It's time to take you back to the Hidden Palace. You're going home." The final pages of… Read More

City of the Dead

City of the Dead

Fear No Evil

Fear No Evil

Caught in a web of assassins, Alex Cross enters the final battle with the all-knowing genius who has stalked him and his family for years. Dr. Alex Cross and Detective John Sampson venture into the rugged Montana wilderness—where they will… Read More

best rated books by james patterson

Published: 11 / 03 / 21

It should be a crime having this much fun solving a murder mystery! It’s opening night at the hottest show on Broadway. Half the audience is applauding wildly…and the other half is fleeing in terror. Has playwright Osmond Box done it again? Or has he done something far, far worse? A new audio drama brought to life by an all-star cast including John Lithgow, Bryce Dallas Howard, Peter Gallagher, and Aldis Hodge.

E.R. Nurses

E.R. Nurses

They save our lives every day, and we’ve never heard their stories.  The life-or-death intensity of working on the front lines, from America’s greatest unsung heroes. “The compassion, the work ethic, and the selflessness of nurses … are given the respect… Read More

2 Sisters Detective Agency

2 Sisters Detective Agency

From the world's #1 bestselling author comes a thrilling novel where a detective duo of sisters finds themselves in the crosshairs of a dangerous and lawless group. Attorney Rhonda Bird returns home after a long estrangement when she learns her… Read More

Kingdom of the Cursed

Kingdom of the Cursed

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes the sizzling, sweepingly romantic sequel to Kingdom of the Wicked. One sister. Two sinful princes. Infinite deception with a side of revenge . . . Welcome… Read More

The Jailhouse Lawyer

The Jailhouse Lawyer

From James Patterson, the world's #1 bestselling author: a young lawyer takes on the judge who is destroying her hometown—and ends up in jail herself.In picture-perfect Erva, Alabama, the most serious crimes are misdemeanors. Speeding tickets. Shoplifting. Contempt of court.  Then… Read More

The Noise

In this cinematic thriller from a New York Times bestselling author, two sisters must fight for their survival after a natural disaster in the Pacific Northwest. In the shadow of Mount Hood, sixteen-year-old Tennant is checking rabbit traps with her… Read More

World Champions! A Max Einstein Adventure

World Champions! A Max Einstein Adventure

Max finally meets her hero, Albert Einstein, as she dashes across glaciers, visits the Great Barrier Reef, and flies a solar-powered jet in a race to stop Global Warming—before it’s too late for Planet Earth.World Champions . . .  GET OUTDOORS… Read More

The Shadow

Before Alex Cross, before Michael Bennett, before Jack Reacher, there was The Shadow! The world’s bestselling author, James Patterson, reimagines one of America’s iconic thriller heroes.Only two people know that 1930s society man Lamont Cranston has a secret identity as… Read More

It Ends in Fire

It Ends in Fire

A James Patterson Presents novel Only those from the most powerful magical families can attend Blackwater Academy, but new student Alka has them fooled. Now it’s time to take down the oppressive wizard ruling class from the inside. Alka Chelrazi… Read More

Ali Cross: Like Father, Like Son

Ali Cross: Like Father, Like Son

Alex Cross’s son Ali is an accomplished mystery-solver and #1 bestseller. A crime at a concert near his school sparks his newest investigation, and it gets dangerous fast. Sometimes it’s good to have a father in the detective business.​Ali Cross just… Read More

Daughter of Sparta

Daughter of Sparta

Don't miss the page-turning sequel, Blood of Troy! In this thrilling reimagining of ancient Greek mythology, a headstrong girl becomes the most powerful fighter her people have ever seen. Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and… Read More

The President's Daughter

The President's Daughter

A rocket ride of a thriller—the #1 New York Times bestselling blockbuster by President Bill Clinton and James Patterson, "the dream team" (Lee Child).All Presidents have nightmares. This one is about to come true.Every detail is accurate—because one of the… Read More

Burn It All Down

Burn It All Down

Take the ride of a lifetime with this mother/son buddy comedy James Patterson praises as “audacious, addictive, highly entertaining.”​ Eighteen-year-old aspiring comic Joey Rossi just found out his boyfriend has been cheating on him for the past ten months. But what… Read More

If Kids Could Drive

If Kids Could Drive

Rev up kids' imaginations with this wheely silly read-aloud book that puts them in the driver's seat, heading straight for big laughs! If kids could drive . . . what would the world be like? Roads would have roller coaster… Read More

21st Birthday

21st Birthday

In this thrilling novel from a #1 New York Times bestselling author, Detective Lindsay Boxer takes a vow to protect a young woman from a serial killer long enough to see her twenty-first birthday. When young wife and mother Tara Burke… Read More

Best Nerds Forever

Best Nerds Forever

When a lifelong friendship just isn't long enough, two friends connect from beyond the grave in this heartwarming ghost story from a New York Times bestselling author. One minute, Finn was biking home from school, and the next, he was… Read More

Dog Diaries: Ruffing It

Dog Diaries: Ruffing It

Junior, the first dog author to make the New York Times bestseller list, tells his latest howlarious tale of going off-leash in the wilderness.​Junior is so excited—his human family is going on vacation and this time they’re taking him with… Read More

The Red Book

The Red Book

Detective Billy Harney’s reputation as a dirty cop may be the only thing keeping Chicago clean in James Patterson’s most critically-acclaimed thriller since The Black Book.​For Detective Billy Harney, getting shot in the head, stalked by a state’s attorney, and accused… Read More

The Palm Beach Murders

The Palm Beach Murders

James Patterson sets this bestselling thriller in Florida’s wealthiest zip code. Palm Beach doesn’t just have billionaires, yachts, and private planes—it also has the best murder plots money can buy. The Palm Beach Murders (previously published as Let's Play Make-Believe): Both… Read More

Scaredy Cat

Scaredy Cat

Pasha & Poop, two adorable housecats take on Ebeneezer, the Grinch of all Cats. James Patterson’s funniest animal adventure since Katt vs. Dogg.When shelter cats Pasha and Poop move in with their new human family, they find themselves up against… Read More

Walk in My Combat Boots

Walk in My Combat Boots

Discover “the stories America needs to hear” (Admiral William H. McRaven, US Navy (Ret.)) with these moving and powerful recollections of war, told by the men and women who lived them.Walk in my Combat Boots is a powerful collection crafted from hundreds… Read More

The Russian

The Russian

When a serial killer crashes Detective Michael Bennett's wedding, he and his new partner uncover a gruesome string of cold-case homicides across the country.Weeks before NYPD Detective Michael Bennett is to marry his longtime love, Mary Catherine, an assassin announces… Read More

Middle School: Field Trip Fiasco

Middle School: Field Trip Fiasco

In this hilarious installment of the bestselling Middle School series, Rafe faces a cranky crocodile, a quirky campout, and a dastardly diamond plot in his most topsy-turvy adventure yet. Things have quieted down for lovable troublemaker Rafe Khatchadorian, and after… Read More

Till Murder Do Us Part

Till Murder Do Us Part

From the world's #1 bestselling author comes a collection of Discovery ID true crime stories where the bonds of matrimony and love can tear you brutally apart. Til Murder Do Us Part: Kathi Spiars can't believe she's found such a good… Read More

The Day the Kids Took Over

The Day the Kids Took Over

A James Patterson Presents Picture BookKids can imagine a world where they’re in charge — and ask the grown-ups for help when they need to — in this adorable and imaginative picture book.The kids have some excellent ideas: turning the… Read More

NYPD Red 6

In this heart-stopping thriller, a brazen kidnapper targets the most lavish New York City wedding of the season—and takes "Here Comes the Bride" as an invitation.Reality star Erin Easton's "Wedding of the Century" may have a cable crew documenting every… Read More

The Last Days of John Lennon

The Last Days of John Lennon

Discover one of the greatest true crime stories in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody… Read More

Deadly Cross

Deadly Cross

The murder of a glamorous DC socialite becomes Alex Cross’s deadliest case since Along Came a Spider.Kay Willingham led a life as glamorous as it was public—she was a gorgeous Georgetown socialite, philanthropist, and the ex-wife of the vice president. So… Read More

Murder of Innocence

Murder of Innocence

Dive into two dark stories of crime and murder from a New York Times bestselling author, inspired by true crime horrors where murder isn't always the worst thing that can happen to you . . .Murder of Innocence: It's impossible… Read More

Dog Diaries: Curse of the Mystery Mutt

Dog Diaries: Curse of the Mystery Mutt

There’s a mystery mischief-maker on the loose in Hills Village! Can Junior solve the mystery before disaster strikes?   Junior is loving his life with the Khatchadorian family. But his idyllic life soon turns to terror when a mysterious individual… Read More

Kingdom of the Wicked

Kingdom of the Wicked

A James Patterson Presents Novel From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series! Two sisters.One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself… And an intoxicating… Read More

Three Women Disappear

Three Women Disappear

Sarah, his personal chef. Anna, his wife. Serena, his maid. All three had access to a murder victim's home. And all three women are missing. Sarah, his personal chefAnna, his wifeSerena, his maidAccountant Anthony Costello has a talent for manipulating both… Read More

The Family That Cooks Together

The Family That Cooks Together

The Zakarian sisters present the #1 national bestselling and definitive cooking guide for kids and parents who want to create joy in the kitchen and at the table! Madeline and Anna, daughters of Geoffrey Zakarian, use their experience growing up… Read More

Becoming Muhammad Ali

Becoming Muhammad Ali

The critically acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller! Two heavy-hitters in children's literature deliver an electrifying biographical novel of cultural icon Muhammad Ali.  Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Powerhouse… Read More

The Coast-to-Coast Murders

The Coast-to-Coast Murders

A detective and an FBI agent join forces on what seems like an open-and-shut case—but a new rash of killings sends them on a pulse-pounding race against time in this intense thriller.​Michael and Megan Fitzgerald are siblings who share a… Read More

Murder Thy Neighbor

Murder Thy Neighbor

As seen on ID, these two true-crime thrillers follow a neighbors' quarrel that turns violent and cyber-bullying that explodes in a double murder.Murder Thy Neighbor: Ann Hoover is a nice woman but she's come to hate her neighbor. Roy Kirk… Read More

Sweet Child o' Mine

Sweet Child o' Mine

She’s got a smile that it seems to meReminds me of childhood memories…The first and only picture-book interpretation of Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” lyrics, inspired by the adventures of Maya and Natalia Rose, two young girls who… Read More

Max Einstein: Saves the Future

Max Einstein: Saves the Future

The world’s #1 bestselling author has teamed up with the world’s most famous genius to entertain, educate and inspire a generation of kids–with the first and only kids’ book series officially approved by the Albert Einstein Archives.Albert Einstein + James… Read More

The Midwife Murders

The Midwife Murders

In this psychological thriller, a missing patient raises concerns in a New York hospital, but as others start disappearing every dark possibility becomes more and more likely.To Senior Midwife Lucy Ryuan, pregnancy is not an unusual condition—it's her life's work.… Read More

1st Case

Genius programmer Angela Hoot has always been at the top of her class, but now she's at the bottom of the FBI food chain—until her first case threatens everyone around her. ​Angela's graduate school days at MIT come to an abrupt… Read More

Cajun Justice

Cajun Justice

This explosive standalone thriller from the world’s #1 bestselling author follows ex-Secret Service agent Cain Lemaire as he uncovers dark secrets hidden beneath the Tokyo streets.The Bayou is a unique place to live and it provides a grit and passion… Read More

You're Next

You're Next

When a girl with a troubled history of finding dead bodies investigates the murder of her ex, she uncovers a plot to put herself—and everyone she loves—on the list of who's next.   Flora Calhoun has a reputation for sticking… Read More

The Ugly Doodles

The Ugly Doodles

This hilarious and adorable picture book about creativity, fear of failure, and embracing your imperfections is perfect for kids and budding artists of all ages. After an inspiring visit to the local art museum, Raven Rembrandt is eager to create… Read More


In this dark dystopian tale, 17-year-old Hawk is growing up hard and fast in post-apocalyptic New York City—until a perilous destiny forces her to take flight and protect her home.Where is Maximum Ride?Ten years ago a girl with wings fought… Read More

The Summer House

The Summer House

When seven murder victims are found in a small town, the homicide investigation shakes a small-town sheriff to her core in James Patterson's tense thriller.Once a luxurious southern getaway on a rustic lake, then reduced to a dilapidated crash pad,… Read More


Top cop, devoted sister, and now Inmate 3329: even prison bars won’t stop Harriet Blue from seeking justice for the murder of her brother.Prison is a dangerous place for a former cop — as Harriet Blue is learning on a… Read More

Treasure Hunters: The Plunder Down Under

Treasure Hunters: The Plunder Down Under

With their parents in trouble once again, the Kidds must traverse the Australian Outback, recover a pair of stolen gems, and defeat treasure-hunting pirates to save them!   The Kidd family is on their way to Australia to find Lasseter's… Read More

The 20th Victim

The 20th Victim

Sergeant Lindsay Boxer tackles an ambitious case that spans San Francisco, L.A., and Chicago in this pulse-pounding thriller of “smart characters” and “shocking twists” (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author).Three victims, three bullets, three cities. The shooters’ aim… Read More

Jacky Ha-Ha: A Graphic Novel

Jacky Ha-Ha: A Graphic Novel

Adapted from James Patterson's #1 New York Times bestselling series, this hilarious and heartwarming graphic novel introduces Jacky Ha-Ha, a class clown who makes people laugh with her so they can't laugh at her!With her irresistible urge to tell a… Read More

The House of Kennedy

The House of Kennedy

Now with an all-new bonus chapter—in the bestselling The House of Kennedy, “James Patterson applies his writerly skills to real-life history . . . re-telling the political clan’s rise and fall and rise again (and fall again) with novelistic style”… Read More

Sword in the Stars

Sword in the Stars

In this epic sequel to Once & Future, Ari and her Rainbow knights must pull off a Holy Grail heist thousands of years in the past — without destroying their own destinies. Ari Helix may have won her battle against… Read More


From the world’s #1 bestselling author comes a story of revenge as a former SAS soldier is ready to settle into civilian life when he’s hired to solve the mysterious death of a daughter, diving into a seedy world that… Read More

Dog Diaries: Mission Impawsible

Dog Diaries: Mission Impawsible

Grab your sunglasses and slather on the sunscreen! In this laugh-out-loud adventure for kids and animal lovers everywhere, summer is here and Junior is getting his very own doggy vacation. It’s me, Junior, back again with another tail-wagging tale of… Read More

Texas Outlaw

Texas Outlaw

To Rory Yates being a Texas Ranger is about justice, but all of that changes when he is brought to a small southern town to help uncover the mysteries behind a local woman's death—only to discover corruption and lies. Texas Ranger… Read More

Newsletter Signup

Want exclusive content, like free chapters, news, and sweepstakes? Register for the newsletter here!

Giant Freakin Robot

James Patterson Books Turned Into Movies, Ranked

A uthor James Patterson doesn't mince words when he talks about what he thinks of Hollywood's attempts at turning his novels into films. "The Hollywood adaptations of my books suck," Patterson laments. Not the ringing endorsement Hollywood thought they might get when Patterson's works were turned into movies.

Let's take a look at five James Patterson novels that Hollywood turned into films. It might surprise you that given the level of talent included in some of these films, they didn't fare any better with critics or at the box office.

James Patterson’s Novels Turned into Movies

5. alex cross (2012).


Believe it or not, before Tyler Perry was selected to star as the new Alex Cross, author James Patterson had met with Idris Elba who was his first choice to play Cross.

Unfortunately, the movie's producers wanted a bigger American name and Perry is what they came up with. The film was intended to be a reboot but was so poorly received, that plan was nixed.

Here, Cross is back duking it out with an immensely skilled hired killer called Picasso, who loves nothing more than dolling out torture and pain.

4. Maximum Ride (2016)

Not only is James Patterson known for his suspense thriller novels, but he is also known for his venture into the young adult genre as well. His Maximum Ride novels comprise 11 books.

The film, Maximum Ride covers the first half of Patterson's book, The Angel Experiment . Apparently, this first film was to be just one of many that Hollywood was hoping to turn into a franchise.

This science fiction story follows a group of winged kids who enact a rescue plan when one of their own is kidnapped by the wolf boys and returned to the place that created them all. Although the kids could fly, the film didn't.

3. The Postcard Killings (2020)

The Postcard Killings is one of the latest of James Patterson's novels to hit the big screen to very little fanfare. The film stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan , who appears much as he does as Negan in The Walking Dead and Famke Janssen of X-Men fame.

Morgan plays a New York detective who investigates the murder of his daughter and her husband while they were on honeymoon in London. While investigating, he discovers there are many other couples throughout Europe who have suffered the same fate as his daughter.

2. Along Came a Spider (2001)

Along Came a Spider is Morgan Freeman's second go-around as James Patterson's Alex Cross . This time after the death of his partner, Cross retires from the force.

He is brought back into it, though, when the daughter of a U.S. Senator is kidnapped by "The Spider." This is a man who is looking to make a bigger name of himself than Bruno Hauptmann, the man who kidnapped and murdered the 20-month-old son of Charles Lindbergh in what is known as the " Crime of the Century ."

The film ended up being a modest box office success even though major plot points from the novel were removed from the film. Monica Potter and Michael Wincott joined Freeman.

1. Kiss the Girls (1997) – 4.90

Kiss the Girls is a 1997 film that is based on James Patterson's novel of the same name. The film stars Morgan Freeman for the first time as Patterson's well-known detective, Alex Cross.

In this one, Cross teams up with Dr. Kate McTiernan ( Ashley Judd ), a woman who was kidnapped by the insane killer known as Casanova, and who has escaped from his deadly clutches. Together, Cross and McTiernan try to bring him to justice.

Cary Elwes and Tony Goldwyn also star in a film that just doesn't live up to the hype of Patterson's novel.

The post James Patterson Books Turned Into Movies, Ranked appeared first on GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT .


  • Dune 3 Is Already In The Works
  • Last Voyage Of The Demeter Reveals The Scariest Dracula In Years
  • Most Beautiful Star Trek Actresses Of All-Time

Weirdest Things Ever Stolen, From Bull Semen to Albert Einstein's Brain

James Patterson


  1. Top 24 Best James Patterson Books Of All Time Review 2021

    best rated books by james patterson

  2. Best James Patterson Books In 2021 • DigitalBookPoint

    best rated books by james patterson

  3. James Patterson books in order all of his series reading guide

    best rated books by james patterson

  4. 10 Best James Patterson Books You Should Read (2023)

    best rated books by james patterson

  5. James patterson most famous books

    best rated books by james patterson

  6. 6 Best James Patterson Books for Young Adults

    best rated books by james patterson


  1. The 21 Best James Patterson Books, Ranked by Goodreads Members

    Reviews Learning James Patterson has written more 'New York Times' bestselling books than anyone else — these are his best ones Written by Katherine Fiorillo Oct 20, 2021, 11:10 AM PDT...

  2. Top 28 Best James Patterson Books Ranked, Top Review 2024

    James Patterson is the most famous American detective writer born in Newburgh, New York, is the world's bestselling author, famous for his most enduring literary personalities and series, such as Alex Cross series, the Women's Murder Club, Along Came a Spider, Michael Bennett, Maximum Ride, Middle School (a number one New York Times bestseller),...

  3. Best of James Patterson (100 books)

    Listopia Best of James Patterson flag All Votes Add Books To This List 100 books · 6 voters · list created July 30th, 2018 by Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.

  4. The Best James Patterson Books

    Bibliophilia Ranking the best novels and non-fiction books of every genre.

  5. 25 Best James Patterson Books: Must Reads By The Bestselling Author

    Tools 25 Best James Patterson Books: Must Reads By The Bestselling Author February 21, 2022 James Patterson's books are well known to readers of many genres. A best-selling author who frequents the New York Times Bestsellers List, the 74-year-old writer is responsible for Alex Cross, one of the modern times' most beloved book characters.

  6. 10 Best James Patterson Books

    1. Along Came a Spider Alex Cross is James Patterson's most famous and popular character, and the book that introduced Cross remains not only the best example of the series but the best Patterson book overall.

  7. 12 Best James Patterson Books to Suit Every Mood

    Today, he is among those who have written the most number of New York Times bestsellers in history. He's most famous in the thriller and suspense realm, because he has a way of keeping you hooked from the first line, making sure you turn the pages to the very end with his fast-paced writing style.

  8. 25 Best James Patterson Books (2023)

    Cat and Mouse Pop Goes the Weasel Roses Are Red Violets Are Blue Four Blind Mice The Big Bad Wolf London Bridges Mary, Mary Cross Double Cross Cross Country Alex Cross's Trial Just to name a few.

  9. 17 Best James Patterson Books [to Read in 2024]

    1. Along Came A Spider (Alex Cross, #1) $14.35 Buy on Amazon 02/07/2024 02:25 am GMT If you're wondering whether you should read James Patterson, I'd suggest this book as a good start, although be warned because this series is quite long. No hardcore James Patterson fan would not know Alex Cross, the protagonist of this book.

  10. Books by James Patterson (Author of Along Came a Spider)

    Showing 30 distinct works. « previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 … 53 54 next » sort by « previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 … 53 54 next » * Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more books, click here . James Patterson has 1607 books on Goodreads with 17216548 ratings.

  11. BiblioLifestyle

    Where To Start Reading 7 Best James Patterson Books: Where to Start We recommend starting with one of these seven books. Last Updated on January 21, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle James Patterson is one of the world's most successful authors, having sold more than 350 million books worldwide.

  12. All Book Series by James Patterson

    1590 works Michael Bennett (16 books) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author) 4.08 avg rating — 374,615 ratings Private (19 books) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Michael White 3.87 avg rating — 268,253 ratings Honeymoon (2 books) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Howard Roughan 3.89 avg rating — 67,185 ratings

  13. 15 Best James Patterson Books You Should Read Right Now

    3. Kiss the Girls Kiss the Girls is the second Alex Cross novel. In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. Then, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. Meanwhile in Washington D.C., Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever.

  14. James Patterson: 8 of James Patterson's Bestselling Novels

    8 of James Patterson's Bestselling Books. Some of Patterson's popular works both standalone in within a series include: 1. Along Came a Spider (1993): Along Came a Spider is Patterson's first novel in the detective Alex Cross series, following the forensic psychologist as he tries to stop a madman from committing "the crime of the ...

  15. 18 Best James Patterson Books of All Time

    Women's Murder Club, Book 1 James Patterson Appears in 4 articles View on Amazon Kiss the Girls Alex Cross, Book 2 James Patterson Appears in 4 articles View on Amazon 4 The Murder House James Patterson Appears in 4 articles View on Amazon MOST RECOMMENDED! 5 The President Is Missing A Novel

  16. James Patterson's Best Books to Read in 2024

    James Patterson's best books reveal his immense creativity and profound understanding of human emotions by depicting the psychological journeys of detectives pursuing criminals, depicting difficulties faced by women banding together against daunting odds to accomplish important missions, or providing tales of love and loss.

  17. Which James Patterson Book Should You Read First?

    by James Patterson. Along Came a Spider is the first book in Patterson's most popular series, Alex Cross—in which every book is downright addictive. Compelling and twisty, this is a quintessential thriller and the perfect place to start with his work. The story kicks off with the kidnapping of a famous actress's daughter and a politician ...

  18. The 10 Best Alex Cross Books by James Patterson

    The 10 Best Alex Cross Books by James Patterson. By Liberty Hardy. Cross, Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols) and Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) race against the clock to find the sociopathic assassin. Sidney Baldwin/Summit Entertainment. If you are familiar with James Patterson, you know that he is not only one of the world's bestselling authors, but ...

  19. James Patterson Recommends His Favorite Thrillers (20 books)

    The bestselling thriller writer has introduced legions of readers to beloved fictional characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women's Murder Club, and Maximum Ride. From James Patterson: "There has quite possibly never been a better time to stay home and read.

  20. How James Patterson Became the World's Best-Selling Author

    June 13, 2022. Patterson's books have sold more than four hundred million copies. Illustration by Seth. "Man, do I have stories to tell," James Patterson writes in his new autobiography ...

  21. James Patterson

    Who are these detectives with famous names and mysterious, untraceable pasts?Brendan Holmes—The Brain: Identifies suspects via deduction and logic.Margaret Marple—The Eyes: Possesses powers of observation too… The Girl in the Castle Published: 01 / 02 / 2024 Buy the Book Read More

  22. James Patterson Books Turned Into Movies, Ranked

    Author James Patterson doesn't mince words when he talks about what he thinks of Hollywood's attempts at turning his novels into films. "The Hollywood adaptations of my books suck," Patterson laments.

  23. All Book Series by James Patterson

    Discovery's Murder is Forever (6 books) by. James Patterson (Goodreads Author) 3.87 avg rating — 33,462 ratings. I Funny (6 books) by. James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Chris Grabenstein (Goodreads Author) 4.24 avg rating — 26,812 ratings.

  24. Favorite James Patterson Novels (120 books)

    Listopia Favorite James Patterson Novels List of favorite books by author, James Patterson. flag All Votes Add Books To This List ← Previous 1 2 Next → 120 books · 361 voters · list created July 3rd, 2009 by deleted user.