Last night, the finale of True Detective season one aired. The series, which has taken the internet (and our office) by storm, was dark and gritty, and followed two State Police homicide detectives as they searched for a serial killer in Louisiana. The story kept viewers on the edge of their seats for all eight episodes (or, throughout the 17 years the story took place over). If you, like us, are looking for something to read now that the first season of True Detective is over, here are 5 books we recommend for their Southern setting, complicated mystery, or the dark and twisted characters that inhabit the pages.
1. Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane (Or really any Kenzie & Gennaro mystery by Lehane)
When a young girl goes missing from one toughest neighbourhoods in Boston, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are on the case. But when faced with all the ways a little girl can get lost, Kenzie and Gennaro find themselves risking everything — their relationship, their jobs, and their sanity — to get her back. (Bonus: In the movie adaptation of Gone, Baby, Gone Angie Gennaro is played by Michelle Monaghan, aka. Maggie Hart from TD)
2. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
True Detective focuses a lot on how society can fail the marginalized, how the abused can become the abuser, and the failures within our justice system. In The Enchanted, Rene Denfeld takes you within the walls of a prison and shares the stories of inmates on death row, showing just how powerful the cycle of abuse is, and what happens to the ‘criminals’ after they have been caught. It’s a dark story, but Denfeld manages to infuse it with hope and magic, making it one powerful and captivating read.
3. This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
Wiley Cash knows how to write the Southern voice. If you’ve read his first novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, you know what we mean. Set in North Carolina, Cash weaves a mesmorizing story about a brother and sister kidnapped in the night by their father, a criminal on the run. Like in True Detective, Cash enriches the story with multiple viewpoints, showing different perspectives, different motivations, and different emotions.
4. Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
Okay, this one isn’t on sale for a little while, but it’s worth adding to your to-read list right away. Natchez Burning, the long-awaited new novel from bestselling author Greg Iles, weaves together crimes, lies, and secrets past and present, in a rich, Southern atmosphere. This is one tense thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.
5. Galveston by Nick Pizzolato
And of course, we need to include Galveston, the first novel from True Detective’s creator, writer, and executive producer, Nic Pizzolato. Galveston is a tense thriller about a man on the run from his boss, a shady loan shark, and the troublesome girl he decides to bring along with him.
Have more suggestions? Be sure to tweet them at us @SavvyReader!
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