These books are not “cozy”, some have quite graphic descriptions of violence.
Suzanne Chazin – With a twist on regular police stories, her series stars Georgia Skeeham, a fire marshal in NYC. I held my breath and turned the pages as fast as possible. These are non-stop excitement.
Patricia Cornwell – When it comes to forensics any list worth its salt has to include Cornwell’s Dr Kay Scarpetta and also Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan.
Jeffery Deaver – Well known for the Lincoln Rhyme series, he now has a new heroine, Nancy Dance, a brilliant interrogator and body language expert with the California Dept of Investigation. She first appeared in one of the Lincoln Rhymes stories, Cold Moon, and I was hoping she would appear in more of Lincoln’s adventures.
Tony Hillerman – This Grand Master of mystery writing has 18 books (and they are all great) featuring his two characters, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, Navaho tribal police officers. Some books feature one or the other and many feature them both.
J. A. Jance – She has three different characters, but my favorites are J. P. Beaumont, a Seattle policeman, and Joanna Brady, a police chief in Arizona. Sometimes their paths even cross.
J. A. Konrath – The Jack Daniels series. “Jack” is a female Lt. in the Chicago Violent Crimes Division. She’s hard-nosed, has grey in her hair and is a good read. All the books have titles of drinks. The first in the series is Whisky Sour. Start there.
Archer Mayor – If you live in Vermont and you like mysteries, surely you are reading the Joe Gunther series already!
Ed McBain – McBain started his 87th Precinct series in 1956 and the last was published just after his death in 2005. They are considered THE definition of the “procedural” due to the accuracy of police work. They are deadpan and violent.
Colin Wilcox – Here is a very good “procedural” writer. His character, Frank Hastings, is co-commander of the SFPD Homicide division. Wilcox is not as well known as many current “hot” authors, but his books are solid.
Stuart Woods – Woods has many non-series books that seldom disappoint and a series character Holly Barker, a former military police commander and now a police chief in a small Florida town.