One of the joys of crime fiction is the opportunity to follow along with detectives as they solve crimes, right from the comfort of your own home. Being able to ride along as they put in the legwork on solving a crime is a wild and fun experience, especially when the author has a realistic viewpoint of the procedures involved in solving a crime. Combine that with a chilling case, a protagonist you want to root for, and the twists and turns that lead to solving the crime—and you have a winner. From cold cases resurrected to small town murders, here are some of the most intriguing and best police procedural stories!
Caged by Ellison Cooper
FBI agent Sayer Altair just was given the “Cage Killer” case and if she solves it, she will finally get the promotion she’s been dreaming of. After a young woman is found starved to death in a cage in the basement of an abandoned house, she is identified as the daughter of a D.C. politician. As the stakes get higher and higher, Sayer receives a photo of another victim and begins to find clues as she investigates these crimes in search of this killer that directly relate to her past.
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
After her two daughters go missing from a strip mall parking lot, a mother desperate for answers hires bounty hire Alice Vega. When Alice arrives in the small Pennsylvania town, she enlists Max Caplan, a disgraced former cop to help her as the police department is busy dealing with the rapidly increasing OxyContin and meth epidemic. As Alice and Max partner up to find the two missing girls, they deal with a plethora of false leads, lies, and quickly learn that this small town is hiding some dark secrets.
White Out by Danielle Girard
Lily Baker has just woken up in the hospital from surviving a car crash that left her with no memory as to who she is. The same evening as the accident, Detective Kylie Milliard is at a crime scene where a young woman was murdered and her body left in a dumpster. As Kylie investigates the murder, Lily is haunted by memories of scattered Bible pages and a man lying in a pool of blood. Soon, Kylie realizes that the murder victim and Lily have something in common as Lily begins to learn more and more about who she was before the accident.
The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson
Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley reports to a vicious crime scene where dismembered body parts from two different victims have been found on a river bank. The scene is eerily similar to crimes committed by Peter Olivier also known as the Jigsaw Killer, who has been imprisoned for the past two years. As Anjelica hunts for what she believes to be a copycat killer, Peter learns someone is copying his crimes and decides that he’s going to try to do what he can to find the killer before Anjelica can. Soon, the two are hunting for the same killer for different reasons and it’s a race to see who can get to them first.
Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen
Twenty years ago, the Lovelorn Killer was a serial killer who murdered seven women by binding them and leaving them for dead, and then writing horrific love letters to them in the local paper. Then one day, the killer simply disappeared. Detective Annalise Vega lost someone close to her in these serial killings, and now she’s reporting to a crime scene that looks like it could be a murder from the Lovelorn Killer. As the past and the present weave together, Annalise must confront her past as she searches for a killer. Is the Lovelorn Killer back or is a copycat killer on the loose?
Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard
Burning Lake, New York is infamous for its history, and detective Natalie Lockhart is no stranger to the town’s dark secrets; she still deals with the unsolved murder of her sister. When schoolteacher Daisy Buckner is found murdered in her home, Natalie immediately has a suspect in mind, however, that person is in a coma. As Natalie investigates Daisy’s murder, she finds the woman had some deadly secrets of her own.
UNSUB by Meg Gardiner
Caitlin Hendrix is a detective whose worst nightmare just came true: a killer named the Prophet has reemerged after being dormant since the 90s. The Prophet haunted the Bay Area and almost destroyed Caitlin’s father, the lead detective on the case at the time. Now, when two bodies are found with the same signature as the Prophet, Caitlin not only has to confront her fears and hunt down this madman, but it appears that she is also in the killer’s sight. Is the serial killer who gave her nightmares as a child back—or could this be a copycat killer?
Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger
FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn’t been home in a decade. Suffolk County has always been full of memories of Nell’s mother, Marisol, who was murdered when Nell was a child. When Nell’s father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns home to her close his estate. Upon returning home, Nell is thrust into the investigation of the murders of two young women and worst of all, it appears Martin should be the prime suspect. As Nell gets further into the investigation, she begins to question if her father was a ruthless killer, and is plagued by her role in exonerating him in her mother’s murder.