Even though I find them quite enjoyable, I rarely read mysteries. I think it’s probably because most of them come across as formulaic. You have a detective of some sort and usually a sidekick who acts as a foil. There is an array of suspects who all have motive for committing a crime, usually murder. Eventually a critical piece of information falls into the detective’s lap, and everything is wrapped up nicely. To really excite me, a mystery has to be about more than just solving a crime. Let’s say it has to have more depth. Here are a few books I have found that seem a little more interesting than your average mystery.
“Boy’s Life” by Robert McCammon
Part mystery, part coming-of-age story, this is a great book. Cory has enjoyed a pretty idyllic, small-town childhood in 1960s Alabama. But, then one day he and his father discover the body of a brutally murdered man and are thrust into the search for the killer. Cory’s innocent view of the world is turned upside down as he encounters loss, bigotry and evil in his hometown. This book is in the adult fiction section, but mature readers should be able to handle it.
“Ripper” by Stefan Petrucha
Carver’s dream of becoming a detective appears to be coming true when he is adopted by a member of the New Pinkertons, a group of secretive detectives with lots of cutting-edge gadgets. His newly adopted father begins schooling him in the arts of deduction and criminology, and he is soon able to assist in the hunt for a serial killer. But new clues bring disturbing revelations about the killer’s identity and Carver’s parentage.
“I Hunt Killers” by Barry Lyga
Jasper “Jazz” Dent knows a lot about serial killers. He should; his dad was one. This makes his nature suspect to everyone in the small town where he lives. To help improve his reputation, he uses his intimate knowledge to help the local police when dead bodies begin turning up. However, as the investigation progresses, it is not at all clear that Jasper is the good guy he believes himself to be.