I have always wanted to write the science fiction/murder mystery that could beat any stand-alone science fiction or mystery story. Eh, the day will come. In the meantime, the biggest issue that I have is how to balance my reading when it comes to science, science fiction, murder mystery or crime fiction. When you think about there is a lot there to consume, take in, and read. There is learning the science that goes behind the science fiction and then there is reading the science fiction which helps me find my style and voice. It’s the same thing with crime fiction, but I also have to understand law as well as get into the mind of a cop, and – even darker – the mind of a career criminal or killer. This means even more reading.

I have already mention the books that I want to read this year to help me find my science fiction voice, now I have compiled a list of books that will help my understand crime, crime fiction and the mind of the a criminal. But this can also be helpful on other ways.

When I think about what drives a story, I think about the characters. Characters, after all, are more interesting then even the coolest spaceship or plot device. I mean, take Zombies, for example, Zombies are interesting but the stories about them are nothing without the conflict that arises between two or more characters that must somehow find a way to live together despite their differences and given their current life and death struggle. Easier said then done.

So here is a list, as best as I can compile at this point, of crime fiction and non-fiction that is on my “to read” list for this year:

  1. The Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
  2. Journey Into Darkness by John Douglas and  Mark Olshaker
  3. The Poet by Michael Connelly
  4. The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly
  5. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
  6. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
I have to say that I really like the mix of fiction and non-fiction as well as the mix classic mystery fiction and current mystery fiction.