13 Best Authors Like David Baldacci: Suspense Authors You Must Read

If you are looking for authors like David Baldacci, then the 13 authors on our list are sure to please you. Discover your next favorite suspense author in our guide.

In 1996, David Baldacci published his first novel, Absolute Power. With that book and the subsequent Clint Eastwood film, he became well-known for his crime and legal thriller novels. His novels are now in 45 languages in over 80 countries and have 150 million copies sold. He has 47 bestselling novels and 7 children’s books, and several famous book series, including Aloysius Archer, Atlee Pine, Amos Decker, Will Robie, and John Puller. Read our guide to the best Baldacci books.

Though he is best known for his writing, Baldacci is also a philanthropist. His Wish You Well Foundation supports literacy programs throughout the United States. Baldacci was born in 1960 and lived in Virginia. If you are a fan of this style of suspense novel, then these 13 authors, like David Baldacci, are an excellent choice for your next book.

1. James Patterson

James Patterson
James Patterson via Wikipedia, Public Domain

James Patterson was born in 1922 and currently lives in Florida. He is on the Forbes list of highest-paid authors and has sold over 400 million copies of his books. He has also fully embraced the e-book world, with over 1 million e-book copies sold.

This bestselling author has many books similar to the political thrillers and historical mysteries David Baldacci is known for. He has two series, Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club, that are popular among those who love crime fiction. He also has a handful of books for younger readers.

“It’s all right to put the weight of the world on your shoulders sometimes, if you know how to take it off.”

James Patterson
Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross, 1)
  • Patterson, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 08/01/2003 (Publication Date) - Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)

2. John Grisham

John Grisham is a famous author and New York Times bestselling writer specializing in legal thrillers. He was born in 1955 and lived on a farm in Virginia and has won the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction twice and earned the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction. In his books, Grisham shows the behind-the-scenes world of the legal system and what happens to people when they pursue criminal cases. He draws from his experiences as a lawyer in Mississippi.

Many of Grisham’s books, including The Firm and The Client, are now major motion pictures. If you are looking for more suspense/thriller books about to binge on a weekend, check out our round-up of the best Dean Koontz books. You can also use the search bar at the top right of the page to search for the best authors.

“The theory was simple: If a man had enough sense to accumulate a bunch of cash, then he would certainly make a worthy U.S senator.”

John Grisham
The Client: A Novel
  • Grisham, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages - 12/27/2011 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

3. Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben was born in Newark in 1962 and currently lives in New Jersey with his family. Over the years, he has earned many awards for his works, including the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. In addition to writing novels, he has worked as the executive producer for a French television mini-series. His novel Tell No One is one of his most famous, and it was turned into an award-winning French film.

“Memories, you see, hurt. The good ones most of all.”

Harlan Coben
Tell No One: A Novel
  • Coben, Harlan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 08/25/2009 (Publication Date) - Dell (Publisher)

4. Lee Child

The author of the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child, deserves a post on this book because of these well-known books. Lee Child is the pen name of James Dover Grant, and he is a British author of thriller stories. He was born in 1954 and currently resides in New York with his wife and daughter. His first novel, Killing Floor, was crafted after being fired from his job, putting his knowledge of excellent writing from years of voracious reading into practice. In 2009, the author was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America.

“My name is Jack Reacher. No middle name, no address.”

Lee Child
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher)
  • didn't kill no convincing anyone.
  • Child, Lee (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages - 10/30/2012 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

5. Brad Thor

Brad Thor is an American author who has landed the top spot on the New York Times best-seller list. Thor studied creative writing at the University of Southern California and has published 22 thriller books, including Spymaster and The Last Patriot. His books follow the work of counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath, and he draws on his experience working for the Department of Homeland Security to write his thriller novels.

“In Grossman’s mind, there were just three categories of human beings—sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves.”

Brad Thor
Spymaster: A Thriller (17) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 05/24/2022 (Publication Date) - Atria/Emily Bestler Books (Publisher)

6. Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy via Wikipedia, Public Domain

Born in 1947, Tom Clancy wrote many books that looked at the world of spies and espionage. Many of his books, including The Hunt for Red October, became major motion pictures. Some, including the Rainbow Six series, became video games. He is most famous for the Jack Ryan series, which continues to grow through authors who write through Clancy’s estate. Clancy died in 2013 after publishing multiple New York Times best-sellers, including Clear and Present Danger, the top bestselling novel of the 1980s, which sold 1.6 million hardcover copies.

“The point of life was to press on, to do the best you can, to make the world a better place.”

Tom Clancy
Clear and Present Danger (Movie Tie-In) (A Jack Ryan Novel)
  • Clancy, Tom (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 976 Pages - 11/06/2018 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

7. Michael Connelly

Michael Connely has 37 novels to his name, with over 80 million copies sold worldwide. He is also the executive producer of Bosch and The Lincoln Lawyer, two television shows based on his books. This prolific author was born in 1956 and attended the University of Florida, where he majored in journalism. His first novel, The Black Echo, won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992 when it was published. It is the first Harry Bosch series, one of his most famous.

“You can’t patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.”

Michael Connelly
The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel, 1)
  • Connelly, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages - 04/25/2017 (Publication Date) - Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)

8. Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen deserves a spot on this list because she is an international bestselling author. She did not start her career to be a writer, however. Instead, she was working as a physician when she took maternity leave and started writing. Call After Midnight was her first novel, a romantic suspense novel, and it quickly became a success. She found her niche in 1996 when she published her first medical thriller, Harvest. She uses her knowledge of the medical world to write engaging and thrilling stories that have sold over 40 million copies. The Surgeon introduced her series, Rizzoli and Isles, which now has 13 novels.

“Where we go depends on what we know, and what we know depends on where we go.”

Tess Gerritsen
The Surgeon: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
  • Gerritsen, Tess (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 03/29/2016 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

9. Daniel Silva

In 1997, Daniel Silva published The Unlikely Spy and quickly showed that he was a force to be reckoned with in the spy novel genre. He was born in 1960 and attended Fresno State University. Early in his career, Silva created two well-known characters, CIA officer Michael Osbourne and hitman Jean-Paul Delaroche. His career took off when he introduced Gabriel Allon in The Kill Artist. Before becoming a full-time novelist, Silva worked for CNN as an executive producer of its talk show unit.

“I suppose I needed to share it with her. I suppose I needed someone to forgive me.”

Daniel Silva
The Kill Artist
  • The Kill Artist: (Gabriel Allon 1)
  • Silva, Daniel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/20/2002 (Publication Date) - Orion (Publisher)

10. Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell
Patricia Cornwell via Wikipedia, Public Domain

Patricia Cornwell is the bestselling author of the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series, which follows a chief medical examiner who ends up in several thrilling mysteries. Cornwell was born in 1956 and published her first novel, Postmortem, in 1984. Though it was slow to take off, she quickly became a famous writer. She worked at the Chief Medical Examiner’s office in the late 1980s and used that knowledge to write her works, including a non-fiction novel on Jack the Ripper entitled Portrait of a Killer.

“The dead have never bothered me. It’s the living that I fear.”

Patricia Cornwell
Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, 1)
  • Cornwell, Patricia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 03/30/2021 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

11. Stuart Woods

With over 75 novels, Stuart Woods is a prolific crime fiction writer. His books are known for their page-turning style, and over 50 of them have been best-sellers. Chiefs is his debut novel, and it won the Edgar Award. It introduced Will Lee, one of his primary characters. Woods was born in 1938, received his education at the University of Georgia, and died in 2022.

“Holmes prided himself on being able to look at a man as he entered the bank and predict what the man would want.”

Stuart Woods
  • Woods, Stuart (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 608 Pages - 07/05/2005 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

12. Dean Koontz

Known as the Master of Suspense, Dean Koontz deserves a spot on his list. He knows how to create suspense in his books, and he has over 500 million copies of his books to date, with Odd Thomas as one of his most famous books. He got his writing start when he won a short story competition in Atlantic Monthly as just a college senior and has not stopped writing since. 

“Given my heritage and the ordeal of my childhood, I sometimes wonder why I myself am not insane. Maybe I am.”

Dean Koontz
Odd Thomas: An Odd Thomas Novel
  • Koontz, Dean (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 04/24/2012 (Publication Date) - Bantam (Publisher)

13. Vince Flynn

Vince Flynn is racing out the list of best suspense authors like David Baldacci. Creator of the Mitch Rapp thriller series, Flynn was born in 1966 and died in 2013. Even though he died young, he published 22 novels, many of which were best-sellers. His first Mitch Rapp book, American Assassin, continues to thrill readers today. You might be interested in exploring 19th-century Russian history books, such as these incredible books by Dostoevsky! You can also use the search bar at the top right of the page to search for the best authors.

“If you’re not busy living, you’re dying.”

Vince Flynn
American Assassin (The Mitch Rapp Series, Volume 1)
  • Flynn, Vince (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 514 Pages - 05/26/2011 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster Ltd (Publisher)

FAQs About Authors Like David Baldacci

Who is the most popular author in 2022?

According to Business Insider, David Baldacci’s book Dream Town is the most popular book of the year. This is the third book in the Archer series. This makes Baldacci the most famous author of 2022.

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