6 Books Better Than Your Favorite TV Shows

What makes your favorite TV show so great? Is it the plot that hooks you in from beginning to end? Or the drama, filled with twists, turns and surprises crammed into a suspenseful hour-long primetime slot?

A great mystery or thriller book does just the same – without the one-hour time limit! If you’re looking for suspenseful new reads, check out the titles below. All of them have similar themes to popular shows, helping readers enjoy the action long after they turn the TV off.


Every Tuesday evening, a team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative service – or NCIS – solves crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The CBS show is one of America’s most widely watched TV series, and if you enjoy it as much as the rest of the nation, you’ll also love Kind of Blue by Miles Corwin. In this crime thriller, Lt. Frank Duffy investigates an ex-cop’s murder and attempts to solve a crime that still haunts his past.

Rizzoli & Isles

The TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, featuring police detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, was actually inspired by Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles novels. If you like those books and the television show, you should also check out The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths. The book follows Ruth, a forensic archaeologist who investigates a complex World War II mystery that just surfaced – while also juggling motherhood.

Person of Interest

In the hit CBS show Person of Interest, an ex-CIA officer is tasked with using government surveillance to stop crime before it happens in New York City. Similarly, in Russell Blake’s Silver Justice, FBI Special Agent Silver Cassidy must stop a Manhattan murderer before he can kill again.

The Bridge

The Bridge is an FX series that portrays Mexican and American law enforcement attempting to apprehend a murderer on the U.S.-Mexico border. In the fast-paced thriller The Devil’s Bounty by Sean Black, a former military bodyguard must track down a playboy criminal in Mexico.

Hawaii Five-0

This remake of the classic 1970s American television series Hawaii Five-0 proves that crime can happen in even the most idyllic locations. Along those same lines, in Torch Ginger by Toby Neal, Detective Lei Texeira investigates mysterious disappearances on the remote island of Kaua’i.


Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic Sherlock Holmes character, Elementary promises a modern-day spin on the classic novels. If you can’t get enough Sherlock Holmes, you’ll also enjoy The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. In this acclaimed New York Times-bestselling mystery, Arthur Conan Doyle and a modern-day Sherlock Holmes fan each confront a grisly murder.

For fans of TV shows like the ones listed above, these books can provide some excellent alternative entertainment.

Publishers Are Giving Away Bestsellers For Free

Last year, Random House quietly gave away Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code, for free for one week. Millions of readers were unaware of the week-long giveaway.

A select group of readers did take advantage of the promotion, though. They were using BookBub, a daily email that alerts readers to free and deeply discounted ebooks that are available for a limited time. BookBub notified nearly one million readers of the free Da Vinci Code deal last spring.

“It’s the Groupon of books,” Dominique Raccah, the publisher of Sourcebooks, told The New York Times about deal sites like BookBub. “For the consumer, it’s new, it’s interesting. It’s a deal and there isn’t much risk. And it works.”

Why did Random House give away a bestselling ebook that usually retails for $9.99? The company’s goal was to hook new readers on Brown’s thrillers and drum up interest in his new book, Inferno. The free ebook even included the prologue and first chapter of Inferno.

“It makes it almost irresistible,” Liz Perl, Simon & Schuster’s senior vice president explained to the The New York Times. “We’re lowering the bar for you to sample somebody new.”

Book lovers have now become practically obsessed with BookBub. In many cases, they’ve downloaded hundreds of books that publishers and authors have promoted on the site.

“I now have more books than I can read in a lifetime,” said Suzie Miller of Auburn, Wash. She said she has downloaded more than 350 free books using the service.

For readers, part of the appeal of BookBub is that it does not list every single free ebook on the market. Instead, BookBub’s expert editorial team selectively curates only the highest-quality ebooks to feature in their email and on their website. In most cases, the deals can be purchased for any ereading device, including Kindle, iPad, Nook, and Android.

Readers can select which genres they would like to receive, so each email is matched to their preferences. BookBub features more than two dozen genres of books, including mystery, romance, literary, historical fiction, nonfiction and more.

With millions of readers using BookBub’s service, this type of promotional concept seems to be resonating with both publishers and readers alike. To find out more about the service, go to www.bookbub.com.