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.