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21 Best James Patterson Books

James Patterson is one of the most prolific and best-selling novelists alive today. James was born in Newburgh, New York in 1947. He grew up in the town of Palm Beach, Florida.

A graduate of Manhattan College, James received his MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop in 1974. His family is still based in this area.

His books have sold more than 300 million copies, and he’s been a #1 New York Times Bestseller for 12 years in a row.

And it doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down anytime soon! If you’re looking for an exciting page-turner or a heart-wrenching tearjerker, James Patterson has got something for you.

Here are some of his best novels that might just become your new favorite book!

List of Top 21 Best James Patterson Books

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1. Red Alert
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9.4
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2. Along Came a Spider
9.3
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3. Humans, Bow Down
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1. Red Alert

$9.99
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as of May 25, 2022 4:03 pm

If you are already a James Patterson fan then you probably already know about his Bookshots series.

Bookshots are short novels meant to be read in a single sitting and Red Alert is one of the best!

This book will take you on an explosive ride, and it’s great for fans of political thrillers and mysteries.

If you like international espionage and deadly secrets, this is the perfect book for you!

2. Along Came a Spider

$7.99
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Along Came a Spider is one of James Patterson’s popular Alex Cross Mysteries.

Alex crosses paths with Gary Soneji, who had previously kidnapped two children and murdered both of their guardians. However, Gary escapes custody before he can be sentenced.

It’s up to Alex Cross to find him, rescue the missing children, and bring Gary Soneji to justice.

This book has lots of action scenes, but what sets it apart is Patterson’s writing style.

He lets readers explore each character in-depth, allowing them to feel like they are part of the story.

3. Humans, Bow Down

$15.99
$13.90
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Humans, Bow Down is a science fiction novel about machines taking over the world.

This book certainly isn’t for everyone, but those who enjoy dystopian novels with lots of action and suspense will love it.

The story follows Casey as she fights to survive in a part of the country where humans are seen as pests by humanoid robots called “mechs.”

If the idea of humans being oppressed by robots intrigues you, then this book is definitely for you!

4. Filthy Rich

$16.99
$10.30
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If you’re looking for a James Patterson novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then look no further!

Filthy Rich is a thriller about a billionaire who dies and leaves his entire fortune to charity – but it’s up to his children to make sure their father will actually happen.

There are all kinds of twists and turns in this book, and it’s great for fans of high-stakes suspense novels.

The best part is that you don’t even have to read the rest of James Patterson’s novels before jumping into this one!

5. The Murder of King Tut

$9.99
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The Murder of King Tut is a non-fiction novel that follows the investigation into the death of King Tutankhamun.

If you’re looking for something with less suspense and more historical depth, then this book is perfect for you!

It’s an extremely informative read, but it’s also incredibly interesting.

This book is a great way to bring history alive and it’s perfect for fans of true crime.

6. The Zoo Series

$19.99
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The Zoo Series is James Patterson’s perfect series for fans of the sci-fi genre.

There are four books in this collection: The Original, The Plague, The Fall, and The End.

Each book follows a different character who finds themselves in the middle of the next major extinction event; after each book, the main character of the next novel is introduced.

The story takes place over several thousand years, and this series allows Patterson’s writing to shine.

It’s a great read for fans of post-apocalyptic novels and science fiction.

Since its release, The first book in this series won the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Science Fiction.

7. The Witches & Wizard

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This is another great series for fans of the fantasy genre.

There are four books in this collection: The Worst Witch, The Worst Spell Ever, A Bad Spell in Yurt, and The Very Last Spell, and collectively they’ve sold over one million copies worldwide!

All four novels feature the adventures of Mildred Hubble, one of the students at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches.

Their great humor and compelling storylines make them excellent reads for younger teens.

The best part is that this series is also available in graphic novel format!

James Patterson has long been known for his ability to create thrilling novels, and while some have been more successful than others, there are plenty of great reads on his list.

If you’re looking for something to do, why not read through this author’s books?

You never know when you might find a new favorite novel!

8. The Thomas Berryman Number

$9.99
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This is probably one of James Patterson’s most popular books, and with good reason.

The Thomas Berryman Number follows the investigation into the murder of a man in Tennessee.

This book does an excellent job of keeping readers on their toes through each twist and turn, so it’s great for fans of suspense novels who are looking for a fast-paced read.

The story also won the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 1976 and has been adapted into a screenplay, so if you’re looking for some inspiration for one of your projects, look no further!

Extremely popular among fans and critics alike, Private Berlin is another great novel by James Patterson.

This book follows a private investigator as he hunts down a murderer in Germany during one of the coldest winters on record.

The book took over seven years to research and write, but it was worth it!

Each detail is precise and well thought out, so if you’re a fan of crime novels, this book is perfect for you.

9. The People vs. Alex Cross

$9.99
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The People vs. Alex Cross is another one of James Patterson’s great reads, and it follows the murder trial of a man named Alex Cross.

The Alex Cross Series received many positive reviews from critics who praised Jim’s ability to draw his audience in with astute detective work and compelling prose.

Alex Cross is another character that Patterson has written several novels about, so if you enjoy this novel, check out Alex’s other stories! He’s sure to have more that are just as good.

10. The Murder House

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This book follows the investigation into a crime that took place inside an abandoned house in Detroit.

It might not sound very exciting but the story is compelling and interesting enough to keep readers on their toes from the first page to the last.

If you’re looking for a great read that will keep you guessing up until the very end, The Murder House is a book you won’t want to miss!

11. Haunted

$9.99
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This novel follows the story of a young, psychic detective as he investigates a series of supernatural events.

The book is one of the most popular titles from James Patterson and has been adapted to screen several times.

If you’re looking for something with an occult twist, check out this title! You won’t regret it.

In I, Alex Cross, Patterson introduces us to his favorite character, detective Alex Cross.

This book follows Cross as he investigates a series of brutal murders and car thefts in the city of Washington.

If you like suspenseful crime novels that will keep you turning pages until the very end, this is a perfect choice for you!

12. Unlucky 13

$14.67
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This is the thirteenth book in Patterson’s Alex Cross series.

The detective, Alex Cross, must team up with other detectives to stop a twisted serial killer before it’s too late!

Patterson has written several novels about Alex, so if you enjoy this story, there are many more just like it on his list!

Unlucky 13  was even made into a movie, and you can buy it on Amazon through this link here!

13. Worst Case

$9.99
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This book follows the story of a young detective as he solves the mystery behind a string of brutal murders in New York City.

Patterson has written several novels about Alex, so if you enjoy this story, there are many more just like it on his list!

Worst Case was even made into a movie, and you can buy it on Amazon through this link here!

In Private Berlin, detective BKI decides to rebuild his private investigation firm to investigate the murder of a high-ranking politician’s son.

The book is one of the most popular titles from James Patterson and has been adapted to screen several times.

If you’re looking for something with an occult twist, check out this title! You won’t regret it.

In I, Alex Cross, Patterson introduces us to his favorite character, detective Alex Cross.

This book follows Cross as he investigates a series of brutal murders and car thefts in the city of Washington.

If you like suspenseful crime novels that will keep you turning pages until the very end, this is a perfect choice for you!

14. Private Games

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This novel follows the stories of several characters in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.

It received many positive reviews, with readers praising Patterson’s ability to build suspense and keep them entertained throughout the story.

15. Roses Are Red

$7.99
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Roses Are Red is among the Best James Patterson books.

This book follows a detective as they search for a serial killer who targets young women.

The twists and turns in this novel will keep you guessing until the very end, so it’s perfect for fans of suspense novels!

If you’re looking for a great read that you won’t be able to put down, check out Roses Are Red!

In this book, Patterson wrote about two of his most beloved characters – Detective Alex Cross and criminal mastermind Kyle Craig.

Patterson has written several stories about Cross, so if you enjoy this book, check out some of the others as well!

In Miracle on the 17th Green, Dr. Alex Cross must team up with a detective from Maine to solve a string of murders that have been plaguing Sun Valley.

This story received worldwide acclaim and was even turned into a film.

Patterson is a popular author with many books on the market, so if you enjoy this story, be sure to check out some of his others!

16. Kill Alex Cross

$9.99
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In this novel, Patterson wrote about some of his most beloved characters–Detective Alex Cross and serial killer Kyle Craig.

Kill Alex cross received many positive reviews and was praised for its fast-paced, gripping plot.

If you enjoy suspense novels with a hint of police procedural, this is the book for you!

Patterson has written several novels about Cross, so if you enjoy this book, there are many more just like it on the list!

17. NYPD Red

$10.00
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NYPD Red is among the Best James Patterson books.

NYPD Red is a book that follows the characters of Detective Zach Jordan and his partner, Kylie MacDonald.

This thrilling novel received positive reviews from critics, who praised it for its thrilling plotline and twist ending.

If you’re searching for something to read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, be sure to check out this title!

This book follows Zach Jordan and his partner Kylie MacDonald as they try to solve a series of brutal murders that have been plaguing New York City.

Patterson has written several novels about Jordan, so if you enjoy this story, there are many more just like it on the list!

This novel follows Detective Zach Jordan and his partner, Kylie MacDonald, as they try to solve a series of brutal murders that have been plaguing New York City.

Patterson has written several novels about Jordan, so if you enjoy this story, there are many more just like it on the list!

18. Step on a Crack (Michael Bennet, #1)

This book follows the story of a father and son who witness a murder and try to solve it themselves.

Patterson has written several novels about Michael, so if you enjoy this specific story, check out some of his other work as well!

In this book, nine-year-old Michael sees a man push his mother off a bridge. When he goes to the police, they don’t believe him until it’s too late – the killer escapes.

Afterward, detective Michael Bennet becomes obsessed with finding criminals that have gotten away with their crimes and spends all of his time reading newspapers for any small stories that might lead him to their identities.

Eventually, he meets a detective with the same obsession, and together they begin to hunt down criminals that have evaded capture.

19. Kiss the Girls

$7.99
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This book follows Alex as he tries to hunt down a serial killer that kidnaps and then mutilates women.

Although this was not the first novel to feature Alex (that would be Roses Are Red ), I included it in the list because of how popular it remains.

If you like mysteries, thrillers, or crime novels, this is a good read for you.

Patterson’s Alex Cross novels have been popular for many years, so this is a great series to explore if you enjoyed these books.

20. Michael Bennett series

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Michael Bennett series is one of the best James Patterson books.  This book features a character that is specifically written for adults. Other best James Patterson books are often written for younger audiences.

This series follows Michael Bennett as he investigates crimes in New York City.

Many of the crimes reflect real-world issues, so this is also a great series to read if you want to learn about important social issues or scandals.

Michael Bennett’s series made the best James Patterson books list because of how popular it remains among his fans.

21. Women’s Murder Club Series

$14.99
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This book is another great series that made the list because of how popular it remains with Patterson’s fans.

The Women’s Murder Club series follows four women who become friends after working together on a case where they discovered they had each killed someone (in self-defense).

Afterward, they form their detective agency to help people in similar situations.

Most of the best James Patterson books in this series follow one mystery where the women all work together to solve it and uncover something larger happening in their city.

So, What is the Best James Patterson Book?

James Patterson has written so many novels that it can be difficult to figure out which book is your favorite! 

Although many people prefer his Alex Cross novels, I personally like the Women’s Murder Club series or Michael Bennett books better.

They’re both written specifically for adults and deal with some difficult topics, but they’re still exciting and suspenseful to read.

If you’re looking for a book that will excite you without scaring you off, give either series a try!

About James Patterson

James Patterson is a bestselling American author and philanthropist. He was born on March 22, 1947, in Newburgh, New York.

He attended Manhattan College for two years before transferring to Vanderbilt University in 1969. He graduated with a degree in English and History in 1970 and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1974.

Patterson published his first book, The Thomas Berryman Number, in 1976. After this novel failed to find an audience, Patterson tried one more time before giving up on writing novels.

In 1976, Patterson published his second novel, Along Came a Spider.

Although it was rejected by multiple publishing houses, it went on to become an international bestseller and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America in 1977. He has since gone on to publish hundreds of novels and if you count all the books he’s published under different pen names, he has written more than 500.

James Patterson Through the Years

Patterson’s books often feature recurring characters and many of them make this best James Patterson book list because of how well they work together.

Many of his novels follow a theme or style that makes them similar to one another, which can make reading his books very easy after you’ve read a few of them.

For example, many of his novels feature adult characters who are parents and struggle with balancing home life, work-life, and solving mysteries.

Reading one book is great, but it’s even better when the books share similar themes or topics so that each new book still feels fresh and exciting.

FAQs

What are the Best James Patterson Books?

Best James Patterson books might be hard to find if you’re not familiar with his work or have read only a few of his novels.
I’ve spent time reading all the bestselling James Patterson novels so I’m confident that these choices will help you decide on the best James Patterson books based on your preferences.

What are the Best Women’s Murder Club Books?

The Women’s Murder Club series is one of my favorite James Patterson book series, but I think it might be great for adults only.
It deals with topics that some parents might not want their kids reading about at a young age, so be sure to check it out before you give a copy to a younger reader.

In what order should you read James Patterson’s books?

James Patterson’s books can be read in any order you want, though some go with one another.
A lot of people like to start with the Women’s Murder Club series and then work their way through the Michael Bennett and Maximum Ride selections.

Should you read Alex Cross’s books in order?

As with most series, I recommend reading them in order if you want to follow the story and all of the characters throughout the books.
However, these novels can also be read on their own and I think they’re great for people who like to go back and forth between James Patterson books – particularly if you don’t mind waiting a few years between releases.

How many books has James Patterson written?

James Patterson has published over 200 novels and writes about four books a year.
He’s written so many books that you probably won’t be able to read them all before he publishes his next novel, but it’s worth checking out as many of his books as possible to find the best James Patterson novels.

Final Thoughts

James Patterson has been able to write so many novels because he’s creative and good at what he does.
His best James Patterson books are creative, interesting, and well-written.
If you’re a big fan of mysteries that deal with adults solving crimes instead of kids going on adventures, then I think you’ll love his work.
What are your favorite James Patterson books?
Which are your favorite bestsellers? What is the “best” in your opinion?

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