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The 21 best James Patterson books, ranked by Goodreads members – Business Insider

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James Patterson is a bestselling American author known for his mystery novels, thrillers, and crime fiction. He’s one of the highest paid authors of all time, has the most New York Times bestsellers, and became the first author to sell one million ebooks in 2010. He is also a proud philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to fund classroom libraries across the country. 
To rank the most popular James Patterson novels, we turned to Goodreads members. On Goodreads, over 125 million readers rate, review, and share their favorite books. So whether you’re looking for a new thrilling James Patterson read or hoping to find your next favorite mystery or thriller, here are the 21 most popular James Patterson novels, according to Goodreads members.
“Along Came a Spider,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.19
With over 400,000 ratings, “Along Came a Spider” is the most popular James Patterson novel amongst Goodreads members. This is the first mystery novel in the “Alex Cross” series, which now has 28 novels (and another due to be published next month). This first book introduces readers to Alex Cross, a brilliant homicide detective determined to stop a psychopathic murderer in this electric thriller.
“Kiss the Girls,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.98
Kiss the Girls” is the second mystery featuring homicide detective Alex Cross who is now hunting for two collaborative, conniving serial killers working from coast to coast. Told in short chapters, this thriller is fast-paced and gripping, demanding readers’ attention until the very last page.
“1st to Die,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.36
The first book in the “Women’s Murder Club” series, “1st to Die” is a mystery about four friends with different careers linked to criminal investigation: A homicide inspector, a medical examiner, an assistant district attorney, and a crime reporter. Together, they sidestep their bosses to collaborate and catch a killer who’s tormenting San Francisco.
“The Angel Experiment,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.59
As a teenager, I was completely obsessed with this young adult fantasy series about six homeless, parentless children that all have special abilities including the ability to fly. Bred in a lab with avian DNA, the six kids have escaped and must evade the evil scientists that are constantly trying to recapture them.
“Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.99
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” is a James Patterson romance novel about Katie Wilkinson, who has found everything she’s ever wanted in her perfect life partner. When he suddenly and mysteriously disappears from her life, she’s left with a strange diary that reveals heartbreaking secrets in this overwhelming and emotional read.
“School’s Out—Forever,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.73
In this second installment of the “Maximum Ride” series, Max and her flock are discovered by the FBI after an accident leaves one of them hurt and in the hospital. Making a deal with the FBI in exchange for their brother’s treatment, the flock attends a special school as Max uncovers how she’s meant to save the world.
“2nd Chance,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.27
In this shocking thriller, the four women of the Women’s Murder Club reconvene when two terrible and tragic events seem to be linked. When the women discover the connection, the answer and the killer’s motive stun the entire nation in this action-packed murder mystery.
“Sam’s Letters to Jennifer,” available at Amazon,  $15.99
This contemporary romance follows Jennifer, who returns to her hometown to be with her ill grandmother while still mourning the loss of her husband. When Jennifer discovers a packet of letters addressed to her from her grandmother, the writing inside unveils the stories of her grandmother’s life.
“Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.95
Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports” is the third book in the “Maximum Ride” series, where Max and her flock discover a sinister plot to genetically engineer a select population into a superior race and eliminate the rest of humanity. Though the group has been separated, they must work together to stop the experiment and save the world.
“3rd Degree,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.36
In this third installment of the “Women’s Murder Club” series, Detective Lindsay Boxer discovers three dead bodies, accompanied by a mysterious message. When more bodies are discovered, she brings in her three friends to help find a killer who has vowed to kill every three days — and it seems the next target is one of their own.
“4th of July,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.20
This “Women’s Murder Club” mystery focuses on Lieutenant Lindsey Boxer who finds herself on trial after a dramatic chain of events that all began when she fired her weapon. In this suspenseful story, Lindsay’s friends must help her clear her name and stop a killer before they strike again.
“The Beach House,” available at Amazon, $10
“The Beach House” is a compelling mystery novel about law student Jack Mullen and his brother, Peter, who works as a valet in the Hamptons. When Peter’s body is found on the beach, Jack knows his brother did not drown by accident. As it seems the police have been paid off to turn the other way, Jack must take the investigation into his own hands.
“Jack & Jill,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.36
In this third suspenseful mystery in the “Alex Cross” series, a US senator is murdered in his bed while Alex is called to the devastating murder scene of a little girl. As Alex Cross rushes to solve the murders, the killer strikes again, sending the homicide detective on a desperate race against the clock.
“Max,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
In this fifth book of the “Maximum Ride” series, something is destroying ships and animals off the coast of Hawaii and the Navy elicits the help of Max and her flock in their top-secret investigation. At the same time, they discover Max’s mom is being held prisoner underwater and they must deep-dive through evil waters to rescue her.
“Cat & Mouse,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99
In this “Alex Cross” mystery, an infamous killer returns for revenge, determined to kill Alex before his terminal diagnosis takes his life. At the same time, Thomas Pierce is hunting his own murderous rival and when their path crosses with Alex’s, the outcome could prove deadly.
“The 5th Horseman,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.50
In this 2006 installment of the “Women’s Murder Club” series, a new woman joins the club- attorney Yuki Castellano. With the help of Yuki, the Murder Club women uncover a merciless killer that may be linked to a string of mysterious patient deaths in a hospital that’s determined to protect its reputation more than anything — or anyone — else.
“Hide and Seek,” available at Bookshop, $9.20
In “Hide and Seek,” Maggie Bradford is a famous singer on trial for murdering two of her husbands, a celebrity trial that has drawn the attention of the nation. As this standalone crime thriller untangles the mystery, it seems one of Maggie’s famous husbands had dark and dangerous secrets of his own.
Roses Are Red, available at Amazon, $8.99
In this nail-biting thriller with elements of touching romance, detective Alex Cross is hunting down a brilliant killer who calls himself “Mastermind,” robbing banks and killing bank employees that don’t comply with his explicit instructions. While juggling a personal crisis at home, Alex must stop the bank robber before he can pull off one final crime.
“The Final Warning,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.59
In this suspenseful and action-packed fourth novel in the young adult series “Maximum Ride,” Max and her flock escape to Antarctica to help study the causes of global warming. Though Max thought she’d finally escaped the dangers that have been following her for years, it becomes obvious that she and her genetically engineered siblings have a constant target on their backs.
“Cross,” available at Amazon, $8.79
“Cross” is the 12th novel in the “Alex Cross” series, where Alex Cross is trying to move on years after his wife was killed by an unknown shooter. Now a free agent from the police and FBI looking for a calmer life, Alex Cross is called to help his former partner in tracking down a serial rapist when a connection is revealed that might lead Alex to his wife’s killer.
“Pop Goes the Weasel,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.36
Pop Goes the Weasel” is the fifth “Alex Cross” mystery, where detective Alex Cross pursues complex, dangerous, and thrilling murderers. In this novel, a series of twisted murders have left Washington, D.C. investigators reeling but when Alex Cross identifies a suspect, proving he’s the murderer could become a deadly task.
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