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‘In Death’ and the Most Twisted Murders in Fiction

Murder: Be CreativeDrilled to the wall through the heartBeaten and drowned in a river by droidsStabbed through the heart with a stilettoPoisoned with a pieSuicide by hanging, induced by mind controlling virtual-reality gogglesRaped, sodomized and strangled with a Christmas garlandBled by artificial vampire fangsBludgeoned with a Maltese Falcon statue. These are just some of the deaths in J.D. Robb’s bestselling series featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke: “In Death.” Robb’s latest installment, “Thankless in Death,” is her 46th in the series, and by now Eve has dealt with a lot of creative carnage. Here, we pay tribute to the thrillers that have given us the ghastliest murderers and the most deranged demises that fiction has to offer, from Sherlock Holmes to Stephen King.

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For thriller seekers: this fall’s books to watch for

Stephen King and John Grisham give fans sequels to their early classics; Lee ChildSue Grafton and Michael Connelly all introduce new installments in their iconic thriller series; patriarch of the legal thriller Scott Turow has a new standalone novel and William Boyd reinvents James Bond–plus two novels starring identical twins and two new books that could be the next film vehicles for Matthew McConaughey.

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This fall’s novels to watch for

This fall’s must-read fiction includes novels set in China, India, London, San Francisco and New York; two exciting debuts by Australian writers; stories from authors who’ve received the Nobel Prizethe Pulitzer and more; hotly anticipated titles from book-club favorites including Jhumpa LahiriElizabeth Gilbert and Wally Lamb; triumphant returns from reclusive legends Donna Tartt and Thomas Pynchon; stories of revolutions both political and scientific; hilarious novels about misfired relationships and tomes that grapple with the meaning of life in the past and present.