Les Edgerton’s Top 5 Thriller books (Because he has to be different.)

Luis invited me to submit my list of my five favorite horror books, but I don’t read much horror—nothing against it in the least—just not my cup of tea—but he said I could send in my list of top five thrillers and there I can contribute something. I could have listed literally hundreds more, but these are the ones that sprang instantly to mind. These aren’t in order of any kind of ranking—just the way they ended up as I was typing.

1. The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

2. The Stranger by Albert Camus

3. Killshot by Elmore Leonard

4. The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley

5. Smonk by Tom Franklin

To be honest, I could have included at least fifty (or more!) more thrillers I’ve read just in the past several months. In a way I hate doing these kinds of lists because I’m forced to leave off dozens and dozens of other great books and great writers that are just as good. But, all of these are well worth your bucks and your time. For those who might wonder why I’d include Camus’ book in this list… well, I include The Stranger in just about every list I’m asked to make. It fits almost every kind of literary list one could imagine…

What does Halloween/horror mean to me as a writer? To be honest, nada. I got over Halloween at about the age of seven or eight and before that time it ranked far behind Christmas and my birthday and Flag Day and Groundhog Day and Boxing Day and a couple of others… and horror is something I see daily just walking down the street so the numbness factor has pretty well erased the chill factor. What works for horror for me personally is when the protagonist is Everyman and he or she comes up against a real-life monster who doesn’t play by the rules and the protagonist feels compelled to. That’s scary and that’s possible. Zombies and vampires and werewolves are only possible if Big Foot, aliens, and Hollywood actors with working brains are possible and since those don’t exist with any measurable degree of proof—at least in my own experience–it’s a bit difficult to get frightened by them. But, a neighbor who wears tinfoil wrapped around the coleander he wears to keep the voices out, especially the disembodied soul who keeps telling him to get out the Black & Decker power saw and cut down every third yellow house? That’s true horror. My house is yellow and I’m in it a lot…

– Les Edgerton

If you are an author and would also like to be featured with your five favorite horror/Halloween books, email me at Luis_vera05@yahoo.com



  1. Nice to meet ya Les. I’ll watch out for the mad guy with the power saw! Going to have to check out your stories!
    Thanks for having Les here Luis. Another witty author to follow:)

  2. Les – Horror not my first cup of tea but I’m a fan of Jen Blood and her Erin Solomon series. You will hear a lot more about this new Maine author – Stephen King – move over. Looks like we may be distant ‘cousins’ due to the “d”. I write Historical Fiction as Elizabeth Egerton Wilder. All life have had to correct as to it is a soft “g” when folks made it sound like egg-erton. I think someone along the way got tired of the mis-pronounciation and added the “d”.

    • Elizabeth, indeed, it is very possible and even probable we are related. I was contacted some years ago by a historian who was researching the family and he told me a lot of interesting things. That all Edgertons with all spellings are related. That there were five families, all from England, and that three of the branches came to the U.S. through the Carolinas (one was Wm. Penn’s right-hand man), and two through Canada. My branch came through Canada. That the furthest back he’d discovered in the Edgertons was the Keeper of the Royal Seal for Queen Elizabeth I. That there is a town named Edgerton in all but one state and all of those save the one in Wyoming were named for our family. Turns out the Edgertons were ADD (as most explorers from England were because of the nature of the condition), and were largely lawyers and explorers, etc. In fact, there are two towns founded by an Edgerton a few miles from where I now live. Edgerton and Hicksville, Ohio. Both founded by the same man–a surveyer, lawyer and businessman who owned lumber mills. His middle name was Hicks and I believe his first name was Thomas. That there is nary a horse thief or outlaw among the entire family. I’m one of the very few… Anyway, pleased tmeetcha! See you at the reunion!

  3. Forgot… The guy said that the branch I come from was sent by Queen Elizabeth I to Ireland to quell an uprising by what were then considered “savages”. That there still exists an Edgerton castle there. It was kind of cool learning all this stuff. I was disappointed I was virtually the only outlaw…

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