Burke, James Lee, 1936- — James Lee Burke and Boston-based writer Dennis Lehane offer readers a similar bleak tone, character-centered stories featuring both private investigators and non-series characters, an urban setting, hard-edged moral stories, involved personal relationships, and cynical humor. -- Katherine Johnson
James, Bill, 1929- — Readers who enjoy Dennis Lehane's world-weary humor should enjoy Bill James, a British crime writer who eschews simple solutions and tidy resolutions in his consistently captivating Mysteries. James's multi-dimensional characters spout inspired, dead-on, ironic dialogue, putting a droll spin on dark crimes. Neither cop nor robber is above reproach, partnered in an elaborately absurd waltz of iniquity. -- Gillian Speace
Smith, Roger, 1960- — Despite radically different locales (Roger Smith writes of post-apartheid Cape Town, South Africa while Dennis Lehane's neighborhood is Boston), both authors skillfully portray the humanity of men and women trapped by poverty and prejudice. Both authors offer graphic violence and suspenseful, intricate plots in well-captured settings. -- Shauna Griffin
Neuhaus, Nele — Nele Neuhaus and Dennis Lehane write fast-paced crime fiction that pulls no punches. Their work is gritty, direct, and sometimes shocking, revealing the ugliness that can hide inside even the most innocuous people. Lehane's tales have a stronger sense of place and are more character-driven but both writers are equally compelling. -- Mike Nilsson
Herron, Mick — These authors write intricately-plotted and gritty suspense and mystery. Along with complex characters and a strong sense of place, both employ some graphic violence, Dennis Lehane more than Mick Herron, and a fast pace. Readers will enjoy plot twists and red herrings and finally, a satisfactory conclusion. -- Melissa Gray
Hawley, Noah — Dennis Lehane and Noah Hawley pen similar pulse-pounding suspense, grounded in human drama. Both craft well-realized characters, whose emotional scars are revealed against a back-drop of fast-paced plot twists. While Lehane has a more spare style and borrows elements of hardboiled/noir fiction, Hawley is more reflective and literary in tone. -- Kim Burton
Dexter, Pete, 1943- — Dennis Lehane and Pete Dexter write frank, menacing stories featuring broken characters who struggle to survive, against vividly evoked, gritty settings that explore the roots of violence and its aftermath. With scathing irony and haunting brutality, the authors examine how society creates and acquiesces to the deeds of monsters. -- Gillian Speace
Sakey, Marcus — Both Marcus Sakey and Dennis Lehane write fast-paced and compelling Hardboiled fiction and Suspense stories featuring powerful evocations of place (Chicago for Sakey, Boston for Lehane), full-bodied characters, and twisting plots. -- Shauna Griffin
Dunne, Dominick — Disturbing mystery and crimes are part of the repertoire of these authors. Both write intricately plotted mystery stories that tend strongly towards the hardboiled, and reveal the dark underbelly of people's psyches and their desires. Dennis Lehane is more graphically violent, and Dominick Dunne also writes celebrity crime nonfiction. -- Melissa Gray
Grabenstein, Chris — Chris Grabenstein and Dennis Lehane write character-driven mysteries that star compelling, wisecracking detectives with big hearts. The charm of their mysteries hinges on their complex protagonists and strong sense of place; Grabenstein spotlights the New Jersey shore, while Lehane sets his work in South Boston. -- Mike Nilsson
Mayor, Archer — Like Dennis Lehane, Archer Mayor's work evokes a distinct and interesting locale, delving beneath the surface to get at the desperation that drives people over the edge and into conflict with the Law. While Mayor's protagonists are compassionate, they aren't always able to unravel underlying mysteries of the human heart and mind. -- Gillian Speace
Conlon, Edward, 1965- — With multi-faceted characters, a strong sense of place, a bleak tone, and fact-paced yet literate writing, fans of Dennis Lehane might want to try Edward Conlon -- both his fiction and his memoir of his time as an NYPD detective. -- Shauna Griffin
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