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David Bell books in order

David Bell is an American USA Today-bestselling and award-winning author of mystery and thriller novels.

Some of his works include: Cemetery Girl (2011), The Forgotten Girl (2014), Layover (2019), The Request (2020), Kill All Your Darlings (2021), The Finalists (2022), and many more.

A recipient of the illustrious Prix Polar International de Cognac for best crime novel by an international author, Bell’s books have been translated into several foreign languages, on top of being listed on multiple bestseller lists.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Bell is currently a professor of English at Western Kentucky University, where he co-founded the MFA program in creative writing.

Whenever he isn't writing or working, Bell enjoys cheering for the Reds and Bengals, watching movies, and taking walks in the cemetery next his house.

He resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his beloved wife, M Hendrix, who is a young adult author.

More about David Bell

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1969

United States


Non Series

  • The Condemned (2008)
  • The Girl in the Woods (2008)
  • Cemetery Girl (2011)
  • The Hiding Place (2012)
  • Never Come Back (2013)
  • The Forgotten Girl (2014)
  • Somebody I Used to Know (2015)
  • Since She Went Away (2016)
  • Bring Her Home (2017)
  • Somebody's Daughter (2018)
  • Layover (2019)
  • The Request (2020)
  • Kill All Your Darlings (2021)
  • The Finalists (2022)
  • She's Gone (2022)
  • Try Not to Breathe (2023)


  1. Rides a Stranger (Book Twelve) (2017)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Condemned

The world is at war...the city is dying...and those left for dead within its walls have awakened...

A terrorist attack on the water supply has left the city quarantined by the army and inhabited by the City People, the mindless living dead who rule the urban night. Jett Dormer works for the government. During the day he and his partner Vince drive a wrecker, collecting abandoned cars from the city's dying core, scrap metal to feed the nation's raging war machine. They finish their work before nightfall and return to home base outside the city and then to their wives and families. Until the day Jett and Vince are overrun by a horde of City People, and only Jett makes it out.

Plagued by nightmares and wracked with guilt for having left his best friend behind, Jett returns to work, hoping to provide for his family. But his new partner, a wounded veteran known only as the Kid, won't let Jett forget what happened to Vince. And he won't let Jett forget that Vince might not be entirely dead.

You're never going to feel right, or be right, as long as he's out there...

Soon Jett and the Kid are on a mission to find Vince and bring whatever's left of him home. But as their city raids grow bloodier, Jett finds himself increasingly under the mysterious influence of his new partner. And just as his murderous rage for the City People grows nearly out of control, he realizes things may not be exactly as they appear. The night, and those who control it - the City People - hold many secrets. Secrets that might just set Jett free...or destroy him and everything he holds dear.

NB: David Bell writing as David Jack Bell.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1929653904
Publisher: Delirium Books
The Girl in the Woods

When Diana Greene leaves her hometown for a new life, she thinks she has left the past behind: her sister's disappearance, her mother's illness, and the visions Diana used to see...a clearing in the woods...a moonlit night...and human bones buried in the ground. And her past remains dormant until the day a mysterious woman appears on Diana's doorstep, promising Diana something she can't resist. "If you help me find my missing daughter, I'll tell you what happened to your sister."

Soon Diana is digging into the past, uncovering secrets the town has long since buried, secrets that the powerful wish would stay hidden. But when another girl disappears and the visions return to Diana with a vengeance, she knows she is on the brink of solving more than just a few missing person's cases. She is on the brink of discovering the dark and violent covenant that the town itself was founded upon.

NB: David Bell writing as David Jack Bell.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1929653102
Publisher: Delirium Books
Cemetery Girl

Tom and Abby Stuart had everything: a perfect marriage, successful careers, and a beautiful twelve-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Then one day she vanished without a trace. For a while they grasped at every false hope and followed every empty lead, but the tragedy ended up changing their lives, overwhelming them with guilt and dread, and shattering their marriage.

Four years later, Caitlin is found alive—dirty and disheveled, yet preternaturally calm. She won’t discuss where she was or what happened. And when the police arrest a suspect connected to the disappearance, Caitlin refuses to testify, leaving the Stuarts with a choice: Let the man who may be responsible for destroying their lives walk away, or take matters into their own hands. And when Tom decides to try to uncover the truth for himself, he finds that nothing that has happened yet can prepare him for what he is about to discover.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0451491466
Publisher: Berkley
The Hiding Place

Twenty-five years after a child's murder shocks a small Ohio town, new evidence forces everyone to question what they believe...

Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her four-year-old brother in the park. Now, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justin’s death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, opening old wounds and raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder—who spent more than two decades in prison—really be innocent?

Janet’s childhood friend and high school crush, who was in the park with her that day, has returned to Dove Point, where he is wrestling with his own conflicted memories of the events. And a strange man appears at Janet’s door in the middle of the night, claiming to know the truth.

Soon, years of deceit will be swept away, and the truth about what happened to Janet’s brother will be revealed. And the answers that Janet has sought may be found much closer to home than she ever could have imagined.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0451237965
Publisher: Berkley
Never Come Back

When her mother is murdered, a woman is propelled into a twisted world of danger and double lives...

Leslie Hampton always cared for her troubled son Ronnie’s special needs and assumed that her daughter Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. When Leslie dies unexpectedly, Elizabeth is consumed by grief. Then police discover that Leslie was strangled, and they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother?

More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger.

NB: This book is also known as Gone for Good.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0451417510
Publisher: Berkley
The Forgotten Girl

A troubled family with long-buried secrets...

The past has arrived uninvited at Jason Danvers’s door in the form of his younger sister, Hayden, a former addict who severed all contact with her family as her life spiraled out of control. Now she’s clean and sober but in need of a desperate favor—she asks Jason and his wife to take care of her teenage daughter for forty-eight hours while she handles some business in town.

But Hayden never returns.

Her disappearance brings up more unresolved problems from Jason’s past, including the abrupt departure of his best friend on the night of their high school graduation twenty-seven years earlier. When a body is discovered in the woods, the mysteries of his sister’s life—and possible death—deepen. One by one these events will shatter every expectation Jason has ever had about families, about the awful truths that bind them, and the secrets that should be taken to the grave.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0593099926
Publisher: Berkley
Somebody I Used to Know

A man is haunted by a face from his past...

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She’s the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.

The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.

Convinced there's a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning...and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1984802637
Publisher: Berkley
Since She Went Away

A tale of guilt, regret, and a past that refuses to die.... 

Three months ago, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late, she found that Celia had disappeared—and she hasn’t been seen since.

The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet, leading the national media to dub Celia “The Diamond Mom.” And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.

But when her son’s new girlfriend disappears too, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how completely lives can be shattered by a few simple lies.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0451474216
Publisher: Berkley
Bring Her Home

The fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father’s worst nightmare.... 

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family...

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0399584442
Publisher: Berkley
Somebody's Daughter

A man must save the life of a little girl who may be his own flesh and blood...

When Michael Frazier’s ex-wife, Erica, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, she drops a bombshell that threatens to rip his family apart: Her ten-year-old daughter is missing—and Michael is the father. Unsure whether this is the truth but unwilling to leave the girl’s fate to chance, Michael has no choice but to follow the elusive trail of the child he has always wanted but never knew he had.

Over the course of one night, lies that span a decade come bubbling to the surface, putting Michael, his wife, and his whole family in jeopardy. And as the window for a little girl’s safe return closes, Michael will have to decide who can be trusted and who is hiding the truth....

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0399586057
Publisher: Berkley

A chance meeting with a woman in an airport sends a man on a pulse-pounding quest for the truth.

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-0440000877
Publisher: Berkley
The Request

When a man agrees to do a favor for a friend, he gets more than he bargained for as he becomes embroiled in a woman’s murder...

Ryan Francis has it all—great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child—and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman’s home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan’s darkest secret—which could jeopardize everything in Ryan’s life—Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake’s request.

When he arrives at the woman's home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead—and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder.

Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer—but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-0440000907
Publisher: Berkley
Kill All Your Darlings

When a student disappears and is presumed dead, her professor passes off her manuscript as his own—only to find out it implicates him in an unsolved murder...

After years of struggling to write following the deaths of his wife and son, English professor Connor Nye publishes his first novel, a thriller about the murder of a young woman.

There’s just one problem: Connor didn’t write the book. His missing student did. And then she appears on his doorstep, alive and well, threatening to expose him.   

Connor’s problems escalate when the police insist details in the novel implicate him in an unsolved murder from two years ago. Soon Connor discovers the crime is part of a disturbing scandal on campus and faces an impossible dilemma—admit he didn’t write the book and lose his job or keep up the lie and risk everything. When another murder occurs, Connor must clear his name by unraveling the horrifying secrets buried in his student’s manuscript.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-0593198674
Publisher: Berkley
The Finalists

The competitive selection process for a prized college scholarship turns deadly...

On a beautiful spring day, six college students with nothing in common besides a desperate inability to pay for school gather to compete for the prestigious Hyde Fellowship.

Milo—The front-runner

Natalia—The brain

James—The rule follower

Sydney—The athlete

Duffy—The cowboy

Emily—The social justice warrior

The six of them must surrender their devices when they enter Hyde House, an aging Victorian structure that sits in a secluded part of campus.

Once inside, the doors lock behind them. The students are not allowed to leave until they spend eight hours with a college administrator who will do almost anything to keep the school afloat, and Nicholas Hyde, the privileged and notoriously irresponsible heir to the Hyde family fortune. If the students leave before time is up, they’ll be immediately disqualified.

But when one of the six finalists drops dead, the other students fear they’re being picked off one by one. With a violent protest raging outside, and no way to escape, the survivors viciously turn on each other.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-0593198704
Publisher: Berkley
She's Gone

When a girl disappears, who do you suspect?

When 17-year-old Hunter Gifford wakes in the hospital on the night of homecoming, he's shocked to learn he and his girlfriend, Chloe Summers, have been in a terrible car accident. Hunter has no memory of the crash, and his shock turns to horror when he is told Chloe's blood has been found in the car―but she has disappeared.

Back at school, his fellow students taunt him, and his former best friend starts making a true-crime documentary about the case―one that points the finger directly at Hunter. And just when things can't get any worse, Chloe's mother stands in front of the entire town at a candlelight vigil and accuses Hunter of murder.

Under mounting pressure from the police, Hunter takes matters into his own hands by questioning anyone who might know the truth and posting videos to prove his innocence. When Hunter learns he and Chloe were seen arguing loudly outside the dance, he faces a sickening possibility. Was he angry enough to kill the person he loved?

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1728254203
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Try Not to Breathe

An ex-cop sets out to find her missing sister and discovers the shocking truth about her family...

A traumatic experience in the line of duty forces thirty-year-old Avery Rogers to abandon both her relationship and her position as a Kentucky State Police officer. She retreats to a college town where she works an unfulfilling job as a security guard, breaking up fights between drunken frat boys.

But a frantic phone call turns Avery’s life upside down. Her father—a retired cop who never fails to convey his disappointment in Avery—says her half sister is missing and in danger. Avery is sure Anna’s just crashing with friends, but her father strong-arms her into searching for the sister she barely knows.

Anna Rogers is fed up with her family—a half sister who resents her existence and a domineering father who thinks it’s okay for cops to shoot unarmed civilians. She hits the road to attend a protest against police brutality, unaware of the danger that awaits her there.

Just after catching a glimpse of Avery at the protest, Anna receives a shocking text. Now she’s no longer road-tripping; she’s running, pursued by an older sister she doesn’t trust and a violent stranger who has been stalking her for weeks.

When Avery discovers Anna’s hiding place near a remote cave system, she risks everything to save her. Little do the sisters know that a secret is catching up to them—a secret at the very heart of their family history.

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2023
ISBN: 978-0593549964
Publisher: Berkley


Rides a Stranger (Book Twelve)

After the death of his father, a literature professor is drawn into the murder investigation of a bookstore proprietor.

Though Don and his father both love books, their tastes couldn’t be more different. Don is a scholar, and his father reads nothing but schlock. His house is full of dime paperbacks, battered thrillers, and case after case of western novels, none of which his son could ever bear to read.

At his father’s funeral, Don is approached by a strange man, a rare book dealer named Lou Caledonia. Don assumes the man wants to buy his dad’s old westerns, but Lou explains that something far more important is on the line. Don finds the cramped confines of Lou’s used bookstore immensely comforting, but a surprise waits for him downstairs.

NB: Here is the complete list of the series by various authors:

1. The Book of Virtue (2012)

2. The Scroll (2011)

3. Pronghorns of the Third Reich (2012)

4. An Acceptable Sacrifice (2012)

5. Death Leaves A Bookmark (2012)

6. Seven Years (2018)

7. The Book Thing (2012)

8. The Book of Ghosts (2013)

9. Book Club (2013)

10. The Long Sonata of the Dead (2013)

11. The Final Testament (2013)

12. Rides a Stranger (2017)

13. What's in a Name? (2014)

14. It's in the Book (2014)

15. The Nature of My Inheritance (2015)

16. Remaindered (2014)

17. The Compendium of Srem (2014)

18. The Gospel of Sheba (2014)

19. The Sequel (2015)

20. The Book of the Lion (2015)

21. The Little Men (2015)

22. From the Queen (2015)

23. Every Seven Years (2015)

24. Citadel (2015)

25. Condor in the Stacks (2016)

26. Mystery, Inc (2015)

27. The Travelling Companion (2016)

28. The Haze (2016)

29. Dead Dames Don't Sing (2017)

30. Reconciliation Day (2017)

31. Hoodoo Harry (2017)

32. The Pretty Little Box (2018)

33. The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository (2013)

34. The Hemingway Valise (2018)

35. The Last Honest Horse Thief (2018)

Author: David Bell
First Release: 2017
Ebook: B00GI6F3X4
Publisher: Road