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Michael Harvey books in order

Michael Harvey is an American best-selling author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction books.

He is best known for writing the Michael Kelly mystery series, as well as a couple of standalones.

Other than being a novelist, Michael is also an investigative reporter and documentary producer. He is the co-creator, producer and executive producer of Cold Case Files—A&E’s innovative forensic series.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Michael holds a bachelor's degree in classical languages from Holy Cross College, where he graduated magna cum laude with honors.

He also holds a law degree with honors from Duke University, and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Michael has received several accolades for his investigative journalism and documentary work, including multiple news Emmys and CableACE awards, several national and international film festival awards, a CINE Golden Eagle, two Prime-Time Emmy nominations—on top of an Academy Award nomination.

Named by the Chicago Tribune as Chicagoan of the Year in Literature for 2011, Michael currently lives in Chicago, where he works as an adjunct professor at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

More about Michael Harvey

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1960

United States


Non Series

  • The Innocence Game (2013)
  • Brighton (2016)
  • Pulse (2018)

Michael Kelly

  1. The Chicago Way (2007)
  2. The Fifth Floor (2008)
  3. The Third Rail (2010)
  4. We All Fall Down (2011)
  5. The Governor's Wife (2015)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Innocence Game

A cold case is about to do supernova and three students will learn the price of innocence.

At Northwestern's renowned journalism school, Ian Joyce has been invited to participate in a prestigious seminar that investigates wrongful convictions and forgotten cases.

With only two other classmates--beautiful, strong-willed Sarah Gold and enigmatically brilliant Jake Havens--he begins to investigate the long-ago murder of a young boy, ten-year-old Skylar Wingate, last seen walking home from school, his body discovered three days later in a forest preserve.

His alleged killer was murdered decades ago in jail. But two chilling clues delivered to Jake's house suggest that the killer is still very much alive, and, in fact, in their midst.

As the evidence mounts, the three classmates find themselves drawn into web of distrust, deceit, and corruption that will lead from the grittiest corners of Chicago and to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0345802552
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

An extraordinary thriller—gripping, haunting, and marvelously told—about two friends growing up in a rapidly changing Boston, who must face the sins of their past in the midst of a series of brutal murders.

“You came back here to bury your past...Thing is, you gotta kill it first.”

Kevin Pearce—baseball star, honor student, the pride of Brighton—was fifteen when he left town in the back of his uncle’s cab. He and his buddy Bobby Scales had just committed heinous violence for what they thought were the best of reasons. Kevin didn’t want a pass, but he was getting it anyway. Bobby would stay and face the music; Kevin’s future would remain bright as ever. At least that was the way things were supposed to work, except in Brighton things never work the way they’re supposed to.

Twenty-six years later, Kevin is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist for the Boston Globe. He’s never been back to his old block, having avoided his family and, especially, Bobby Scales. Then he learns his old friend is the prime suspect in a string of local murders.

Suddenly, Kevin’s headed home—to protect a friend and the secret they share. To report this story to the end and protect those he loves, he must face not only an elusive, slippery killer, but his own corrupted conscience.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0062443014
Publisher: Ecco

The story of a Boston murder that defies all expectations...

Boston, 1976. In a small apartment above Kenmore Square, sixteen-year-old Daniel Fitzsimmons is listening to his landlord describe a seemingly insane theory about invisible pulses of light and energy that can be harnessed by the human mind. He longs to laugh with his brother Harry about it, but Harry doesn’t know he’s there—he would never approve of Daniel living on his own. None of that matters, though, because the next night Harry, a Harvard football star, is murdered in an alley.

Detectives “Bark” Jones and Tommy Dillon are assigned to the case. The veteran partners thought they’d seen it all, but they are stunned when Daniel wanders into the crime scene. Even stranger, Daniel claims to have known the details of his brother’s murder before it ever happened. The subsequent investigation leads the detectives deep into the Fitzsimmons brothers’ past. They find heartbreaking loss, sordid characters, and metaphysical conspiracies. Even on the rough streets of 1970s Boston, Jones and Dillon have never had a case like this.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0062443045
Publisher: Ecco

Michael Kelly

The Chicago Way

Private detective Michael Kelly is hired by his former partner to solve an eight-year old rape and battery case long gone cold. But when the partner turns up dead, Kelly enlists a team of his savviest colleagues to connect the dots between the recent murder and the cold case it revived: a television reporter whose relationship with Kelly is not strictly professional; his best friend from childhood, a forensic DNA expert; and an old ally from the DA's office. To close the case, Kelly will have to face the mob, a serial killer, his own double-crossing friends, and the mean streets of the city he loves.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0307386281
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
The Fifth Floor

Private detective Michael Kelly returns in a lightning-paced, intricately woven mystery. When Kelly is hired by an old girlfriend to tail her abusive husband, he expects trouble of a domestic rather than a historical nature. Life, however, is not so simple.

The trail leads to a dead body in an abandoned house on Chicago's North Side and then to places Kelly would rather not go: specifically, City Hall's fabled fifth floor, where the mayor is feeling the heat. Kelly becomes embroiled in a scam that stretches from current politics back to the night Chicago burned to the ground. Along the way, he finds himself framed for murder, before finally facing a killer bent on rewriting history.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0307386298
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
The Third Rail

A woman is shot as she waits for her train to work. An hour later, a second woman is killed as she rides an elevated train through the Loop. Then, a church becomes the target of a chemical weapons attack. The city of Chicago is under siege, and Michael Kelly, former cop turned private investigator, happens to be on the scene when all hell breaks loose.

Kelly’s brassy investigating and razor-sharp instincts lead him into an intricate plot involving a retired cop, a shady train company, and a quietly ticking weapon nestled deep in the city’s underbelly. But when his girlfriend—the gorgeous judge Rachel Swenson—is abducted, Kelly realizes that the only way he’s going to find the killer is to excavate his own stormy past.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0307946584
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
We All Fall Down

Chicago cop turned private investigator Michael Kelly is racing to save his city from a deadly new foe: a biological weapon unleashed underground.

When a lightbulb falls in a subway tunnel, it releases a pathogen that could kill millions. While the mayor postures, people begin to die, especially on the city’s grim West Side. Hospitals become morgues. L trains are converted into rolling hearses. Finally, the government acts, sealing off entire sections of the city—but are they keeping people out or in?

Meanwhile, Michael Kelly’s hunt for the people who poisoned his city takes him into the tangled underworld of Chicago’s West Side gangs and the even more frightening world of black biology—an elite discipline emerging from the nation’s premier labs, where scientists play God and will stop at nothing to preserve their secrecy.

It’s a brave new world...and the most audacious page-turner yet from an emerging modern master.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2011
Ebook: B004J4WK8S
Publisher: Vintage
The Governor's Wife

It’s been two years since disgraced Illinois governor Ray Perry disappeared from a federal courthouse in Chicago moments after being sentenced to thirty-seven years in prison on corruption charges. P.I. Michael Kelly is sitting in his office when he gets an anonymous e-mail offering to pay him nearly a quarter of a million dollars if he will find Perry, no questions asked.

Kelly’s investigation begins with the woman Ray Perry left behind—his wife, Marie. Ostracized by her former friends and hounded by the feds, Marie tells Kelly she has no idea where her husband is. Like everyone else, Kelly doesn’t believe her. As he hunts for her husband, Kelly begins to unwind Marie Perry’s past.

What he finds is a woman who turns out to be even more intriguing than her husband, with her own deeply complicated reasons for standing by him. Everyone in Chicago has secrets, including the governor’s wife. Some of them she shared with her husband. Some of them she kept to herself. And some of them could get Michael Kelly killed.

Author: Michael Harvey
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0307948847
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard