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Howard Roughan books in order

Howard Roughan is an American author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction books.

Having attained his education at Dartmouth College, Roughan worked as an advertising creative director with Bates Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson prior to becoming an author.

Known for writing the critically acclaimed novels, "The Up and Comer" and "The Promise of a Lie", he is also the co-author of multiple #1 bestsellers with James Patterson, including Honeymoon (2005), Second Honeymoon (2013), Don't Blink (2010), and Truth or Die (2015).

Their collaboration, Murder Games, was adapted into the CBS television show “Instinct”, starring Alan Cumming as Dr. Dylan Reinhart.

Roughan currently lives in Florida with his wife and son.

More about Howard Roughan

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

United States

Non Series

  • The Up and Comer (2001)
  • The Promise of a Lie (2004)
  • You've Been Warned (2007)
  • Sail (2008)
  • Don't Blink (2010)
  • Truth or Die (2015)

Honeymoon (Co-authored with James Patterson)

  1. Honeymoon (2005)
  2. Second Honeymoon (2013)

Instinct (Co-authored with James Patterson)

  1. Instinct (2017)
  2. Killer Instinct (2019)
  3. Steal (2022)
Honeymoon (Co-authored with James Patterson)
Instinct (Co-authored with James Patterson)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Up and Comer

An attorney finds himself at the center of a murder investigation that could ruin the scintillating—but precarious—life he as built.

Poised to become his Manhattan law firm's youngest partner, up-and-coming attorney Philip Randall takes risks and a mistress—his best friend's wife.

Then the game changes. The stakes get higher.

Someone begins following Philip's every move, waiting for the chance to strike--with a vengeance. Soon, Philip is at the center of a murder investigation that can end his career, his marriage, and his fabulous life.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2001
Ebook: B000FC1AQQ
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
The Promise of a Lie

Deception begins when a gifted young psychologist becomes entangled in the life of a beautiful and calculating patient.

Nothing can prepare Dr. David Remler for the shocking phone call he receives from a patient named Samantha Kent. Stunned and anxious to help, he rushes out into the Manhattan night to keep a bloody act of violence from spinning further out of control. He knows he is too involved, that he's crossed a line, and that his professional reputation is at stake.

But he has no idea what awaits him at his destination...that he's become a pawn in a very deadly game of revenge. Suddenly the focus of a criminal case that flares into an out-of-control media circus, David has only one shot to clear his name. But first he has to clear up the mystery of his patient, - Samantha Kent. 

Just who is she? And why did she choose to involve David? Little by little, the outlines of a brilliant plot emerge - and, with it, the horrifying power of a single lie - In this richly textured tale of a man's battle against the mother of all manipulations, the perfect setup is even more diabolical than it looks.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2004
Ebook: B000FC1BSS
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
You've Been Warned

Fear is just the beginning...

Kristin Burns has lived her life by the philosophy, 'don't think, just shoot' - pictures that is. Struggling to make ends meet, she works full time as nanny to the fabulously wealthy Turnbull family, looking after their two children and waiting for her life as a New York fashion photographer to begin.

But Kristin has a major distraction: forbidden love. The man of her dreams is almost hers for keeps. Kristin ignores all signs of catastrophe brewing, and she can only dismiss the warnings for so long...

NB: Co-authored with James Patterson.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0755349562
Publisher: Headline

A mother and her three children struggle to survive on the most shocking vacation of their lives.

James Patterson, America's #1 bestselling thriller writer, presents his most suspenseful, explosive tale ever. Only an hour out of port, the Dunne family's summer getaway to paradise is already turning into the trip from hell. The three children are miserable, and not shy about showing it. Katherine Dunne had hoped this vacation would bring back the togetherness they'd lost when her husband died four years earlier. Maybe if her new husband had joined them it would all have been okay.

Suddenly, a disaster hits-and it's perfect. Faced with this real threat, the Dunnes rediscover the meaning of family. But this catastrophe is just a tiny taste of the true danger that lurks ahead: somewhere out there, someone wants to make sure that the Dunne family never leaves paradise alive.

NB: Co-authored with James Patterson.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0099538882
Publisher: Arrow Books
Don't Blink

Seated at New York's Lombardo's Steak House, reporter Nick Daniels is conducting a once-in-a-lifetime interview with a legendary baseball bad-boy when an assassin strikes. In the chaos, he accidentally captures a key piece of evidence that lands him in the middle of an all-out war between Italian and Russian mafia forces. NYPD captains, district attorneys, mayoral candidates, media kingpins, and one shockingly beautiful magazine editor are all pushing their own agendas-on both sides of the law

Back off-or die-is the clear message Nick receives as he investigates for a story of his own. Heedless, and perhaps in love with his beautiful editor, Nick endures humiliation, threats, violence, and worse in a thriller that overturns every expectation and finishes with the kind of twist only James Patterson can deliver.

NB: Co-authored with James Patterson.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0099553724
Publisher: Arrow Books
Truth or Die

D. C. attorney Trevor Mann is about to discover a shocking secret . . . and to uncover the truth, he must solve the most shocking mystery of his life.

After a serious professional stumble, attorney Trevor Mann may have finally hit his stride. He's found happiness with his girlfriend Claire Parker, a beautiful, ambitious journalist always on the hunt for a scoop. But when Claire's newest story leads to a violent confrontation, Trevor's newly peaceful life is shattered as he tries to find out why.

Chasing Claire's leads, Trevor unearths evidence of a shocking secret that-if it actually exists-every government and terrorist organization around the world would do anything to possess. Suddenly it's up to Trevor, along with a teenage genius who gives new meaning to the phrase "too smart for his own good," to make sure that secret doesn't fall into the wrong hands. But Trevor is about to discover that good and evil can look a lot alike, and nothing is ever black and white: not even the truth.

NB: Co-authored with James Patterson.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1455584963
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Honeymoon (Co-authored with James Patterson)


When FBI agent John O'Hara first sees Nora Sinclair, she seems perfect. She has the looks. The career. The clothes. The wit. The sophistication. The tantalizing sex appeal. The whole extraordinary package-and men fall in line to court her. She doesn't just attract men, she enthralls them.

So why is the FBI so interested in Nora Sinclair? Mysterious things keep happening to people around her, especially the men. And there is something dangerous about Nora when Agent O'Hara looks closer-something that lures him at the same time that it fills him with fear. Is there something dark hidden among the unexplained gaps in her past? And as he spends more and more time getting to know her, is he pursuing justice? Or his own fatal obsession?

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0446696265
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Second Honeymoon

Two secret agents hunt down a serial killer targeting honeymoon couples in Rome.

A newlywed couple steps into the sauna in their deluxe honeymoon suite-and never steps out again. When another couple is killed while boarding their honeymoon flight to Rome, it becomes clear that someone is targeting honeymooners, and it's anyone's guess which happy couple is next on the list. FBI Agent John O'Hara is deep into solving the case, while Special Agent Sarah Brubaker is hunting another ingenious serial killer, whose victims all have one chilling thing in common.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0099574170
Publisher: Arrow Books

Instinct (Co-authored with James Patterson)


Dr. Dylan Reinhart wrote the book on criminal behavior. Literally--he's a renowned, bestselling Ivy League expert on the subject. When a copy of his book turns up at a gruesome murder scene--along with a threatening message from the killer--it looks like someone has been taking notes.

Elizabeth Needham is the headstrong and brilliant NYPD Detective in charge of the case who recruits Dylan to help investigate another souvenir left at the scene--a playing card. Another murder, another card--and now Dylan suspects that the cards aren't a signature, they're a deadly hint--pointing directly toward the next victim.

As tabloid headlines about the killer known as "The Dealer" scream from newstands, New York City descends into panic. With the cops at a loss, it's up to Dylan to hunt down a serial killer unlike any the city has ever seen. Only someone with Dylan's expertise can hope to go inside the mind of a criminal and convince The Dealer to lay down his cards. But after thinking like a criminal--could Dylan become one?

NB: Previously published as Murder Games.

Director: Douglas Aarniokoski and others
Cast: Alan Cumming, Bojana Novakovic, Daniel Ings, Michael B. Silver, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Sharon Leal, Naveen Andrews, Stephen Rider, John Mainieri, Travis Van Winkle, Andrew Polk, Alejandro Hernandez, Whoopi Goldberg
Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1478945185
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Killer Instinct

Dr. Dylan Reinhart and Detective Elizabeth Needham reunite to stop the most sinister plot against New York City since 9/11.

The murder of an Ivy League professor pulls Dr. Dylan Reinhart out of his ivory tower and onto the streets of New York, where he reunites with his old partner, Detective Elizabeth Needham. As the worst act of terror since 9/11 strikes the city, a name on the casualty list rocks Dylan's world. Is his secret past about to be brought to light?

As the terrorist attack unfolds, Elizabeth Needham does something courageous that thrusts her into the media spotlight. She's a reluctant hero. And thanks to the attention, she also becomes a prime target for the ruthless murderer behind the attack.

Dylan literally wrote the book on the psychology of murder, and he and Elizabeth have solved cases that have baffled conventional detectives. But the sociopath they're facing this time is the opposite of a textbook case. There's no time to study for the test he's about to give them. And if they fail, they die.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1538731628
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Art galleries and casinos, mansions and brothels, billionaires and thieves—a triple-cross as decadent as it is suspenseful.

Imagine everyone’s surprise when Carter von Oehson, a sophomore in Dr. Dylan Reinhart’s Abnormal Psychology class, posts on Instagram that he plans to kill himself. 24 hours later and still no one has seen him.

Release the hounds. A massive search ensues. But when Carter’s sailboat rolls in with the tide without him or anyone else on it, the worst seems to be confirmed. He really did it . . . Or did he?

The one person convinced he’s still alive is his father, Mathias von Oehson, founder and CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund. But what Mathias knows and how he knows it would ultimately reveal a secret so damaging that it would be as if he were committing suicide himself. There’s no way he can go to the police. But there’s still someone he can turn to.

Dylan now finds himself wrapped up in multi-million-dollar secrets and danger and it’s going to take every bit of his wit, and the brilliant and headstrong NYPD Detective, Elizabeth Needham, to stay ahead of both his enemy . . . and his employer.

Author: Howard Roughan
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1538703526
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing