Netflix‘s Stranger Things, will be returning for a second season on October 27th. Part sci-fi coming-of-age, part teenage horror, part conspiracy thriller set in the 1980s, Stranger Things has covered a lot of genres. But while everything seemed to wrap up nicely in last season’s finale, we know all too well that this is definitely not the case – and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
For Chief Jim Hopper, we know that these events are not in any way what he expected when he returned home to Hawkins, Indiana. More than a little cynical, and with a house filled with cigarette smoke, beer cans, and prescription bottles, he certainly didn’t expect his late-to-work, early-to-leave policy to change, until the disappearance of Will Byers forced him into action. Here, we have four books that are definitely on his bookshelf, which, let’s be honest, he probably read when he should have been working.
The Devil and The Detective, John Goldbach
A detective more interested in documenting his cases than actually getting them, everything changes for Robert James when he gets a call in the middle of the night from a young woman, saying that her husband has been found with a knife in his chest. Taking on the case, Robert and his flower-delivery guy sidekick get drawn into a world of betrayal, murder, and corruption, with a side of philosophizing, drinking, and smoking to help them along. Half noir, half satire, this is one Hopper has read and thoroughly enjoyed.
Lie In Wait, Eric Rickstad
Full of murder, mystery, and hidden secrets, Hopper has definitely read and re-read this book. In a small, quiet town, a legal case that’s fairly high-profile destroys the town’s feeling of peace and community – with tempers rising, prejudices resurfacing, and friends turning on each other, everything goes from bad to worse when the body of the teenage girl babysitting at the house of the lead attorney is found, brutally murdered. For Detective Sonja Test, this is her first murder case, and the deeper she digs, the more the placid façade of the hamlet threatens to be destroyed by the dark secrets that have been lying in wait for years. Part of the Canaan Crime novels, the latest book was just released.
The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
Hopper may have ditched school a lot, but even he wouldn’t be able to resist the lure of this thrilling classic noir novel. When a dying millionaire hires private eye Phillip Marlowe to investigate the blackmail of one of his two daughters, he expects a fairly straight-forward case – instead, he’s left having to investigate a missing husband, an illegal gambling ring, the mob, and a kidnapping. The hero of Raymond Chandler’s first book, Phillip Marlowe has gone down in both literary and cinematic history as a one of the greats.
The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt
Taking things from the other side of the law this time, The Sisters Brothers follows two hitmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, as they take on their last job to kill a man who… may or may not have stolen something. Chasing the man from Oregon to Sacramento in the middle of the Gold Rush-era, this off-Western book has the two brothers run into a witch, a dentist, and a gang of fur trappers, among others. Fitting the genre of part cowboy Western, part crime noir, there’s no way Hopper hasn’t read this one again and again.