Charlie Donlea is an American thriller writer best known for writing books like Summit Lake, The Girl Who Was Taken, and Some Choose Darkness.

Donlea is a bestselling author, but he doesn’t have quite the same background as a lot of authors that we cover on this site. He didn’t have a long-time love of reading and books, but instead didn’t actually read his first book until the age of twenty. That book was John Grisham’s The Firm and after reading it he knew that he would someday write thriller novels. That turned out to be true and he has since seen his books translated into multiple languages. Charlie makes his home in Chicago with his wife and children.

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Publication Order of Rory Moore/Lane Phillips Books

Some Choose Darkness (2019)Description / Buy at
The Suicide House (2020)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Summit Lake (2016)Description / Buy at
The Girl Who Was Taken (2017)Description / Buy at
Don't Believe It (2018)Description / Buy at
Twenty Years Later (2021)Description / Buy at
Those Empty Eyes (2023)Description / Buy at
Long Time Gone (2024)Description / Buy at

If You Like Charlie Donlea Books, You’ll Love…

Some Choose Darkness is the first book in the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series. The book introduces us to forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore who works with Phillips to help solve a 40-year-old cold case. In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing because of a predator known as The Thief. There were no bodies or clues left behind until one day when a the police received a package from a woman who did her own investigation and appeared to unmask the killer. The woman then disappeared and now, forty years later, The Thief is set to be paroled for her murder. However, now Rory has found a file in her father’s office that shows there is more to the case than previously imagined.

Donlea is also the author of Summit Lake. The book takes place in a beautiful place that seems to pristine for crime, but that proves not to be the case when a law student named Becca is murdered. She was the daughter of a powerful attorney with her whole life ahead of her. The case draws the attention of investigative reporter Kelsey Castle who sees a lot of similarities between her own dark past and Becca, and they become more apparent as she investigates deeper.

Order of Books » Authors » Order of Charlie Donlea Books

2 Responses to “Order of Charlie Donlea Books”

  1. Maria: 1 year ago

    I just got my first Charlie Donlea book – Twenty Years Later. I saw it on line and decided to give it a try. Then I looked him up and saw all the others he wrote, and if I like this one, which I’m sure I will, I’m definitely getting more.

    My question is since this is one of his latest (2022), is it necessary to read his books in order or can they be read out of order? I think the first two,Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series, I would definitely read in order.

    Your input would be appreciated and I thank you.



    • Graeme: 1 year ago

      Read the Rory Moore/Lane Philips series in order as you said. The others are standalone and can be read in any order 🙂


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