Sam Holt Books

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Sam Holt is the main character in a series of mystery novels Donald Westlake, author of Thrillers and Mystery novels. Westlake debuted Holt, one of his prolific fictional characters in 1986 when One Of Us Is Wrong, the first book in Sam Holt series was published. The series concluded in 1989 when the fourth novel The Fourth Dimension Is Death was released. In the series, Sam is depicted as a former police detective and now a successful, but out of work television actor who often finds himself entangled in a web of complex crimes.

Order of Sam Holt Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 One Of Us Is Wrong ( By: Donald E Westlake) 1986 Description / Buy
2 I Know A Trick Worth Two Of That ( By: Donald E Westlake) 1986 Description / Buy
3 What I Tell You Three Times Is False ( By: Donald E Westlake) 1987 Description / Buy
4 The Fourth Dimension Is Death ( By: Donald E Westlake) 1989 Description / Buy
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These are two best books in Sam Holt series by Donald Westlake, One of Us is Wrong (1986), and I Know A Trick Worth Two Of That (1986).

One of Us is Wrong: This is the first book in a series of four novels featuring Sam Holt as the main character. Published in 1986, Westlake commenced on writing this series to see if his writing chops were still in good shape. Well, it turns out he indeed did like the first book in Sam Holt series is a real demonstration of a polished character and plot development expertise that rule many of Westlake’s writings. What’s more fascinating about this series is how fresh the content seems even after three decades after being published.

In “….Wrong”, Westlake introduces his main character, Sam Holt, a retired police detective but now a successful out of business TV actor. He is drawn into a homicide that involves a sectarian conflict, one that closely resembles the modern day conflict between the Shia and Sunni Muslims in the South Asia and the Middle East. Three decades might seem not to be a much time in the history of war between these two groups. However, Westlake’s story has some theme about it that is otherworldly.

Sam is a man who has had some experiences in the police work, and a man who perfectly fits the role of the main character. Holt is almost killed one day while driving on the San Diego Freeway. One event leads to another, and soon he finds himself using his private eye skills to find out the person who tried to end his life. As a character, Holt is one of the eighties classic fictional characters and one of the most adored characters in the modern world of mystery and thrillers.

In Westlake’s Sam Holt debut novel there is interest, and credibility enough generated that makes the series one of the top-rated mysteries of the eighties. The antagonists are dark and swarthy, while the women are sharp-witted and willing.

I Know A Trick Worth Two Of That: The second book and one of the best books in Sam Holt series by Donald Westlake. The novel again features Sam, a man who has spent many of his years playing detective Packard in a popular television series. He loves playing television detective but has no desires of playing a real-life detective. However, when a real life and long lost friend calls talking wild about conspiracies about wicked hit men and cargo ship- and then get food poisoned during a party with all Sam’s friends present, there seems to be no much of choice left.

Sam could either leave the case to the police or not play a real-life detective, but Packard would never take the easy way out, despite all the challenge, or how tough the case would be. Moreover, to Sam’s surprise, he finds it that he cannot take it either, and so he gives the case a trial. Now an amateur in the real world of investigation, Sam must use all his detective skill, from those acquired during his acting television role to try and solve the conspiracies and find the person behind his friend murder.


If you love Sam Holt series, you will also enjoy “Hazel Martin Mysteries” written by Leighann Dobbs. The series features Hazel, a novelist as the main characters as she tries to solve crime with the help of her cat, Dickens.

You will also enjoy reading The “Harry Starke” Novels authored by Blair Howard. Harry Starke is the main character in the series; he is a man who is skilled in solving hardcore murder crimes, some of which the cops are incapable of addressing.

What Is The Next Book in The Sam Holt Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Sam Holt Series. The newest book is The Fourth Dimension Is Death and was released on January, 25th 1989.

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