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updated 7/9/2012 5:32:57 PM ET 2012-07-09T21:32:57

As a former chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan, author Linda Fairstein is more than versed in the gritty details she's written about in her catalog of bestselling thrillers like "The Deadhouse," "Hell Gate," "Silent Mercy" and many others. Fairstein appeared on TODAY to discuss her latest novel, " Night Watch ," and we asked her for her selections would be for this summer's sizzling reads. As with Jennifer Weiner, Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich, we asked Fairstein to pick titles, for the beach, for a rainy day and for under the covers. Here are her picks for each.

At the beach:

“Criminal”
By Karin Slaughter
(Delacorte Press)
I really love intelligent thrillers, and in this book, Karin gives us the back story of one of my favorite characters - Will Trent- along with a fascinating look at a serial killer in Atlanta, and some modern history of the lawmen - and women - who hunt him down.

“Istanbul Passage”
By Joe Kanon
(Atria Books)
Kanon's set this novel of suspense and intrigue in postwar Istanbul. He's a great storyteller and writes about that era brilliantly. I'm doing an event with Joe on July 12th, and I look forward to reading this one before we share the stage.

“Broken Harbor”
By Tana French
(Viking Adult)
I'm an enormous admirer of French's writing, and look forward to seeing where in Dublin she takes the great detective she introduced us to in FAITHFUL PLACE. I really enjoy finding a new protagonist whose adventures I can follow, and I know my prosecutor - Alex Cooper - would like to work a case with Scorcher Kennedy.

For a rainy day:

“The Fallen Angel”
By Dan Silva
(Harper)
Silva's Gabriel Allon thrillers are among my favorite reads and one of the best series in modern fiction. I like spending time with these characters - the brilliant art restorer/spy - and try to savor each visit. This one has Allon back in Rome, working on something for the Vatican, which will undoubtedly put him in harm's way.

“The Other Woman”
By Hank Phillippi Ryan
(Forge Books)
I have a special affection for writers who are also the 'real deal', like Hank Phillippi Ryan, who was a television news reporter before writing crime. This is Hank's first stand-alone thriller and I can't wait to get into it.

“The Passage to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson”
By Robert A. Caro
(Knopf)
A change of pace for a rainy afternoon. Next to crime fiction, my favorite reads are historical biography, and I have enjoyed the earlier volumes in this meticulously-researched and finely written life of Lyndon Johnson. You get the entire history of presidential politics in the 60's, and the fascinating period of civil rights activism that led to ground-breaking legislation. A most compelling read.

Under the covers:

I can't ever go to sleep, no matter how exhausted (even on a book tour) without reading a few chapters. So next to the night table I've got:

“Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train”
By Ina Caro
(W.W. Norton & Company)
Bob Caro's wife (and only trusted researcher) authored this lovely book, which was just given to me. It's like a guide through French history, told via twenty-five train trips from Paris to the countryside - palaces and cathedrals rich with history. I can't wait to curl up and go back to France.

“The Leopard”
By Guiseppe di Lampedusa
(Harvill Secker)
I'm rereading many of the classics I haven't read since my college days, and I decided to revisit this historical novel, which I remembered having loved at the time. It's set in the 1860's and tells the story of a dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approach of a revolution.

“Can You Forgive Her?”
by Anthony Trollope
(Random House UK)
I've said in many interviews that I hope to read all of Trollope before I die! This summer I've got one of his Palliser novels ready to go. Trollope is a genius at exploring the world of Victorian landed gentry, and his novels transport me to another time and place. A great bedtime read.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive

Video: Author Linda Fairstein shares her summer reads

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