I've long enjoyed the Douglas Preston novels. Here is one author who can immediately capture your attention and hold it. Never mind that the novels are often longer than some other authors write, this is an exciting way to spend a lazy summer weekend. The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon, and Blasphemy are linked by the Broadbent family characters and introduces Wyman Ford, a retired CIA analyst who is now in the process of becoming a monk. In 2010 Preston published Impact, a novel that continues the Wyman Ford character's adventures.
Although Douglas Preston has enjoyed some success as an individual author, his collaborations with author Lincoln Child has resulted in greater visibility and popularity.