(Quoting Miss Snark) Should I skip over the latest Sue Grafton or Robert Parker? (yes) EXCUSE ME? Read Robert Ludlum David Morrell, Stephen Hunter, John Le Carre, David Baldacci James lee Burke Lee Child Tom Clancy Harlan Coben Stephen Coonts Robert Crais Jeffery Deaver James W Hall Nelson DeMille sheesh these gin drinkers:)
You're missing the point. Those writers have established careers, or they are dead, or BOTH. Yes they write well but they aren't trying to break in to publishing.
When you are trying to sell your first novel, read debut novels. See what editors liked about THESE to give them a shot. Yes James Lee Burke is the best writer working in the English language today, and yes its good to read his stuff, but he's working on a multiple book contract and his agent just sends them the next book (ok, not exactly but yanno, you get the idea).
You'd do much better to read the books in "Best First novel" categories than any backlist.