Top Ten Crime Novels

Top Ten Crime Novels

Top Ten Crime Novels

I’ve got to admit, I only ever seem to read crime novels published by the publishers I work for, excluding Robert Galbraith, Ian Rankin and Daniel Cole.

Because I’ve only ever worked with commercial publishers, crime novels are kind of my bread and butter and I’m constantly reading one or the other for work purposes so reading them to relax is quite difficult.

That being said, I have read some truly remarkable crime novels and today I want to share my Top Ten.

Dead Embers by Matt Brolly

This was the first book I read when I joined Canelo, and also one of the first police procedural’s I had ever read. It was fantastic! Utterly gripping and fun, even if it was the third book in a series. Matt’s writing is always great and his main character of DCI Lambert is fantastic. Quite similar to that of Ian Rankin’s famous detective, Rebus.

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

Speaking of Rebus, if you want a frightening crime thriller then this is a must-read. I read it for university and was quite terrified by the end. It has a truly explosive ending.

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

Following on from Rebus, here is another Scottish crime thriller series. Something about Scotland lends itself so well to crime thrillers, just because of the amazing atmosphere of the country and the incredible locations. Helen uses all of it to make her books impossible to put down. Not to mention the honesty and rawness of the portrayal of the crimes. Not one for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure.

Dark Game by Rachel Lynch

Rachel was an amazing author to work with, she’s wonderful and her books are incredible. I always enjoyed getting another DI Kelly Porter on my kindle when they arrived in the editor’s inbox. With its gorgeous Lake District setting and the intertwined stories of Kelly’s personal life with her job in the police force. The DI Kelly Porter series is great if you’re just starting to get into crime thrillers.

The Body in the Marsh by Nick Louth

When Nick first joined Canelo I promised to read all of his DCI Craig Gillard books, and I stand by that promise. These books are set in my next of the woods – Kent, to be specific – so it’s alway fun to read the new tales. Not to mention the intricate plots that I always struggled to figure out before the big reveal at the end. The mark of a truly great crime thriller.

Where Truth Lies by M. J. Lee

Another Canelo read – honestly, Canelo produce some fab crime thrillers! – but this time set in Manchester. The best thing about the DI Ridpath series is the uniqueness of the main character’s background. As he recovers from a long illness he is shoved from CID to working in the coroner’s office. But he’s a detective at heart.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

I actually only got into the Cormoran Strike series after watching the TV adaptations, rather than reading them simply because they were written by J.K. Rowling. Whilst I think the books are slightly over-written (how can you edit J.K. Rowling though?!) I still enjoy them and I’m looking forward to making my way through the rest of the series.

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

A few years ago this book was the big deal in publishing. It had a major deal at the London Book Fair and sounded great. And honestly, it was great. I really enjoyed this extra-gruesome crime fiction novel and really struggled to see how all of the crimes were connected.

The Silent House by Nell Pattison

If you’re after a unique crime thriller, you cannot beat The Silent House. The story focuses on a sign language interpreter who is called into help interpret a deaf communitie’s testimonies when a little girl is killed in her home – all of them family were there but they are deaf so no one heard a thing. Brilliant.

The Vow by Debbie Howells

And finally a psychological thriller/crime thriller. What would you do if your finance disappeared two weeks before the wedding? And then, what would you do if another woman came forward to report the same man missing after he went to leave his finance for her! Proper page-turning stuff! I stayed up until 2am to read.

What are your favourite crime fiction novels? Let me know in the comments below.

Love Ellie x

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Top Ten Crime Novels

One comment on “Top Ten Crime Novels

  1. Really enjoyed reading this, made me give some serious thought to what my personal favourite crime novels are…

    At Bertram’s Hotel Agatha Christie 1965
    The very best of Agatha Christie, a distillation of Edwardian English charm skilfully mixed with some quite obvious autobiographical hints. This is a must read but be warned, if you read this before you read any other AC novel the rest will seem pale in comparison

    61 Hours Lee Child 2010
    Let’s face it, all of the Jack Reacher novels are pretty special but this one shines just a little brighter. This is partly down to the very different setting of South Dakota but also because it seems Mr Child uses this novel to develop his protagonist to a deeper level as we get to see more of what makes up his psyche. Whilst his books can be read out of order, as they do stand alone well, I might recommend you do try to read them in order if you can. It’ll take you a while to get to this one as it’s 14th in the series, but it’s well worth the wait

    Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier 1938
    Yes I know, not an obvious “Crime novel”, but it is at its heart a gothic story of wrong-doing. If you’ve not read this beautifully drawn classic then you’re in for a treat, given how long ago it was written it hasn’t aged at all and could very easily have been set last year. Once you’ve read this you’ll be reaching around for more by this author, Jamaica Inn is another corker.

    A Study in Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle 1887
    The first of the Sherlock Holmes stories and probably just has the edge over ‘The Hound of the Baskerville’s’. Written as a narrative from the viewpoint of Dr John Watson this is the scene setter for all the books that follow. What sets this apart is the exquisite attention to detail the author has bestowed into this finely honed novel.

    Dr. No Ian Fleming 1957
    Is it a crime novel? Yes, it is and a good one too. Maligned when originally published as being a misogynistic potboiler and even today you’ll be frowning at just how the author could think James Bonds actions were in any way appropriate and why any woman with an ounce of intellect could possibly fall for his ‘charms’. (60 handmade cigarettes a day, he must have smelt like an ashtray). But to appreciate this book you’ll need to set aside all belief and accept this is the imaginings of a very intelligent man who has created a composite parody of a number of Naval Intelligence Officers, a pastiche of oafish characteristics put together for simple entertainment. Once you’ve done that, then, and only then, read this book and you’ll begin to understand why this is such a great read. Book six in the series of Bond novels it’s at this point our anti-social hero has fully materialised into the fully fledged character that has become the genre setter for many copycat wannabes. The story itself is intensely clever, at times funny and always gripping, of all the Bond books this one is the very best.

    Go read them, you’ll thank me 🙂

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