Crime fiction booklist

Congratulations to Ann Cleeves on winning the crime writer award Diamond Dagger! To celebrate this news we have put together 10 great crime fiction books to read!

The Nowhere man, Gregg Hurwitz

That rare thing, a sequel which is better than the original, The Nowhere Man is a thrilling, pulse-pounding ride for readers and the hero of Orphan X . . .He was once called Orphan X. As a boy, Evan Smoak was taken from a children’s home, raised and trained as part of a secret government initiative buried so deep that virtually no one knows it exists. But he broke with the programme, choosing instead to vanish off grid and use his formidable skill set to help those unable to protect themselves.

Another man’s poison, Ann Cleeves

Ever since the death of her husband, Ursula Ottway has lived alone in Back Rigg Cottage, high up on the fells. Her landlord, the ambitious politician Marcus Grenville, wants his property back. After months of harassment, Ursula discovers that the illegal use of poisoned bait on Grenville’s land has killed not only a rare bird of prey but her two beloved cats. Outraged, Ursula storms up to the Grenvilles’ house and denounces Marcus Grenville and threatens revenge. But when her niece, Molly Palmer-Jones, arrives at Ursula’s house the next morning, it is to find her body slumped lifeless on a sofa. It soon becomes clear that hers was a very convenient death.

Watch her disappear, Eva Dolan

YOU CAN RUN FROM YOUR PAST. BUT YOU CAN’T RUN FROM MURDER. The body is found by the river, near a spot popular with runners. With a serial rapist at work in the area, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are initially confused when the Hate Crimes Unit is summoned to the scene. Until they discover that the victim, Corinne Sawyer, was born Colin Sawyer. Police records reveal there have been violent attacks on trans women in the local area. Was Corinne a victim of mistaken identity? Or has the person who has been targeting trans women stepped up their campaign of violence? With tensions running high, and the force coming under national scrutiny, this is a complex case and any mistake made could be fatal…

The jealous kind, James Lee Burke

Written in evocative prose, The Jealous Kind may prove to be James Lee Burke’s most encompassing work yet. As Aaron undergoes his harrowing evolution from boy to man, we can’t help but recall the inspirational and curative power of first love and how far we would go to protect it.

The crow trap, Ann Cleeves

Three very different women come together at isolated Baikie’s Cottage on the North Pennines, to complete an environmental survey. Three women who each know the meaning of betrayal . . . Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman, hiding plenty of her own secrets.

Perfect remains, Helen Fields

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing. In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness. Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation… It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes.

Black widow, Christopher Brookmyre

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Did she do it? Did he deserve it? Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing. Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairy tale romance. But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairy tales, and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling Black Widow…

Raven black, Ann Cleeves

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It is a cold January morning and Shetland lies buried beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter’s eye is drawn to a vivid splash of colour on the white ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbour Catherine Ross. As Fran opens her mouth to scream, the ravens continue their deadly dance . . . The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man – loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when police insist on opening out the investigation a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community.

The hanging tree, Ben  Aaronovitch

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Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty’s daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour. Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we’re talking about. He’s been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect. Assuming he survives the week . . .

The girl from Venice, Martin Cruz Smith

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A World War II love story set against the romance and danger of occupied Venice. Cenzo is a world-weary fisherman, determined to sit out the rest of the war. He’s happy to stay out of the way of the SS, quietly going about his business of fishing in the lagoons of northern Italy. Then one night, instead of pulling in his usual haul, Cenzo fishes a young woman out of the canal. Giulia is an Italian Jew who has managed to escape capture and is determined to find her family. This meeting results in them both taking an entirely unexpected journey, and Cenzo suddenly finds himself thrown headlong into the world of international wartime politics, where everyone has their own agenda and nowhere is safe.

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