Reading list

10 books for crime fans which have thrilled us this year

With everything from race-against-time action to psychological twists, these are the books no crime reader will be able to put down.

 

Conclave by Robert Harris

Few can match Robert Harris, the award-winning author of Fatherland and An Officer and a Spy, when it comes to writing about the machinations and corrupting effects of power. Conclave will thrill those who love the detail as much as the drama, as Harris turns his practised eye on the one-hundred and eighteen cardinals who will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election: to decide the next Pope.
 
Just because they are holy men, don’t imagine that they’re without ambition and rivalries... The claustrophobia and intrigue of the conclave makes for a truly gripping read.

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True Faith and Allegiance by Tom Clancy

Jack Ryan, star of Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, is back. A US Navy Commander is attacked by an unidentified Russian while having dinner with his wife. A CIA operative is intercepted and interrogated at Tehran Airport. A team of FBI officers is arrested by Indonesian police for travelling under fake passports in Jakarta. These apparently unrelated incidents point to a compromise in US government security, and Jack Ryan and his team must find out where it comes from. From Maryland to Macedonia, they battle shadowy forces looking to drag the US president into a ground war with ISIS.

 

The Bone Collection by Kathy Reichs

A collection of chilling tales featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan – including the untold story of her first case.

In First Bones, a prequel to Reichs’s debut novel, Déjà Dead, she reveals how Tempe became a forensic anthropologist. In this never-before-published story, Tempe recalls the case that lured her from a promising career in academia into the grim but addictive world of criminal investigation.

Three more stories take Tempe from the low country of the Florida Everglades, where she makes a grisly discovery in the stomach of an eighteen-foot Burmese python, to the heights of Mount Everest, where a frozen corpse is unearthed.

 

Cross the Line by James Patterson

Thriller writers don’t come bigger than global bestseller James Patterson, and his Alex Cross books are all surefire hits. In the suburbs of Washington, D.C., a prominent police official lies dead. Under pressure from the mayor, Alex Cross investigates the case. But then a brutal crime wave sweeps the region, with one common thread:  the victims are all criminals. The only thing more dangerous than a murderer without a conscience? A killer who thinks he has justice on his side... As Cross pursues his adversary, he must take the law back into his own hands before the city he's sworn to protect descends into chaos.

 

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Margot, aka agony aunt ‘Dear Amy’, has dealt with all sorts of letters – but never one like this.

Dear Amy,

I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man. 
I don’t know where I am.

Please help me,
Bethan Avery

But Bethan Avery has been missing for nearly two decades. As the present-day search intensifies for another missing schoolgirl, and more letters arrive, Margot investigates with the help of a local criminologist. How is Bethan sending the letters, and why now? Could Margot’s own past be key to catching the kidnapper? If you love ‘unrealiable narrator’ thrillers such as S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, you’ll devour Dear Amy in one sitting.

 

Cold Blood by Andy McNab

Five ex-servicemen, badly wounded in Afghanistan, are preparing for a trek to the North Pole, aiming to rebuild their shattered bodies and minds. When Nick Stone is summoned as close protection for the trek by an old SAS officer, he immediately accepts.

They meet at the world’s most northerly airport, where the locals are as hard as nails and the threat of polar bears makes it illegal not to carry a gun. But Stone and his team soon discover that neither the bears nor the locals are the most dangerous predators. It’s clear to Stone that the coldest war of all is just beginning.

 

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Night School by Lee Child

‘The American wants a hundred million dollars.’

The Army has sent Jack Reacher back to school…but there are only three students: Reacher, an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Their assignment? To find the American. And what he’s selling. And to whom.

Night School takes Reacher back to his army days, but this time he’s not in uniform. With the trusted Sergeant Frances Neagley at his side, he carries the fate of the world on his shoulders, in a wired, fiendishly clever new adventure that is truly spine-chilling.

 

The Night Manager by John le Carré

If you were a fan of Tom Hiddleston going head-to-head with Hugh Laurie’s louche baddie in the BBC’s series, then why not read the original? In a chilling tale of corrupt intelligence agencies, billion-dollar price tags and the truth of the brutal arms trade, John le Carré creates a claustrophobic world in which no one can be trusted. Can Jonathan Pine make the switch from ex-soldier and ex-hotel night manager to infiltrate the arms dealers – and get out alive? 

 

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Home by Harlan Coben

A son goes missing. A stranger comes home…

Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns. Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for a decade, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: what can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Harlan Coben (author of Tell No One and recent TV series, The Five) delivers an explosive, moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

 

The Witness by Simon Kernick

Kernick demonstrates his mastery of the race-against-time thriller in The Witness. Jane Kinnear witnesses her lover being murdered. When she’s taken to a police safe-house, it soon becomes clear that her lover was an MI5 informant with important information about an imminent terrorist attack.

Jane is trying to piece together a description of her lover’s killer. But what she doesn’t know is that the killer has already found out who she is, and where she is hiding. Can the police foil the terrorist attack – and keep their witness alive?

 

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