Crime fiction has made up a large section of my reading this year- 49 books, out of a total of 106. Most of them are by authors known to me, and some by new-to-me authors.
These are my top ten in A-Z author order:
Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey, the seventh Maeve Kerrigan book and it is no less intriguing and complex than the earlier books. I loved it. These are police procedurals, fast-paced novels, with intriguing and complex plots and developing the relationships between the main characters.
Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas, in which the secrets and lies never stop coming, right up to the end of the book. Right from the beginning of the book I was hooked – I was never really sure who I could believe, and just who was telling the truth. It’s one of those books that keeps you guessing right up to the end and this one is excellent, dramatic, tense and so very, very twisty.
.Justice by Another Name by E C Hanes. I had no idea when I began reading just how much I was going to enjoy it. I had never heard of E C Hanes and had no expectations that a murder in the hog-producing industry would be so enthralling. But as soon as I began reading I had a feeling that this was going to be a good book as in a dramatic opening two boys are drowned in a violent storm. I was engrossed in the mystery, amazed that I found the details of the pig farming industry so interesting.
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz, a mystery full of red herrings and multiple twists. It’s a very clever and different type of murder mystery. I don’t think I’ve read anything like it before, one in which the author himself plays a major role. At first I was slightly confused – were the details about Horowitz fact or fiction (a lot of it is true), was Hawthorne a real person or a fictional character, what was fact and what was fiction? It really is one of the most complicated and bemusing books I’ve read.
Eyes Like Mine by Sheena Kamal, – everything about this book fascinated me from the characters and in particular the main character, Nora Watts, the gripping storylines that kept me racing through the book, to the atmospheric, gloomy setting in Vancouver and in beautiful British Columbia with its snow, mountains and plush ski resorts.
A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride, a gripping page-turner that kept me glued to the book – I didn’t want to put it down. I wasn’t at all sure that I would like it thinking it might be too ‘noir’ for me, but whilst it is dark with some violent and disturbing scenes I was soon hooked into the mystery. It’s a fantastic book, complex, compelling and it kept me guessing right to the end.
The Distant Echo by Val McDermid, this is the first Karen Pirie book. Karen doesn’t play a major role – only appearing in Part Two as a Detective Constable, re- investigating the murder described in Part One, 25 years later. A major twist completely threw me before the dramatic ending.
The Body in the Ice by A J MacKenzie – this is the 2nd Hardcastle and Chaytor Mystery set in Romney Marsh and the surrounding countryside in 1796-7, where a body is found frozen into the ice face down. Reading historical crime fiction is a different experience from reading modern crime fiction – no modern technology, just old-fashioned crime detection and deduction and a certain amount of intuition. I enjoyed it immensely.
The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, this was my first venture into Icelandic Noir and the first in a new series – the Children’s House thriller series. I loved it and once I started reading I just didn’t want to put it down. It’s dark, mysterious and very cleverly plotted, full of tension and nerve-wracking suspense. Although I thought I’d worked out who the murderer is I was completely wrong, but looking back I could see all the clues are there, cunningly concealed – I just didn’t notice them.
A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas, the 9th Commissaire Adamsberg book. I had high expectations for this book and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s as quirky and original as the other Commissaire Adamsberg books I’ve read (I’ve read five of them, including this one). As in earlier books, Fred Vargas brings in elements of the supernatural, of folk tales, myths and legends, all of which is fascinating and intricately woven into the murder mystery. I loved all of it.
I loved all these books, but the one that stands out most in my memory; the one that gripped me most and kept me glued to the pages, full of suspense and tension, is
The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir