Last week I listed my top 5 non-crime reads of the year, today I’m listing my top 5 crime reads.
Competition was stiff due to the sheer quality of the books I read, though this process was made slightly easier by the fact that I didn’t read as many books as I’d hoped to get through this year. Partly due, I imagine, to the fact that I went through the whole medical retirement process this year. One of those large life-altering events that affects the things you do.
Anyway, here are my top crime reads of this year. They’re not necessarily released this year, but read this year.
5. Eye Contact by Fergus McNeill
From the outside, Robert Naysmith is a successful businessman, handsome and charming. But for years he’s been playing a deadly game.
He doesn’t choose his victims. Each is selected at random – the first person to make eye contact after he begins ‘the game’ will not have long to live. Their fate is sealed.
When the body of a young woman is found on Severn Beach, Detective Inspector Harland is assigned the case. It’s only when he links it to an unsolved murder in Oxford that the police begin to guess at the awful scale of the crimes.
But how do you find a killer who strikes without motive?
4. Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children’s books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease – enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.
In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.
Only Oliver knows the lengths to which he has had to go to get the life to which he felt entitled. But even he is in for a shock when the past catches up with him.
3. Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton
Admittedly, it wasn’t murder. A moment’s carelessness, a tragic accident – and two children are dead. Yours.
Living in a small island community, you can’t escape the woman who destroyed your life. Each chance encounter is an agonizing reminder of what you’ve lost—your family, your future, your sanity.
How long before revenge becomes irresistible?
With no reason to go on living, why shouldn’t you turn your darkest thoughts into deeds?
So now, what’s the worst thing you can do to your best friend?
2. Tenacity by J.S. Law
Lieutenant Danielle (“Dan”) Lewis, the only female investigator in the Royal Navy’s Special Investigation Branch, is called upon to investigate the apparent suicide of a Chief Petty Officer on HMS Tenacity, a nuclear submarine. As the submariners embark on a naval exercise, Dan is forced to share their claustrophobic, closed environment. The ultimate outsider in this hyper-masculine world, she needs to find a way to navigate the code of this tight-knit group of men whilst unmasking a killer.
- Normal by Graeme Cameron
He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving you into the lane ahead of him.
What you don’t know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will—one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.
This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal… and it works. Perfectly.
Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room… the others. He doesn’t need any of them anymore. He needs only her. But just as he decides to go straight, the police start to close in. He might be able to cover his tracks, except for one small problem—he still has someone trapped in his garage.
Discovering his humanity couldn’t have come at a worse time.
There are two special mentions because I couldn’t fit them in… I know, It’s cheating a bit, but bear with me, they’re great books and worth it.
First One Missing by Tammy Cohen
– You are haunted by her memory day and night
– Your friends and family fear you are going mad
– Only in a group with mothers of other victims can you find real comfort.
Welcome to the club no one wants to join.
Follow Me by Angela Clarke
The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.
But this is no virtual threat.
As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.
Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?
Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?
ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM …
Are any of your favourites in this list?