100 Police Procedurals Every Crime Addict Must Read

If you are a lover of crime fiction, then you’ve probably read a police procedural novel or two as they are such a huge part of this genre. They are a subgenre of crime fiction that focuses on the investigation process of the police.

Some of the earliest police procedural novels date back to the 1800s. The first detective novel is often hailed as The Moonstone (1868) by Dicken’s friend Wilkie Collins. However, The Notting Hill Mystery, which was published under a pseudonym and real author never identified, beats it by five years. Others mention Dickens’ Bleak House (1853) since it features Inspector Bucket, the policeman who must solve the murder of the lawyer, Tulkinghorn. But were these early examples, really centred around the police force?

Many popular police procedural novels came out during the 1940s and 50s. Some have credited the success of this genre during this time to the rise of documentaries and films based on real crimes. As people became more interested in the workings of real crime investigations, readers wanted those realities reflected in their mystery novels. Some of the authentic investigation techniques that police procedurals often include are forensics, autopsies, gathering evidence, obtaining warrants, and interrogating suspects.

In police procedurals, the investigation is always grounded in a realistic portrayal of police work. A PI isn’t needed, an amateur sleuth either as the police have it covered; police procedurals, are led by at least one detective, or a team who will crack the case through their hard work, skill and determination.

Here are some of our absolute faves of this subgenre. They have it all.

Whether it's Rankin's superb Rebus now on his 23rd adventure, Billingham's irascible DI Tom Thorne, the cantakerous and complex Inspector Morse by Colin Dexter or the legend that is Paterson's Alex Cross, there's plenty to choose from.

Let's not forget Peter James' down-to-earth Roy Grace, the sparky DI Marnie Rome by Sarah Hilary , the gutsy Sam Shephard by Vanda Simon or the downtrodden DI Helen Grace of MJ Arlidge.

We love Matt Johnson's ex-SAS, turned Met Police Officer Robert Findlay or David Mark's troubled DS McAvoy. or William Shaw's punchy DS Alexandra Cupidi who just can't leave it alone. 

There's some cracking double acts with Daniel Coles' Fawkes & Baxter in the Ragdoll series and Poe and Bradshaw in M.W. Craven's Washington Poe series.

There's also plenty of brilliant procedurals brought to use thanks to terrific translators: Lars Kepler's Joona Linna, writing duo Enger and Horst's Blix & Ramm.

From the eccentrics, to the renegades, to the rule-makers, there's something for everyone.

And don't forget that once you find a protagonist you love, many of these are part of huge series to keep you fully sated! Where the books are part of a series, we have highlighted the first book and list the others in the series for your pleasure.

What are your must-reads…what should we add to this list?

Strap yourself in, you've got one helluva ride coming..

Knots & Crosses

Knots & Crosses

Author: Ian Rankin Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2008

Here, we are introduced to John Rebus, SAS paratrooper turned Detective Sergeant.  When young girls start disappearing around Edinburgh he is called in to investigate, but the case becomes far more personal than he could ever have imagined as he is sent clues in form of knoted string and matchsticks. Brilliantly plotted and the backdrop of Edinburgh plays as big a part in the novel as any of the characters.  I read it in one sitting.  Highly recommended.  Book in The Rebus Series: 1. Knots & Crosses 2. Hide and Seek 3. Tooth and Nail 4. Strip Jack 5. The Black Book 6. Mortal Causes 7. Let it Bleed 8. Black and Blue 9. The Hanging Garden 10. Dead Souls 11. Set in Darkness 12. The Falls 13. Resurrection Men 14. A Question of Blood 15. Fleshmarket Close 16. The Naming of the Dead 17. Exit Music 18. Standing in Another Man's Grave 19. Saints of the Shadow Bible 20. Even Dogs in the Wild 21. Rather Be the Devil 22. In a House of Lies 23. A Song For The Dark Times Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
A Memory for Murder

A Memory for Murder

Author: Anne Holt Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/11/2021

Readers of Anne Holt will know that she spent two years working for the Oslo Police Department, founded her own law firm and rose to serve as Norway’s Minister of Justice, before publishing books that have sold over 10 million copies in 30 languages. That she knows of what she writes is therefore in no doubt. What the above facts don’t tell you however, is that she is a supremely talented storyteller, who has the ability to weave page-turning tales that meld plot and procedure, suspense and revelation and, as Val McDermid put it, “… reveal how truly dark it gets in Scandinavia.” Her latest is no exception and in A Memory for Murder, Holt seems to have found another writing gear as she draws the reader into a truly troubling web of political assassination and conspiracy. Falck is an endlessly fascinating character, a former lawyer turned private investigator who is at various times as endearing as she can be unappealing, but the reformed gambling addict is never anything less than captivating as she navigates her way through a tightly woven plot that has tension and vengeance at its core. Holt’s works are translated from the original Norwegian, in this case by Anne Bruce, and are so well done, the sense of place and of the Nordic mindset so clear, that at times it’s easy to forget that you’re reading in English. If you have yet to discover Holt and love a good story of snow and blood, then this stands every chance of meeting with your approval. And along the way you’ll discover why Jo Nesbø has called Holt, “the Godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction.”

The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

Author: Neil Lancaster Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Neil Lancaster has written a twisty, high-octane police procedural that thrilled and intrigued me from beginning to end. Starting with several dramatic scenes, this book drew me in straightaway, following DS Max Craigie and colleagues as they investigate two seemingly linked deaths. I've not read the first book in this series - Dead Man's Grave - but this didn't matter at all, as The Blood Tide works well as a standalone, with enough back story to fill in any gaps. The writing is beautifully descriptive, bringing the diverse characters, stunning Scottish countryside and fast-paced action scenes to life (it seemed as though everything was springing out of the page in front of me), and the humorous banter between the team brought some light relief to break up the darkness of the plot. The author's own police background provides realism, authenticity and insights to a gripping and gritty read. Highly recommended Scottish Noir - I'll be picking up the first book in this series soon, and look forward to the third.  

eBooks of the Month
The Patient

The Patient

Author: Tim Sullivan Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Detective Sergeant George Cross seems to be the only police officer prepared to listen to the mother of a dead drug user when she claims her daughter had been murdered. Cross is intrigued, and decides to look into the claim. The premise - a detective re-investigating the work of a colleague who would prefer his failings are not exposed- is very real and very prescient. Before turning to writing police procedurals, Tim Sullivan enjoyed a successful career as a screen writer, working with some famous actors on some well known series. 'The Patient' is his third book in what, so far, has been a very popular and enjoyable detective series. George Cross is a character who reminds me of several detectives I’ve worked with in the past. He is autistic, a quality that may cause some readers to question whether he could become a police officer, let alone a detective. In reality, the sense of focus, the ability to see things others don’t and the attention to detail are qualities I have seen in some very capable real-life detectives who had struggled as a uniform officer but excelled at detective work. Cross does them great credit. His character – at times funny, at times frustrating – is a refreshing change from the maverick, hard-drinking types so often created for a protagonist. His working partner, Josie Ottey, is perfect. Josie is Cross’s anchor, his mentor and his champion. She understands his strengths and appreciates his eccentricities. At times comical, at times poignant, their partnership makes for compelling reading. Highly recommended.

Books of the Month
The Perfect Crime

The Perfect Crime

Author: Vaseem Khan, Maxim Jakubowski Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

It’s rub your hands in glee time with this collection of 22 hugely engaging and eloquent crime stories from around the world. The editors for this book are Maxim Jakubowski who is current chair of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), author, and former publisher, and Vaseem Khan author of two crime series set in India, co-host of the Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast, and who currently sits on the board of the CWA. In their introductions, Maxim and Vaseem both note that until this century, there was a lack of diversity in crime writing. Maxim says that he is privileged to have witnessed an explosion of crime writing by authors of all colours and ethnic backgrounds which has encouraged a new readership in the process. While Vaseem speaks more personally about his journey into publishing and is passionate about literature being a powerful means to change society for the better. Together they have invited authors from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds to contribute, and in reading these stories you can not only travel the globe but also experience new thoughts and feelings. Some of the authors are well known to me, and particular favourites, so I immediately turned to their fabulous tales. That’s the joy of an anthology isn’t it, dipping in and out, returning, sinking in and letting go. Then I explored the stories where I hadn’t yet met the author’s writing. Oh boy, what a reading thrill that was, I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for them in the future. With an assortment of writing styles, locations, times in history, and characters, the plots sizzle and evoke a variety of emotions. The Perfect Crime comes with a massive thumbs up from me and marches straight in to sit as a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books
Unhinged

Unhinged

Author: Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/02/2022

An all-in all-out absolute belter of a read, and I’m still coming down from the most amazing reading high. Bear with me, as it’s also one of those books where I don’t want to say too much in case I inadvertently include spoilers! Police Officer Alexander Blix and news blogger Emma Ramm investigate a murder which hits too close to home. This is the third in the superb Blix and Ramm series by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger. As with the previous novel, translator Megan Turney ensures you only realise just how good the translation has been once you’ve finished and come up for air. Do start with Death Deserved and Smoke Screen as they most definitely warrant your attention before starting on Unhinged. One of the things I love about this series is that Blix and Emma aren’t an obvious duo and their individual stories carry as much weight as the joined. Put plenty of reading time aside, as I hit top gear from the whammy of a start and didn’t want to put it down, even for a second. Short chapters, shifts in focus, and rapid changes in time frames kept me on my toes and high alert. The storytelling is just superb, I’d love to know how these two writers created such a seamless and fast-moving plot. Once I’d finished, and my mind had stopped racing around, I had to have some time out to recover. Chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, Unhinged is pure, unadulterated and absolutely thrilling reading pleasure! The LoveReading LitFest invited Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger to the festival to talk about Unhinged. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.

Star Books
The Long Call

The Long Call

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/02/2020

The Long Call is the captivating first novel in a brand new series from Sunday Times bestseller and creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves. In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father's funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too. Now he's back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose. A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew's new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. Finding the killer is Venn's only focus, and his team's investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

Breaking Point

Breaking Point

Author: Edel Coffey Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/01/2022

Edel Coffey’s Breaking Point delivers an absolute page-turner all with the compelling, “can’t-look-away-for-a-moment” power of a primetime TV thriller. Pointing a sharp finger at the heavy, unjust weight of expectations heaped on working mothers as the finger of the law is pointed at its successful female doctor protagonist, this page-turner is easy to get into, with functional, unflorid writing that serves the plot and protagonists to deliver a gripping story that’s likely to be read in very few sittings. Susannah is one of life’s success stories. A dedicated doctor with a lucrative publishing deal and a TV career that’s given her fame and fortune as Dr Sue. She also has two young daughters, and an also-successful husband - the full works, though it’s often tricky to balance having it all. One hot New York morning, when her usual routine is disrupted, Susannah makes a terrible mistake - she forgets to drop her baby daughter at nursery and the baby dies in the heat of the car. A tensely-evoked court case ensues, with the media and prosecution lawyer going into overdrive to present Dr Sue has a negligent mother who put career before kids. One of the reporters assigned to the case is CNN’s Adelaide, a woman who has connections to Sue, and understands a thing or two about loss herself. As the case and two women’s stories unfold, readers will be on the edge of their seats willing justice to be done, with the final twist in the tale coming as an entirely unexpected surprise.

Debut Books of the Month
21st Birthday

21st Birthday

Author: James Patterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

Will she live to see her twenty-first birthday? When a distraught mother pleads with reporter Cindy Thomas to investigate the disappearance of her daughter, Tara, and her baby granddaughter, Cindy goes straight to SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer. The prime suspect is Tara's husband, but he tells a conflicting story that paints Tara as a wayward wife, not a missing person. Is this a tragic case of domestic violence? Or is the truth linked to a more complex network of killings? As the case grows into something far bigger than any of them could have imagined, the Women's Murder Club will need to work together to unpick the truth from a web of lies.

Over My Dead Body

Over My Dead Body

Author: Jeffrey Archer Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/10/2021

In an age of publishing that is obsessed with sales figures, Archer’s writing statistics, 275 million copies published in 97 countries, are not only hugely impressive and utterly enviable but more importantly, hard earned and thoroughly deserved. They are the incontestable evidence that he is a supremely gifted storyteller, whose talent for narrative and character has been honed and applied many times over in the crafting of fully immersive stories that delight his armies of readers, and Over My Dead Body, is no exception. In this fourth outing for Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick (not including his appearance in the Clifton Chronicles series) we are take through various investigations that take us onboard a luxury liner and into the often murky world of art dealing, Archer deftly moves between scenes and worlds to deliver a master class in how to structure a story and populate it with characters that are instantly recognisable and wonderfully drawn. All the qualities that we have come to expect from Jeffery’s books are here; wonderful, fully drawn characters  (you are going to love James Buchanan!) the sense that he really does know of what he writes (his attention to detail when researching his books is legendary) and that he really cares about crafting his stories in an interview with him, he explained that he writes all his early drafts long hand and reworks them many, many times until everything is just right. But here’s the thing, he once told me, with tears in his eyes, just how much he appreciate his readers and how hard he works to make each story as good as he can make it, to create as enjoyable a read as possible. Over My Dead Body is no exception and is a fabulous addition to the extraordinary canon of a supreme storyteller.

eBooks of the Month
Girls Who Lie

Girls Who Lie

Author: Eva Björg Ægisdottir Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/07/2021

A chilling tone and unsettling plot is wrapped up inside this cracking police procedural and psychological thriller. West Iceland CID investigate the death of a woman who went missing seven months previously. While suicide was the initial assumption, it's only when Marianna’s body is found that they can establish murder. This is the second in the Forbidden Iceland series, I recommend starting with The Creak on the Stairs which was a bestseller in Iceland, winning the Blackbird Award. While a police procedural, the other characters share the stage which ensures there are some fascinating trails of information to follow. In this book Eva Björg Ægisdottir cements the characters of the policing team. The vivid descriptions and haunting quality of the writing, which is so well translated by Victoria Cribb, ensured I could see and feel Iceland. Two stories sit side by side, each twisting around the other and allowing tension and intrigue access while themes of child neglect and social issues are thoughtfully handled. Girls Who Lie slithers and suggests and coils towards its thought-provoking conclusion, and I will be following this series with interest.  

Books of the Month
Silver Pebbles

Silver Pebbles

Author: Hansjoerg Schneider Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/01/2022

Silver Pebbles is the first crime novel I've read that's set in Switzerland, giving interesting insight into the country and culture. This was an easy and entertaining read, thanks to its vivid descriptions and seamless translation by Mike Mitchell. Unlike many police procedurals, the book doesn't feature a murder investigation. Instead, it provides a fresh approach by following police as they close in on a diamond-smuggling drug mule who has managed to become separated from his sparkling haul. The book focuses heavily on the main character, Inspector Hunkeler, with all his flaws, as he embarks on a search for the diamonds before the drug mule finds them again. It also follows the sewage worker who discovers the diamonds stuck in a blocked pipe - and his mistress, who has a few ideas of what to do with them. As expected, none of the characters have an easy ride. Silver Pebbles is a short read, but there's plenty going on and a lot of shifty characters, turning it into an (almost) one-sitting read for me. 

Wicked Game

Wicked Game

Author: Matt Johnson Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/03/2016

A breathless and perfectly-paced thriller of a particularly explosive nature, introducing Royalty Protection Team cop Robert Finlay whose own SAS past returns to the surface after a series of colleagues are murdered. The author's own previous real-life experience in the military and then the police provides the book with a thick veneer of realism which it wears lightly but keeps the plot on the right side of credibility, unlike so many SAS action adventure-type thrillers publishers have been deluging the market with. Finlay is a fascinating character with a deceptively normal home life and quickly attracts the reader's sympathy. Anchored in the uncertainties of the present and recent past (terrorism, political turmoil, Ireland, Iran) but with a strong moral compass, this could be the beginning of a great series and a likeable British action character. Maxim Jakobowski One of our Books of the Year 2016. Longlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2016.   The LoveReading view... Fall headlong into a gripping and absolutely cracking story, featuring an ex-SAS, turned Met Police Officer, battling for his life. This is the first in the ‘Robert Finlay series’ and the debut novel by Matt Johnson, who has experienced one hell of a career himself. In fact, when you read the information about the author at the beginning of the book, it immediately puts a whole new spin on what you're about to read. The whammy of a prologue sets the story in 2001, you are then introduced to Bob Finlay, who is settling down into family life and a new role within the police when events take an unexpected and horrifying turn. Johnson turns his knowledge into the most fabulous and readable story that just zings along with authenticity and exhilarating attitude. I’m excited to be in at the start of what promises to be a fabulous new series, and honestly can’t wait for the next! ~ Liz Robinson April 2016 Debut of the Month. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Wicked Game was written by ex-Met Police Officer Matt Johnson as therapy for the PTSD he suffered after witnessing several horrific London bombings, and being present at the murder of his colleague Yvonne Fletcher. He subsequently self-published this book, and achieved extraordinary sales and reviews. We’ve worked with Matt to rewrite and polish this thriller for the trade, and the results are staggering. Not only is this a compelling, revealing and action-packed thriller, but the authentic dialogue and the inside knowledge that Matt invests in the highly orchestrated plot and well-drawn characters are simply spine-tingling. Telling the story of an ex-SAS man whose carefully concealed past comes back to haunt him, putting his family, his colleagues and his new life in jeopardy, this is a vividly written novel that has bestseller written all over it.' ~ Karen Sullivan, Publisher, Orenda Books Books in the Robert Finlay Trilogy: 1. Wicked Game 2. Deadly Game 3. End Game Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
The Quiet People

The Quiet People

Author: Paul Cleave Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/11/2021

If you love a page-turning police-procedural with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, then stop right now. Cleave has become one of my go-to authors for a chilling slice of cleverly crafted crime. You feel the heat intensifying chapter by chapter as you burn through the book, unable to put it down. Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are a successful crime writing duo living in Christchurch, New Zealand. The book opens with Cameron and their 7 year old Zach at a funfair where there’s an altercation when Cameron loses sight of his son for a second and it escalates. Zach is a challenging child, prone to frequent outbursts and after threatening to run away that night, he disappears and the guilt, recriminations and remonstrations set in and start eating away at their seemingly perfect marriage. They know better than anyone, that the parents are always the first to be suspected. The pace rockets as the community turns against the Murdochs and jokes on the promotional circuit are remembered and paraded for all to judge. Comments like: “I have no doubt that we could plot the perfect crime if we had to” comes to haunt them. Did they, or didn’t they? You decide for yourself in this cracking adrenalin rush of a crime thriller. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, I promise.

Books of the Month
Nine Elms

Nine Elms

Author: Robert Bryndza Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/06/2020

An incredibly dramatic, graphic and gripping start to a new series. This isn’t just an introduction though, it’s a fabulous full serving in its own, very distinctive right. 15 years ago Kate Marshall solved a high profile murder case and very nearly became a victim herself, now, a copycat killer is on the loose, determined to finish the job. The beginning takes us back to 1995, within a few pages there is a real sense of Kate, and the case. Chapter two is incredibly stark, making me flinch before things seriously kicked off. I was glued to the pages, and read the whole book in one sitting. If you are a little squeamish, then be warned, there are some darker than dark, vivid and violent incidents ahead of you. Personally, I didn’t feel it was overly sensational though, as it felt all too real! Robert Bryndza really has set the scene for a fabulous new series. Fierce, startling and incredibly readable, Nine Elms comes as highly recommended from me. The Kate Marshall series: 1. Nine Elms 2. Shadow Sands 3. Darkness Falls

Books of the Month
Judas Horse

Judas Horse

Author: Lynda La Plante Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/07/2021

SOME KILLERS CAN'T BE TAMED . . . 'Do you know what a Judas Horse is? When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it. When he's ready, you release him and he'll bring his team back into the corral - like Judas betraying them...' Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves. As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes - and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them. When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr's head - and any more blood spilled, on his hands...

Dead Ground

Dead Ground

Author: M. W. Craven Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/06/2021

A ferociously entertaining, sharply amusing, hard-hitting wow of a read. DS Washington Poe and programmer Tilly Bradshaw are faced with an apparently clear cut case that becomes more convoluted the deeper they delve. Excuse me while I rave about this book and series, it’s worth hearing me out! M.W. Craven is winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award for his first in this series, The Puppet Show, and the other two books have been long-listed for the Gold Dagger which in itself should tell you just how good this series really is. The combination of superbly readable characters, thrilling plots, and authentic voice ensure these novels are always on my must-read list.  M.W. Craven’s mind just blows me away, he is able to hook, twist, and throw my thoughts as well as make me cackle like a demented thing. Poe and Tilly are among my favourite characters in the crime fiction world, they are both treasures (of the reading variety) waiting to be found if you’ve not yet met them. A stunner of a stimulating ride, Dead Ground comes with a whopping thumbs up from me, and of course it’s one of my Liz Robinson Picks of the Month. 

Star Books
All the Hidden Truths

All the Hidden Truths

Author: Claire Askew Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/04/2019

All The Hidden Truths is Claire Askew’s debut novel and the start of the DI Birch series set in Edinburgh, It was the winner of the McIlvanney Debut Prize and shortlisted for the 2019 Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger. This is a series that is worth putting on your must-read list, smart, sharp, and so very readable, it comes with a highly recommended tag from me. Books in The DI Birch Series: 1. All The Hidden Truths 2. What You Pay For 3. Cover Your Tracks Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Dead Simple

Dead Simple

A woman reports a crime to the police, with unexpected results The grieving widow who finds that she's about to lose more than just her husband When a man attempts the perfect murder, it's not quite as easy as he thinks Two men in prison play a deadly game of Scrabble A young woman tries to trick an old man and gets more than she bargained for Sometimes crimes are solved in ways you can't explain A murderer about to be hanged finds that's not the worst thing that can happen You never know who's going to turn up at your door Original stories from Mark Billingham, Clare Mackintosh, James Oswald, Jane Casey, Angela Marsons, Harry Bingham, Antonia Hodgson and CL Taylor - specially written for Quick Reads.

Salt Lane

Salt Lane

Author: William Shaw Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/2019

Salt Lane is the start to an assured, intelligent, and fascinating series. Kent as a location broods its way through the story while DS Cupidi is a strong lead. The Birdwatcher is a standalone novel but also links to this fabulous series. Books in The DS Alexandra Cupidi Series: 1. Salt Lane 2. Deadland 3. Grave's End 4. The Trawlerman Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

Sleepyhead

Sleepyhead

Author: Mark Billingham Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2012

The first in what has become a legendary series of crime books, Sleepyhead introduces us to the tortured yet complex Detective Inspector Tom Thorne, a cop battling his demons. The case begins when a few young women die from a stroke and they realise there is a twisted killer on the loose. When one of the victims Alison Willetts is found alive, D.I. Tom Thorne has more to work with. It's a fast-paced thriller, that I promise will keep you guessing until the end. Hello Tom, I want to read more. Books in The DI Thorne Series: 1. Sleepyhead 2. Scaredy Cat 3. Lazybones 4. The Burning Girl 5. Lifeless 6. Buried 7. Death Message 8. Bloodline 9. From The Dead 10. Good as Dead 11. Dying Hours 12. The Bones Beneath 13. Time of Death 14. Love Like Blood 15. The Killing Habit 16. Their Little Secret 17. Cry Baby Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Ragdoll

Ragdoll

Author: Daniel Cole Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/10/2017

A simply sensational and thrilling debut! Met police detectives William Oliver Layton-Fawkes and Emily Baxter find themselves smack bang in the middle of the hunt for a serial killer. A hammer hard prologue slapped my awareness, and from that moment on, I didn't want to put this book down, even for a single second. Daniel Cole handles the case and the characters with aplomb, this feels different, fresh, exciting. In the midst of the mayhem, I found myself snorting with laughter, a moment later I wrinkled my face in horror and disbelief. An overflowing fistful of danger, gripping urgency, and the intricate twisting storyline certainly kept me on my toes. ‘Ragdoll’ is a humdinger of a tale that smashes into your senses, wreaks havoc in your mind, and leaves you wanting more. I really can’t wait to see what Daniel Cole comes up with next! Liz Robinson ~ There are a lot of serial killer novels out there, for which Hannibal Lecter must take much of the blame, but Daniel Cole's powerful debut deserves a (bloody) place in the sun or, at any rate, in the autopsy lab! A puppet-like body is discovered made up of the dismembered parts of six different victims, hence the 'ragdoll' appellation given to it by the media. Once disgraced Met cop William Fawkes is assigned the case together with his former partner Detective Emily Baxter and they appear powerless when the killer taunts them by announcing the names of his future victims. As Fawkes seeks a form of redemption with the support of his team, the pace of the story accelerates exponentially and will leave you breathless all the way to a most intense finale. Gory and ultra-realistic, dark, populated by flawed characters and just not the villain, this is a splendid addition to the genre and well worth the nail-biting detour if you have a strong constitution!  Maxim Jakubowski Books in The Ragdoll Series: 1. Ragdoll 2. Hangman 3. End Game  Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Eeny Meeny

Eeny Meeny

Author: M. J. Arlidge Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2014

Introducing DI Helen Grace of the Southampton Constabulary, a woman with a past and a strange fetish which is interesting. The cases presented to her are psychologically terrifying.  Couples romantically involved, related or work colleagues, it seems to matter not which, are kidnapped, dumped in an isolated place, given a mobile phone with a message on it, no credit and a gun. To escape one must kill the other. This is ingenious stuff, truly frightening, compulsive and very good indeed. Highly recommended.  My only criticism is that this impressive DI bears the same surname as another famous detective, Roy Grace of the Brighton Police and a brilliant creation of Peter James. I think the publishers should have alerted Mr Arlidge to this fact. Books in The Detective Inspector Helen Grace Series: 1. Eeny Meeny 2. Pop Goes the Weasel 3. The Doll's House 4. Liar Liar 5. Little Boy Blue 6. Hide and Seek 7. Love Me Not 8. Down to the Woods Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Overkill

Overkill

Author: Vanda Symon Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/09/2018

A rawly realistic, enthralling and thoroughly entertaining crime novel set in a small New Zealand town. Police officer Sam Shephard responds to reports of a missing person, when a body is found she discovers there is far more behind the apparent suicide than would first appear. The prologue is absolutely riveting, the first few sentences fell like a sledge hammer, nailing my concentration to the page. Sam is as fabulous as a main character could be, gutsy, down-to-earth, likeable, I could reach out and touch her feelings, empathise with her. Vanda Symon writes with a beautiful simplicity, not once overplaying her hand, she took me completely and entirely into the storyline. The Sam Shephard series has been on the New Zealand best seller list and shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel and I can see why. I highly recommend Overkill, it is powerful, cooly assured, and an absolute belter of a read. Books in The Sam Shephard Series: 1. Overkill 2. The Ringmaster 3. Containment 4. Bound Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Someone Else's Skin

Someone Else's Skin

Author: Sarah Hilary Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2014

March 2014 Debut of the Month. Do not be fooled into thinking that this will be ‘just another Detective story’; this is clever, shockingly impactive and successfully erases any presuppositions. The author reveals information gradually, building the intrigue and allowing you to question and probe the evidence alongside the investigating team.  The achingly sad picture that starts to emerge, tugs at your heart strings without sentimentality, helping to make the story powerfully arresting. Secrets are set to be shattered, no matter who they belong to. Can it be detrimental or even dangerous to empathise, to imagine the torture that some of the characters have faced? The author has the ability to describe horrifying brutality, without glorifying it. The simple stark descriptions of lives created from fear and violence, lead you to question the path that broken and mutilated minds can take. A penetrating and riveting read, tension continues to intensify before it ultimately and devastatingly snaps. This is an impressive debut novel that will leave you yearning for a sequel.  Books in the D.I. Marnie Rome Series: 1. Someone Else's Skin 2. No Other Darkness 3. Tastes Like Fear 4. Quieter Than Killing 5. Come and Find Me 6. Never Be Broken Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
The Hypnotist

The Hypnotist

Author: Lars Kepler Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/02/2018

When a whole family is murdered in Stockholm, Inspector Joona Linna is brought in to investigate the murky case and soon uncovers an unsettling connection to disgraced hypnotist and medic Erik Maria Bark. With uber-villains in the Thomas Harris mould and a labyrinthine plot, this is set to be the veritable heir to the Stieg Larsson series. Unsettling and gripping. Books in The Joona Lina Series: 1. The Hypnotist 2. The Nightmare  3. The Fire Witness  4. The Sandman  5. Stalker  6. The Rabbit Hunter / Hunter 7. Lazarus Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

Debut Books of the Month
Dark Winter

Dark Winter

Author: David Mark Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2017

Best selling author David Mark thrills with this fabulous start to his series of DS McAvoy novels. He writes with an assured hand and produces biting, stimulating reads that I can highly recommend. Books in The DS McAvoy Series: 1. Dark Winter 2. Original Skin 3. Sorrow Bound 4. Taking Pity 5. Dead Pretty 6. Cruel Mercy 7. Scorched Eath 8. Cold Bones Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

Whisky from Small Glasses

Whisky from Small Glasses

Author: Denzil Meyrick Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/01/2015

An authentically atmospheric and gutsy crime novel where the lurking tension and suspense gangs up to menace and harass your senses. There are definitely not any mundane murders on offer here, instead there is a chilling case that offers Daley a turbulent hunt for the killer. Along side Daley is his loyal sidekick, a close knit gossipy community, a prophesying local and a handful of overstretched investigating officers. Occasionally secondary characters are allowed to voice their thoughts which offers an interesting insight into Daley and may slightly alter the direction your thoughts are taking. The author not only knows his stuff but has the ability to paint a picture of the town and seascape, bringing the surroundings evocatively to life. Extorting grimaces and flinches, provoking scoffs and chuckles, this is an entirely captivating debut novel by a former officer. ~ Liz Robinson A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... ‘From the first chapter, I was gripped. Written by ex-policeman Denzil Meyrick, this is an authentic and well-researched crime thriller based in small-town Scotland. Dark and unpredictable, the mood is lightened by the distinctive humour of Daley’s partner, DS Scott, and the eccentric habits of the town’s inhabitants. The fast-moving plot is full of twists and surprises, as Denzil deftly begins to draw the different strands together into a surprising and dramatic conclusion.’ Julie Fergusson, editor at Polygon Books in the DCI Daley Series: 1. Whisky from Small Glasses 2. The Last Witness 3. Dark Suits and Sad Songs 4. The Rat Stone Serenade 5. Well of the Winds 6. The Relentless Tide 7. A Breath on Dying Embers 8. Jeremiah's Bell Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Cold Granite

Cold Granite

Author: Stuart MacBride Format: Paperback (a Format) Release Date: 27/10/2011

This is terrific, a dark, angry story about child abuse and murder with an anti-hero and a cold, unforgiving setting, Aberdeen.  It’s gritty, violent and graphic with a lot of black humour that lifts it.  There is a past to our anti-hero, DS Logan McRae, which made me think I was reading a second novel, but no, this is the first of a series which is very good news.  I think he is rather special.Comparison: Ian Rankin, Paul Johnston, David Peace.Similar this month: Peter James, Robert Crais.   Logan McRae series:1. Cold Granite2. Dying Light3. Broken Skin    4. Flesh House5. Blind Eye6. Dark Blood 7. Shatter the Bones 8. Close to the Bone

eBooks of the Month
The Crow Trap

The Crow Trap

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2020

The Vera Stanhope Series: 1. The Crow Trap 2. Telling Tales 3. Hidden Depths 4. Silent Voices 5. The Glass Room 6. Harbour Street 7. The Moth Catcher 8. The Seagull 9. The Darkest Evening

Raven Black

Raven Black

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2015

Bestselling novelist Val McDermid is spot on in her quote for this cleverly crafted crime story - 'A riveting read. Ann Cleeves probes beneath the surface of a community to reveal the darkness that can fester when everyone thinks they know each other's secrets'. This one is set in the Shetland islands.  Ann is a rising talent in psychological crime writing who should not be missed. Winner of the 2006 Duncan Lawrie Dagger.   The Shetland series:1. Raven Black2. White Nights3. Red Bones4. Blue Lightning5. Dead Water6. Thin Air

eBooks of the Month
Snow

Snow

Author: John Banville Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/10/2021

'The body is in the library,' Colonel Osborne said. 'Come this way.' Detective Inspector St John Strafford is called in from Dublin to investigate a murder at Ballyglass House - the Co. Wexford family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family. Facing obstruction from all angles, Strafford carries on determinedly in his pursuit of the murderer. However, as the snow continues to fall over this ever-expanding mystery, the people of Ballyglass are equally determined to keep their secrets.

Blindsighted

Blindsighted

Author: Karin Slaughter Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/06/2011

This is the first of the Grant County Series, following Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver and pediatrician and town coroner Dr Sarah Linton. We love Karin Slaughter's writing and her first book is as addictive as her latest. Blidsighted investigates a case full of twists and turns. The relationship between divorced couple Sara and Jeffrey is nuanced and adds more complexity to the case, as they work together to stop a violent and experienced predator and serial killer. The Grant County Series: 1. Blindsighted 2. Kisscut 3. A Faint Cold Fear 4. Indelible 5. Faithless 6. Skin Privilege You'll also find the character, Dr Sara Linton in Slaughter's Will Trent Series

Triptych

Triptych

Author: Karin Slaughter Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/06/2011

Triptych begins the explosive and riveting Will Trent Series which we love in the LoveReading team. Sarah Linton from The Grant County Series joins in Undone, the third book in. So if you are joining this for the first time, probably best to start with The Grant County Series. Books in The Will Trent Series: 1. Triptych 2. Fractured 3. Genesis 4. Broken 5. Fallen 6. Criminal 7. Unseen 8. The Kept Woman 9. The Last Widow 10. The Silent Wife Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

The Mermaids Singing

The Mermaids Singing

Author: Val McDermid, Lee Child Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

The Mermaids Singing is the first in a best selling series of books by renowned and much celebrated crime writer Val McDermid. The Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series has also be turned into a TV series (Wire in the Blood). A particular favourite with us, Val McDermid knows how to create the tightest and most tension filled plot lines going. This is one heck of a cracking start to a series that has thrilled readers worldwide. The Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series: 1. The Mermaids Singing 2. The Wire in the Blood 3. The Last Temptation 4. The Torment of Others 5. Beneath the Bleeding 6. The Fever of the Bone 7. The Retribution 8. Cross and Burn 9. Splinter the Silence 10. Insidious Intent 11. How the Dead Speak Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

Dead Simple

Dead Simple

Author: Peter James Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/2019

A totally gripping crime thriller with a new cop on the block, one Roy Grace, scarred by a past which surely will be revealed in future books.  His first case for us involves a man buried alive in what appears to be a harmless stag-night prank but turns very sinister indeed.  This is literally unput-downable, with a great twist.  A must-read for all crime addicts. Books in The Roy Grace Series: 1. Dead Simple 2. Looking Good Dead 3. Not Dead Enough 4. Dead Man's Footsteps 5. Dead Tomorrow 6. Dead Like You 7. Dead Man's Grip 8. Not Dead Yet 9. Dead Man's Time 10. Want You Dead 11. You Are Dead 12. Love You Dead 13. Need You Dead 14. Dead If You Don't 15. Dead at First Sight Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.  

eBooks of the Month
Prayer for the Dead

Prayer for the Dead

Author: James Oswald Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/07/2015

An engagingly dramatic crime novel where a curious whiff of the uncanny lurks in the background, occasionally skulking into view alongside the investigation. You don't need to have read the previous four novels in ‘The Inspector McLean’ series although there are enough tempting titbits cropping up to encourage you to wonder at what has gone before. As well as viewing the day to day search for a killer by a Detective Inspector with a penchant for walking the summer streets of Edinburgh, we also delve into his childhood and are given an unusual insight into a chillingly fanatical murderer. The author encourages a few pointers and leads to beckon to you and deploys the occasional smoke screen, ensuring an intriguing read through to the gripping climax. ~ Liz Robinson   A 'Piece of Passion' from the Publisher... 'If you are a fan of seriously good crime fiction,  then you will love James Oswald’s Inspector McLean series. The first novel of the series, Natural Causes, introduces one of the most compelling detective lead characters in contemporary crime fiction, Tony McLean. McLean is defined by his ineffable humanity – his quiet and dogged determination to seek justice for the victims of the crimes he investigates. Oswald’s writing is reminiscent of Ian Rankin or Stuart McBride’s Scottish noir, but is also tinged with a slight trace of the supernatural – which adds an intriguing nuance to the stories. I guarantee that once you start this excellent series – you will race through James’s novels, and be left hungry for more.' - Alex Clarke, Editor, Penguin Books

eBooks of the Month
Gun Street Girl

Gun Street Girl

Author: Adrian McKinty Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/01/2015

Now Australia-based award-winning Irish author McKinty, after a detour into historical crime, finally delivers a sparkling fourth volume featuring his fascinating Catholic cop Sean Duffy, at the time of the 'Troubles'. It's 1985 and Duffy is barely holding on to his job in the hostile atmosphere of the Royal UIster Constabulary. The murder of an old couple at first rings no particular alarms, but soon their troubled son commits suicide, leaving a note admitting to the crime. But something doesn't add up and the case is far from closed when further deaths occur. Duffy's doughty investigation soon uncovers a spider's web of intrigue, involving shadowy US intelligence forces and leads him straight to the heart of a major political scandal. Will he swim or sink? Impeccable plotting and a wonderful cast of often unconventional characters make this a perfect read. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

eBooks of the Month
Tennison

Tennison

Author: Lynda La Plante Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

From the creator of the award-winning ITV series Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren, comes the fascinating back story of the iconic DCI Jane Tennison. In 1973 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where criminality thrives. We witness her struggle to cope in a male-dominated, chauvinistic environment, learning fast to deal with shocking situations with no help or sympathy from her superiors. Then comes her involvement in her first murder case.

eBooks of the Month
The Man Who Watched Women

The Man Who Watched Women

Author: Michael Hjorth, Hans Rosenfeldt Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/06/2015

Scandinavian crime fiction is well know for being dark, gritty and full of complex characters, The Man Who Watched Women sits confidently alongside its associates. The author pairing of Michael Hjorth and Hans Rosenfeldt is well established, together they created the Swedish TV series of Wallander based on the books by Henning Mankell, and Rosenfeldt was the creator of the Swedish TV series The Bridge. The first book in this series is titled Sebastian Bergman, although best to start there, it is possible to read The Man Who Watched Women out of sequence. Egocentric criminal profiler Sebastian Bergman really isn't likeable, he doesn't have to be, he does however need to get his act firmly together in order to be of any use in this particular investigation. The rest of the team have their own issues to contend with and the twisted mastermind behind these murders will fully exploit any weakness. This is a slow burner of a read, it takes a little while to get used to the writing style, however it gradually catches fire and each page turned fans the flames. Intense, sinister and bleak, this is a captivating and dramatic read. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Men At Arms

Men At Arms

Author: Terry Pratchett Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/03/2014

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . . 'What's so hard about pulling a sword out of a stone? The real work's already been done. You ought to make yourself useful and find the man who put the sword in the stone in the first place.' The City Watch needs MEN! But what it's got includes Corporal Carrot (technically a dwarf), Lance-constable Cuddy (really a dwarf), Lance-constable Detritus (a troll), Lance-constable Angua (a woman... most of the time) and Corporal Nobbs (disqualified from the human race for shoving). And they need all the help they can get, because someone in Ankh-Morpork has been getting dangerous ideas - about crowns and legendary swords, and destiny. And the problem with destiny is, of course, that she is not always careful where she points her finger. One minute you might be minding your own business on a normal if not spectacular career path, the next you might be in the frame for the big job, like saving the world . . .

The Siege

The Siege

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/06/2022

An enthralling, rewarding, and ever so satisfying debut crime thriller. Covering ten hours, from beginning to end, a far-right extremist takes nine people from an immigrant support group hostage. Author John Sutherland is a retired Borough Commander with the Metropolitan Police, during his time in the job he was a hostage negotiator, in other words he knows his stuff. Not only that, he is also a gifted, passionate, and compassionate speaker and I’ve listened to his inspiring words on several occasions at Literary Festivals. This may be his debut novel, but he already has two non-fiction books to his name, Blue: A Memoir and Crossing the Line are both fascinating books about policing. When I knew he was venturing into fiction I grabbed a proof just as fast as I could with one question on my mind, could his knowledge and abilities translate into a novel? Yes, yes they can. If you’ve read his books, newspaper articles or his blog, heard him on the TV, at talks or worked with him then you will know he is principled, honourable, thoughtful, and that clearly comes across in his writing. Yet being from the policing family means he has seen it all, experienced the highs and lows that this job throws at you. So while the tone is unmistakably him, calm with no fuss or bluster, it feels real, right up in your face real. The three main characters have equal billing, concentrating in turn on their lives, who they are, what makes them tick. There is a straightforward clarity to the writing that ensures the words hit with intensity. As the story gained momentum, as the lives of these people began to really matter to me, I couldn’t put the book down. At one point I cried, and I know how good a book is by how it makes me react, how it makes me feel. So, this novel joins our LoveReading Star Book community, it also sits as a Liz Robinson Pick for its month of publication. For those of you who have been waiting, hand-on-heart, it’s worth it. The Siege is not only thrilling and entertaining, it’s also engaging and meaningful, and comes with the hugest of ticks in the must-read box from me.

Star Books
The Shadows of Men

The Shadows of Men

Author: Abir Mukherjee Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2022

Calcutta, 1923. When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can officers of the Imperial Police Force, Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath? Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this 'unmissable' (The Times) series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

Star Books
The Trawlerman

The Trawlerman

Author: William Shaw Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

Quite simply a class act, the characters, setting, and plot fuse into the most readable and thrilling whole. Despite being off with post-traumatic stress, DS Cupidi begins to investigate the discovery of two dead bodies and a linked scam that involves her friend. If you’ve not met William Shaw’s books before, please do introduce yourself. Book four in the DS Alexandra Cupidi Investigation series more than lived up to my already high expectations. The writing is such that you could read this as a stand-alone but I feel you would missing out if you didn’t begin with Salt Lane. This series is an absolute corker, it’s almost understated, but wields a mighty punch. The sense of place is so vivid, it could star by itself in an edgy art studio production. The Dungeness coastline of Kent, a location that stands forebodingly self-contained and creates a safe haven for Alexandra, acts as the perfect setting. I really couldn’t see this series taking place anywhere else. The characters have taken up lodging in my mind, they remain, fully fleshed and as real and damaged and every-day normal as can be. From the beginning to the end, every word counts, every scene matters, and builds to a hammer blow of a conclusion. Chosen as LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month, The Trawlerman is a stunning read.

Books of the Month
Opal Country

Opal Country

Author: Chris Hammer Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/01/2022

A fierce and fiery beast of a crime novel, definitely one to add to the top of your reading lists. A crucified opal miner brings investigators Ivan Lucic and Nell Buchanan to outback town Finnigans Gap in Australia. I have absolutely loved the Martin Scarsden Thriller series, believe me when I say they are fabulous. Opal Country, I think, is Chris Hammer’s best yet, it’s linked to the series, yet highlights detective Ivan Lucic rather than Scarsden who is only mentioned in passing. Although this book can easily be read as a standalone, I would still recommend starting with award-winning Scrublands and working your way through, as you really don’t want to miss out. Chris Hammer has the ability to paint the most vividly vibrant picture while delving into the inner workings of his characters. The location is in essence a character, and a starring one at that. Every aspect is felt, I soaked up the smallest details as they steered me towards the difficulties of living in a ferocious land that can easily destroy the unaware. There is beauty to be found too, an admiration that encourages you to look beyond the obvious. Ivan and Nell make an interesting pairing, and I hope we see more of them. The plot circles and twists, allowing connections to form, and pieces to slide into place. With dynamic strength and a sharp edge Opal Country hammers home to become a LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month. Highly recommended.

Star Books
Snowblind

Snowblind

Author: Ragnar Jonasson Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/2015

It sometimes feels as if everyone in Iceland is writing crime novels but the first appearance of Ragnar Jonasson in English translation (itself a fluid adaptation by British mystery writer Quentin Bates) is cause for celebration. Previously known as a major Agatha Christie translator, he brings that experience to bear on the clever way he weaves the intricacy of small village activities into life, with a slightly darker hue, in his dead Iceland series of which this is the first to be issued here. Ari Thor Arason is a young policeman on his first out of city posting, in a small fishing village in Northern Iceland accessible only by a tunnel. When murder hits the small knit community, Ari, a fish out of water, pining for his distant girlfriend, has to summon his inner fibre and unthread the complex strands of the enquiry amongst a bout of harsh weather that is as much a character in the book as the village's inhabitants. First class classic detection with a frozen twist. ~ Maxim Jakubowski A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

eBooks of the Month
Die For Me

Die For Me

Author: Jesper Stein Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/12/2020

With a stabbing intensity and glowering atmosphere this is a crime novel with huge attitude. As it becomes apparent that the police have missed connecting a number of violent and brutal crimes against women, an officer on the edge begins to link the offences. This is the second in the Axel Steen Series by Jesper Stein but my first, and I was more than happy jumping straight in, so like me you can start here. Also like me, you then may well want to hunt down a copy of Unrest! Translated from Danish by Charlotte Barslund, the social and everyday differences of Denmark are still wonderfully tangy and sharp. The prologue sets the scene in Copenhagen 2004, blunt and dark I flinched as Axel Steen stamped his way into my mind. I was well and truly hooked, and set everything aside while I read. I wasn’t sure that I was going to like Axel, but as a cop in a novel, I loved him! The word gritty is often scattered through reviews for crime novels, but gritty is absolutely appropriate here and comes with extra emphasis. Die for Me is a wonderful addition for the list of any Scandi noir fans, and I say: bring on the third in the series!

eBooks of the Month
Cover Your Tracks

Cover Your Tracks

Author: Claire Askew Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2021

A smart, thoughtful, intriguing crime novel. DI Helen Birch starts to dig into what should be a simple case, but finds far more than she bargained for. I absolutely adore this series, for me it contains one of the more realistic characters in the modern book world of policing. The first novel in the series All The Hidden Truths, was shortlisted for the 2019 Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger and won the McIlvanney Debut Prize. Here we are at the third book in, and see DI Helen Birch in all her glory, flaws and all, but she doesn’t become a caricature, when I’m reading, she exists. Edinburgh sings, and the investigation sits nicely alongside Helen’s personal life, with certain parts crowding and affecting her thoughts. Claire Askew gets inside the small things, makes them count, she also handles the more difficult subjects contained here with compassion and empathy. The ending is a corker, and slides nicely into place. Cover Your Tracks continues a great crime series, and it’s one I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Creak on the Stairs

The Creak on the Stairs

Author: Eva Björg Ægisdottir Format: Ebook Release Date: 14/02/2020

Set in Iceland, this novel introduces a new policing team in a tense and unsettling crime novel. Winner of Iceland’s Blackbird Award and translated by prizewinning Victoria Cribb The Creak on the Stairs marks the beginning of a new series. The prologue provokes a sense of unease, which lies in wait through the rest of the tale. Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir gradually introduces more characters, adding more layers of information and increasing the intrigue. We are allowed to see into the past, childhoods torn apart, still affecting the present. The policing team are an interesting bunch, with their outside lives altering their investigating ability. The setting in Iceland is fascinating, the descriptions creating a vivid picture of the reality of living in a small town. The Creak on the Stairs is a captivating tale with plenty of tension and a plot to really get your teeth into.

eBooks of the Month
Facets of Death

Facets of Death

Author: Michael Stanley Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/04/2021

A thrilling and enthralling novel that is just so beautifully easy to read I raced through it while inhaling every word. This is the prequel to the Detective Kubu series of books set in Botswana by the writing duo of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. If you’ve not read any of the previous books in the series then of course this is the perfect start! Detective David ‘Kubo’ Bengu is recruited from university straight into the position of Detective Sergeant in CID which causes consternation in his colleagues and makes his first job of a diamond robbery all that much harder. The cast of characters with phonetic pronunciations and map at the beginning are particularly helpful. I love the feel of this novel, it takes all the attributes of Kubo and paints with them, allowing you fall for this gently charismatic and fiercely intelligent man as he learns his trade. The storyline is riveting, sense of place vivid, and characters fascinating. Set in 1998 Facets of Death is an atmospheric, intriguing, and wonderfully readable crime novel I most definitely recommend.   

eBooks of the Month
The Basel Killings

The Basel Killings

Author: Hansjoerg Schneider Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/07/2021

This piercing and smart crime novel almost creates a physical ache as it worms its way under your skin. Inspector Peter Hunkeler investigates a murder that appears to link to another and while colleagues blame a gang of drug smugglers, he begins to look in another less obvious direction. This is the award-winning and first to be translated book in the Inspector Hunkeler Series set in Switzerland on the border of France and Germany. The main character feels tightly wound as he stamps all over the pages, he is simple yet complicated, and entirely fascinating. Hansjorg Schneider writes with succinct sentences that gather and spill over into an evocative setting and plot. Translated by Mike Mitchell, the atmosphere slunk into my thoughts and haunted my reading. I witnessed Hunkeler as he scented the truth and allowed access to an awareness that sat just under the surface before breaking free. The Basel Killings is a story that lurks and scowls as it stomps its way to a compelling and interesting conclusion.

eBooks of the Month
Their Little Secret

Their Little Secret

Author: Mark Billingham Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/01/2020

With a fascinating premise this tight, gripping crime novel is a seriously worthwhile read. Continuing the Tom Thorne series (now 16 books in), I would suggest if you haven’t yet joined you could step straight into this, but I think it’s best to start at the beginning. Always great to find a fabulous series isn’t it! Sarah wants more than normality, she wants thrills, meanwhile DI Tom Thorne has a niggle of doubt over a woman’s apparent suicide and starts to investigate the reasons behind it. My attention was snared from the get-go. The policing side feels authentic, I didn’t hesitate, didn’t doubt, just read and completely trusted the storyline. Mark Billingham allows us access to the opposite side of the policing tale, to thoughts and feelings that sent conflicting thoughts scudding through me. Compassion warred with flinching, biting emotions as the truth started to reveal itself. I savoured the feeling of being slightly ahead of the game, of having access to more information as I watched Tom and Nicola struggling to stitch everything together. Their Little Secret is a captivating and compelling read, prepare yourself for some eye-popping moments!

eBooks of the Month
Between Two Evils

Between Two Evils

Author: Eva Dolan Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2020

Intelligent and thrilling with a fierce bite attached, this is a highly recommended read. As DI Zigic and DS Ferreira investigate the murder of a doctor from an all-female detention centre, a violent criminal is released on a technicality, he has a grudge against police, and they know he will strike again. Entering an established series out of sync can be bewildering, so it something I don’t often enjoy doing. This though, can most definitely be read as a standalone novel, and of course, I now want to go back and read the rest of the Zigic and Ferreira series! Within a few pages, I was not only invested in the characters, I felt as though I knew them. I thoroughly enjoyed being alongside the team as they worked. Eva Dolan faces society issues and problems head-on and this feels incredibly readable while also being whip-smart. Between Two Evils is an eloquent and gripping read with assured attitude, winning it one of my Liz Robinson picks of the month.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Blue Night

Blue Night

Author: Simone Buchholz Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2018

This was a dream of a read for me, relatively short, different, beautifully written, and full of jarring, jolting impact. Blue Night is the first in the Chastity Riley series, was a number one bestseller in Germany, and has been fabulously translated by Rachel Ward. After a particularly difficult case (which involved in-house corruption) Chastity Riley, state prosecutor in Hamburg, has been transferred to witness protection. Chastity’s next case propels her straight back into the main ring, she has to throw her guard up and come out fighting. The introduction surprised me, raw and gritty, yet written with a lyrical beauty, it really sets the tone. Simone Buchholz shoots abrupt, short sentences across the page, her writing is sparse and to the point, yet connected deeply within my heart and mind. I adored the sections which freeze-framed the characters in time, they burst with energy and information, almost popping with intensity. It feels as though you are on a collision course with the ending, which exploded in dramatic style. Constantly surprising, Blue Night is an original, firecracker of a read, it will undoubtedly be one of my books of the year, I absolutely loved it.  Books in The Chastity Riley Series: 1. Blue Night 2. Beton Rouge 3. Mexico Street 4. Hotel Cartagena 5. River Clyde Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Sister

Sister

Author: Kjell Ola Dahl Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2020

You just have to say Oslo Detectives series and it conjures up everything you need to know, this is Nordic Noir with knobs on! Detective Frolich investigates a simple missing person case, but as a killer strikes, so the complexity rises. This could be read quite successfully as a standalone novel as Frolich has turned private investigator and it suggests a beginning. Do pop Faithless and The Ice Swimmer on your list though and start with these if you can! Kjell Ola Dahl writes with such crisp clarity, and translator Don Bartlett is on point as it feels as though not a word has been wasted. Short, sharp sentences pounce. I love how the story builds, the plot almost turns itself inside out, and yet is kept as tight as can be. There are no easy tick-box answers on offer here. Bang up-to-date, Sister is a raw, real, and fabulous read.

eBooks of the Month
Turn a Blind Eye

Turn a Blind Eye

Author: Vicky Newham Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2018

An absorbing, fresh, and ultimately incredibly satisfying police procedural and start to a new series. DI Maya Rahman and DS Dan Maguire investigate the murder of a Head Teacher at an East London School, another murder plunges the investigators into a race against time before the killer strikes again and the already tense community lose all faith. Short snappy chapters and rapid moves between time frames and characters kept me vigilant and alert to changes. I found the chapter headings helpful, and at no time was I left floundering, the writing kept me firmly in touch with the storyline. Vicky Newham is a psychologist and has taught in East London, her connection to the social issues in the novel feel authentic and tangible, I could feel the emotion, the confusion, the fear. Snippets of information, both about the case and Maya and Dan are gradually released, and the story emerges fully realised, strong, and bursting with energy. ‘Turn a Blind Eye’ is a cracking debut, with a bold sharp edge, and I look forward to the next in the series.

eBooks of the Month
The Rabbit Hunter

The Rabbit Hunter

Author: Lars Kepler Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/04/2018

It begins with a nursery rhyme. Nineteen minutes later you die... The sixth gripping thriller in Lars Kepler's internationally bestselling series featuring Joona Linna. Perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo. A hard-hitting rocket of a ride, if you’re squeamish, you may well be peeking between your fingers as you read. Superintendent Saga Bauer enlists the help of Joona Lina, who is serving time in prison, in order stop to a killer named the Rabbit Hunter. The authors are a well established, internationally best-selling writing duo, they seemlessly blend their skills into a story that blasts with fury and intensity. This is the sixth in the series, and if you’ve not come across Lars Kepler before, I would advise you start at the beginning with ‘The Hypnotist’, purely because it’s such a cracking series. I love the feeling of danger and menace that stalks the policing team themselves, who is to be trusted, who will survive, my heart was in my mouth on more than one occasion. As a nursery rhyme plays, the killer stalks his prey, violent, creepy and addictive, the tension in ‘The Rabbit Hunter’ sky-rockets through to the utterly gripping conclusion… and left me wanting more. 

eBooks of the Month
The Quaker

The Quaker

Author: Liam McIlvanney Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/06/2018

A commanding, tenacious, and entirely gripping tale set in Glasgow during 1969. The Quaker kills three women, DI McCormack joins the investigation as it staggers on, will they ever catch the killer? The prologue immediately puts the story into context and firmly sets the time in place. Liam McIlvanney then set an explosion in my path, an unexpected statement took my breath and launched me straight into the heart of the tale. The story spoke to me, I had to keep reading, didn’t want to stop, and so it became a read in one-sitting book for me. There are sections that starkly slapped my awareness, making me sit up and take note. DI McCormack has lodged himself in my mind and I seriously want to see him again! A light shines on the writing, to expose, to highlight the dark grimness that sits within the pages, ensuring ‘The Quaker’ is a powerful, satisfyingly convincing read.

eBooks of the Month
Into the Night

Into the Night

Author: Sarah Bailey Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2018

Bitingly fierce and wonderfully different, Into The Night is a provocative powerful read. Senior Detective Gemma Woodstock investigates a hugely complex case, the murder of a movie star on a film set surrounded by hundreds of people. Although you could easily read this as a standalone, I really do feel that The Dark Lake is a fabulous introduction to Gemma, so if you haven’t read it yet, do buy yourself a copy of both books. Gemma Woodstock is prickly and feisty, her job means everything to her, however she isn’t quite sure where she sits in the world. Sarah Bailey creates a raw, plausible background for Gemma to reside in, and I found myself slowly becoming a part of it. Real human emotions are not only visible, they can be felt, including the unbearably grim and darkly amusing. Unexpected jolts and shocks lie in wait, while everything still feels incredibly authentic, and the rolling ending suited me down to the ground. Into The Night crept up on me, I didn’t realise how actively involved I was in the storyline until I came up for air at the end, highly recommended.

eBooks of the Month
Gallowstree Lane

Gallowstree Lane

Author: Kate London Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/01/2020

Just to let you know that I get excitement overload when I read a crime novel that allows me to simply exist in the pages without an ounce of doubt… and Gallowstree Lane, the third ‘Collins and Griffiths Detective Novel’ is a truly fabulous example (so yes I am wanting to shout about this from the rooftops). Author Kate London ended her Metropolitan Police Service career in 2014 working as a detective on a Major Investigation Team. Her knowledge and experience undoubtedly shines through, you are quite simply, in very safe hands. This story about shocking gang violence is not only extraordinarily relevant, it also entirely captivating, meaningful, and memorable. Sarah Collins and Lizzie Griffiths are beautifully written detectives, both completely fascinating, for me though, the real jewel in this particular crown is Ryan, a young gang member who is left reeling and demanding vengeance after the murder of his best friend. Kate London encourages reality, fact and fiction to blend together, and adds so much depth to the characters I felt as though I knew them. I was so in tune with Ryan that my heart truly ached for him. Gallowstree Lane has left a vividly brilliant bruise on my soul, it is wonderfully raw, exquisitely written.

eBooks of the Month
Critical Incidents

Critical Incidents

Author: Lucie Whitehouse Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/12/2019

Razor-sharp, focused and absolutely fabulous, Critical Incidents is the first in what promises to be a stunning new series by Lucie Whitehouse. Detective Inspector Robin Lyons has been dismissed from the Met, turned down a proposal, and is heading back to her Mum and Dad in Birmingham with her daughter Lennie. Home isn’t necessarily a sanctuary when Robin starts to investigate a shocking crime and violence creeps ever closer. Keep You Close was one of our Books of the Year in 2016, so I had high hopes for Critical Incidents and it certainly lived up to expectations. I sat and read non-stop, just gobbling up the pages. There is an addictive quality to the writing, pithy, witty, stinging sentences walk hand in hand with compassion and emotion. The ending has left me wanting more, so I already can’t wait for the next in the series. Critical Incidents is escapism at its very best, it is also provocative, eloquent and extremely rewarding, earning itself a pick of the month from me.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Devil's Dice

The Devil's Dice

Author: Roz Watkins Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/03/2018

March 2018 Debut of the Month The first in the ‘DI Meg Dalton Thriller’ series is an addictive, absolute treat of a read. Meg recently moved forces and is now based in Derbyshire, she is thrown in the deep end when a lawyer is found dead in a cave and a sinister game of cat and mouse is initiated. ‘The Devil’s Dice’ was shortlisted for the 2016 Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award (for unpublished writers), so my expectations were high, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The first few pages set my thoughts fluttering, and throughout this tale a ghostly shadow hovers over the pages. Roz Watkins allows humour to enter at just the right moments, and has created a fabulous main lead. While Meg does have her fair share of problems, and a certain vulnerability too, she really grew on me. As I read, I set my mind free, to delve into the pages, to ponder, to speculate. The Devil’s Dice’ is just so readable, this is a thoroughly modern tale with a teasing strange connection to the past, and a towering cliff hanger of an ending… hopefully there will be many more stories to come.

eBooks of the Month
The Craftsman

The Craftsman

Author: Sharon Bolton Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2018

May 2018 Book of the Month Deliciously and thrillingly creepy, The Craftsman is an intensely gripping, superb read. Thirty years ago Larry Glassbrook confessed and was imprisoned for a series of child murders. Florence Lovelady was at the beginning of her career when she was involved in the case, now Larry is dead, however hauntingly similar events start to surface. The first chapter has huge impact, a mystifying and unexpected blast hit me full on, and then gently faded into the background. Set in two time frames, with thirty years between them, the story is brisk, and I loved the fact that you are expected to keep up. Sharon Bolton balances the knife edge between reality and extraordinary with a beautiful subtlety. This is just so, so readable, once in, I didn’t want to stop, and found myself reading into the small hours, be warned though, reading at night doubles the chill factor. As I raced through the final few chapters, I almost didn’t want the journey to end, yet the last few words sent the most delightful icy goosebumps snaking down my arms. I highly recommend stepping inside the pages, just give yourself up to the glory of the The Craftsman... this I have no doubt, will be one of my favourite reads of the year.

Star Books
The Teacher

The Teacher

Author: Katerina Diamond Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/03/2016

One of our Books of the Year 2016. Longlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2016. A couple of Exeter cops attempt to solve the mystery of a hanged teacher which was locally followed by a whole series of gruesome deaths in this clever psychological thriller which somehow brings a new perspective to a familiar plot by illuminating the story through the eyes of several initially disparate characters. A wonderful example of the crime thriller as a jigsaw where the author always remains that one step ahead of the reader. Splendidly engineered and a compulsive page turner which introduces a likeable set of investigators faced with a succession of rather horrible conumdrums, and thus not for the fainthearted, although assiduous readers of Thomas Harris and Patricia Cornwell will not blanch at the explicitness involved in several of the doomed protagonists' demise. ~ Maxim Jakubowski The Lovereading view... Oooh, this is disturbingly good! Two detectives with their own fair share of problems find themselves in the middle of an explosion of murders, as the macabre and gruesomely graphic deaths start to mount, whose side will you find yourself on? Katerina Diamond transports you from murder, to investigation, to inside different minds with ease, each time settling you so completely into that moment, that it comes as a shock when you move on again. If you are a little squeamish, then on occasion you might need to read between your fingers, but once you start, it’s utterly compelling and I found it impossible to put down. This is such a striking novel, it makes you consider, and ponder the meaning of justice. Deliciously thrilling and menacing, ‘The Teacher’ is a crime thriller with biting, provocative attitude and I absolutely adored it. ~ Liz Robinson March 2016 Debut of the Month.

eBooks of the Month
A Banquet of Consequences An Inspector Lynley Novel

A Banquet of Consequences An Inspector Lynley Novel

Author: Elizabeth George Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/02/2017

‘A Banquet of Consequences’ is a truly enjoyable, wickedly twisty family drama combined with a crime novel. This is the 19th book in the ‘Inspector Lynley series’, and my first outing, oh how I relished getting to grips with the investigation team and suspects. The team of Lynley, Havers and Nkata although important, are not the be all and end all, in fact they almost become the background to this particular story. Elizabeth George sets characters and images in motion, quietly yet vibrantly descriptive in her detailing. The story builds layer upon layer of suspense as the officers attempt to discover the missing pieces of a rather large crime jigsaw. Nothing is as obvious as it first seems, questions appear as new information breaks loose and makes a bid for freedom. So, for the armchair detectives out there, ensure you are sitting comfortably and let your mind examine and ponder the clues, while attempting to solve this intense crime drama. ~ Liz Robinson

After the Silence Inspector Rykel

After the Silence Inspector Rykel

Author: Jake Woodhouse Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/03/2015

May 2014 Debut of the Month. Energetic and stimulating, this edgy crime thriller is set over a period of a five days in the Netherlands.  When you start reading it feels as though you could have joined midway through a series, there are hints of intriguing past histories that you want to know more about; consequently you sometimes sense you are racing to catch up, you are kept on edge, trying to work out what has happened, what is happening, what will happen. The three main players, fascinating, different and with their own demons to conquer, attempt to get to grips with a tangled web of murder, corruption and horrific depraved criminality. This is a challenging and thought provoking read. ~ Liz Robinson   In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

eBooks of the Month
All Day and a Night

All Day and a Night

Author: Alafair Burke Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2014

July 2014 Book of the Month. This novel feels as though you are involved in an actual case; it’s full of clever, clear, concise writing without an annoying overload of background noise. The author knows whats she's talking about, she understands the processes and procedures, the mundane, the misleading; it comes as no surprise to find she is a former prosecutor and now teaches criminal law. The characters are totally believable, there’s no extravagant superhero to save the day, just good old fashioned investigative skills. Is innocence and guilt ever clear cut and simple, Burke sends your thoughts one way and then the other, have you solved it already? NO! This is a real winner, hooking, stimulating and provoking your attention from start to finish. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Between the Crosses

Between the Crosses

Author: Matthew Frank Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/09/2016

A tight, clever, fiercely driven slice of crime fiction. This is the second in the ‘Joseph Stark’ series. Damaged and almost broken DC Stark, and his Met Police colleagues in the Murder Investigation Team have a double murder to solve, however events quickly overtake them and they end up in a desperate attempt to stop their world from imploding. Matthew Frank sets Stark centre stage, yet Stark’s friends and colleagues are an essential addition to the storyline, their thoughts and feelings add to the complexity of emotion I felt for Stark. Stark’s combat post-traumatic stress disorder eludes capture, Matthew Frank exposes the effects without sensationalisation. This is crime fiction with a wonderful blast of attitude; violence and fear flourish in different guises, twisting this tale into a mesmerising and thought-provoking read. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Black Mail

Black Mail

Author: Bill Daly Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/04/2014

May 2014 Book of the Month. This has everything you would want in a crime novel; a gritty gutsy Glasgow as the setting, realistic coppers, dodgy businessmen, out and out villains and enough twists and turns to tie you up and hang you over a precipice of suspense. We are introduced to some authentic likeable detectives, steadfast and thorough DCI Charlie Anderson and his somewhat gung-ho protege.  The author slowly feeds us slightly more information than the investigators have available to them and we watch as the scene is set, tension builds and they try to unravel the twisted, knotted lines of enquiry. Traditional in the best sense of the word, this is a thoroughly satisfying read, bring on the next in the series. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Black Run

Black Run

Author: Antonio Manzini Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/2016

An enthralling murder investigation set in stunning Alpine scenery where the scheming, shrewd, mercenary of a man in command appears to have materialised from the Dark Ages. Don’t be too hasty to make up your mind though, this is a novel that steadily reels you in, the author is quite happy to set you on a crooked path with dead ends and trip hazards along the way. Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone makes you wonder if a particularly devious criminal mind is required in order to catch one, but is there more to him than initially meets the eye? Translated from Italian, its fascinating to see the differences in police procedures, local politics and village life and as you read, you really are transported to another place. This is a fabulously different slice of crime fiction, that just begs to be consumed in one sitting. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Bone Field

The Bone Field

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/07/2017

A series? By Simon Kernick? Yes please! Two faces, who were unknown to each other in previous books, join forces in this powerful, fast moving and intoxicating tale. Trouble starts to hunt Ray Mason down after he promises a grieving couple justice, he tells his own story over five days in a no-nonsense direct style. The two main characters are a wonderfully maverick pair, yet their moral compass, while occasionally directionally challenged, remains steadfast. Simon Kernick piles on the tension as he sets events in motion, each link tightens and burns with energy. A vivid, striking hit of complete escapism, ‘The Bone Field’ is an action-packed and mind-gripping start to a new series that promises to deliver in spades. ~ Liz Robinson January 2017 Book of the Month.

eBooks of the Month
Broken Chord

Broken Chord

Author: Margaret Moore Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/03/2015

A fascinating and captivating blend of a traditional murder mystery set in the stunning surroundings of Lucca and Florence. The prologue sets Jacopo Dragonetti, a State Prosecutor, at the scene of a ferocious VIP murder, the story then begins a week before when we meet the victim, suspects and the investigator. This almost feels like a grown up, intense and grisly version of Cluedo, you suspect everyone and trust no one. Jacopo is from a family of aristocrats, he is known as the Dragon, rescues kittens and lives in a wing of the family Palazzo in Florence. When Jaco walks through Lucca or drives home, it feels as though you are seeing Italy through the eyes of a local. The legal, social and cultural aspect of this novel is as intriguing as the identity of the killer. As the gripping story continues, you may start to have your suspicions, but this in no way spoils the ending, as there are still a number of surprises waiting to trip you up along the way. It’s good to know that this is the first in the 'Jacopo Dragonetti' mystery series, may there be many more to come.~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Apostle

The Apostle

Author: J. A. Kerley Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/12/2014

With a chill factor set at zero, this has everything you need in a crime novel; resolute detectives, a warped murderer and enough twists and turns to keep the readers mind well and truly wrapped up.  You don’t need to have read any other books in the ‘Carson Ryder’ series to enjoy this, however the other novels will no doubt call out to you when you finish. The author manages to set your mind on a number of tangled and twisted paths, can you keep up, can you unravel the plot? Give yourself a massive pat on the back if you work it all out before the detectives, as there are plenty of sneaky surprises lurking just out of sight to trip you up. 

eBooks of the Month
The Witness

The Witness

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2016

Simply unputdownable, this is a thrilling tale, and as you read, it just keeps getting better and better. Jane is witness to a terrible crime, and suddenly finds herself with information about a terrorist attack, maverick DI Ray Mason from the Met Counter Terrorism Command is on the case. Mason may be the figment of Simon Kernick’s imagination, but oh, how I hope there is someone just like him out there in reality! While Jane and Ray tell their tales in the first person, both flick back to moments that shaped their lives, helping you to get to know them, to understand how they tick. Kernick expertly builds layers upon layers of intrigue and tension, just as everything starts to fall into place, even more action barges in and delivers a good kicking. Perfect for anyone who likes an adrenaline rush, ‘The Witness’ is a spectacularly fast moving and  captivating read.

eBooks of the Month
When the Music's Over The 23rd DCI Banks Mystery

When the Music's Over The 23rd DCI Banks Mystery

Author: Peter Robinson Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

In a remote countryside lane in North Yorkshire, the body of a young girl is found, bruised and beaten, having apparently been thrown from a moving vehicle. While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is faced with a similar task - but the case Banks must investigate is as cold as they come. Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton, yet no investigation ever took place. Now Caxton stands accused at the centre of a historical abuse investigation and it's Banks's first task as superintendent to find out the truth. While Annie struggles with a controversial case threatening to cause uproar in the local community, Banks must piece together decades-old evidence, and as each steps closer to uncovering the truth, they'll unearth secrets much darker than they ever could have guessed ...

eBooks of the Month
Welcome to Meantime

Welcome to Meantime

Author: Murray Davies Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2014

August 2014 eBook of the Month. This is a book to make real coppers and crime sleuths smile, the first chapter slaps your interest then compels you to sit up and take note. The two main investigators have real substance and personality; DCI Chalke a monied maverick who is prepared to use the Ways and Means Act, and DS Leyden a smart, principled, street-wise fighter. There's also an extensive range of fascinating characters you will definitely need to keep tabs on as Greenwich sits centre stage, inviting us to witness the hidden, the corrupt, the illicit. It feels as though the author really understands these people, in this place, at the business end of things. Davies' has the ability to uncover the humour in the darker side of life and to set you in the middle of the action; it feels so real you could be there, adding your notes to the investigation. As in life, a few loose ends flap indolently around, teasing you, leaving you yearning a sequel so you can learn more about these characters and the world they inhabit. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Unquiet Dead

The Unquiet Dead

Author: Ausma Zehanat Khan Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/07/2017

August 2017 Debut of the Month Provocative and stimulating, this debut crime thriller set in Canada, slams with impact. Two detectives begin an investigation into the death of a man who may have been involved in the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war in 1995. Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a PhD in International Human Rights Law with a research specialisation in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans, her experience and knowledge sets the tone of the novel as she takes fact and blends in fiction. It did take me a little time to settle into the story, and I appreciated the setting of the background of the Canadian police unit and politics. Each chapter is headed by a compelling, sometimes heartbreaking quotation which is explained in the notes. The story slowly grows and gathers pace, creating an intricate, intriguing moving jigsaw of pieces. The most striking part of the story for me, was when the past began to speak, I found myself flinching and yet I couldn't turn away. ‘The Unquiet Dead’ is quite simply, as fascinating as it is a challenging read. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Strangers

Strangers

Author: Paul Finch Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/09/2016

Whoohee, this is a fierce, adrenaline rush of a read, and it packs a huge punch of attitude. PC Lucy Clayburn is desperate to get onto CID, she finds herself undercover and in danger when she joins the Serious Crime Division as they attempt to stop a female serial killer. The prologue, four years before the main story, launches this action-packed blast of a tale, it’s full on from the get go and doesn't let up. Paul Finch is a former police officer and journalist, the mix ensures a fascinating read. He keeps the tension as taut as barbed wire, and has the ability to set every scene blazing in your mind's eye. ‘Strangers’ is highly entertaining, exciting, and I gobbled this up in one thrilling charge of a read. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Stranger Child

Stranger Child

Author: Rachel Abbott Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/05/2015

With an unusual focus, this stimulating, taut thriller hinges on a knife edge of secrets, lies and the innermost thoughts of a family in despair. This isn't about whether you can solve the case, this is about the suspense, the fear factor and the sorrow that has caught these characters in a tangled, twisted web. ‘Stranger Child’ is the fourth novel featuring DCI Tom Douglas, however the spotlight remains firmly on Emma and the unthinkable situation in which she finds herself, making this very much a novel that can be read without prior knowledge of the policing team. So, although you may guess where this novel is heading, Rachel Abbott ensures you want to be there every step of the way, to walk the impossible tightrope of suspicion and misgiving. This is a perfectly chilling and sharply intelligent read, which sucks you in from the intriguing prologue and only lets up when you've turned the very last page. ~ Liz Robinson

The Slaughter Man

The Slaughter Man

Author: Tony Parsons Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2016

Intelligently observed, full of horrific murders and more, this, the second in the ‘DC Max Wolfe’ series is a distinctive and stimulating read. Simple punchy sentences don't flinch from the cruel and gruesome side of life, in fact the uncomplicated style actually accentuates the deeply dark and forbidden. The touching connection between Wolfe and his daughter and their dog is an essential addition to this tale, to hold a light to the penetrating intensity of the investigation. The author has the ability to give this story a feeling of solid reality yet also the ambience of a blockbuster, it feels as though he has delved into the worst possible thoughts and imaginations and thrown the horror out into the world for us to encounter - it’s powerful stuff. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Sandman

The Sandman

Author: Lars Kepler Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2018

This is a powerhouse of a read, it will tempt and cajole you into reading faster and faster, the last page will whisper seductively to you but hold on firmly to your horses and enjoy the wild ride. The husband and wife writers that are the team behind Lars Kepler have penned the most captivating characters; the mainstays of the detective team are a little flawed, even a little menacing and the Sandman himself is shockingly intimidating and formidable. The story could easily have run out of control but is kept tenaciously on its thrilling path and keeps up the suspense until the very last page. This, the fourth in the Joona Linna series is hang on to the edge of your seat stuff and an absolute knockout. 

eBooks of the Month
Cold Revenge

Cold Revenge

Author: Alex Howard Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2015

A tenacious crime thriller with a difference; where the focus is a self contained, single minded and absolutely fanatical DCI who is prepared to ignore or even trample over any police policies and procedures that are in her way. You don’t need to have read the first in the series Time To Die, to enjoy this slice of crime fiction. If you are a comfy armchair detective, you may find yourself settling into a different seat for this read… there is a pivotal moment in this novel, just one word makes all the difference between suspecting and knowing who the killer is long before the investigating team. The author feeds the reader far more information about the killer than Hanlon has at her fingertips and this doesn't detract from observing her as she battles her way (sometimes quite literally) through the investigation. Whether you like or dislike Hanlon isn't important, it’s actually whether you want right to kick and stomp all over wrong. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Owl Always Hunts at Night

The Owl Always Hunts at Night

Author: Samuel Bjork Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/01/2018

A chilling, stimulating, intensely dark tale set in Norway. A young woman is found dead in woodland on the edge of Oslo Fjord, with her body arranged in a strange, unsettling backdrop. The policing team in charge of the investigation are lost, until help comes from an unlikely source. This is the second in the ‘Munch and Kruger’ series which started with ‘I’m Travelling Alone’. Munch and Kruger are a fascinating pairing, work Kruger’s reason for living, while Munch should really take time out. In short sharp chapters, characters were slowly introduced, ruffling my senses, keeping me in suspense, there were times when I wanted to shout a warning, to hold out a restraining arm. Samuel Bjork creates a jagged zig-zagging edge of understanding, there isn't a convenient jigsaw shaped hole waiting for your thoughts. ‘The Owl Always Hunts at Night’ is a cunning, dramatically sinister tale, it looks as though this is a series with staying power. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Night Market

Night Market

Author: Daniel Pembrey Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/04/2017

Another commanding, powerhouse of a read from Daniel Pembrey. Night Market continues on from the first in the series, diving straight into part IV, and while you could enjoy this as a standalone, you would be missing out if you don't enter with the ‘The Harbour Master’. The rather wonderful Henk van der Pol is tasked with infiltrating a jointly policed investigation team. He enters a murky, chilling world, where he not only scrutinises his colleagues, he questions himself, and the world of justice. Set in the main in The Netherlands, we also visit Norway, each location enters the story with vivid intensity. This is such a readable tale, I just gobbled it up, the action constantly evolves, spinning your thoughts, testing your feelings. Tenacious, provocative, and with plenty of surprises in store, ‘Night Market’ really is a story to get your teeth into. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Dance with the Dead A PC Donal Lynch Thriller

Dance with the Dead A PC Donal Lynch Thriller

Author: James Nally Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/07/2016

An entirely captivating crime thriller, where occasional visitations from the fearsomely uncanny, adds an extra wallop of drama. The detective with a difference returns for a second outing in the ‘PC Donal Lynch Thriller’ series, set in the early 1990’s. Lynch suffers from sleep paralysis, a smugly unscrupulous journalist brother, and a father with links to the IRA. He longs to escape the cold case unit, when a gruesome murder and assistance from his brother occurs, he finds himself working with the murder squad. The short sharp prologue sets the style and energy of this story. James Nally has had a rather fascinating career himself, which undoubtedly adds a depth and sense of authenticity. With comic moments, twists and turns which loop the loop of intrigue, and grittier than gritty criminals, ‘Dance With The Dead’ is an entertaining and sometimes flinch-inducing read. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Need You Dead

Need You Dead

Author: Peter James Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2020

A humdinger of a read, the authenticity shines throughout this thrilling tale. Set in Brighton and the surrounding area over two weeks, Detective Superintendent Grace finds himself in the middle of one of his most challenging cases… one murder victim, yet a list of plausible suspects. ‘Need You Dead’ is one of those books where you sink straight into the story and don’t come up for breath until you surface at the very end. You can read this as a standalone, however I really do recommend starting at the beginning of the ‘Roy Grace crime series series’ with ‘Dead Simple’. Peter James balances the background home life within the main story, creating an edge, making you fear for what is to come. I found myself speculating, my mind racing as I read, however no matter what you suspect, there are still shocks in store.  ‘Need You Dead’ is everything you need in a crime novel, intriguing, stimulating, with a whammy of an ending, it also leaves you wanting more. 

eBooks of the Month
Let the Dead Speak

Let the Dead Speak

Author: Jane Casey Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/08/2017

An absolute belter of a crime novel, and the seventh in the ‘Maeve Kerrigan’ series. 18 year old Chloe returns home to find her mum missing and the house drenched in blood, Maeve, in her new role as a DS, investigates. The first chapter set my senses on high alert, and I remained that way, evaluating, questioning, yet almost inhaling the action. Jane Casey writes with an assured hand, the investigators feel authentic, the investigation covers the painstaking research undertaken, the relationships between the team, as well as the riveting drama. I can’t believe that this is my first foray into this series, I’m going to have to hunt down the first six now! ‘Let The Dead Speak’ is unpredictable, fast moving, and action-packed, it’s a thrilling swaggering story and I highly recommend it. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Killing of Polly Carter

The Killing of Polly Carter

Author: Robert Thorogood Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2016

A delightfully intriguing, gently amusing, yet fiendishly tricky murder mystery. This is the second ‘Death in Paradise Novel’ and for fans of the TV series, brings back the eccentric yet brilliant DI Richard Poole. The Saint-Marie policing team investigate the possible suicide of supermodel Polly Carter, however DI Poole believes there may be a more sinister reason for her death. Robert Thorogood writes with a light touch, even though murder is afoot, the first few sentences made me smile and set the tone for this read. I have to admit that I was absolutely certain I had worked everything out, I even felt quite smug… silly silly me! This is a jolly, lead you up the garden path, lark of a novel that harks back to the lovely classic whodunit.

eBooks of the Month
Kill the Father

Kill the Father

Author: Sandrone Dazieri Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/08/2017

A huge, almost sprawling thriller awaits, yet one that is ferocious, intense, and so, so readable. Set in Italy, Dante Torre and Captain Columba Caselli, both tortured souls, are enticed into the investigation of a child who has gone missing after his mother was beheaded. This is a complex case, filled with action, it quickly gains momentum. Every now and then a pause in proceedings, ‘before’ sections, allow access to the detailed brutality that defines Columba and Dante. Sandrine Dazieri has created a pair of fascinating leading characters, I was by their side and on their side. This is a fairly lengthy read, but I didn't want it to put it down as I raced through and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. ‘Kill The Father’ felt satisfyingly complete, and yet I was left wanting more, what a truly fabulous start to a new series. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Ice Child

The Ice Child

Author: Camilla Lackberg Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2016

A startling, clever and intensely dark tale set in a small Swedish town. This is the ninth novel with Detective Patrik Hedstrom and his crime writing wife Erica at the helm. Although you could read this as a standalone, it really is best to start at the beginning of the series with The Ice Princess. In ‘The Ice Child’ a number of girls have gone missing, one suddenly reappears with horrific injuries, Patrik and his team try to piece together the scant information they have. Right from the offset Camilla Lackberg allows insidious whispers and suggestions to creep into your mind, to set you thinking and considering possibilities. The writing is matter of fact, yet feelings and thoughts sit on the surface, to be tasted and explored. This feels like a jigsaw puzzle with the last piece sitting within sight but just out of reach. With cunning writing waiting to trip you up, ‘The Ice Child’ is a dramatic, sinister and enthralling tale.

eBooks of the Month
Blood in the Water

Blood in the Water

Author: Gillian Galbraith Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2008

An Edinburgh-based police-procedural debut crime novel featuring Alice Rice with the second one coming into hardback at the same time (Where the Shadow Falls).  This is very special indeed.  It starts quite ordinarily but as the body count mounts so too do the red-herrings, through to an unexpected ending.  Full of pathos, one is left with the strange feeling that maybe the killings were justified.  Quite something.

eBooks of the Month
Never Forget

Never Forget

Author: Lisa Cutts Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/07/2013

July 2013 Debut of the Month. Police Officer Lisa Cutts' debut is a complex, chilling, fast-paced story with a shocking twist and introduces us to a brilliantly ballsy new heroine, Detective Constable Nina Foster. After a frenzied stabbing, partners Nina Foster and John Wing find themselves running their first murder investigation but as the investigation continues Nina finds her courage tested and her life threatened. This debut will appeal to fans of Lynda La Plante and Val McDermid. Winner of the Writer’s Retreat competition in 2012 we look forward to more cases for DC Foster.   A 'Piece of Passion' by Lisa Cutts' publisher at Myriad Editions, Candida Lacey... 'Never Forget came to our attention when Lisa entered, and won, last year's Writer's Retreat Competition (co-organised by Myriad and West Dean College). We were captivated by her fresh new voice and ability to balance a complicated yet compelling storyline.It has been thrilling to work with Lisa over the past year and to watch her develop such a riveting police drama from these early chapters. Every aspect of Never Forget has about it a ring of authenticity, informed by Lisa's own day job as a police officer: from the crime scenes to the briefings to the conversations between characters.And in DC Nina Foster Lisa has created a wonderfully gutsy heroine. She’s someone you'd want to be your friend; a woman who is warm, witty, clever, good at her job and turns out to be very brave too. We are with her every step of the way, enjoying her banter with workmates and her taste for a glass or two of Merlot at the end of a hard day. We fear for her vulnerability and cheer her on as she struggles to overcome inner demons and solve a complex trail of clues that may eventually lead to the murderer. Never Forget is an exciting, original crime novel. Fast-paced and with a shocking twist, this is a page-turner that will keep you guessing until the very end.'

eBooks of the Month
The Black Echo

The Black Echo

Author: Michael Connelly Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

This is the one that introduces us to Hieronymous (Harry) Bosch, detective with the LAPD. Connelly lays the foundations of Harry’s character in this novel while telling a great crime story too. He sets up plenty of plot lines for future novels and brings us one of the best detective series in crime fiction, to date. As with all these series it helps a little if you start form the beginning but each book gives enough information to enjoy on its own. If you haven’t tried Connelly yet then do give him a go, as he is a great story teller.

Books of the Month

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