No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Enter the criminal underworld and solve a complex case all from the comfort of your favourite reading nook. Have a look at our Crime/Mystery selection to get your hands on the latest and greatest case and get mystery solving! You might also be interested in our Thriller and Suspense categories.
Corkscrewing through Italy, there is a tangled web of intrigue to unravel in this stimulating spy novel. We start during the summer of 1977 and the murder of relatives of the Director General of Defence Intelligence. The second in the Dylan Series highlights a mystery under the cloak of espionage thriller. I advise that you begin with Awakening of Spies, as I don’t feel that this is a series you can step into the middle of due to the intricacies of setting. Knowing the central characters meant I could focus on the rest of the plot (again though, no wandering off as you need to concentrate). The writing feels as though you are reading a memoir, with Thomas Dylan’s memories spilling forth onto the page. Brian Landers ensured that I was in the 1970’s and I really felt the history and spirit of the time. Families of Spies, delving as it does into the not too distant past, is an interesting and convincing read.
Hold on to your breath as this bang up-to-date riveting thriller dives head first into a murky sinister world and doesn’t come up for air. London journalist Lydia is sent a video clip of a possible murder taking place on a train. Dealer in information Michael has links to the male being attacked, but both the victim and witness have disappeared. What a fascinating pair of main characters Rod Reynolds has created. They and the storyline feel so entirely real, I wouldn’t have been surprised to read an update of this story in the papers. Power and cold hard money act as motivating factors, with information the hook that connects Lydia and Michael. The tension rises with each chapter and while an electrifying ride, there is a sharp thoughtful edge that penetrates the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Red City, astute and dynamic, the ending arrives with a punch. Chosen as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month as I really want to fly the flag for this book.
A thoughtful, emotionally challenging yet beautifully readable novel. Naomi Cottle is a talented investigator and finder of missing children, here she searches for her own sister who has been missing since they were both children. Rene Denfeld is a must-read author for me. Her debut The Enchanted (one of our Books of the Year in 2014) is still lodged in my heart and my mind, and a book I often recommend. This is the second in the Naomi Cottle series, however can easily be read as a standalone. I personally though, would make the obvious decision of starting with The Child Finder. Rene Denfeld’s working experience means that she has a knowledge of horrific crime that the majority of people won’t ever, and shouldn’t ever know. She champions the hidden, the shunned, and makes them human and relatable. Celia, the 12 year old street child, really did creep into my heart, and the social aspects of the novel hit home hard. The dramatic feeling of tension that Rene Denfeld created, remained throughout, and I really had no idea as to how this novel would end. The Butterfly Girl prods and provokes, yet is wonderfully descriptive and eloquently written and I just had to choose this as one of my Liz Robinson picks of the month.
Oh my word, this hits hard, and with so much power it almost took my breath away. Set in the future it focuses on an antibiotic crisis, no one over the age of 70 is allowed treatment and they are sent to hospitals called ‘The Waiting Rooms’. Although written before the current Covid 19 crisis, there is so much here you can connect to as a reader it feels as though this book was meant for these specific times. The first chapter is provocative, it shocked me and yet introduces the main character and book perfectly. As Kate searches for her birth mother, different time frames and countries sent my thoughts and feelings spinning. This is one of those books that doesn’t sit comfortably in one genre as it crosses from dystopian right through to family drama. It is perhaps best described as a speculative thriller, and boy did it make me reflect. I have been left thirsting for more information, for more knowledge and Eve Smith’s final words when she talks about the inspiration behind the novel are chilling indeed. The Waiting Rooms is a gutsy, thoughtful, fascinating read, and we have chosen it to feature as a LoveReading Debut of the Month.
A thoroughly entertaining, fast-moving and smirky crime caper. When Daniella arrives in Spain for her estranged mother’s funeral, she finds herself in the middle of a property scam, things soon get rather… complicated. The storyline has the feel of an old black and white crime comedy film, but this is bang up to date and in spectacular colour. The chapter titles act as a heads up and several times Morgan Cry tells you what is to come, which just ratchets up the tension. Words jabbed at my awareness, the characters are larger than life, and even when being vile, have the potential to be somewhat loveable. The police transcripts that are scattered through the book are extremely diverting and left me smiling. I read this in one sitting, and the ending arrived with a blast. I would describe Thirty-One Bones as a crime-laden romp, it is pure escapism, and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve included it as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month.
An intriguing, pulsing, provocative mystery that really kept me on my toes. Olivia is affected by night terrors, her past comes back to haunt her when she wakes in the middle of the night to find herself standing over a body in her garden. We’ve reviewed and thoroughly enjoyed all of Megan Miranda’s novels at LoveReading. I particularly love the sharp teetering edge of the relationship that develops between the reader and the main characters. Here, my trust for Olivia felt patchy and uncertain, her past is everything. Megan Miranda cleverly evoked emotions in me that Olivia had been feeling for years. The balance of suspense and information was held on a wire as my thoughts were nudged one way and then the other. As the pace increased so did the tension. The Girl From Widow Hills really highlights the dangers of secrets and lies, and it was only when I’d finished that I was finally able to take a deep breath and relax!
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.
A hard-hitting, fast-moving slicing wow of a book. An old case is reopened when new evidence appears, and a violent predator hunts his next victim. It’s no secret that I get jump-up-and-down excited about Karin Slaughter’s novels. She has the most wonderful ability to pitch full-on sharp storytelling and blasts of drama alongside thoughtfully handled social issues and relationship dilemmas. This could easily be read as a standalone, however there are two series that link to this novel, Will Trent and Grant County. Both series are just too good to miss, and I highly recommend them. For those who have read both sets, in this particular book time slides along a different path in order to make two time frames work. The author’s note perfectly explains why at the end, but (big but), make sure you don’t read the author’s note until you have read every last drop of the novel! Will Trent and Sara Linton work with the rest of the team, while the past runs alongside and does some serious meddling. Please note there are some fairly graphic descriptions of medical examinations and brutal attacks within the novel. Karin Slaughter doesn’t shy away from highlighting a distressing subject matter, which she mentions in her notes and the last part of her acknowledgments. While graphic, it is not gratuitous, and I felt every word that made me wince was necessary. The Silent Wife is another winner of a read, it sent goosebumps skittering down my arms and this, her twentieth novel, has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, Book of the Month, and Liz Pick.
The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich is a satirical take on a crime fiction story with the addition of fantasy creatures and parallel worlds. The author has done very well to pack all of these different elements in and I can’t fault his world building. I found the mystery aspect of this book and the hunt for Oliver Olivovich’s killer twisty and interesting. I liked how the author takes the reader down a number of seemingly unconnected paths. I didn’t know how all of the different leads were connected as I read and I think that the author did well to pull everything together at the end. This book is irreverent, a bit sweary, and although some of the jokes didn’t quite hit well and got a bit repetitive by the end for me personally (I didn’t like the “Frenchie” jokes and comments at all if I’m honest), it’s a generally amusing book. I did like the imaginary dog and found Nigel the seagull funny.I think the tone of the humour is akin to something like Family Guy, as a comparison. If that is the style of humour you like, then this might be a good book recommendation for you. In all, I think that The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich is a decent attempt at combining the fantasy and mystery genres together while adding in a satirical twist and adult humour. It wasn’t really my type of humour but for those who like “on the nose” comedy, this could be a good recommendation.
An excellently twisting thriller where cop tracks killer through a turbulent city. Prejudice is rife and violence is in the air. In Sam Wilson's world it is not religion or skin tone that separates people but star signs. The obsessive Virgos are shunned by the down-to-earth Taurus; the wealthy, driven Capricorns look down on the hippie Pisces; Librans want to get on with everybody but no one likes the stubborn, violent Aries. It is a rigid and highly insular society. Now the chief of police is dead in a 'signist' killing and the city is ready to explode. By using star signs to define one’s place in society, Sam Wilson has invented a system of hatred and prejudice unrelated to any of the usual divides seen in our society. The downtrodden, the dispossessed, the money grabbing privileged classes, the peacemakers and the peacekeepers can all be examined through a different lens. It is a very clever way of taking extremely pertinent issues and looking at them without the usual hang-ups of race, politics, religion and so forth. Not South Africa, not Northern Ireland, but somewhere just as divided, San Celeste is a world totally different from ours yet frighteningly familiar. I look forward to hearing more from the creator. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
John Puller is a loner with few possessions by preference, but he has an indomitable spirit and an unstoppable determination for finding the truth. His father was the most decorated U.S. Marine in history, but now resides in a nursing home far from his battlefield glory. Puller's older brother, also a military vet, is serving a life sentence in Leavenworth Penitentiary. Puller is called out to a remote, rural area far from any military outpost to investigate into the brutal murder of a family in their home. The dead husband was in the army and the wife worked for a Pentagon contractor. The local homicide detective, a woman with personal demons of her own, clashes with Puller over the investigation. What neither of them knows is what is waiting for them across the street from the murdered family's home. It is something that will turn an already complicated case on its head.
Grace Park and Shawn Mathews share a city, but seemingly little else. Coming from different generations and very different communities, their paths wouldn't normally cross at all. As Grace battles confusion over her elder sister's estrangement from their Korean-immigrant parents, Shawn tries to help his cousin Ray readjust to life on the outside after years spent in prison. But something in their past links these two families. As the city around them threatens to spark into violence, echoing events from their past, the lives of Grace and Shawn are set to collide in ways which will change them all forever. Beautifully written, and marked by its aching humanity as much as its growing sense of dread, Your House Will Pay is a powerful and moving family story, perfect for readers of Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere and Paul Beatty's The Sellout.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND WOMAN & HOME BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER Betty is running for her life. When Betty's husband returns from the war broken and haunted, she knows her marriage is doomed. Taking a fleeting chance to escape, she goes on the run armed with a new identity. Yet penniless and alone, Betty quickly finds that starting again is much harder than she thought. And she never imagined it could end in murder . . . But sometimes you have to keep running if you want to survive.
Barry Forshaw on Ian Rankin and Bill James... Ian Rankin is one of the UK’s bestselling British crime writers. Aficionados admire the gritty, socially committed toughness of his books, along with their vividly realised sense of place. And these are exactly the qualities that may be found in the work of the veteran Bill James, whose astonishing consistency over many years is a continuing cause for admiration. And, like Rankin, James has few equals when it comes to memorable, highly individual dialogue. Fans of Rankin’s Rebus novels – including Resurrection Men – will relish Bill James’ Harpur and Iles novels: start with You'd Better Believe It.
YOU WILL NEVER FIND ME. When Charlie Boxer reads this note from his daughter in her empty room, the words only reinforce what he already knows: he's always got his priorities wrong. His ex-wife, DCI Mercy Danquah, and their daughter, Amy, have learned to live without him. Boxer's work in high stakes kidnap and recovery has taken him to places from which no man returns unscathed. And Amy has been around enough police business to plan the perfect disappearing act. But what Amy doesn't realise - and Boxer knows only too well - is how quickly a life can fall apart when living under the radar. Charlie follows Amy's tracks from London to Madrid - but will the trail last long enough for him to face up to the true meaning of the sins of the fathers?
THE SINISTER & CHILLING NEW THRILLER FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR I buried you. I mourned you . . . But now you're back. A woman walks into a police station. She has no phone and no ID, just a piece of paper that reads 'David Raker'. She says she's his wife. She looks just like her. She knows everything about him. But David buried his wife eight years ago. Is this really the woman he loved? Did he really say goodbye? Or is he losing his mind? Raker needs to find out the truth before it's too late, because he is now the prime suspect in her disappearance . . .
September 2015 Debut of the Month. A short, easy to read Choc-Lit romantic mystery with a healthy serving of suspense. The first chapter is intriguing, an attractive mystery man enters Anna’s life, should she follow her heart or her head? Anna’s emotions are at war with her thinking and refusing to listen to reason. Anna is likeable and tells her own tale, however her dilemma means she needs a helping hand in the advice department and of course it’s easy to dispense it from the sidelines. Clare Chase teases the reader with the enigmatic male characters, spinning facts and the background to their stories along the way. Agreeably entertaining, You Think You Know Me builds to a rather alarming and dangerous climax and Anna discovers whether her heart or head has finally won the day. ~ Liz Robinson
A wonderfully shiver-inducing wormhole of a read, the possibilities opened up before me while the story snapped at my heels. Elle returns home after letting her house out to slight but notable differences, the house no longer feels welcoming, small shifts have occurred, has she inadvertently allowed danger in? The prologue is quietly unsettling and sets the tone beautifully. Lucy Clarke writes with an exquisite subtlety, each layer thin as a slice of paper painstakingly constructed into a looming brooding tower. Taunting ‘Previously’ chapters lie in wait, prepared to catch you unawares, and then there are the chapters from the past, allowing knowledge freedom to hint, prod, stir. The characters felt so very real, they slid into my mind, taking up residence, making mistakes, regretting, living their lives. The ending felt real, felt right, felt perfect. You Let Me In is a razor-sharp, smartly provocative tale, and I loved every single second of it - highly recommended.
A wonderfully shiver-inducing wormhole. The possibilities opened up before me while the story snapped at my heels. Elle returns home after letting her house out to slight but notable differences, the house no longer feels welcoming, small shifts have occurred, has she inadvertently allowed danger in? The prologue is quietly unsettling and sets the tone beautifully. Lucy Clarke utilises an exquisite subtlety, each layer thin as a slice of paper painstakingly constructed into a looming brooding tower. Taunting ‘Previously’ moments lie in wait, prepared to catch you unawares, and then there are the flashes from the past, allowing knowledge freedom to hint, prod, stir. The characters felt so very real, they slid into my mind, taking up residence, making mistakes, regretting, living their lives. The ending felt real, felt right, felt perfect. You Let Me In is a razor-sharp, smartly provocative tale, and I loved every single second of it - highly recommended.
May 2017 eBook of the Month. At once a captivating courtroom drama, and a poignant personal story that explores social disadvantage and London gang culture from the unique perspective of an unforgettable narrator. An unnamed 21-year-old man is on trial for murder. He’s sacked his lawyer and is in the dock giving his own closing speech to the jury. “Bruv, I need to start telling it like it is,” he asserts, which is exactly what he does. The defendant’s speech is direct, gritty and heartfelt, and takes many “bus diversions” in order to give the jury the full contextual background he believes they need to come to the right verdict. His voice is charismatic and compelling, especially as he describes his tough childhood, and his love for girlfriend Kira, for whom he would do anything. “I don't remember choosing any of it,” the defendant remarks as he nears the end of his speech, and a lack of choice, and the spiraling, entrapping nature of the gangland world are at the heart of this incisively hard-hitting novel. We hear how kids as young as ten come to carry guns and drugs for gang leaders, how teenage girls are sold into a life of addiction and prostitution. And, through the narrator’s decision to tell it exactly as it is, we’re asked to consider the repercussions of a system in which the accused are often tried by juries who are nothing like themselves, and know nothing of their worlds. Indeed, the narrator concludes by asking the jury to “try and be me” when they deliver their verdict. This is crime fiction with conscience, and an utterly un-put-down-able debut that had me hooked from start to finish. ~ Joanne Owen
A pacy thriller covering only a few days and divided into time slots. I defy you to guess the murderer until just before it is spelt out for you, and all the way through you will suspect people just before the author explains to you why it can’t be them – very clever. There are three or four stories working throughout the book, a lot of personal tensions and some very rounded characters. All in all a fascinating read. It is very good. Comparison: Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag.
From the suave to the sleazy, the saint to the sinner; from the sensitive to the sanguine, the sexy to the squalid, we just can’t resist a good sleuth. Here you’ll find immersive crime stories to feed your fascination for conspiracy, your love for psychological sorcery, to make your hairs stand up on the back of your neck, to make your blood run cold and adrenaline fill your nervous system. Whether you’re after a classic like; Poirot (Agatha Christie), Rebus (Rankin) or Morse (Colin Dexter); or a more contemporary crime confrontation from the likes of, Michael Connelly, Gillian Flynn or J.A Lance, there’s something here to float the most demanding of boats. Have a look at our Books of the Month from this and previous months for a head start to a great next read.