Best crime novels 2014 (part one)

1. Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Slaughter brings the 1970s to life with a story of sexism, murder and cops. Brilliantly done!


2. The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes

I have been recommending this series to everyone. I just adored the evil Kinsella and the brilliantly complex psychologist, Alice Quentin. This is the third in the series and definitely the best.


3. Fall from Grace by Tim Weaver

Tim Weaver is one author that has never puts a foot wrong. Another very strong novel featuring private investigator David Raker. This series is a must read!


4. The Truth Will Out by Jane Isaac

Sometimes you read a book and you LOVE everything about it. Isaac gives us strong female characters, a very likeable lead in DCI Helen Lavery and a creepy Skype call at the beginning.

jane isaac the truth will out

5. Want You Dead by Peter James

Peter James goes from strength to strength with his Brighton based series. He also killed off a main character, which stunned my sister and I. We were both in tears. I still don’t think we have recovered.

want you dead peter james

6. Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary


This is such a fantastic, strong, well-written read and a debut from Sarah Hilary. We get a story set in a women’s refuge and a complicated and fascinating lead detective Marnie.

7. This Little Piggy- Bea Davenport


I really loved this read. It is set in the 1980s and just captures the feel of the era perfectly. It is great story about a baby dying in suspicious circumstances, with the backdrop of the miners’ strike and a journalist as the lead.

8. Elizabeth is Missing- Emma Healey


A quirky mystery and one that stands out from the crowd. This book takes us into the mind of Maud who has dementia and her investigation into the disappearance of her friend. Beautifully done!


About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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18 Responses to Best crime novels 2014 (part one)

  1. I also loved Karin Slaughter’s. I love everything she writes. I also love Jane Isaac and Sarah Hilary. Some great books on here!

  2. crimeworm says:

    Ooh! I’ve either read these, or if I haven’t, I’ve got them on my TBR pile – the only exception being Peter James. Is that one a standalone or a Roy Grace? And is Cop Town that brilliant? It does keep winking at me!!

    • Christine says:

      The Peter James one is the latest Roy Grace. I just have a major soft spot for his books. The characters are amazing and I love Roy Grace to bits. And they describe my lovely Brighton (where I used to live). You have to try one and see what you think!!

      As for Cop Town, everything Karin Slaughter writes is just wonderful. This one is a standalone and its set in the sexist world of 1970s America, with a couple of female cops. Did you ever watch ‘Cagney and Lacey’? It has that sort of vibe going on. I just loved the way she described it. It made me want to jump back in time and fight crime in the 70s.

      • crimeworm says:

        You’re really selling Cop Town – I can see me getting into it over the weekend! The only bad thing about fighting crime in the 70s would be the clothes! Not that the 80s were much better…As children we would beg to stay up to watch Cagney and Lacey, and my parents eventually relented. We had a tougher time with Dallas and Dynasty, which we thought were utterly glamorous, but there was too much bed-hopping, in my parents’ opinion.

  3. Christine says:

    You’ve just reminded me how much I wanted to be Cagney! She always looked like she had a much better deal than Lacey!!!
    Did you start ‘Cop Town’?

  4. crimeworm says:

    Cagney would be ok, without the drink problem! I liked Harv, he was a good guy. I haven’t, yet, started Cop Town – I’m working on a couple of reviews before I utterly forget all the details of the books – one is The Weight Of Blood, by Laura McHugh, which I notice you read much earlier in the year – did you enjoy it? I also notice you binge on authors, as in read as few Sophie Hannah’s in a row. I have this utterly bizarre rule with myself that I don’t read more than one book by an author before I read a different author – sorry, I hope that makes sense, I’ve worded it really badly! It’s so I don’t rush through whoever the great author is entire output, and sort of to act as a “palate cleanser”. That sounds pretentious, but I can’t think of a better phrase!

    • Christine says:

      I’d forgotten that. Cagney had all the glamour though and she didn’t have the annoying husband.

      Yes ‘The Weight of Blood’. Ages since I read that. I like reads about small communities and secrets. Thought it was very well done!

      I always binge if I find a new author or a new series. I’ve done it so many times over the past few years. I find I have to. I can’t stand missing out on continuity or starting a series without having read all the others before it. I can understand why you don’t (sort of). We all have our little reading quirks.

  5. crimeworm says:

    Cagney had “the hair” too (like Farrah Fawcett in Charlie’s Angels!) And she didn’t have to go home to a house full of Harv and the kids. I’ve read since about how ground-breaking a series it was – women in the two lead roles, doing the job as well as any man, while getting on with life. But of course I didn’t think about that; I was too young.
    And yes, everyone has their reading quirks. I know what you mean about continuity – that’s what had put me off trying to get back into Karin Slaughter, as I’d got lost, had bought some books, not others – plus I’ve bought books thinking I haven’t read them and by page 60 everything’s seeming terribly familiar – that usually only happens with series though. And it doesn’t even mean the book was bad; it’s just that they all blur into one sometimes, after years of reading crime fiction!
    I quite enjoyed The Weight Of Blood, but I’d have liked the place to have been a little more odd, with some real characters. I’ll be interested to see what the author does next, definitely. I didn’t get much written, The Newsroom distracted me – now the football’s on so I’ve retreated to read!

  6. Well there is plenty of cross-over with my reading for 2014 there! Only two I haven’t read, the Karin Slaughter who just isn’t my thing and The Truth Will Out which sits patiently on my TBR.

  7. I’m never really thought of Elizabeth is Missing as a crime novel because of the dementia aspect but it is still one of my favourite books of the year 🙂

  8. ireadnovels says:

    I like the books you read. I have just added your wordpress site on my I hope lots of readers will find your books that you read.

  9. What a great list! Have you tried the In Death books by JD Robb?

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