Top 12 Crime Books of 2016


 Top 12 Crime Books of 2016

It is December. Christmas is nearly upon us. It is also the time that every book blogger posts lists of their favourite books. 2016 proved to be a particularly fabulous year for the crime genre. I feel terribly guilty narrowing my favourites down to 12, when I could easily have picked so much more. The standard is that high. Long may this continue.

Thank you to every blogger, author and publicist I chatted to online or at Crimefest or Harrogate. The crime world rocks!

In no particular order, these are 12 books worth checking out/buying/curling up with:

  1. Gallows Drop by Mari Hannah  – Mari Hannah has made it onto my favourites list for the second year running. Last year, I was excited about the standalone thriller The Silent Room. This year, we got a brand new Kate Daniels story Gallows Drop. Gallows Drop confirms Mari Hannah’s status as a top crime writer. This is crime writing at its best, with a series that has matured beautifully over time. There is a real depth and humanity to the series and a lovely lead in Kate Daniels. To discover this series for yourself, check out the Amazon link here.
  2.  Exposure by Ava Marsh – I adored this story, when I buddy read it with Liz of Liz Loves Books.  I’m always thrilled to read something a little bit different or quirky, in the crime genre. This is a story of a girl’s descent into the grim porn world, with a crime twist. No one can come away from this book without feeling empathy for Kitty’s life. To read this for yourself, click here.
  3. Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan – It was no surprise to me, when Alex Caan was nominated as a rising star by Amazon. Cut to the Bone became a firm favourite with me, the instant I read it. I love it when an author brings a very up post modern sub-culture to the forefront. Vlogging is a youth culture, where young people broadcast their inner most thoughts on a variety of topics, via social media. Alex Caan’s Ruby is a top vlogger on You-Tube, who goes missing. What has happened to her? Don’t miss out on this dark highly contemporary tale. To read it for yourself, click here.
  4. All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker – In All is Not Forgotten, we get the story of a girl highly traumatised by rape. Her family has chosen to have her painful memories deleted. What are the consequences of this? This is clever and very unforgettable. Wendy Walker’s novel is one that stays with you. To read it for yourself, here is the link.
  5. The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh –  This is a delightful, strong and fascinating psychological read from Emma Kavanagh. Widow Selena goes missing from a park, whilst her children are playing. Who is Selena? What happened to Selena during those missing hours? This is a kidnapping drama, with a BIG difference. Be prepared to gasp at Emma Kavanagh’s superb unique approach and some brilliant twisty turns! To get your own shiny copy, click here
  6. In Her Wake by Amanda JenningsIn Her Wake is a story of one woman’s search for her identity. Amanda Jennings handles a delicate subject, with compassion and sensitivity. It is a moving read, that had me in tears and filled me with hope. In Her Wake is one book that everyone should be rushing to the shops for and running home to read. Buy your copy here and discover what I mean.
  7. The Constant Soldier by William Ryan – I hardly know where to start, with what I consider to be one of the finest and most uplifting books of the year. This is a story of humanity and goodness triumphing over evil. In 1944, a broken soldier returns from the battlefield and finds the courage to wage a personal war against the SS, to save the woman he loves. Read this book and weep with pleasure. Buy your copy here and read it before everyone else in the world discovers it.
  8. Between You and Me by Lisa Hall – Lisa Hall has taken the world of psychological thrillers by storm this year. Her first book Between You and Me had me phoning my sister telling her she simply had to read it NOW. Her second book Tell Me No Lies had me smiling at the cruelty and sheer ingenuity of the author. Broken and damaged relationships were a hot topic in 2016. Lisa Hall wins the prize for being the most clever in Between You and Me. It challenges your assumptions without you even realising it. Buy your copy here and find out why.
  9. Black Night Falling by Rod Reynolds Last year, the debut novel by the Rod Reynolds The Dark Inside made my favourites list of 2015. Black Night Falling saw the return of Charlie Yates, with more top quality crime noir. I love Charlie’s voice. I adore the claustrophobic and unfamiliar setting of Texas in the 1940s. Rod Reynolds can do no wrong. Pure perfection. Discover for yourself here.
  10. Spare Me The Truth by C. J. Carver – Spooks, partial amnesia and an intelligent plot. What more can you ask for in a thriller? Inhale this little gem of a book. Get to know the heroic Dan Forrester. Buy your own copy here of a fabulous thriller.
  11. Love You Dead by Peter James – Everybody who knows me is aware of my total love for Roy Grace. Love You Dead made it onto my favourites list for the year as a massive thanks to Peter James for giving us all the perfect ending to the Sandy question. Every year, I love returning to Brighton and seeing what Roy and his team are getting up to. Quality crime reads every time, with the perfect setting! Thank you so much, Peter James. To buy and fall in love with Roy Grace for yourself (even though he’s mine) click here.
  12. After You Die by Eva Dolan  – Eva Dolan always has her finger on the pulse, with her beautifully dark Hate Crime Unit/Zigic and Ferreira series. At the beginning of 2016, After You Die won me over with its poignant portrayal of disability hate crime and online trolling. I am currently in the middle of her superb upcoming novel Watch Her Disappear, that features transgender hate crime. Brutal, dark with a wonderful social conscience and an incredibly up to date vibe; this series needs tonnes more readers. Buy your copy here. You won’t regret it!

Special mentions

Marnie Riches and her truly awesome #thegirlwho series, with the latest being The Girl Who Had No Fear, The Kept Woman by Karen Slaughter, which saw the return of my beloved Will Trent and Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series (Blackout being the most recent).

Here’s to 2017 and lots more #booklove  …


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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