Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to Those New to Crime

Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's is Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To X Person. I never started off my reading life as a crime, mystery and thriller lover - I was all about young adult and fantasy and historical romance. If I were starting out my reading journey again then these are the books I'd come to first.
These are the books that introduced me to the genre, the books that I love the most, the books that kept me up all night. A lot of them were on the North East Teenage Book Award short-list on the years I was a student-judge and those awards were probably what most broadened my reading.

1. Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
This book was one of my first forays into the world of crime and it was a rather different view, a unique perspective. I read it in high school when it was shortlisted for the North East Teenage Book Awards. It's a book that's stayed with me since I first read it - almost ten years ago now! - and which really made me think.

2. Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin
My mum was always a fan of Ian Rankin and so it was only natural that one day I'd pick up one of her Rebus books. And I loved it. Perhaps it was because Rebus reminded me a little of my dad, but I've always enjoyed reading the Inspector Rebus novels. I love how gritty they are and there's a reason they're bestsellers.
3. Fleshmarket by Nicola Morgan
Oh look, another North East Teenage Book Awards finalist! This was a pretty dark read, but what I remember most is the terrible joke the author made at the awards ceremony about her skirt being made of human skin. It was a little cringe-y. But the book itself is gripping and taught me a little about the body-snatchers.
4. The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis
So, I only discovered Kate Ellis' Wesley Peterson series this year,  but I wish I'd found it sooner! It's a great series with a chilling and clever mix of crime and archaeology which I am very much addicted to. There is a wide cast of characters and despite the length of the books they all get covered and you grow to like and dislike them.

5. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
This whole series is a crazy mix of magic and crime and the pages are filled with the hilarious antics of the characters and Peter Grant learning how to use magic and the consequences that usage has. These books are fun, but you have to go into them with an open mind.

6. Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
Martyn Pig was my second Kevin Brooks book and it's a good 'un. This is very much a young adult book but can definitely be read by adults - and should be. I love the intricacies of the relationships with the characters and how bleak everything seems.

7. The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
The Other Typist is a great way to slide into crime from general literature and women's fiction. It's engaging and lavish and filled with sneaky twists. This book really gets to you. I read it when it first came out and cannot get it out of my head.

8. Natural Causes by James Oswald
If you start with something like this then you'll be jumping in to the deep end. But why not? Natural Causes is a fantastic, dark, gritty crime with a slight hint of fantasy which is so wonderfully written that it's up to you, the reader, to decide whether you believe.

9. Run for Home by Sheila Quigley
I absolutely love this series and I love Lorraine Hunt, the main character. This would be a whole series to read rather than just the first book - you'd get so much more from it. Sheila Quigley explores a lot of issues brilliantly and the plots are well thought out.

10. Stalking Sapphire by Mia Thompson
Stalking Sapphire is a very different sort of book, both as a New Adult and as a crime thriller. It's strong, fast paced and original. Sapphire is a very refreshing character who grows as the novel progresses.


  1. I just read Knots and Crosses last week. I'm gonna add the rest of these to my to-read-pile :)

    maria helena @ marelden.com

  2. I love shows like Bones and Criminal Minds (and am also enjoying Sleepy Hollow) yet I rarely read crime novels. It's really a shame - I SHOULD read more of them. Some of these sound good, so I'll browse them at Goodreads. Lovely list, and thanks so much for your comment at my blog. :)

    Molli | Books and Whimsy

  3. I love thriller/crime/mysteries. I went through a phase in the spring where that's all I wanted to read :) These ones you have here look good too. I just added Looking for JJ to my TBR :)

    Thanks for stopping by My TTT

  4. Wow, I've been wanting to read more crime novels. This is perfect!! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I love crime novels, but don't read the enough, cause I don't really know which to read! Definitely putting these on my wish list!

  6. Ooh, I like this list! I don't really read crime novels but perhaps this list will change that!

  7. I have really wanted to find a good crime/mystery book, but I had no idea where to start at all. This helps me SO MUCH!! Thank you for this list, I will definitely be using it!! :) Have a great weekend! xoxoxo!