Detectives, homicides and mysterious disappearances- such are the stories that attract countless readers into the genre of crime fiction and mystery.
Here is our roundup of the the most gripping, fast-paced crime/mystery/thrillers, that are sure to keep you at the edge of your seat!
1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at
other people’s lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them.
“Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.
Tip: Perfect fit for fans of “Gone Girl” and “Pretty is”
2. After Anna by Alex Lake
The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned…
“The worst injuries are always self-inflicted, even if you do them for the best of reasons.”
A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Daughter by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned. She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.
3. The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer
Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
And now they are all his mother has left.
Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse?
‘The most polished crime writer on the murder beat . . . Exhausting, exhilarating and damn scary, another 24-carat creation from the Queen of Thrills’
4. The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a journey across Northern Alaska. They’re searching for Ruby’s father, missing in the artic wilderness.
More isolated with each frozen miles they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her.
She won’t abandon her father. But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them.
Somebody tracking them through the dark.
Tip: We got a lot of praise from our customers on this one! Rosamund Lupton is also the author of Sister, a book crime fiction fans may be all too familar with.
5. The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North
Gripping and provocative, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark tells a story of fame, love, and legacy through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist.
“It’s hard for me to talk about love. I think movies are the way I do that,” says Sophie Stark, a visionary and unapologetic filmmaker. She uses stories from the lives of those around her—her obsession, her girlfriend, and her husband—to create movies that bring her critical recognition and acclaim. But as her career explodes, Sophie’s unwavering dedication to her art leads to the shattering betrayal of the people she loves most.
Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew her best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art, both for the artist and for the people around her.
“It’s hard for me to talk about love,’ she said. ‘I think movies are the way I do that.”
Tip: If you loved reading “The Girl on the Train”, this is a book you cannot miss!
6. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.
“The best thing about In A Dark, Dark Wood is the eerie atmosphere it creates for this ill-fated weekend, never overwrought, just ominous enough, the glass house where the guests are trapped ‘dark and silent, blending into the trees, almost invisible.’”
7. Agatha Raisin books by M.C Beaton
Agatha Raisin is a frustrated, yet endearing, PR agent who retires from London to Carsley village in the Cotswolds, English Midlands and solves murders. In the first book, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (1992), Agatha is 53, and ages slowly, setting up her own detective agency in Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance (2004). Police, even her friend Bill Wong, see more bumbling luck than skill.
She lives in the village of Carsely, but her detective agency Raisin Investigations and the police headquarters where Bill Wong is based are in the nearby town of Mircester. Even though Carsely and Mircester are fictional, they are based on true places; she does, however frequent Evesham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden and other nearby villages quite often. Agatha’s first case came when she first moved to Carsely and heard about a quiche competition. She promptly bought a spinach quiche in London from a famous quiche shop and entered it as her own. She was outraged she did not win but later the judge, Reg Cummings-Browne, took another slice and died from cowbane poisoning. Frustrated, Agatha set out to find the poisoner and clear her own name.
8. Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan
Detectives Zigic and Ferreira must investigate a hit-and-run that leaves two migrant workers dead and a series of horrific killings, seemingly with a Neo-Nazi motivation, captured on CCTV
The car that plows into the bus stop early one morning leaves a trail of
death and destruction behind it. DS Ferreira and DI Zigic are called in from the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit to handle the hit-and-run, but with another major case on their hands, one with disturbing Neo-Nazi overtones, they are relieved when there seems to be an obvious suspect. But the case isn’t that simple and with tensions erupting in the town leading to more violence, the media are soon hounding them for answers.
Ferreira believes that local politician Richard Shotton, head of a recently established right-wing party, must be involved somehow. Journalists have been quick to acclaim Shotton, with his Brazilian wife and RAF career, as a serious contender for a major political career, despite his extremist views, but is his party a cover for something far more dangerous?
9. The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey
He meets women. He gains their trust. He kills them.
That’s all Maeve Kerrigan knows about the man she is hunting. Two women were strangled in their homes, and with no sign of a break-in, there’s no clue as to who might be responsible. Until there’s a third murder, and the finger is pointed at DCI Josh Derwent, Maeve’s colleague.
It isn’t the first time Derwent has been a suspect in a murder case, and these deaths bear an unsettling similarity to the last one he was accused of. Maeve refuses to believe he could be involved, but the secrets of his past begin to unravel. How well does she really know him?
10. Hide and Seek by Jane Casey
‘If I hadn’t walked into the room at that moment, maybe everything would have worked out differently. Maybe everything would have been all right after all . . .’
Port Sentinel may be a beautiful seaside tourist trap, but in the short time Jess Tennant has lived there, it has seen its fair share of tragedy. Tragedy that somehow Jess keeps getting caught up in.
A schoolgirl from the town goes missing, leaving her diary behind and a lot of unanswered questions. Has she run away from her unhappy home or is there something much more sinister going on? And can Jess find her before it’s too late?
11. The Missing by Jane Casey
Jenny Shepherd is twelve years old and missing…Her teacher, Sarah Finch, knows better than most that the chances of finding her alive are diminishing with every day she is gone. As a little girl her older brother had gone out to play one day and never returned. The strain of never knowing what has happened to Charlie had ripped Sarah’s family apart. Now in her early twenties, she is back living at home, trapped with a mother who drinks too much and keeps her brother’s bedroom as a shrine to his memory.
Then, horrifically, it is Sarah who finds Jenny’s body, beaten and abandoned in the woods near her home. As she’s drawn into the police investigation and the heart of a media storm, Sarah’s presence arouses suspicion too.
But it not just the police who are watching her…
12. After the Fire by Jane Casey
Arson, accident or murder?
After a fire rips through a North London tower block, two bodies are found locked in an 11th floor flat. But is the third victim that ensures the presence of detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad. It appears that controversial MP Geoff Armstrong, trapped by the fire, chose to jump to his death rather than wait for rescue. But what was such a right wing politician doing in the deprived, culturally diverse Maudling Estate?
As Maeve and her senior colleague, Derwent, pick through the wreckage, they uncover the secret world of the 11th floor, where everyone seems to have something to hide…
Disclaimer: The book descriptions are extracts taken from the publishers of the respective books.