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I watch a lot of crime drama but have never read a crime book. Can you recommend one?

(61 Posts)
IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 17-Aug-13 15:49:44


I tell a lie, I've read some Agatha Christie. There is an awful lot of crime fiction authors and they are very prolific. I like Wire in the Blood so I though maybe Val McDermid but even if I narrow it down that much there is still a lot of choice, plus I don't want to read something I know the plot to from TV.

Can someone tell me hat to do? I'm very grateful.

koalacube Sat 17-Aug-13 18:05:22

I like:

Peter Robinson (DI Banks, set in Yorkshire)
Ian Rankin
Jeffrey Deaver (Author of Bone Collector - Lincoln Rhyme bboks)
Harlan Coben
Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch)
Lee Child (Jack Reacher)
Stuart McBride
Val McDermid
Tess Gerritsen
Stephen Leather

I haven't read them for a while but also read in the past:
PD James
Ruth Rendell
Agatha Christie

I have also read a lot on Kindle - you can normally get the first in the series for free/very cheap - a great way to test them out.

Racers Sat 17-Aug-13 18:23:54

Another vote for Harry Bosch and Harry Hole series. Bosch is my absolute favourite cop ever. I like the Alex Cross stories but not other Pattersons.

If you want non American there's the Harry hole series (Norway), also (authors) Gordon Ferris and Bill Rogers (UK), Michael Ridpath (Iceland)

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 17-Aug-13 19:16:23

Thanks everyone. I haven't heard of a lot of these authors so it's very helpful.

I tend to read what is at the front of Waterstones on a little table plus something classicy and I always have a Jeanette Winterson on the go.

Right now I'm reading Stoner by John williams -plus Wuthering Heights plus The Powerbook by JW.

I think I'd rather read something British than American, I like familiarity. On TV I like Waking the Dead, Wire in the Blood, CSI (before it got shit). Luther, Broadchurch, and that one with Gillian Anderson in blouses (can't remember its name - it was set in Belfast). I'd rather have a complicated plot than a lot of gore but I quite like a psychopath.

I'll have a trawl through amazon for everything you have suggested.

ChillieJeanie Sat 17-Aug-13 19:16:49

Val McDermid is really good, although quite inventively gruesome in places. I never watched the TV series Wire in the Blood so I don't know whether the stories from the books were filmed, but the first of the series featuring Tony Hill is The Mermaids Singing if you wanted a place to start.

I'm currently working my way through Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels (didn't watch those either) and he's pretty good too.

ggirl Sat 17-Aug-13 19:22:34

PD James definitely

magimedi Sat 17-Aug-13 20:03:24

Ian Rankin - gritty & set in Edinburgh.

Donna Leone - great plots & set in Venice with (a rare thing) a detective who is neither an alcoholic, a mysoginist or unhappy with his life. Aqua Alta is a good start.

Just enjoy - you'll be hooked soon

And I'd also go for PD James & look in charity shops or the library.

Mintyy Sat 17-Aug-13 20:08:51

All the Barbara Vines are excellent, but I would say she writes psychological thrillers rather than straight crime/detective novels.

If you want to read a Ruth Rendell I would start with Simisola or A Judgement In Stone.

NicholasTeakozy Sat 17-Aug-13 21:17:00

Start with Every Dead Thing by John Connolly and then the rest of the Charlie Parker books. Written by an Irishman about an American (anti)hero. Honestly, it's a corking read.

SilverApples Sat 17-Aug-13 21:40:11

I agree Nicholas, I'm a great John Connolly fan, along with Rankin.
Those are ones I keep, along with DL Sayers, PD James, Hillerman and Paretsky.

NormanTheForeman Sat 17-Aug-13 21:48:58

Actually the original Sherlock Holmes stories are very good, as are any books by Wilkie Collins, particularly "The Moonstone". Also the Dorothy L Sayers "Lord Peter Wimsey" books.

Kasterborous Sat 17-Aug-13 21:53:54

Mo Hayder, Linwood Barclay, Tess Gerrtisen, Peter Robinson, Mark Billingham, Sue Grafton.

racingheart Mon 26-Aug-13 22:35:22

For a complicated plot and lots of gritty UK realism, with atmosphere try Cathi Unsworth Weirdo or Alex Marwood Wicked Girls (both happen to be set in rather bleak UK seaside resorts with grim funfairs but that's just by chance. Belinda Bauer's Blacklands is good too.

If you like soft crime - more plotty and chatty than violent, Anne Cleeve is really good. She wrote the Vera series. Books far better than the TV series.

ScariestFairyByFar Mon 26-Aug-13 22:38:46

Val mcdermid is great I think only the first 2 of her tony hill ones were adapted then they just featured her characters so you've plenty more there. The ones that were adapted are probably still worth a read and some of her stand alone books are good too.

crazykat Mon 26-Aug-13 23:28:30

Nicci French books are good if you like crime books with a twist.

I love James Patterson's 'Womens Murder Club' series. It's American but I got hooked on the first one and am now on number twelve!

LemonMousse Mon 26-Aug-13 23:57:15

Try Simon Beckett's series about a forensic anthropologist (Dr David Hunter) - the first one is The Chemistry of Death. Some great plot twists that keep you guessing until the end (set in Britain).

cq Tue 27-Aug-13 00:05:11

Anything by Minette Walters - she does a great psychopath.

Rowlers Tue 27-Aug-13 00:14:45

I have read almost all of PD James and Ruth Rendell's crime novels. They are all really very good. PD James is my first option I would say. Her books are so beautifully written, they transcend the "Crime" novel genre in my view as she is brilliant at depicting person and place and atmosphere.
Ruth Rendell is getting close in my view but PD james has the edge.
I've just read "The Snowman" by Jo Nesbo - a Harry Hole novel. Pretty good I must say - I couldn't put it down kind of book.
Also just read "Autumn Killing" by Mons Kallentoft which was another page-turner. Really enjoyed it and felt that Kallentoft had the edge over the two.

Stokey Tue 27-Aug-13 16:41:11

A couple of people that haven;t been mentioned so far
Ann Cleeves - the Shetland quartet and her Vera Stanhope ones, that I think have been televised
Louise Penny - a little village in Canada with a high rate of murder
Elly Griffiths - an archeaologist in Norfolk investigating crime

Agree with Val McDermid, PD James & Minette Walters

ScariestFairyByFar Tue 27-Aug-13 20:12:52

I'd also recommend the rizzolli & isles series by tess gerritson though I have found the last couple a bit far out the first few were really good.

MerlinFromCamelot Tue 27-Aug-13 22:37:48


If you like Jesse Kellerman, have you read 'brutal art' or 'trouble' ...?

Read them last year on hols and really enjoyed them despite some low ratings.

Monkfish13 Wed 28-Aug-13 19:21:02

Anything by Simon Kernick!

You don't need to read in any particular order as the books are not linked. He's fab!

wordfactory Wed 28-Aug-13 19:28:16

I think one of the best crime books I've read in a long time (and I read a lot as I'm a crime writer myself) Is The End Of The Wasp Season by Denise Mina.

Superbly written, plotted and characterised. Doesn't miss a beat.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 28-Aug-13 19:30:04

PD James
Peter Robinson
Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine
Ian Rankin
Lars Kepler

Monkfish13 Wed 28-Aug-13 19:33:59

Anything by Simon Kernick!

You don't need to read in any particular order as the books are not linked. He's fab!

Molivan Wed 28-Aug-13 20:04:42

I found an Ian Rankin book in the cottage we were staying on holiday this year and although I've never fancied his books, I needed something to read so I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised. I think it was called The Falls.

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