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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.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 18-Sep-13 03:57:36

Dorothy Sayers
P.D. James
Ian Rankin
Ruth Rendell
Susan Hill
Denise Mina
Ann Cleeves
Elizabeth George (earlier books)
Patricia Cornwell (earlier books)

sherbetpips Wed 11-Sep-13 12:44:49

It depends on whether you like American crime TV or the more dark gritty english crime tv. Basically an english crime novel tends to be darker and grimier, it always rains, character you like die, etc. American crime is often glossier and prettier but not as dark.

Shlurpbop Thu 29-Aug-13 15:22:05

The Peter Robinson books are good, the DI Banks series. Always in charity shops and there's loads of them in the series so should keep you going for a few years!!

Brillig Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:31

I was going to say Denise Mina and wordfactory beat me to it.

Honestly, Mina is bloody brilliant. I've also just finished 'The End of the Wasp Season', coincidentally, and then polished off her next one, Gods and Beasts, in about a day. There's a new one out and I'm trying to stop myself buying it in hardcover, but I'm not sure I can wait for the paperback.

OP, start with her Paddy Meehan books, or the 'Garnethill' trilogy.

mimbleandlittlemy Thu 29-Aug-13 10:49:58

Ann Cleeves is very good. Her books have been dramatized as Vera and Shetland though the first of the Shetland books is a lot better than the tv adaptation.
Peter May - Lewis trilogy and his China books too
Jo Nesbo - the Harry Hole books, definitely not Headhunters which I think is one of the worst books I've read I a long time.
Louise Penny - her books are set in Quebec
Barbara Nadel - her books have the rather exotic locations of Istanbul and Turkey

Do you like history stuff? The CJ Sansom books are crime in the 16th C and then there are the Falco books set in Ancient Rome.

And then there's always the first ever detective book The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins which is a thundering good read.

DramaQueenofHighCs Wed 28-Aug-13 23:58:09

Honestly, Anything by ValMcDermid will be good! I started reading her books after enjoying WITB on tv and have loved every single one I have read so far! If you do want to read the Tony Hill ones, start with 'Mermaids singing' as its the first - I can't remember the rest of the order offhand, but I'd you want to know PM me and I'll send it to you. smile

jollyjester Wed 28-Aug-13 23:49:46

Martian Cole is very good. Gritty and violent and tends to follow the 'bad guy' instead of the 'good guy' although a couple of her books follow a female detective investigating crimes. I'll pre warn that some of the themes can be a bit upsetting, there is no sugar coating with Martina Cole!

I'm watching one of hers on TV at the moment called The Take and it makes me want to re read the book!

My favourites of hers are
The ladykiller
Goodnight Lady
Two Women

Jesse Keane is along the same lines but not as violent but still looks at the criminal underworld.

MamaMary Wed 28-Aug-13 21:38:54

I don't read crime fiction, but I really enjoyed Gone Girl and my DH liked it too.

It's very, very clever. And readable.

justwondering72 Wed 28-Aug-13 21:37:31

Ian Rankin
Michael Connelly
Robert Crais
Pd James
Ruth Rendell
elly Griffiths
Peter Robinson

All good.

Willdoitinaminute Wed 28-Aug-13 20:20:38

Ian Rankin
Michael Connolly
John Connolly -very dark but compelling read
Tess Gerritsen
Kathy Reichs is a particular favourite

Molivan Wed 28-Aug-13 20:04:51

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Anything by Minette Walters - she does a great psychopath.

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).

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!

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.

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.

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