Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re doing well. Today I’m going to be posting the third contribution to my “an introduction to” series. In this series, I’ll be focusing on a specific genre (or sub-genre) and giving you a few recommendations of books to read in that genre – whether you’re completely new to the genre or wish to expand your horizons, hopefully these posts will be helpful in some way! In my first post, I focused on Psychological Thrillers (you can find it here), and in my second post I focused on Domestic Thrillers (which you can find here). In this post I’ll be talking all about Crime Fiction. So, here goes…
Perfect Prey by Helen Fields.
Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.
In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.
The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.
D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.
I read ‘Perfect Prey’ fairly recently after being invited to take part in the blog tour. I haven’t read the first book in the “D.I. Callanach” series – but even so, I was still able to really enjoy this book and it worked just as well as a standalone! I reviewed this in full here, and took part in the blog tour (which you can find here), so be sure to check them out.
Release Date: July 2017
Average Goodreads rating: 4.49
Critical quotes: “Genuinely chilling” (Saga Magazine), “Without a doubt, this is one of the best detective series I have read” (Woman’s Way Magazine).
My verdict: The novel is full of action and suspense, brilliantly-constructed characters and an unbelievable ending – what more could you want?!
Author’s other works: ‘Perfect Remains’ (January 2017).
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson.
I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger’s face.
‘Do I know you?’
Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched – but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?
Back in Boston, Ted’s wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?
‘The Kind Worth Killing’ is the second book I have read of Peter Swanson’s (I read ‘Her Every Fear first), and I now plan to read every other book he releases in the future. You can find my review for ‘Her Every Fear’ here, and for ‘The Kind Worth Killing’ here. Swanson’s writing is sensational, and this book is definitely a must-read for those of you out there who love reading Crime!
Release Date: September 2015
Average Goodreads rating: 4.03
My rating: .5
Critical quotes: “Nerve-shredding” (Sunday Mirror), “Smart and addictive” (Guardian), “Seriously impressive…it made me fall in love with plot twists again” (Big Issue).
My verdict: There’s so much drama and suspense packed into these 400 pages – I was on the edge of my seat so often whilst reading this.
Author’s other works: ‘The Girl With A Clock For A Heart’ (2014), ‘Her Every Fear’ (2017).
The Owl Always Hunts At Night by Samuel Bjork.
When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the murder site is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene meticulously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.
Detective Mia Krüger is a woman on the edge – she has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.
But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.
I was sent an ARC of this earlier this year. I didn’t really have high expectations going into this, but this book really surprised me and I ended up really loving it. You can find my full review here. I’ll have to go back and read the first book in the series now!
Release Date: March 2017
Average Goodreads rating: 3.92
Critical quotes: “Tense, thrilling and genuinely scary” (Heat), “Terrific…intelligent and gripping” (The Times).
My verdict: Bjork has a clear skill when it comes to writing gripping, harrowing crime fiction.
Author’s other works: ‘I’m Travelling Alone’ (2016).
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.
A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.
Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .
I read this book a while ago now, but it’s always stuck with me and it lives on my “favourites” bookshelf at home. You can read my full review of the book by clicking here. There’s an astounding plot twist which I’ll never ever forget! This is another must-read for Crime lovers.
Release Date: November 2014
Average Goodreads rating: 4.09
Critical quotes: “[A] sensational debut…an astonishing intensity that drags you in and never — ever — lets you go…” (Daily Mail), “Compelling with an astonishing twist” (Peter James).
My verdict: I’m not a fan of the typical “whodunnit” plot, but this book is so much more than that.
Author’s other works: ‘I See You’ (2016).
The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone.
You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?
When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.
However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?
Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.
When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?
I was sent an ARC of this in preparation for the blog tour (which you can find here). I was really intrigued by the premise and ideas behind this, and ended up being fascinated by the book. I also reviewed it in full, which you can find here.
Release Date: July 2017
Average Goodreads rating: 3.85
Critical quotes: “Lisa Stone writes with a clear, uncomplicated style […] dramatic and readable” (Lovereading.com), “The Darkness Within hooked me from the start” (Katerina Diamond).
My verdict: I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy more simple crime thrillers.
Author’s other works: 26 novels under the pseudonym Cathy Glass.
Happy reading 🙂