May is “Crime Reading Month” so we thought it would be the perfect time to share some criminally good recommendations with you. Our crime shelves are often our most browsed when our buildings are open and our ‘Most Borrowed’ lists frequently feature a fair few crime and thriller authors so we know that both are very popular amongst our readers. Our buildings remain closed so the shelves can’t be browsed at present so instead, we thought we’d share some titles you’ll find in our BorrowBox eBook & eAudio collections.
For the purpose of this blog, when we say “Crime” novels, we mean all genres of crime – from cosy crime to dark Scandinavian crime to thrillers both political and with a dash of adventure in them too. We realise that some of you out there will not like us lumping “Crime” and “Thrillers” together but we hope you will indulge us so that we can bring you a wide variety of reading suggestions.
Below, we’ve highlighted some “Hidden Gems” within our BorrowBox collection, along with authors you may not be too familiar with and some names you’ll recognise. It will come as no surprise that our collection reflects the wide variety of different genres and reading experiences that make up “Crime & Thriller” titles – if you browse on BorrowBox by ‘Genre’, you’ll find ‘Detective’, ‘Historical’, ‘Legal’, ‘Medical’, ‘Mystery’, ‘Police Drama & Forensics’, ‘Spy & Espionage’ and ‘Supernatural’ listed. You’ll also find ‘Psychological Fiction’ as well as non-fiction ‘True Crime’ titles. “Crime” covers a wide variety of different reads and we want to celebrate a few titles here to keep you reading while we’re still #StayingAtHome.
Titles in our ‘Read/Listen Now – No Waiting’ collection
These are titles available straight away – as it says on the tin, there’s no waiting, you can download them and get reading/listening. Our collection of these titles features many genres and titles for children too but there are a number that might appeal to “Crime & Thriller” readers.
(The titles in these collections will and do change so you may find that those we’ve mentioned here are no longer available straight away but they are still ones we’d recommend. If you like the sound of a title, get downloading it sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment).
If you like your crime thrillers historical, why not give ‘The Spy of Venice’ by Benet Brandreth a go? It’s available in both eBook & eAudio format so which ever you prefer, you can catch up with the world’s best known bard in a story you will not have seen before. William Shakespeare finds himself in peril in Venice, on a mission to avoid the assassin’s blades that await him in the shadows.
Alternatively, how does “An unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues” grab you? If you like the sound of that, give Anthony Horowitz’s “The Word Is Murder” a go. It’s available on eAudio and is read by Rory Kinnear. If that sounds too bloody for you, and you prefer your crime a little more cosy, we have “Date With Death” by Julia Chapman available in both eBook and eAudio formats. As the first in the ‘Dales Detective Agency’ series, it introduces us to the people of Bruncliffe and Samson O’Brien, an ex-police officer fighting to clear his name.
If contemporary crime thrillers are more up your street, you could try either Liane Moriarty’s “Nine Perfect Strangers” or “The Wife Between Us” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. “Nine Perfect Strangers” is available in eAudio and follows a group of people on a ten day spa retreat – one that will change them in ways they can’t imagine. Psychological fiction from the author who also wrote “Big Little Lies”. In eBook format, “The Wife Between Us” challenges any assumptions the reader makes as they turn through its pages. According to the BorrowBox blurb, “you will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships” but you would be wrong.
Alternatively, if you prefer your thrillers with a side of adventure, maybe some intrigue and some high-paced action, we have two very well known names – David Baldacci and Lee Child – whose books offer just such a reading experience. “The Memory Man” by David Baldacci, available in eBook and eAudio introduces us to Amos Decker, a former professional American football player turned police detective. When his family are brutally murdered, Decker begins a journey to track down their murderer and avenge their deaths. Also introducing us to a lead character is “Killing Floor” by Lee Child. In the first of the ‘Jack Reacher’ novels, we are introduced to the much-loved character who likes to remain under the radar but whose wrath you definitely do not want to face. Available as an eAudio title.
These titles are not in our ‘Read/Listen Now’ collections so you may find they are currently on loan when you search for them (they were not on loan at the time of writing).
Nothing Important Happened Today – Will Carver
How do you stop a cult when no one knows they are members? That’s the question posed in this dark crime novel from Will Carver. Not for the faint-hearted, it explores what happens when people become members of a mysterious cult that thrives online and seemingly has no leader. Members are sent pre-written suicide notes and, on receipt, undertake some shocking acts while police race to find out who is behind the mysterious and grizzly deaths. It’s available in both eBook & eAudio format.
A Version of the Truth – B P Walter & All the Little Lies by Chris Curran
Two from the ‘blue cover and yellow font’ design concept of cover designs that seems to be popular at the moment. Both books look at the power secrets can have when kept hidden and then suddenly revealed. B P Walter’s novel looks at what happens when a 25 year old secret refuses to remain hidden. Lives are shattered, sinister events occur and no one knows just who to trust. It’s listed on BorrowBox in both eBook & eAudio formats. ‘All The Little Lies’ (listed as an eBook) explores the aftermath of receiving one little email and its explosive repercussions on what was a settled family life. If you liked these, you could also try ‘The Holiday’ by T M Logan in eBook or eAudio format.
Bridge of Sighs – Priscilla Masters
A police procedural crime novel in eBook format following Coroner Martha Gunn as she attempts to uncover the reasoning behind two violent and unexplained deaths.
Homegrown Hero – Khurrum Rahman
When a book’s blurb starts with “Reluctant spy. Trained assassin. WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?”, it’s probably going to be a pretty fast-paced read. Having swapped dealing for admin, Jay Qasim is back in West London, trying to settle into normality. Nothing is straight forward though and Jay can not out run his past. Listed as both an eBook & eAudio title.
We couldn’t publish a blog about crime and thrillers and not mention the author that has been the most borrowed from libraries for several years running – James Patterson. Our Borrowbox collection has a number of his titles in both eBook and eAudio format (not all – that would be a HUGE number). In eAudio, why not try ‘The Chef’, written with Max DiLallo and following the story of Caleb Rooney – police detective by day, celebrity food truck chef by night (you’ll also find this one in eBook format too). Or ‘The First Lady‘ – a standalone thriller co-written by Brendan DuBois. There are lots of other titles in both formats if James Patterson is your author of choice so happy browsing!
Intrigo – the Trilogy by Hakan Nesser
If you like your crime fiction more Nordic Noir, how does 14+ hours of novellas and short stories grab you? Written by “the Godfather of Swedish Crime”, and available in eAudio format is ‘Intrigo’. If you enjoy this one, you’ll find other Hakan Nesser titles in our eAudio collection also.
Widows by Lynda LaPlante
A fast-paced heist thriller featuring a cast of women you won’t forget in a hurry. Following a failed security van hijacking that leaves three of our characters as widows, the wives decide to finish the job their husbands started. From an author whose name you will be sure to recognise, this was recently made into a motion picture starring Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez. Listed as both an eBook & an eAudio title.
Anything You Do Say – Gillian McAllister
If you haven’t yet read any of Gillian McAllister’s novels then you have a treat in store. Each poses a dilemma that has readers questioning what they would do in similar circumstances and are real page turners from start to finish. This eAudio title poses the question: what would you do if you were walking home late at night, heard footsteps behind you, turned to face your pursuer but then it all went wrong? Written as a ‘Sliding doors’ type novel (alternating chapters revealing alternate possibilities), this is one we recommend.
“Kill The Black One First” by Michael Fuller
Michael Fuller was Britain’s first black Chief Constable. This autobiography listed as an eAudio title, tells the story of his life and career, tackling crime on some of London’s most notorious estates. A “raw and unflinching account of a life in policing during a tumultuous period of race relations throughout the UK”.
When the Hangman Came to Galway by Dean Ruxton
A true story of murder in Victorian Ireland, this follows the investigation into some gruesome murders, looks at how the killers were bought to justice and what their fates were when James Berry, a widely known executioner arrived in town. Listed on eAudio.
The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall
The inspiration behind the recent Amazon Original series, this eBook memoir details the author’s six year relationship with serial killer, Ted Bundy. It includes an update from the author’s own daughter who grew up during her mother’s relationship with Bundy and offers insight into a side of the story rarely seen.
The Secrets of the Krays: My Life in the Firm by John Dickson
An insider’s look at the gangland underworld of Ronnie and Reggie Kray – two of Britain’s most violent gangsters who ruled the East End of London in the 1960s. Dickson was one of the twin’s trusted henchmen and a first hand witness to many of their dealings. Listed as an eBook.
Our eBook and eAudio titles are proving very popular so you may find there are waiting lists for some titles featured here. If you do have to wait for a title, this is the perfect opportunity to give a new author a go. Have a browse through the collection – you may find a new favourite! We love to hear your recommendations too so do let us know in the comments if you have discovered a fantastic author or what titles you’ve been enjoying throughout the month.
If you’re just getting started with BorrowBox, or need any help at all, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or we have two videos available for you – one for getting started which you can view here and a second with tips and tricks for making the most of our BorrowBox collection, available to view here. This includes the all-important ‘hit return’ – when you’ve finished with a title, please hit the return link in your ‘My Loans’ list so that the next reader can enjoy the title.
If you want to read more about Crime books this month (or any month), why not explore the Crime Readers Association website? Full of book reviews, blogs and information about crime books, it should give you some pointers for future reading. You could also visit the Harrogate Crime Festival‘s website – the announcement of the long list for the ‘Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year’ has just been made – more reading suggestions for you to browse! While events with authors may not be happening at the moment, there are lots of online resources to explore so there’s lots of material out there for Crime readers everywhere. Let us know about any good ones you find.