It’s so unfair to be asked to limit this to one year, but I’ll take a crack at it. (The only downside of writing a crime series? Less time for reading everyone else’s books!)
If you like your crime fiction with a dash of humour, stacks of wit, warmth and compassion – and some genuine creepiness – this is the perfect book. Terrific cast and credible twists. Alex won an Edgar for The Wicked Girls, and she deserves a second one for this follow-up.
The first in a new series that’s going to be stellar. DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are outsiders, in very different ways, both with a talent for rubbing people up the wrong way. A storyline that feels raw and real, and isn’t afraid to tackle social issues head-on; here making us question what we thought we knew about immigrant workers.
I’ve only just started reading this one (it’s only just out) but I’m putting it on the list regardless, based on how much I loved The Shining Girls. Lauren has a whole new way of looking at crime writing, she breaks rules with breathless panache and it works. Brilliant.
The start of a new series, with Chelsea’s hallmark dark humour and action-packed plot that twists like a slinky toy on an escalator. Kick Lannigan is her new heroine, survivor of an abduction that casts a long shadow. Kick’s the girl you want at your side in an emergency or just, you know, if the queue for coffee gets too long at your local café.
Lacey Flint is one of my favourite heroines. This isn’t as gory as some of her earlier outings, but it’s all the more believable for that restraint. Lots of juicy developments in Lacey’s personal life, plus spectacular twists and moody Thames settings. I loved it.
As soon as I heard Mark describe this book (at CrimeFest in Bristol on the day of its launch), I knew it was going to be terrific. Tom Thorne stuck on an island, in a prison, with a deadly foe. It doesn’t disappoint. Nearly put me off Wales for life (and I love Wales).
The second in another cracking new crime series. I defy anyone not to love rough, gruff Janusz Kiszka. The story’s clever and compelling, and packed with enough London to make me want to live in the capital again.
Jack Caffrey – edgy and tortured hero – takes his time appearing on the page but once he does, wow. Like Poppet last year, less is actually more when it comes to Caffrey; I raced through the pages to find out when (if) he was going to uncover the secret that’s been tormenting him for so long. A shame Flea Marley didn’t get a look in, but there’s always the next book.
It’s always a pleasure to read a new Alex Delaware book, although I have to admit I yearn for the days when Alex and Milo used to work up an appetite trawling the mean streets of LA in search of crooks and crazies. Too much is done too easily online now, and this one left me hungry for old-style police work. I remedied my rumbling stomach by re-reading Gone
What do you think of Sarah’s choices? Let us know in the comments box below.