The Best Crime Books to Read on the Beach this Summer

The Best Crime Books to Read on the Beach this Summer

Camino Island – John Grisham

Set on an idyllic island off the coast of Florida, John Grisham’s new book is the perfect beach read. Camino Island begins with the heist of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s manuscripts from Princeton University’s main library. Valued at $25 million, the five manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world. A resort-town tale, Bruce Kable runs Bay Books on Camino Island and earns a living in trading rare first editions, which makes him a prime suspect for the theft of the manuscripts. Meanwhile a mysterious private company enlists the help of a young struggling novelist, Mercer Mann, who spent summers on Camino Island as a child. Now she’s being asked to return to get close to an infamous bookseller and find out more about his interesting collection of manuscripts. Trademark Grisham, Camino Island is a highly entertaining and engaging crime thriller which will leave you wanting more.

Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

Following the international success of her debut, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins’ hotly-anticipated second book, Into the Water, doesn’t disappoint. Set in a small riverside town in Northumberland, a number of women have mysteriously drowned in the river over the years. After her estranged sister Nel is drowned, Jules returns to the town, the one place she hoped she’d escaped for good, to find out what happened. Faced with Nel’s teenage daughter, her doubts that she jumped and long hidden secrets, Jules is not only afraid of the water but of confronting long-buried memories. A rollercoaster of unexpected twists and turns, Into the Water will keep you guessing, culminating in a shock ending you won’t see coming.

Betrayal – Martina Cole

Queen of Crime Martina Cole never fails to keep us hooked and her latest book, Betrayal, does exactly that. A dark saga, Betrayal follows a brutal East End gangster, Aiden O’Hara, who’s been the head of the family since he was a child. His reckless mum Reeva and her five children by different fathers are talk of the town so he sees it as his role to provide for the family. Through drug dealing he meets brothel owner Jade Dixon, a woman fifteen years his senior who soon becomes the mother of his son. She is his rock, the one who watches his back but she’s been in the game a lot longer than Aiden and she knows no one is indestructible. When you’re at the top, you have to be careful who you can trust, especially those closest to you. A powerful, disturbing drama filled with menace and malice, Betrayal will keep you up late into the night.

Exile – James Swallow

Exile is an explosive new thriller from James Swallow and the sequel to his bestselling Nomad. Nomad introduced us to Marc Dane, an ex-MI6 agent and Exile picks up a year later when Dane has left the Intelligence Service, now working in Croatia as part of a UN team investigating the illegal transportation of nuclear waste. Following a lead, he tracks down a nuclear bomb that’s landed in the wrong hands in a race against time before it is detonated. Compelling, fast-paced and action-packed, Exile is a pulsating read. If you enjoyed Nomad then you’ll love this follow-up, filled with even more energy and danger.

Sweet Little Lies – Caz Frear

The winner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition, Caz Frear’s Sweet Little Lies was picked from hundreds of entries to win a once in a lifetime publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre. Sweet Little Lies explores what happens when the trust has gone after, during the summer of 1998, Cat Kinsella sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle. When Maryanne disappears and Cat’s father denies ever knowing her, Cat’s relationship with him is forever changed. Eighteen years later, Cat is a Detective Constable and called to a murder in Islington when Alice Lapaine has been found murdered, not far from her father’s pub. When evidence links Alice to Maryanne, Cat is forced to confront her fears about her father and find out what really happened all those years ago. A suspenseful page-turner from a talented new voice, Sweet Little Lies will linger with you long after you put it down.

The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

Summer 2017 Book Club pick, Richard described The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena as a ‘rollercoaster of a thriller’. Domestic suspense at its best, the story begins when new parents Anne and Marco decide to leave their six month old baby Cora to go to a dinner party next door. Anne didn’t want to go but Marco reassured her that they’re only next door, they have a baby monitor and they’ll go back to check on her every half an hour. Anne’s worst fears materialise as they go home to find their front door open and a quiet, empty nursery with Cora nowhere to be seen. A complicated web of dark secrets riddled with twists and turns, The Couple Next Door will leave you questioning who you can trust.

I See You – Clare Mackintosh

Another fantastic choice for the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club 2017, Clare Mackintosh’s I See You is a creepy, unsettling psychological thriller. We are introduced to Zoe Walker who does the same commute through London every day. When she spots her photo in the classifieds section of a newspaper, her family convince her that it’s simply a lookalike. However another girl pictured in the same ad is robbed on the tube and another is found dead in a park. Zoe’s feeling of dread only grows as she contacts the police but they don’t take her concerns seriously until the pattern continues and she finds herself in grave danger. Paranoia and suspense builds throughout I See You, culminating in an unforeseen twist that will shock you to the core and leave you looking over your shoulder.

Hidden Killers – Lynda La Plante

Fans of the 90’s ITV series Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren will greatly enjoy Lynda La Plante’s series about a young DCI Jane Tennison. In the first book Tennison, Lynda La Plante kicked off Jane’s back story by introducing us to her as a twenty-two year old in 1973 when she was placed on probationary exercise in Hackney to work on her first murder case after leaving the Metropolitan Police Training Academy. Now in Hidden Killer Jane is at the end of her two year probationary period with CID in her sights. After acting as a decoy prostitute to ensnare a man wanted for sexual assault, Jane is promoted to the role of Detective Constable in London’s Bow Street CID. When a young mother is found dead in the bath, apparently drowned, Jane has doubts over whether the death is accidental, forcing her to put her life at risk in the search for answers. A tenacious woman who won’t be satisfied with anything less than the truth, Hidden Killer perfectly captures the essence of the detective everyone loved watching on Prime Suspects.

The Trespasser – Tana French

Yet another brilliant Richard and Judy Summer 2017 pick, Tana French’s The Trespasser is an atmospheric and tense police procedural which Richard praised as a ‘wonderfully readable, pacey, page-turner of a novel’. A standalone mystery in her Dublin Murder Squad series, Detective Antoinette Conway is working within the team with her partner Detective Stephen Moran. She has been subject to mean remarks, sabotage and pranks since joining the murder squad and she’s close to breaking point. However, she gets the chance to sink her teeth into a fascinating case when a young woman is found dead. Once you’ve finished The Trespasser, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are five other books in the series to get stuck into!

The Dry – Jane Harper

Set under the burning heat of the Australian sun Jane Harper’s debut novel The Dry is a captivating crime book to read this summer. We are introduced to Federal Agent Aaron Falk when he returns to Kiewarra, the small rural town where he grew up, to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend Luke who shot his wife Karen, their six-year old Billy and then himself due to their poor financial situation caused by the relentless drought. As Aaron is called upon to employ his investigative skills, old wounds reopen and a secret he and Luke shared threatens to remerge. An intriguing mystery with an intricately woven plot and well-developed cast of characters, The Dry is the first book in an exciting new series from a fantastic new voice in crime.

The River at Night – Erica Ferencik

An adventure thriller about survival and friendship, The River at Night by Erica Ferencik makes an exhilarating summer read. After a miserable divorce and the death of her beloved brother, Win Allen wants to spend some time with her three best friends Pia, Rachel and Sandra, far away from her soul-destroying job. However, athletic and energetic Pia has other plans. Instead she plans an adrenaline-raising, white-water rafting adventure in the Allagash wilderness in Maine. Five thousand square miles of remote countryside; they find themselves surrounded only by mountains, rivers and fresh air. There is no phone coverage and no one around, which proves detrimental when they find themselves in serious trouble. A tense, disturbing, pulse-racing read, The River at Night will make you think twice about going off the beaten track on your holidays this summer!

The Marsh King’s Daughter – Karen Dionne

The Marsh King’s Daughter is a book that will leave you wishing you could read it all over again for the very first time. When notorious child abductor Jacob Hollbrook dubbed the Marsh King escapes from maximum security prison, Helena fears she and her two young daughters, Iris and Mari, are in danger. Alternating between the past and present, we learn that Helena was born two years into her mother’s captivity and her father is in fact the Marsh King. Helena now lives on the edge of the marsh with her husband Stephen, who’s unaware of her past, after she created a new identity for herself. Having grown up in the wilderness of the marsh, with no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve, Helena has the necessary survival and hunting skills to track down the Marsh King. Compelling, intense and chilling, The Marsh King’s Daughter definitely deserves a place in your suitcase this summer.

Night School – Lee Child

You can always count on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series for a thrilling beach read. His twenty first Jack Reacher novel, Night School, is another flashback to an adventure that occurred when Reacher was still in the army. Set in 1996 when Reacher is thirty-five and fresh off a successful mission, he is issued orders to attend night school, which means he’s now off the grid. At the school he finds two other students, one from the CIA and the other from the FBI who have also both just returned from successful missions. Bewildered, they discover they’ve been chosen to work on a very secret and extremely urgent mission. From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher manoeuvres inside the game and outside the law.

When the Music’s Over – Peter Robinson

You’re more than safe in the hands of Peter Robinson when it comes to a thrilling summer read. Now an ITV series, When the Music’s Over is the twenty-third novel in the DCI Banks series and his most gripping and intense case yet. In a remote countryside lane in North Yorkshire the body of a young girl is found bruised and beaten, having supposedly been thrown from a moving vehicle. Whilst Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot investigates her death, newly promoted Superintendent Banks find himself taking on a chilling case. Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton and it’s up to bank to piece together decades-old evidence to discover the truth. A thoroughly researched police procedural with sharp dialogue and a fantastic chemistry between Cabbot and Banks, When the Music’s Over, will keep you guessing.

No Man’s Land – David Baldacci

Special Agent John Puller is back for another intriguing case in No Man’s Land by David Baldacci. Puller’s mother Jackie vanished thirty years ago from Fort Monroe, Virginia, when he was a boy. Now a former neighbour has given a dying declaration implicating that Puller’s father, who’s suffering from dementia, had something to do with her disappearance. Aided by his brother Robert Puller, an Air Force major, and Veronica Knox, who works for a shadowy U.S. intelligence organization, Puller begins a journey that will take him into his own past, to find the truth about his mother. A master of crime writing, David Baldacci will keep you reading for hours on the beach; just don’t forget to apply sun cream!

Home – Harlan Coben

After more than a two year gap, long time fans of the Myron Bolitar series will be delighted by the return of Harlan Coben’s much-loved fictional sports agent and former star basketball player in Home. Ten years ago, two boys, Rhys and Patrick, were snatched from wealthy families by kidnappers demanding a ransom before they went silent. Their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and the hope that they will one day find them. Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. It’s down to them to piece together the evidence to discover the truth and bring the boys home. Classic Coben, Home is action-packed, nail-biting and will make you want to read the ten other books in the series if you haven’t already.

The Chalk Pit – Elly Griffiths

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway returns for another intriguing police procedural in The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths. When Galloway discovers that the boiled human bones found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels are recent, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. With the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard of a vast network of old chalk-mining tunnels under King’s Lynn, home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart – before it claims another victim. A tense, thrilling read with a strong female protagonist, you’ll be left asking questions and itching for the next book to be released.