Sunday, 11 January 2015

Top Ten Crime Books of 2014

Well over half of the books I read in 2014 fell somewhere into the crime fiction genre, be they detective series, romantic suspense, psychological thrillers or something else. I read some pretty amazing ones as well & when I looked back through my 5 star reads for last year there were more than ten. However I have eventually managed to narrow it down to these ten books which are in no particular order.

1. The Night Stalker by Chris Carter

Chris Carter is an author who has been on my radar for a long time but I'd never gotten around to reading one of his books before last year. I quickly became hooked on the Robert Hunter series reading 4 of the books in quick succession with the next 2 on my to read pile. I'm saving them to read closer the the release of his next book. The Chris Carter book that stood out the most for me was book 3 The Night Stalker, at times truly horrific but with so much suspense and so fast paced I just couldn't put it down. Chris Carter is a true master of the crime novel and for those of you with a strong stomach then I urge you to give his books ago.

2. Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs

I eagerly await Kathy Reichs new Temperance Brennan book each year & I must say that the last couple of books in the series were a little disappointing. 2014 saw book number 17 Bones Never Lie arrive and wow what a book it was, Kathy Reichs is certainly back to her best with this one. By bringing back an old nemesis of Tempe's, the one who got away, Reichs was able to throw us right back to one of her earlier novels. A totally gripping read full of suspense with some excellent plot twists. Check out my review here 

3. Personal by Lee Child

I've been a huge Lee Child fan right from day one. I picked up his first book The Killing Floor at the airport when I was flying out on my honeymoon over 16 years ago. Jack Reacher has become a little bit of an obsession with me & I was really lucky to see Lee talk at an event at the Hay Festival last May. One of the things I loved most about Personal was that it was set for the most part in London, another was that Jack was being hunted personally and not just caught up in someone else's mess. Check out my review here

4. That Night by Chevy Stevens

I discovered Chevy Stevens when her first book Still Missing was recommended to me on GoodReads. That was an excellent read and her writing has really developed with each new book but her best to date has to be That Night which was released in 2014. This was an engaging read that tells the story of a young woman who as a teenager along with her boyfriend is wrongly jailed for the murder of her younger sister. Once out of jail she is determined to find out the truth about what happened on that fatal night. 

5. The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

This was an outstanding debut that I picked up based on the fact it was recommended by the author Karin Slaughter. A really well written novel about two women who disappear from the same small town years apart and how Lucy who has a connection with both women searches for answers. A truly fantastic psychological thriller. Read more about it here

6. The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

This is the book that I love to describe as wonderfully gruesome whenever I mention it to library users. It is one of those books that you almost have to read from behind your fingers, one that you think I can't read this but out of a morbid curiosity you just have to carry on. Alex Marwood has done a wonderful job with this book, her writing is fantastic, the way that she makes you feel so unsettled and leaves you wondering about your own neighbours. A must read with some laugh out loud moments but be warned it is not for the faint hearted.


7. Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is one of my favourite authors & I have enjoyed both her Will Trent & Grant County series. This is a stand alone novel & I was totally intrigued by the setting - the Atlanta police department in the 1970s. In my opinion it has one of the best opening scenes of any crime novels and you are immediately thrown into a world where female cops are invisible and pretty much overlooked. Police work is deemed men's work but with a serial killer on the loose who is targeting Atlanta's finest 2 female cops are determined to make a difference. Think Life On Mars but in a book and set in the US. Read more about the book here

8. One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Another favourite author of mine is Chelsea Cain, her Archie & Gretchen series is wonderful. One Kick, is the first book in a new series(I love new series)and after reading it I can't wait for book two. The female protagonist Kit Lannigan, is scarred by events that happened to her as a child, abducted aged 6 & held in captivity for 6 years it is no wonder that Kit has issues. She has made her mission in life to ensure that she is never made a victim again & in doing so has turned herself into a one woman killing machine.

9. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

This was one of my first books of 2014 & it is one that has stayed with me.  In a small town in Kansas in 1987 the body of a dead girl is found in field covered in snow. Noone knows who she is or what happened to her. Almost twenty years later Mitch Newquist returns to town & the mystery surrounding the girl's death begins to unravel. This was such a well written fast paced book with plenty of twists & turns that I just couldn't put it down & I finished it in one sitting. Expect the unexpected with this one.

10. Stranded by Alex Kava

And lastly yet another book from crime series. Stranded is the 11th book in Alex Kava's Maggie O'Dell series & is easily the best in my opinion. It starts where the last book left off with Maggie & her partner on the hunt for one of the most sick & twisted serial killers they have ever come across. The Maggie O'Dell series is perfect for fans of tv shows such as Criminal Minds. I'm not sure I will ever look at rest areas/service stations in quite the same way again after reading this. FBI procedural writing at it's very best.

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