Crime books you should read this autumn
From police procedurals to historical mysteries, forensic thrillers to psychological suspense, we have the perfect crime book to read as the evenings get longer and longer.
The seventh book in Ann Cleeves' Shetland series
In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea.
At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity. Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died.
start reading cold earth
The heartstopping sixth book in Jessie Keane's bestselling Annie Carter series
Annie Carter finally believes that life is good. She and Max are back together and she has a new and uncomplicated life sunning herself in Barbados. It's what she's always dreamed of.
Then she gets the news that her old friend Dolly Farrell is dead, and suddenly she finds herself back in London and hunting down a murderer with only one thing on her mind... revenge. But the hunter can so quickly become the hunted, and Annie has been keeping too many secrets. She's crossed and bettered a lot of people over the years, but this time the enemy is a lot closer to home and she may just have met her match.
start reading stay dead
A suspenseful forensic thriller
When human remains are discovered to the rear of an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod and her assistant arrive to excavate the grave. Approaching midwinter, they find daylight in short supply, the weather inhospitable and some of the island's inhabitants less than co-operative. When the suspicious death of an old man in Glasgow appears to have links with the island, DS Michael McNab is dispatched to investigate. Desperately uncomfortable in such surroundings, he finds that none of the tools of detective work are there. No internet, no CCTV, and no police station.
As the weather closes in, the team are presented with a series of unexplained incidents, apparently linked to the discovery of thirteen magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the island school where the body was discovered. But how and in what circumstance did they die? And why are their long forgotten deaths significant to the current investigation?
start reading none but the dead
Journey through the darkest days of humanity to the heart of the US Secret Service
Alfred Mendl's days are numbered. But he has little left to live for - his family were torn away from him, his life's work burned in front of his eyes - until a glimmer of hope arises as he watches a game of chess. To the guards Mendl is just another prisoner, but in fact he holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. The other is working hard for the Nazi war machine.
Four thousand miles away, in Washington DC, intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum decodes messages from occupied Poland. After the Nazis murdered his family, Nathan escaped the Krakow ghetto and is determined to support his new country - and the US government knows exactly how he can. They want to send Nathan on a mission to rescue one man from a place no one can break in to - or out of.
start reading the one man
A gripping standalone thriller from million copy bestseller Kerry Wilkinson
Craig Macklin was a teenager when his headteacher told him he was heading either to prison or the grave. Instead, Craig left the north of England, saying goodbye to his friends and family to start a new life.
Thirteen years on, redundant and separated from his wife, he returns to his hometown for the first time. It's Christmas: markets in full swing, lights twinkling, shoppers shopping, revellers revelling.
Manchester has seen a revolution. New industries have replaced old and yet, away from the glitter, the tinsel, the hot spiced cider and the enormous inflatable Santa, some things will never change. When debt-collectors call on his parents' house, Craig realizes the teenage hell-raiser he left behind might not be so buried after all.
start reading no place like home
A haunting tale of psychological suspense
Set against Iceland's volcanic hinterlands, four thirty-somethings from Reykjavik - the reckless hedonist Egill; the recovering alcoholic Hrafin; and their partners Anna and Vigdis - embark on an ambitious camping trip, their jeep packed with supplies. The desolate landscape forces the group to reflect on the shattered lives they've left behind in the city. As their jeep hurtles through the barren land, an impenetrable fog descends, causing them to suddenly crash into a rural farmhouse.
Seeking refuge from the storm, the group discover that the isolated dwelling is inhabited by a mysterious elderly couple who inexplicably barricade themselves inside every night. As past tensions within the group rise to the surface, the merciless weather blocks every attempt at escape, forcing them to ask difficult questions: who has been butchering animals near the house? What happened to the abandoned village nearby where bones lie strewn across the ground? And most importantly, will they ever return home?
find out more
The sixth gripping crime novel featuring Detective Kate Daniels
At dawn on a lonely stretch of road, a body is found hanging from an ancient gallows the morning after a country show. Hours earlier, DCI Kate Daniels had seen the victim alive. With her leave period imminent, she's forced to step aside when DCI James Atkins is called in to investigate. There's bad blood between them.
When Kate discovers that Atkins' daughter was an eyewitness to a fight involving the victim, the two detectives lock horns and he's bumped off the case. It's the trigger for a vicious attack on Kate, exposing a secret she's kept hidden for years and unearthing an even darker one.
Shaken but undeterred, Kate sets out to solve a case that has shocked a close-knit village community. As suspects emerge, she uncovers a curious historical connection with a hangman, a culture of systematic bullying, a web of deceit and a deep-seated psychosis, any one of which could be motive for murder.
find out more
The fourth book in the John Puller series to follow Zero Day, The Forgotten and The Escape
john puller is the us army's most tenacious investigator, but he is not equipped to face the truth about his mother's disappearance thirty years ago. new evidence has come to light suggesting that puller's father may have murdered his wife. he knows that nothing will prevent him from discovering what really happened to his mother – even if it means proving that his father is a killer.
paul rogers has just been paroled after spending ten years in a high-security prison for murder. and with his freedom comes a desire to pay back old debts. harbouring a dark past that changed him in unimaginable ways, rogers embarks on a journey across the country, set on a path of revenge against the people who took away his humanity. as both men uncover a trail of deception that stretches back decades, they soon realize that the truth will bind them together in ways they could never have imagined.
find out more
The gripping historical mystery set in 1920s Chicago
n the stifling summer heat three disturbing events take place. A clique of city leaders is poisoned in a fancy hotel. A white gangster is found mutilated in an alleyway in the Blackbelt. And a famous heiress vanishes without a trace.
Pinkerton detectives Michael Talbot and Ida Davis are hired to find the missing heiress by the girl's troubled mother. But it proves harder than expected to find a face that is known across the city, and Ida must elicit the help of her friend Louis Armstrong.
While the police take little interest in the Blackbelt murder, Jacob Russo, crime scene photographer, can't get the dead man's image out of his head, and so he embarks on his own investigation.
And Dante Sanfelippo - rum-runner and fixer - is back in Chicago on the orders of Al Capone, who suspects there's a traitor in the ranks and wants Dante to investigate. But Dante is struggling with his own problems as he is forced to return to the city he thought he'd never see again...
As the three parties edge closer to the truth, their paths cross and their lives are threatened. But will any of them find the answers they need in the capital of jazz, booze and corruption?
start reading dead man's blues
The fourth murder mystery in the K2 and Patricia series
1972. on a cold march morning the weekend peace is broken when a frantic young cyclist rings on inspector kolbjørn 'k2' kristiansen's doorbell, desperate to speak to the detective. compelled to help, k2 lets the boy inside, only to discover that he is being pursued by k2's colleagues in the oslo police. a bloody knife is quickly found in the young man's pocket: a knife that matches the stab wounds of a politician murdered just a few streets away.
the evidence seems clear-cut, and the arrest couldn't be easier. but with the suspect's identity unknown, and the boy refusing to speak, k2 finds himself far from closing the case. and then there is the question that k2 can't get out of his head: why would a guilty man travel directly to a police detective from the scene of his own brutal crime?
start reading chameleon people
The twentieth compelling crime novel in the Inspector Montalbano mysteries
Feeling his age, as his birthday rolls round once again, Inspector Montalbano decides to cheer himself up by dealing with a young driver's road rage in his own unique way. But his joy is short-lived, as at police headquarters he receives an angry phone call from a supermarket boss; there's been a robbery at his store and Montalbano's colleague is treating him as a suspect.
On arrival at the scene, Montalbano quickly agrees with Inspector Augello that this was no ordinary break-in, but with the supermarket's infamous links to the Mafia creating problems at every turn, this isn't going to be an easy case for the inspector to solve. And to add to Montalbano's burden, the young driver he made an enemy of earlier in the week has returned to police headquarters to report a shocking crime...
start reading a voice in the night
The third novel in David Hewson's gripping Pieter Vos series
Kim and Mia Timmers were just eleven years old when their family was killed. The sisters were accused of murdering the lead singer of a world-famous pop band in the Dutch fishing village of Volendam, believing him to be responsible for their family's deaths. The evidence seemed irrefutable at the time and the sisters were imprisoned in Marken, a local psychiatric institution. Now, ten years later, they are due for release.
Pieter Vos, a detective with the Amsterdam police, is given cause to re-open the case when the girls disappear along with the nurse responsible for escorting them to a halfway house. When the nurse's corpse washes up on the beach at Marken, it becomes apparent that the institution holds the key to the investigation. And it seems that Vos's boss, De Groot, has something to hide which is relevant to the case.
Then, the case takes an unexpected turn when it becomes clear that someone is posing as Little Jo - Kim and Mia's other sister - who was supposedly murdered along with their parents ten years ago...
start reading little sister
An intimate and compelling tale which offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding, and the profound impact of impossible choices
1940: The Spanish Civil War is over, and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war.
Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett: a traumatized veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of old school friend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game - and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile Sandy's girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged in a secret mission of her own - to find her former lover Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades, who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama.
start reading winter in madrid
Love a good thriller? Sign up to the Thin Blue Spine newsletter to get the latest and best crime thriller recommendations straight to your inbox every month.