The Godfathers of Crime Fiction

15 June 2015

in honour of father's day, chris simmons from crimesquad selects his five godfathers of crime fiction.

freeman wills croft – antidote to venom

freeman wills crofts hails from the golden age of crime fiction and was one of the founding members of the detection club. those lovely people at the british library have re-issued this wonderful tale which is a marvellous mix of detection and the psychological that was first published in 1938. george surridge is director of birmingham zoo and desperate for money. with breath-taking cunning surridge decides to hurry along a few rich family members to their grave! crofts was always meticulous in constructing plot and here he delivers some delicious twists!

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c.j. sansom – lamentation
for the man who likes a historical background to his crime fiction, sansom has a huge following which, when you read his shardlake books, is easy to understand why. sansom immerses his readers in tudor times so much that you can smell those 16th century streets. queen catherine parr’s confessional book, ‘lamentation of a sinner’ has been stolen and a page from this explosive missive is found in the hand of a murdered london printer. shardlake is soon on the case.

read the first chapter


simon kernick – the final minute
kernick has garnered a reputation for producing ‘by-the seat-of-your-pants’ books which have that rollercoaster effect on a reader. his latest again features his maverick detective, tina boyd who tries to help matt barron recover his memory after a motor accident. soon they are both running for their lives. hold on to your armchair, reading any kernick novel is always a seriously bumpy ride!

peter james – you are dead
this is the eleventh in the thrilling roy grace series. james’ complex plots and full-on action always gets you racing head first towards a gripping climax. when a woman is kidnapped in the car park under her brighton apartment, her disappearance coincides with the discovery of a buried skeleton. soon both cases merge and grace and his team is hunting down a serial killer.

read the first chapter

jeffery deaver – solitude creek

deaver is known as one of the politest and nicest writers in crime fiction – which is a total contradiction to his dark and beautifully crafted novels. every deaver book i have read always has that ‘wow’ factor when like a literary magician, deaver reveals where he has wrong footed his reader. this new one featuring agent kathryn dance is certain not to disappoint.

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