I have always loved reading. I was constantly getting told off for sneakily reading my book instead of revising or cleaning. Since finishing uni I have finally got back into it and I am working my way through so many books. I’m mainly a fan of the crime genre. You can’t really beat trying to work out who did it and trying to piece the puzzle pieces together. As I have read so many murders I thought I’d give you my favourite crime writers at the moment. They are in no particular order and I highly recommend them all.
M J Arlidge
M J Arlidge has worked in TV for the last 15 years including Torn, The Little House and Silent Witness. I only recently discovered his books when I picked up Eeny Meeny on a massive Amazon shopping spree. I was instantly hooked and hunted down the rest of the series. So far there is a series of 6 books following D.I Helen Grace with his latest, Hide & Seek, released recently. I talked my mum into buying it and finished it in 2 days. Helen has very few friends and struggles due to her past which you discover in the first book. Honestly the last two books were so tense I could not put them down and couldn’t really work out how or if she was going to get out of the mess. These books make you feel so many emotions, and in one of them I even felt sorry for the murderer. If I could recommend one series to you it would be this one.
Karin Slaughter is a well-known crime writer. Whenever I’m looking for book recommendations people always mention her. I’ve read them all and I have to agree with the masses. She’s good. Her Grant County and Will Trent series are probably my favourite and I’m planning on reading them all again from the start. However, I also loved her recent stand-alone Pretty Girls which had a massive twist. I love the Grant County series because Dr Sara Linton is a pathologist and I love books that feature that part of the investigation. Will Trent is just adorable though; he’s a GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) special agent who had a troubled childhood and struggles with dyslexia and his embarrassment about it. I don’t think I could choose between the two. There are so many good characters with secondary story lines to pull you in.
Chris worked as a criminal psychologist for a number of years before becoming a writer. So far he has seven books which follow Detective Robert Hunter and his partner. These books are not for the faint hearted. Robert Hunter works in a specialised ultra-violent unit therefore all the murders are, you guessed it, ultra-violent. I do find some of them a tad gory and they make even me question why I’m still reading but the storylines keep me hooked. If I do guess the murderer I spend the rest of the book second guessing myself as I try to piece everything together. If you can look past the gruesome murder scenes which have a fair bit of detail then these books are so good.
Amazingly I managed to get the first in the series on a spur of the moment charity shop. When does that ever happen? The first book in the DS Heckenburg series is a pretty terrifying one. It follows the seedy underworld of organised crime when Heck suspects 38 missing women cases are linked. The Nice Guys Club is a gang that no one will talk about but can arrange anything you want and this book feels scarily real. The rest of the Heck series is just as tense and I constantly wonder how he is still alive. I have also just finished a stand-alone book “Strangers” which I absolutely loved. It follows Lucy who goes undercover as a prostitute to try and catch a female serial killer. I question her thought process in dangerous situations but I couldn’t stop reading. All his books are set in the UK as well which I love because you can picture it better.
Casey Hill is the pseudonym of a husband and wife duo who write forensic thrillers. I adore this series as it looks more at the forensic side of crime. There is a detective, but as I desperately wanted to be a forensic scientist I love reading more in-depth about how the forensic side aids investigations. There are six books following Reilly Steel, a forensic scientist and she is definitely one of my favourite characters. I love her relationships with the other characters and following her life as she adjusts to her move from sunny California to wet and windy Dublin. You also get to learn about the forensics without them throwing so much jargon at you that you have no idea what’s going on.
I also want to give a slight mention to Harlan Coben. I’ve only read two of his books so far but I have a feeling he will make it onto my favourites soon. I just love his style of writing and the way he portrays his characters. I have so many more books to read and I’m hoping to find more hidden gems in my to-read pile.