Friday Reads: Our Favourite Crime Reads

To celebrate the signing of the final instalment of the Alex Hastings crime series, Smoke and Adders, the team at Impress HQ are discussing their favourite crime writers and crime reads.


Colin’s favourite crime writer is Michael Connelly

I am currently reading The Crossing. Connelly was a crime reporter before becoming a novelist and combines the procedural details of the police, in this case the LAPD, with the character of the stereotypical hard-boiled private eye, in this case Hieronymus Bosch, a recently retired police detective. The stories are always page-turners.

the crossing

Sarah’s crime thriller of choice is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This might not be my favourite ever crime read but I feel it’s owed a mention as a turning point and serious development of me reading more crime fiction. I’d been really sceptical of crime fiction as a genre (as there does tend to be a big scope of quality in general terms), but I decided to jump on the bandwagon (and the release of the blockbuster film) and have an excuse to read Flynn’s book. I’m now scouting out the other books in the series in charity shops with the hope of reading them sometime soon!


Caroline’s a fan of Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express was one of my favourites. The characters were wonderfully mysterious and extravagant, and the backdrop of the luxurious train journey gives it an exotic edge. The plot may be a bit outlandish, but it’s still an entertaining read for anyone who likes a good mystery!


Although not a crime fanatic, Julian has settled for the Sherlock Holmes collection

Although I’m not sure I could pin down my favourite Sherlock Holmes story, ‘The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier’ sticks vividly in my mind even though it’s been about ten years since I read it. The story revolves around James M. Dodd, who contracts Mr Holmes to find his missing friend, Godfrey Emsworth, with whom he served in the Second Boer War. Emsworth’s family provides unsatisfactory explanations as to why Dodd’s friend has disappeared without trace; it is up to Holmes to track him down and discover why he has suddenly broken from his old friend. Unusually for Conan Doyle, this story is narrated by Holmes rather than Dr Watson (who does not appear), making for an interesting and compelling read.

blanched soldier.jpg

Natalie’s gone for the bestselling hit (and quite rightly), The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Everyone has been talking about this book since this time last year, and this is the only book I couldn’t put down during my dissertation writing season. I’d devoured it in about a week, I was completely immersed. Hawkins deftly handles the unreliable narrator to great effect. So, as I have been telling everyone I know for the past year, you HAVE to read this. It’s powerfully addictive, and will appeal to almost any taste.


Davi’s choice is The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

I find myself coming back to it over and over again, and enjoying itmore each time. Chandler’s dialogue is razor-sharp and his plot gripping; by the end of the first paragraph you’re right in the middle of 1940s LA and don’t want to leave.


And finally, Rachel’s gone for the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith

So far, this is my favourite series of crime reads. Galbraith paints such a rich and vivid picture that some of the more gory bits made me feel a bit queasy. The story lines have pace and the characters are easily invested in. I’m kept guessing until almost the very end and I usually finish them in one or two sittings as well. I look forward to many more to come!


Crime reader? Tell us your favourite crime book for #FridayReads


Straight from the Impress Crime Shelves…

Jennie books


The Alex Hastings series by Jennie Finch:

The fourth and final instalment of the Alex Hastings series, Smoke and Adders will be released in September this year




Click, Double-Click by James Calum Campbell

When Dr Alistair Cameron-Strange meets Alan Bletchley during a hectic shift in the emergency department, he believes he has discovered a violent terrorist threat hidden within an obscure cryptic crossword. Facing ridicule from his peers, Cameron-Strange takes matters into his own hands and embarks on a personal mission which leads him to the far north-west of Scotland and the edge of insanity. It is now a race against time, to tease out the cryptic clues and cut the puzzle short. Everything must click into place.

We’ll be revisiting Dr Alistair Cameron-Strange in Autumn 2016 with The Seven Trials of Cameron-Strange


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