The most engrossing crime thrillers that leave you wanting more

Why am I passionate about this?

Since my childhood reading of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven books I’ve been addicted to series. I love the character development, that ability to learn more about your favourite with each new story. Crime thrillers became my preferred leisure reading as an adult and, unsurprisingly my passion when I began a full-time writing career. My background as a retired detective from Ireland’s police force helps me understand the individual stresses on investigators and the strain of maintaining relationships and family life while pursuing suspects and protecting lives. I lived in Dublin for over twenty-five years and enjoy using the ever-changing city as a base for my series.

I wrote...

The Devil's Luck

By T. R. Croke,

Book cover of The Devil's Luck

What is my book about?

Set in Ireland, The UK, and France, The Devil’s Luck opens close to the Irish border. Detective Kate Bowen’s Dublin Squad stake out an isolated farm building but is wrong-footed when the terrorist they are tracking leaps aboard a trawler as it puts to sea. Kate trails her target to France when intelligence reveals international terror groups are conspiring. An FBI report uncovers a nightmare scenario and the French reach out to Kate for backup. Conscious that the momentum of the case pitches her into mortal danger, she races towards the Breton coast in a last-ditch attempt to nail her adversary. 

The Devil’s Luck is a nail-biting, high-stakes chase to stop a killer.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Lethal White

T. R. Croke Why did I love this book?

What attracts me to the series is the relationship between the main character, Cormoran Strike and his sundry accomplices, especially his one-time secretary and now partner, Robin Ellacott.

A wonderful aspect of book four in the series is that we find out more about what motivates Robin to continue taking on dangerous tasks. The parallel storyline of her fraught relationship with her new husband adds to the tension as she, Strike, and their various collaborators work furiously to unmask a killer.

Recommended if you enjoy character-driven series.

By Robert Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lethal White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that…

Book cover of The Highway

T. R. Croke Why did I love this book?

The quest to endure and overcome against seemingly impossible odds is a strong theme with The Highway. I liked that and also that the characters came alive from the first page.

The main character Cassie Dewell’s interaction with those around her keeps you guessing as to whether she is smart or flaky. As a rookie investigator in a rural sheriff’s department beset with corruption she has her work cut out to survive. The stressed interplay of her family and work life ramps up tension when she gets on the trail of a serial killer, snatching his victims from highways and truck stops. The plot is compelling and you hold your breath as you leaf through each page. If page-turning crime thrillers are your thing, I recommend The Highway.

By C. J. Box,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Highway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When two sisters set out across a remote stretch of Montana road to visit their friend, little do they know it will be the last time anyone might ever hear from them again. The girls—and their car—simply vanish. Former police investigator Cody Hoyt has just lost his job and has fallen off the wagon after a long stretch of sobriety. Convinced by his son and his former rookie partner, Cassie Dewell, he begins the drive south to the girls' last known location. As Cody makes his way to the lonely stretch of Montana highway where they went missing, Cassie discovers…

Book cover of Silver

T. R. Croke Why did I love this book?

Silver brims with wonderful scene setting in rural Australia—you can almost smell the barbeques and hear the cockatoos. What I like about the main character, Martin Scarsdale, is that he’s prepared to go places and take chances where others fear to tread. A journalist rather than a detective, he uses his journalistic nous to solve crimes with which the police struggle. His motivation is his innate desire to expose the truth, especially when others are trying to conceal it.

If you enjoy crime thrillers with colourful characters and plots with lots of twists and turns, Silver is for you.

By Chris Hammer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Silver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Journalist Martin Scarsden returns to Port Silver to make a fresh start with his partner Mandy. But he arrives to find his childhood friend murdered - and Mandy is the prime suspect. Desperate to clear her name, Martin goes searching for the truth.

The media descends on Port Silver, compelled by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity, and religion. Martin is chasing the biggest scoop of his career, and the most personal.

As Martin draws closer to a killer, the secrets of his traumatic…

Book cover of The Dentist

T. R. Croke Why did I love this book?

The Dentist features a great plot and a uniquely different main character.

The main character, DS George Cross, is socially awkward and frequently comes across as rude in his interaction with people, including colleagues. Nonetheless, his unfailing logic and dogged pursuit of leads others ignore make him a compelling protagonist. This police procedural keeps the reader guessing whether George’s single-mindedness is indicative of his autism spectrum diagnosis or inspired genius. His consistent logical approach to investigating leads brooks no deviation just because important figures might get snared. The Dentist is a great start to a promising crime thriller series.

By Tim Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dentist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Bristol detective DS George Cross might be difficult to work with - but his unfailing logic and determined pursuit of the truth means he is second to none at convicting killers.


When the police dismiss a man's death as a squabble among the homeless community, Cross is not convinced; there are too many unanswered questions.

Who was the unknown man whose weather-beaten body was discovered on Clifton Downs? And was the same tragedy that resulted in his life on the streets also responsible for his death?


As Cross delves into the dead man's…

Book cover of Anatomy of a Killing: Life and Death on a Divided Island

T. R. Croke Why did I love this book?

Ian Cobain’s writing style is fluid and his story of the real-life murder of Constable Millar McAllister by the IRA in 1978 reads like a bestselling crime novel.

The politically violent period between 1968 and 1998 is euphemistically referred to in Ireland as ‘The Troubles.’ A civil rights campaign in Northern Ireland’s divided society was hijacked by violent people on either side. Cobain, a British journalist, superbly sets the story of the killing in the political context of the time. He vividly describes the role each IRA member played in the murder and the consequences for them as individuals. If you are interested in Ireland, Irish politics, or would just like to comprehend the domestic terrorist war that was—‘The Troubles,’ Cobain’s account is riveting.

By Ian Cobain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anatomy of a Killing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the morning of Saturday 22nd April 1978, members of an Active Service Unit of the IRA hijacked a car and crossed the countryside to the town of Lisburn. Within an hour, they had killed an off-duty policeman in front of his young son.
In Anatomy of a Killing, award-winning journalist Ian Cobain documents the hours leading up to the killing, and the months and years of violence, attrition and rebellion surrounding it. Drawing on interviews with those most closely involved, as well as court files, police notes, military intelligence reports, IRA strategy papers, memoirs and government records, this is…

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Ballad for Jasmine Town

By Molly Ringle,

Book cover of Ballad for Jasmine Town

Molly Ringle Author Of Sage and King

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist Editor Sociolinguist HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) Good witch

Molly's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A human child raised by the fae is an uncommon thing. But Rafi was such a child.

Now grown, half-fae but mortal, he lingers on the edge of human society in Miryoku, a nearby town sharing a border with fae territory. He doesn’t want to join the human world properly; he just wants to play music with a local cover band and avoid the cruelest members of his fae family.

Then, he meets Roxana, and his world shifts. She’s a human metalworking witch, up for a friendly fling with Rafi before she and her twelve-year-old daughter move away from Miryoku at summer’s end. But Rafi and Roxana grow too fond of each other to let go easily, and worse still, they soon become enmeshed in a much larger storm of prejudice and violence between fae and humans.

Ballad for Jasmine Town

By Molly Ringle,

What is this book about?

A law-abiding metalworking witch and a form-shifting half-fae musician embark on a secret romance, but soon become caught in escalating tensions between fae and humans that threaten their hometown. The second story after the popular Lava Red Feather Blue comes alive in Ballad for Jasmine Town.

The town of Miryoku has ocean views, fragrant jasmine vines, and a thriving arts scene, including a popular nineties cover band. It also sits on the verge, sharing a border with fae territory, a realm of both enchantments and dangers.

Rafi has been unusual all his life: a human born to a fae mother,…

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