The best police books

Who picked these books? Meet our 242 experts.

242 authors created a book list connected to police, and here are their favorite police books.
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The Main

By Trevanian,

Book cover of The Main

Max China Author Of The Night of The Mosquito

From the list on serial killers to stay with you long after you’ve read them.

Who am I?

I was fascinated by American True Crime magazines from an early age. I used to buy them with my pocket money from a second-hand bookstore near my home. I graduated to reading novels by the age of ten, sneaking my father’s book collection into my bedroom one at a time to read after lights out. His books covered everything from The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins to The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley. By seventeen, I promised myself I’d write a novel one day. Most of my books are crime themed with a supernatural flavour. My debut, The Sister was published in 2013 and since then I’ve completed three more novels and several short stories.

Max's book list on serial killers to stay with you long after you’ve read them

Discover why each book is one of Max's favorite books.

Why did Max love this book?

I must have read this book at least half a dozen times over the years. Trevanian was the author of The Eiger Sanction, which became a film starring Clint Eastwood and served as my introduction to Trevanian.

Set in Montreal, this character-driven novel centres around a world-weary detective named LaPointe and the characters on his beat. Close to retirement, Lapointe finds himself on the trail of a killer. Will he catch him before his own past catches up with him? It’s a great story.

By Trevanian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Masterpiece' WASHINGTON POST--'The Main held me from the opening page' CHICAGO TRIBUNE--'The only writer of airport paperbacks to be compared to Zola, Ian Fleming, Poe and Chaucer' NEW YORK TIMES--'A literary jester, a magnificent tale-teller, whose range of interests was vast and whose scope for bafflement was formidable.' INDEPENDENT--'Trevanian's sharply tuned sense of character and milieu gives the book a vivid life granted to only the finest of serious fiction.' WASHINGTON POST The Main is Montreal's teeming underworld, where the dark streets echo with cries in a dozen languages, with the quick footsteps of thieves and the whispers of prostitutes.…

Bad Penny Blues

By Cathi Unsworth,

Book cover of Bad Penny Blues

Mike Gerrard Author Of Strip till Dead

From the list on crime set in London.

Who am I?

I began my freelance career as a travel writer, though I now also write about drinks. While living in London I worked for a while at the men’s magazine, Mayfair, and around that time went out for several months with a woman who was a stripper. I didn’t know that when we met, so judged her by her personality not her profession. One of the magazine’s models was murdered, and one of the staff questioned by police. He was totally innocent. I wanted to write the kind of book I like reading, bringing together those two storylines to create a fictional version of a very real part of London life.

Mike's book list on crime set in London

Discover why each book is one of Mike's favorite books.

Why did Mike love this book?

I absolutely loved this book, set in the London of the 1960s. It starts with the murder of a prostitute and takes you into the shady world of Soho with its drugs and clubs, its swingers and its singers. A young PC is assigned to work with the CID to catch the killer, as he found the body. The writing is vivid and it appeals as the murder, though central, is only part of a broader picture of the London of that era.

By Cathi Unsworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gripping crime novel inspired by the "Jack the Stripper" killings in 1960s London.

Bad Penny Blues is the latest gripping crime fiction from Cathi Unsworth, London's undisputed queen of noir. Set in late 1950s and early 1960s London, it is loosely based on the West London "Jack the Stripper" killings that rocked the city. The narrative follows police officer Pete Bradley, who investigates the serial killings of a series of prostitutes, and, in a parallel story, Stella, part of the art and fashion worlds of 1960s "Swinging London," who is haunted by visions of the murdered women.

Mystic River

By Dennis Lehane,

Book cover of Mystic River

Scott Von Doviak Author Of Charlesgate Confidential

From the list on crime that bring Boston to life.

Who am I?

The roots of my debut novel Charlesgate Confidential are in the time I spent in Boston, most notably the three years I lived in the Charlesgate building when it was an Emerson College dormitory. I always wanted to find a way to write about that time, but it wasn’t until I immersed myself in the world of Boston crime—not only the novels of Higgins, Lehane, and company but nonfiction works like Black Mass and movies like The Departed and The Town—that I hit on the way to tell my story. I’ll always be excited for new Boston-based crime fiction, and I’m happy to share these recommendations with you.

Scott's book list on crime that bring Boston to life

Discover why each book is one of Scott's favorite books.

Why did Scott love this book?

After Robert B. Parker, Lehane is the most successful and skilled descendant of Eddie Coyle (a debt he acknowledges in his introduction to a reissue of the Higgins book). While you can’t go wrong with any of the entries in his Kenzie/Gennaro detective series (or his later historically-based trilogy), this stand-alone novel about three childhood friends brought back together by a crime one of them may have committed is his most powerful work, as well as the novel that first spurred my interest in trying my hand at Boston-based crime fiction.

By Dennis Lehane,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mystic River as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This New York Times bestseller from Dennis Lehane is a gripping, unnerving psychological thriller about the effects of a savage killing on three former friends in a tightly knit, blue-collar Boston neighborhood.

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened—something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.

Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to…

Bury Your Dead

By Louise Penny,

Book cover of Bury Your Dead

Katie Tallo Author Of Dark August

From the list on Canadian thrillers about haunted messy characters.

Who am I?

Ten-year-old me once looked in the bathroom mirror wondering who I would become. I tried to memorize the patterns in the tiles to hold on to that moment and carry it with me. My fascination with memory and the past permeates my novels. I love a good cold case—and my August Monet thriller trilogy is all about how the past weaves through the present—informing it, haunting it, transporting secrets. Maybe it’s our long, dark winters, but I see this same fascination in the novels of my fellow Canadian thriller writers. Many have created messy characters haunted by their messy pasts. Here’s a list of my favourites.

Katie's book list on Canadian thrillers about haunted messy characters

Discover why each book is one of Katie's favorite books.

Why did Katie love this book?

In the opening pages of Bury Your Dead, Penny gives us a heart-pounding glimpse into a moment that went horribly wrong.

Right away, she lays bare the terrible incident in the past that now haunts her beloved character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache in the present. He’s come to Quebec City to get his head straight, to walk his friend’s dog, to disappear for a while. But nothing’s ever that simple.

A mystery bubbles up and Gamache can’t resist getting involved. It’s in his blood, despite still struggling with past demons. What I love about this novel is the snowy, history-laden atmosphere Penny creates that beautifully mirrors Gamache’s desire to hide away from the world, making it a wonderful book to snuggle up with on a cozy winter’s night.

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Outstanding ... a constantly surprising series' THE NEW YORK TIMES

There is more to solving a crime than following the clues.
Welcome to Chief Inspector Gamache's world of facts and feelings.

As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the strangest case of his celebrated career.

A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city's oldest buildings - a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has…

Harm Done

By Ruth Rendell,

Book cover of Harm Done

Jenny Twist Author Of A Gift for Murder: A Tommy Ross mystery

From the list on crime fiction with memorable plots and characters.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading crime fiction all my life. I love following the detective sifting through the evidence—the clues, the false trails, and the eventual denouement. It was a crime fiction book that made me realise that history is not fixed but is, in fact, detective work. It changes as more evidence is discovered or a new interpretation is accepted. That book made me decide to take history as my subject at university and I spent six deliriously happy years examining evidence, evaluating it, and, reaching conclusions. Amongst my case studies were the princes in the tower, the gunpowder plot, and witchcraft. Happy days!

Jenny's book list on crime fiction with memorable plots and characters

Discover why each book is one of Jenny's favorite books.

Why did Jenny love this book?

Rendell’s Inspector Wexford is so real that one reader wrote to the author, begging her to kill Wexford’s wife so she could marry him.

I’ve read all the Wexford books but this was the one that stood out for me. 

It’s a complex plot that involves kidnapping, a paedophile, a riot in which a policeman is burned to death, domestic abuse, and a cold-blooded murder. 

Something for everyone!

By Ruth Rendell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The search for the body commenced. Then the victim walked into town.

Behind the picture-postcard façade of Kingsmarkham lies a community rife with violence, betrayal, and a taste for vengeance. When sixteen-year-old Lizzie Cromwell reappears no one knows where she has been, including Lizzie herself. Inspector Wexford thinks she was with a boyfriend. But the disappearance of a three-year-old girl casts a more ominous light on events. And when the public's outrage turns toward a recently released pederast and another suspect turns up stabbed to death, Wexford must try to unravel the mystery before any more bodies appear, and before…

Tear Gas

By Anna Feigenbaum,

Book cover of Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today

Thomas I. Faith Author Of Behind the Gas Mask: The U.S. Chemical Warfare Service in War and Peace

From the list on chemical weapons.

Who am I?

When I first enrolled in college, I expected to be a science major who was also interested in history, but I ended up becoming a history major who was also interested in science. I earned my Ph.D. in history from George Washington University in Washington, DC, after earning my B.A. from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. My Ph.D. dissertation on the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service during WWI and the 1920s became the basis for my book Behind the Gas Mask.

Thomas' book list on chemical weapons

Discover why each book is one of Thomas' favorite books.

Why did Thomas love this book?

Anna Feigenbaum’s book describes the origins of tear gas as a weapon of war and its transition to a crowd control tool. Tear Gas tells a story about the relationships between militaries, arms manufacturers, and police forces that has critical public policy and societal implications today. The continued use of tear gas to counter-protest movements and mass demonstrations around the globe remains a challenge for advocates of arms control, social justice, and human rights.

By Anna Feigenbaum,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tear Gas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One hundred years ago, French troops fired tear gas grenades into German trenches. Designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, tearing, and gagging. Chemical weapons are now banned from war zones. But today, tear gas has become the most commonly used form of "less-lethal" police force. In 2011, the year that protests exploded from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, tear gas sales tripled. Most tear gas is produced in the United States, and many images of protestors in Tahrir Square showed tear gas canisters with "Made…

Book cover of A Philosophical Investigation

John L. Casti Author Of Prey for Me: A Psychological Thriller

From the list on psychological thrillers that will make you think.

Who am I?

I've spent the last half-century researching complex systems and mathematical modeling, both at research centers including The RAND Corporation, the Santa Fe Institute, and the Int'l Center for Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna), as well with professorships at New York University, Princeton and the Technical U. of Vienna. I have also had a lifelong interest in the connection between science fiction and science fact, and have explored the relationship in several of my books including X-EVENTS, The Cambridge Quintet, and Paradigms Lost. I also served as editor for the volume Mission to Abisko, which gives an account of a week-long meeting between sci-fi writers and scientists held north of the Arctic Circle in Abisko, Sweden some years back.

John's book list on psychological thrillers that will make you think

Discover why each book is one of John's favorite books.

Why did John love this book?

THEME: Technically, this is not really a work of science fiction per se, even though it takes place in London 2013, twenty-one years before the book's publication. So it explores aspects of the future through a journey into the head of a serial killer and to the heart of murder itself. In the book, London at that time was a city where serial murder has reached epidemic proportions. To combat this raft of murders, the government has created a test to screen people for a predisposition to commit violent crimes. Tested at random, a man is shocked to hear that he fits the model. Yet when he breaks into the computer to erase his name, he discovers a list of his "brothers" a logical idea springs into his mind: What if to protect society he becomes a killer of serial murderers?

The inspector charged with tracking down this sociopath, code-named…

By Philip Kerr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

London, 2013, and the city is battling an epidemic of serial killings - even with the widespread government use of DNA detection, brain-imaging, and the 'punitive coma'.

Detective Isadora 'Jake' Jacowicz is hunting a murderer, code-named 'Wittgenstein,' who has taken it upon himself to eliminate anyone who has tested positive for a tendency towards violent behaviour - even if they've never committed a crime.

His intellectual brilliance is matched only by his homicidal madness.


By Ragnar Jónasson,

Book cover of Snowblind

Marcel Krueger Author Of Iceland: A Literary Guide for Travellers

From the list on Iceland to read in winter.

Who am I?

I've always been a bookworm, and fascinated by the North—after all, I made my home here. I thrived (and still do) on stories about rain-drenched moors, ships in distress running aground in boiling seas, men with swords stumping through dark woods searching for gold and demons. So no wonder that I am fascinated by Iceland and its stories, and have returned to the island again and again. Here, literature plays a crucial role in preserving and developing culture and language equally. So as a fan of Icelandic past and present I try and spread the word about this craggy island and its literary heritage as much as I can. 

Marcel's book list on Iceland to read in winter

Discover why each book is one of Marcel's favorite books.

Why did Marcel love this book?

Ragnar is one the most successful contemporary crime authors hailing from Iceland, also as his series featuring rookie policeman Ari Thór Arnarson is not set in the urban sprawl of the Icelandic capital Reykjavík but instead in the small town of Siglufjörður on the north coast and provides fascinating insight into Icelandic topography, history, and culture of the remote regions of the country. Snowblind is the first of the series, a slow-burning but gripping whodunnit set in a Siglufjörður cut off from the rest of the country by avalanches and snowstorms...  

By Ragnar Jónasson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Snowblind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



A murder takes place in the isolated Icelandic town of Siglufjoerdur, where an avalanche has cut off all communication and the unrelenting snow threatens rookie police officer Ari Thor Arason first investigation...

'A modern Icelandic take on an Agatha Christie-style mystery, as twisty as any slalom...' Ian Rankin

'Ragnar J nasson writes with a chilling, poetic beauty' Peter James

'Seductive ... Ragnar does claustrophobia beautifully' Ann Cleeves


Siglufjoerdur: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors - accessible only via…

Miami Blues

By Charles Willeford,

Book cover of Miami Blues

Marshall Jon Fisher Author Of Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season

From the list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida.

Who am I?

My work has appeared in the AtlanticHarper’s, and Best American Essays, among other places. My most recent book is Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season. I grew up in Miami and as a writer had always intended to explore that wondrous year in Miami—when I was a nine-year-old fan—and I finally did so for its fiftieth anniversary. I wanted to write about much more than football; I hoped to bring alive the feel of old Miami, and to do so I reread many of my favorite books about South Florida. Here are a few of the best. 

Marshall's book list on showing you old (and very old) South Florida

Discover why each book is one of Marshall's favorite books.

Why did Marshall love this book?

When Willeford became a friend of my family, around 1979, he was known only by a small cult following.

He hadn't published a book in seven years, and his twelve previous books were out of print. He was teaching at Miami-Dade Community College and reviewing mystery books for The Miami Herald.

Miami Blues, which rescued its author from obscurity, presented a Miami in transition. South Beach is still decrepit and full of old people, but there is a new sense of danger on the streets—a scent of violent desperation among refugees from Latin America and opportunists from the rest of the U.S.

Like Willeford's pulp novels of earlier decades, Miami Blues and the later Hoke Moseley books defy their genre. For detective novels, they have precious little mystery or police procedure.

There is the smattering of Willefordian violence, and each book does have a criminal who gets…

By Charles Willeford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Miami Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After a brutal day investigating a quadruple homicide, Detective Hoke Moseley settles into his room at the un-illustrious El Dorado Hotel and nurses a glass of brandy. With his guard down, he doesn’t think twice when he hears a knock on the door. The next day, he finds himself in the hospital, badly bruised and with his jaw wired shut. He thinks back over ten years of cases wondering who would want to beat him into unconsciousness, steal his gun and badge, and most importantly, make off with his prized dentures. But the pieces never quite add up to revenge,…

Book cover of The Man with a Load of Mischief

Elizabeth Spann Craig Author Of Checked Out

From the list on enjoying the delicious coziness of murder.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a child, I loved stories where an element of danger is introduced into a peaceful setting. Armchair sleuths can solve crimes alongside the detectives and in the comfort and relative security of their own homes. I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and The Hardy Boys before moving on to Agatha Christie. It’s such an interactive experience when we get the same clues as the detectives and try to come to similar conclusions. These books all replicate the experience well and put the reader in the driver’s seat.

Elizabeth's book list on enjoying the delicious coziness of murder

Discover why each book is one of Elizabeth's favorite books.

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

One of the biggest joys in this fine series is the pub settings. Each title is the name of a pub and each pub is the sort of spot you'd like to settle comfortably down with a drink and a chat with friends. Add onto this backdrop a puzzling murder, the wonderful Scotland Yard inspector Richard Jury, and his aristocratic sidekick Melrose Plant, and you've got a winning formula from Martha Grimes.

By Martha Grimes,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Man with a Load of Mischief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer. Except for one Melrose Plant. A keen observer of human nature, he points Jury in the right direction: into the darkest…

Heaven, My Home

By Attica Locke,

Book cover of Heaven, My Home

Scott Montgomery Author Of Austin Noir

From the list on crime with a whole lot of Texas.

Who am I?

I have spent over twenty years over (fifteen in Texas) recommending crime fiction as a bookseller in a couple of prominent stores. Texas and its writers have always fascinated me. Now that I get to call myself one, I am connected more to the genre literature of my adopted state and have an insider's view as both writer and resident.

Scott's book list on crime with a whole lot of Texas

Discover why each book is one of Scott's favorite books.

Why did Scott love this book?

The first in Locke’s Highway 59 series, featuring African American Texas ranger Darren Matthews involving two bodies one black, one white that wash up in a small East Texas town.

The story combines procedural, western, and Southern gothic to give an entertaining, human, yet unflinching look at race both past and present. This book enlightened me on how much African Americans contribute to what we call Texas culture.

By Attica Locke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Waterstones' Thriller of the Month June 2020
Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2020
A Sunday Times Book of the Year
'Political crime fiction of the highest order' Sunday Times

Nine-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; instead he found himself all alone, adrift on the vastness of Caddo Lake. A sudden noise - and all goes dark.
Ranger Darren Mathews is trying to emerge from another kind of darkness; his career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who's never exactly had his best interests at heart. Now she holds the key to his…

City of Bones

By Michael Connelly,

Book cover of City of Bones

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From the list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Who am I?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Discover why each book is one of Christopher's favorite books.

Why did Christopher love this book?

I don’t think Connelly’s intention was to write horror, but his visceral description of the corpses and the minutia of murder in this novel made my stomach churn. An unpleasant experience, yes, but it’s vivid and effective writing. Harry Bosch is a detective with weakness for a specific type of woman, and of course he gets mixed up with Julia, a hot tomato who’s new to the force, and of course she messes up his investigation into the bones. You might want to kick Bosch in the caboose for not thinking more lucidly, but eventually he manages to outsmart his villains.

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The outstanding eighth Harry Bosch thriller from the award-winning No. 1 bestselling author of The Lincoln Lawyer. City of Bones is featured in Amazon Prime's BOSCH TV series.

When the bones of a boy are found scattered in the Hollywood Hills, Harry Bosch is drawn into a case that brings up dark memories from his past.

Unearthing hidden stories, he finds the child's identity and reconstructs his fractured life, determined that he won't be forgotten. At the same time, a new love affair with a female cop begins to blossom - until a stunningly blown mission leaves him in more…

Justice in Kelly Country

By Lachlan Strahan,

Book cover of Justice in Kelly Country: The Story of the Cop Who Hunted Australia's Most Notorious Bushrangers

Sandi Logan Author Of Betrayed: The incredible untold inside story of the two most unlikely drug-running grannies in Australian history

From the list on life’s adventures featuring crime, drugs, and travel.

Who am I?

I learned from a young age to question everything. The law always interested me, but I was an impatient high school graduate who instead completed a journalism cadetship in Sydney, Australia. I always loved police reporting and the ability to get inside the ‘real’ story where few others could. There is a certain pleasure observing the lives of (witting or unwitting) criminals and an element of “there by the grace…” too! I’ve always empathised with the underdog and the Drug Grannies were indeed just that. I believed there was more to their story. Earning their trust was important. I threw myself into their fight – more an activist than a journalist!

Sandi's book list on life’s adventures featuring crime, drugs, and travel

Discover why each book is one of Sandi's favorite books.

Why did Sandi love this book?

There would be few Australians who didn’t know the name Ned Kelly, but there are likely many Australians who are uncertain whether Kelly was a good guy (a la Robin Hood) or a down-and-out bushranger scoundrel (i.e., bad guy).

The research that has gone into this wonderful story is breathtaking, and the fact the author is a distant relative of one of the policemen who hunted Ned Kelly is all the more remarkable. It’s about the law, justice, payback, character, and, importantly, values. The book brings a bygone rural era back to life, with real page-turning impetus lacing the suspense and drama in a way few history books offer.

Read this if you love real-life stories and want to learn more about Australia’s most notorious criminal.

By Lachlan Strahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Justice in Kelly Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Partway through the Jerilderie Letter, Ned Kelly accused Senior Constable Anthony Strahan of threatening him: ‘he would shoot me … like a dog.’ Those few fateful words have echoed through Australian history and been the cause of much bloodshed and violence. They ushered in a national myth: the legend of the Kelly Gang. For two days after Anthony reputedly made his threat, Ned and his gang shot dead three police in an event now known as the Stringybark Creek killings. Ned’s reason for opening fire? He thought one cop was Anthony. Lachlan Strahan, Anthony’s great-great-grandson, grew up believing Ned Kelly…

The Ice Princess

By Camilla Läckberg, Steven T. Murray (translator),

Book cover of The Ice Princess

Mats Vederhus Author Of Murder In Lima

From the list on mysteries with a Nordic flair.

Who am I?

I started writing stories when I was a kid and could hardly spell, and have done so ever since. I’ve been fascinated by crime fiction since I started watching the TV adaptations of Poirot with my grandfather as a child and later as a teenager. Subsequently, I also started reading Agatha Christie and writing my own crime fiction books! As I got older, I started reading Nordic Noir books, and this genre heavily influenced my first two books.

Mats' book list on mysteries with a Nordic flair

Discover why each book is one of Mats' favorite books.

Why did Mats love this book?

This is Läckberg’s debut novel, where she showcased her new twist on the mystery genre: a murder that happens in the present day with ties to historical events in the past. Läckberg is in many ways Sweden’s Agatha Christie, as these books are as set in the sleepy village of Fjällbacka in coastal Sweden. In later years, Läckberg has proven that she can also write thrillers, and these books have indications of that as the pacing is ramped up somewhat towards the end. But this is mostly a cozy mystery, written by one of the best in the business.

By Camilla Läckberg, Steven T. Murray (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A top-notch thriller, one of the best of the genre” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) from international crime-writing sensation Camilla Läckberg tells the story of brutal murders in a small Swedish fishing village, and the shattering, decades-old secrets that precipitated them.

In this electrifying tale of suspense from an international crime-writing sensation, a grisly death exposes the dark heart of a Scandinavian seaside village. Erica Falck returns to her tiny, remote hometown of Fjällbacka, Sweden, after her parents’ deaths only to encounter another tragedy: the suicide of her childhood best friend, Alex. It’s Erica herself who finds Alex’s body—suspended in a bathtub…

A Rising Man

By Abir Mukherjee,

Book cover of A Rising Man

Douglas Watt Author Of The Unnatural Death of a Jacobite

From the list on crime which evoke an historical period.

Who am I?

I love historical fiction which brings the past to life and allows us to experience other historical periods. For me, historical crime fiction combines this with dynamic plots and interesting characters. My love of history was first kindled by the books of John Prebble which introduced me to the fascinating world of 17th-century Scotland. I went on to study Scottish History at university and research a PhD in the subject. I have gone on to write a history of the Darien Disaster, The Price of Scotland, and a series of historical crime novels set in the late 17th century featuring investigative advocate John MacKenzie and his sidekick Davie Scougall. 

Douglas' book list on crime which evoke an historical period

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Why did Douglas love this book?

Set in India in 1919, A Rising Man plunges us into all the colours and chaos of India just as the British Empire is beginning to crumble. We see events through the eyes of English policeman Captain Sam Wyndham who has joined the Calcutta police. This is a riveting read and a fascinating exploration of the end of an empire.

By Abir Mukherjee,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Rising Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Calcutta, 1919. Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. He is immediately overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of the tropical city, but with barely a moment to acclimatize or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a city already teetering on the brink of political insurgency.

The body of a senior official has been…

The Profession

By Bill Bratton, Peter Knobler,

Book cover of The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America

Efrem Sigel Author Of Juror Number 2: The Story of a Murder, the Agony of a Neighborhood

From the list on how to make cities safer and help poor children.

Who am I?

I’m the author of two published novels and dozens of short stories, essays, and memoirs. I write about education, crime, and public safety, and I work to improve educational and career opportunities for young people in New York and other cities.

Efrem's book list on how to make cities safer and help poor children

Discover why each book is one of Efrem's favorite books.

Why did Efrem love this book?

Bratton became New York City police commissioner in the early 1990s when there were more than 2,000 homicides a year. His reforms, including the widely copied CompStat program for pinpointing where crimes were occurring, and then concentrating policing to prevent those crimes, helped bring about a huge decline in crime. This often self-congratulatory memoir is nevertheless full of insights into how to improve policing and make cities safer and more livable.

By Bill Bratton, Peter Knobler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Engaging. . . a remarkably candid account. . . Succeeding as a centrist in public life these days can be an almost impossible task. But centrism in law enforcement may be the most delicate challenge of all. Bratton's ability to practice it was a startling phenomenon." -New York Times Book Review

The epic, transformative career of Bill Bratton, legendary police commissioner and police reformer, in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York

When Bill Bratton became a Boston street cop after his return from serving in Vietnam, he was dismayed by the corrupt old guard, and it is fair to say…

The Redbreast

By Jo Nesbo, Don Bartlett (translator),

Book cover of The Redbreast

David Wickenden Author Of The Home Front

From the list on Nazis and the threat they posed in the past and today.

Who am I?

I can recommend this topic because of my interest in anything about WWII and the Nazi horror. It also comes from the recent revival of the ideology, even though the entire world fought to defeat them seventy years ago. I have been haunted by PTSD because of my experiences as a first responder and can speak to that personally. As a former reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces, I also have experience in firearms and munitions. I have recently written my own story, The Home Front, which deals with the rise of the neo-Nazis in the United States through the eyes of a WWII veteran.

David's book list on Nazis and the threat they posed in the past and today

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

Another cautionary story. This story shows that the Nazi movement is growing worldwide and that governments need to keep these organizations under wraps before allowing them to carry out their own agendas. 

When a mistake causes an international incident during a US Presidential visit to Norway, Detective Harry Hole is placed out of sight in the Federal Police Department, until matters settle. Unable to sit still, Harry investigates a neo-Nazi group and comes across someone practicing with an exotic rifle that would only be used to assassinate someone. Now he must identify both the target and the killer.

By Jo Nesbo, Don Bartlett (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Harry Hole faces a new rising enemy.

'A page-turner you won't want to put down' Time Out

Harry knows he shouldn't get involved.

A report of a rare and unusual gun - a type favoured by assassins - being smuggled into the country sparks Detective Harry Hole's interest.

Evil is closer to home than he knows.

Then a former WW2 Nazi sympathizer is found with his throat cut. Next, someone close to Harry is murdered. Why had she been trying to reach Harry on the night she was killed?

As Harry's investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the killer is…

The Cruelest Month

By Louise Penny,

Book cover of The Cruelest Month

Candace Wade Author Of Adrift on a Sea of Grief: (With a Quart of Ice Cream and a Fifth of Gin)

From the list on life rafts from loss – with a shot of gin.

Who am I?

My husband of 35 glorious years died of Pancreatic cancer in 2020. In two months, as COVID slammed, we had to put our beloved dog down, my husband’s lesson horse went hooves up, my husband died, I replaced two HVAC units and a water heater. I am a writer/journalist whose style is conversational. Writing about my grief maelstrom as if telling a friend focused me on the dark humor. My book Horse Sluts and articles in Horse Nation and other equine and/or mature-focused magazines are written in the same, “I’m no expert, but this is my experience” POV. I know the tone that helps.

Candace's book list on life rafts from loss – with a shot of gin

Discover why each book is one of Candace's favorite books.

Why did Candace love this book?

Come on, we who slog through loss need a break from other people’s grief. I offer The Cruelest Month as one of my favorite L. Penny books in which to escape.

I escape to the façade of the idyl of Three Pines. Smell the brioche from Gabri and Olivier’s Bistro, dodge an insult from Ruth walking her duck. Despite betrayal and mortal danger, Inspector Gamache is sure to prevail. I need these people.

Death is complicated by human emotional frailty in The Cruelest Month as death is in “true” life. The séance at the evil Hadley House offers hope, for some, of bringing back lost souls. I too sometimes yearn to bring back my wandering souls. Penny has talent with phrasing, braiding of stories within the story, and professorial knowledge of the arcane. All a break from “dealing” with the mire of loss.

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'No one does atmospheric like Louise Penny' ELLY GRIFFITHS

There is more to solving a crime than following the clues.
Welcome to Chief Inspector Gamache's world of facts and feelings.

It's Easter, and on a glorious Spring day in peaceful Three Pines, someone waits for night to fall. They plan to raise the dead . . .

When Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surete du Quebec arrives the next morning, he faces an unusual crime scene. A seance in an old abandoned house has gone horrifically wrong and someone has been seemingly frightened to death.

In idyllic Three Pines, terrible…

In the Dark Places

By Peter Robinson,

Book cover of In the Dark Places

Christopher Murphy Author Of Where the Boys Are: Murder, Martinis and Mayhem... Boys Will Be Boys

From the list on twisty thrillers to keep you guessing until the end.

Who am I?

I’m an activist, artist, and author of the breakout thriller, Where The Boys Are and The Other Side of the Mirror. I specialize in thrillers that highlight diverse characters (LGBTQ+ and people of color.) I’m a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Hurston/Wright Writers Foundation. As a graphic designer/copywriter/marketer by day and author by night, I can usually be found creating and designing behind the bright neon glow of my laptop. When I’m not writing, I enjoy traveling to new destinations. I live and work out of my home in Las Vegas with “the hubs” and our two yorkies, and I'm currently writing my next novel, The Dark Side of the Mirror.

Christopher's book list on twisty thrillers to keep you guessing until the end

Discover why each book is one of Christopher's favorite books.

Why did Christopher love this book?

Here’s a great suspense read from the UK that does everything right. Inspector Alan Banks and his team investigate the theft of a tractor from an area farm—an investigation that leads into a deeper mystery involving a murder, and the disappearance of a young man. Where some detective series tend to peter out and lose steam toward the end of the book, this page-turner keeps up the pace and delivers a very satisfying twist ending.

By Peter Robinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Dark Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in the United Kingdom and Canada as Abattoir Blues

Louise Penny calls In the Dark Places "brilliant." Tess Gerritsen says it's "thrilling." And Michael Connelly describes Peter Robinson as "amazing." One of the world's greatest suspense writers returns with this sensational new novel featuring Inspector Alan Banks, hailed by Michael Connelly as "a man for all seasons."

It's a double mystery: Two young men have vanished, and the investigation leads to two troubling clues in two different locations.

As Banks and his team scramble for answers, the inquiry takes an even darker turn when a truck careens off an…

Left You Dead

By Peter James,

Book cover of Left You Dead

Steve Orme Author Of Storm Deaths

From the list on crime fiction with characters you won't forget.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by crime ever since I was a junior reporter working on a daily newspaper and covered a huge number of court cases. I’ve written all my working life and turned to crime writing after reaching the final of a UK TV channel’s Search for a New Crime Writer competition. I’ve built up contacts within the police force during my career which has enabled me to write Storm Deaths, the first in a series of police procedural crime novels. I’ve seen so many films and TV shows that don’t follow the proper procedure, so I ensure that all my writing is as authentic as possible. 

Steve's book list on crime fiction with characters you won't forget

Discover why each book is one of Steve's favorite books.

Why did Steve love this book?

Peter James is one of the world’s finest crime writers. His books are fast-paced and once you start one of his novels, it’s so difficult to put it down.

His main character, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, is totally credible and takes the reader right into the heart of British policing. You get to know the most intricate details of murder investigations.

Left You Dead features Niall and Eden Paternoster going to a supermarket just before it closes – but Eden doesn’t come back out. A few days later Niall is arrested on suspicion of her murder. But you know that with Peter James nothing is as it seems and there’ll be a twist that you just won’t expect.

By Peter James,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Left You Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*The brand new Roy Grace novel from Peter James - Picture You Dead - is available to pre-order now*

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award-winning author Peter James, faces his most engrossing case yet in Left You Dead.

Niall and Eden Paternoster start their Sunday the same way they always do - with a long drive, a visit to a country house and a quick stop at the local supermarket on the way home.

But this Sunday ends differently - because while Niall waits and waits in the car park for Eden to pick up…