It’s been almost two whole years since the publication of the last Cormoran Strike novel, Career of Evil. Robert Galbraith is still busy at work with the fourth novel, Lethal White. I know that a lot of you are suffering from a bad case of Strike withdrawals. A few days ago I asked Twitter for any book recommendations that might help. Here is what some of you came up with…
Tony Hill and Carol Jordon Series by Val McDermid
You’ve probably already heard of the “Empress of Crime”, unless you’ve been living under a rock or are new to the crime genre. Val has been writing crime for thirty years and has written over thirty books. She is also good friends with the one and only Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and gave The Cuckoo’s Calling a great review before the author’s true identity was even revealed! Val and Rowling attended the Theakston’s Crime Festival in Harrogate in 2014, where Val interviewed Rowling for her upcoming sequel, The Silkworm. You can listen to the interview here.
Val McDermid is probably best known for her Tony Hill and Carol Jordon series, with a current count of 10 books. Tony Hill is a psychologist who is taken on by the police to form a psychological profile of the serial killer to aid them in the investigation with possible leads. Carol Jordon is a Detective Chief Inspector. Over the course of the books, Tony and Carol have a complex relationship, which is often damaged somewhat by the case they’ve been working on together.
The first book in the series is called The Mermaids Singing, which was first published in 1995. It was followed by The Wire in the Blood, a title you might recognise from the TV adaptation of the same name. This was followed by The Last Temptation, The Torment of Others, Beneath the Bleeding, Fever of the Bone, The Retribution, Cross and Burn, Splinter in the Silence and Insidious Intent. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but as Val has said, you’ll have a ‘richer experience’ if you read the series in order.
You can buy the first book in the series, The Mermaids Singing, on Amazon UK here.
Visit Val’s website at www.valmcdermid.com
You can also follow Val on Twitter here.
Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child (recommended by @Caper_in_TO on Twitter)
Lee Child is one of the most popular crime authors of all time. Child is an English writer living in America and his best-selling Jack Reacher series has sold over 60 million copies. The debut novel is called Killing Floor and was followed by twenty or so more.
The Reacher novels are the perfect balance of action, mystery, suspense, and even a little romance (Reacher tends to have a ‘Bond girl’ in every novel). Jack Reacher is a man of 6ft 5, an ex-military police officer and now a drifter, moving from place to place around the States. He frequently takes on his own investigations into some mystery he stumbles across, often involving a lot of danger.
“Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles down a country road into Margrave, Georgia. An arbitrary decision he’s about to regret.
Reacher is the only stranger in town on the day they have had their first homicide in thirty years. The cops arrest Reacher and the police chief turns eyewitness to place him at the scene. As nasty secrets leak out, and the body count mounts, one thing is for sure.
They picked on the wrong guy to take the fall.”
You can buy the first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor, on Amazon UK, here.
Visit Lee Child’s website at www.leechild.com
The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood (recommended by @lukatate on Twitter)
Alex Marwood is a relatively new crime writer, whose debut novel, The Wicked Girls, was published by Sphere in 2012. It became an international bestseller and was shortlisted for numerous awards. Her second novel, The Killer Next Door, was published in 2014 and won the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel in 2015.
The Killer Next Door:
“No. 23 has a secret. In this gloomy, bedsit-riddled South London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, a horrifying collection quietly waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide.
Collette is on the run from her ex-boss; Cher is a children’s home escapee; lonely Thomas tries to make friends with his neighbours, while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a ‘quiet man’ nobody sees try to keep themselves hidden. And there for them all is Vesta, a woman who knows everything that goes on in the house – or thought she did.
Then in the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the six into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim…”
You can buy The Killer Next Door on Amazon UK here.
Visit Alex Marwood’s website at www.alexmarwood.com
Soho Dead by Greg Keen (recommended by @madauntyanne on Twitter)
Greg Keen is a new crime writer, whose debut novel, Soho Dead, won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2015.
“Kenny Gabriel is three years away from turning sixty, has forty-three quid in the bank and is occasionally employed to find people who would rather not be found. Broke, clientless and depressed, he knows things can’t get much worse. Then he’s summoned to the office of London media magnate Frank Parr, whose daughter, Harry, is missing—and there’s ten grand on the table to get her back.
It’s a lot of money, and God knows Kenny needs the cash. But he and Frank have a history he’d rather not revisit. Kenny worked for him in the seventies, when Frank was the head of a Soho magazine empire and owner of an infamous nightclub. And Kenny might still be working for Frank now—if he hadn’t witnessed his boss brutally torturing another employee.
Kenny suspects taking this job is a mistake, and he’s probably right. Because while he may be done with the past, the past is far from done with him.”
The sequel, Soho Ghosts, will be released in April 2018.
You can buy Soho Dead on Amazon UK here.
Visit Greg Keen’s website at www.gregkeen.co.uk
Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly is an author of crime and detective novels. His most popular work is the Harry Bosch series, which has won many awards. The first novel in the series, The Black Echo, was published in 1992 by Little, Brown. Here is the synopsis:
“LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amid the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced.
To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice.”
The Black Echo has been followed by another 19 books and has been adapted for television, staring Titus Welliver.
You can buy The Black Echo from Amazon UK here.
Visit Michael Connelly’s website at www.michaelconnelly.com
We have more book recommendations coming shortly, but this should keep you busy for a while. Let us know in the comments below if you have read any of these books and what your thoughts are.