Thursday 1st March 2018 is World Book Day. What better way to mark the occasion than with a two-part blog series celebrating top crime novels and authors? We asked Crimestoppers staff to share their favourites.
Part i: Crimestoppers’ favourite crime genre authors
Patron of Crimestoppers in Sussex and writer of the acclaimed ‘Roy Grace‘ series, Peter James’ novels have entertained and captivated his readership for many years. His book ‘Not Dead Yet‘, the eighth installment in the Roy Grace series, references Crimestoppers to bring awareness to the charity and the services that we provide.
His biography on Goodreads.com states: “In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence”, which are just a couple of his achievements throughout an accomplished career.
The chair of Crimestoppers in Sussex, Graham Bartlett, collaborated with Peter James (mentioned above) on the non-fiction publication, Death Comes Knocking. This book is an account of what it is like to police one of the UK’s most cosmopolitan cities, Brighton and Hove. The book features real stories, drawn from Graham‘s 30 year career.
A Scottish author Chris Brookmyre brings a huge amount of popular culture and comedy into his book. Good guys / girls are complex and morally ambiguous; the bad people are often likeable but can also be brutal in their violence.
Many characters in his books who crop up time and again, notably Jack Parlabane. Parlabane is an investigative journalist who thinks nothing of breaking the law to get his story and bring down the morally corrupt. Brookmyre’s books also showcase strong female characters like Angelique De Xavia, a tough and independent detective.
His books are easy to read, fast paced and fun, while being full of complex characters and plots with many twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.
Ian’s ‘Rebus‘ novels are brilliant and being set in Edinburgh, are really brought to life if you know the area. Hard-boiled Inspector Rebus has been described as “the most compelling mind in modern crime fiction” (Independent) and “a masterful creation” (Observer); this mystery series is sure to thrill!
Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow. He is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award, and received two Dagger Awards for the year’s best short story and the Gold Dagger for Fiction. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, and Edinburgh.
J.K. Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith)
After the success of the Harry Potter series JK Rowling was looking at branching into writing crimes novels. She understood that the hype and expectation surrounding her and her previous works would add an enormous amount of pressure onto producing something new. Therefore she created the ‘Robert Galbraith’ pseudonym to relieve herself of this pressure. Her Cormoran Strike series follows a private detective, and his secretary Robin Ellacott, on cases in and around London.
Christopher John “CJ” Sansom created the character and the award winning series following Tudor lawyer Matthew Shardlake, as he investigates crime across England. It is rumoured that Sansom is in negotiations with the BBC to create an adaptation of the first book in the series, Dissolution. Its unique approach to solving crimes gives it a very distinctive feel and edge within a highly competitive genre.
Death, religion, politics and mystery are just some of the themes in Brown’s critically acclaimed series following ‘Robert Langdon‘, a professor of symbology at Harvard University who investigates unique crimes across the world . Brown’s books are informative and easy reads that include facts and intrigue. Following the success of the series of books a group of films have been commissioned with Tom Hanks playing Professor Langdon.
The brainchild series from Lee Child following the character Jack Reacher has become synonymous with the crime genre. So much so that Hollywood are starting to create film adaptations of this series of books staring Tom Cruise. We can see why these books have been so successful in that they each have their own self-contained story.