My Personal Favorites:
No explanation needed - the books I love most of all.
THE HARRY HOLE SERIES by Jo Nesbø
My favorite crime fiction series. Follows troubled detective Harry Hole (pronounced "Hoo-leh") as he battles his inner demons and the criminals of Oslo, Norway. Atmospheric, addictive, and gritty—no one writes crime fiction better than Jo Nesbø. My personal favorite: THE SNOWMAN. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
THE CROW GIRL by Erik Axl Sund (Knopf; 2016)
The Swedish trilogy hit the US as one massive tome. The most intelligent, layered, jarring exploration of mental health I've ever read, this book is guaranteed to get under your skin. This was, for me, one of the most visceral reading experiences I’ve ever had—it’s tied with THE SNOWMAN for my favorite book of all time. Not for the faint of heart, and not to be missed. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
THE DINNER by Herman Koch (Hogarth, 2013).
Secrets, suspense, and lots of page-turning tension—these psychological thrillers have it all.
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware (Gallery Books, 2016).
THE NIGHT VISITOR by Lucy Atkins (Quercus; 2018)
A professor has written a groundbreaking new biography of a pioneering female surgeon. It’s garnering major media attention, and her career is skyrocketing to new heights. The only problem? Someone in her life knows that her picture-perfect image is built on a foundation of lies. A totally unique, razor-sharp story of psychological suspense set in the world of academia. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
LIE TO ME by J.T. Ellison (MIRA; 2017).
The relationship between a bestselling author and his wife is thrown under the microscope when the wife goes missing. What dark secrets could this picture-perfect literary couple be hiding? This is "popcorn reading" in the best possible way - addictive and binge-worthy, not too violent but still filled with page-turning suspense. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
OUR HOUSE by Louise Candlish (Berkley; 2018)
Imagine this scene: you’re driving down your street, approaching your house, when you notice something odd… there’s a moving van in your driveway, and a whole new family is moving into your house. But you didn’t even put your house up for sale. To make matters worse, your husband and children are nowhere to be found. This is the shocking situation our story’s protagonist finds herself in—and the web of lies she unravels to figure out what’s really going on is thoroughly addictive. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
THE GIRL BEFORE by JP Delaney (Ballantine; 2017).
"Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life." So begins the application to move into the home at the center of this novel. For two women who apply to live here, the consequences of this move will be devastating. A fresh take on psychological suspense with a dark romance element. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Looking for Nordic Noir recommendations? Head to my Nordic Noir-specific blog section for a whole page dedicated to finding the perfect Scandi crime read for you!
Cops vs. Killers:
From dark and gruesome to classic procedurals, these stories pit the best detectives against the worst criminals.
THE D.I. HELEN GRACE SERIES by M.J. Arlidge (Berkley)
THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN by Dot Hutchison (Thomas & Mercer; 2016)
A dark, twisted story exploring the fallout of a hideous series of crimes. A man has been kidnapping young women and keeping them in his "garden" - and, following the infiltration by police of his gruesome home, the FBI learns about his crimes through interviews with a survivor. Bonus: this is Book 1 in a trilogy. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
SWEET LITTLE LIES by Caz Frear (Harper; 2018)
A classic police procedural written with a modern audience in mind, this detective novel follows a female police officer as she investigates a crime with deep ties to her own family. Cat Kinsella always suspected her father may have had something to do with the disappearance of a young woman in her childhood, and when a corpse with ties to that disappearance is found near the bar her father runs, her worst fears seem to be coming true. Slow-burning and masterfully plotted crime. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
THE FOURTH MONKEY by JD Barker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2017)
A unique twist on the serial killer thriller. This book begins with the serial killer dying, and follows his development as we read through the entries in a journal he left behind. Simultaneously, detectives race to rescue his final victim, who is being held in an unnamed location. Violent, twisted, and addictive. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Something Extra Creepy:
when you want a book with a scarier edge, these picks will do the trick.
I REMEMBER YOU by Yrsa Sigurardottir (Minotaur Books; 2014)
Iceland’s Queen of Crime delivers a terrifying ghost story-meets-mystery. A group of friends head to a remote village to renovate an old home, and find that they might not be as alone in the village as they thought… meanwhile, on the mainland, a psychiatrist can’t let go of the disappearance of his young son years prior. His personal investigation leads him down some very dark paths. Hair-raising, read-with-all-the-lights-on suspense. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
THE CRAFTSMAN by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur Books; 2018)
A police procedural with a twist. In this chilling detective novel, a young female detective solves a gruesome series of crimes in which children are buried alive in coffins. But when these crimes appear to be repeating themselves after the death of the man arrested for the crimes, our protagonist wonders if the wrong man was arrested - and if the killer is still on the loose. An engaging blend of classic procedural and supernatural suspense. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
THE ICE TWINS by S.K. Tremayne (Grand Central; 2016)
Psychological suspense with just a hint of the otherworldly. Following a family tragedy, a family moves from the big city to a remote Scottish island. But as stormy winter weather encroaches, the family begins to sense that they haven’t left their troubles as far behind them as they thought. This book isn’t too, too scary, but it certainly delivers some major goosebumps and hints of the supernatural. Find it here: Amazon • Barnes & Noble