Delving into… Crime

Delving into… is a new series I wanted to start here on my blog to give book recommendations for people wanting to start a new genre!

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You may know that I am currently studying the genre of Crime at school – we’ve read Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S.Coleridge and  When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson. Before I started this course I really wasn’t a huge fan of crime novels myself; I’d pick them up from time to time and I did enjoy them but they weren’t the books I would naturally gravitate towards. However I decided to read some more before I started the school year and now it’s safe to say I’m hooked! (Last year around 10 of the 50 books I read were crime!) Before I came a crime-fiction-addict (Crifidict? No? Okay then…) I remember feeling this dread, “Which author do I begin with? What type of crime do I want? WHERE DO I START?!” This genre is so wide and so can definitely be pretty daunting. If you feel like this then fear not, I’m going to give you 5 recommendations to help guide you into this weird and dark world of crime!

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1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 

This book is a psychological thriller that isn’t too heavy. There isn’t excessive blood, guts or horror but it’s definitely not a Marple! It follows Rachel, a bit of a hot-mess , who whilst watching her favourite couple “Jess and Jason” from her daily train journeys  witnesses something shocking! The Girl on the Train is a fast-paced mystery that always keeps you on the edge of your seat and is a good one to start with as it contains a whole load of crime elements but isn’t so intense that you won’t be able to sleep.

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2. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie 

If you’re looking for a quintessentially Golden Age crime novel then look no further. This is on of the Poirot books which isn’t actually told from his point of view or by an omniscient narrator but instead is told by James Sheppard, a Doctor living in the small town where the crime takes place. The story follows Sheppard and Piorot attempting to solve the locked-room-mystery of the murder of Roger Ackroyd! This one is fantastic as it really immerses the reader and, as with many of Christie’s novels, the mystery is kept until the very last pages. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a lot “softer” than other novels in this genre but remains a fabulous mystery!

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3. Killing Floor by Lee Child

Killing Floor is full of action, thrills, and twists! With the main character, the infamous Jack Reacher, being an ex-military personnel he is rough, tough and exceedingly clever; displaying the smarts of Sherlock and the brawn of an action-man. This book includes a vast number of crime elements, has a fantastic story and will make you need a breather (and maybe even a warm-down) by the end! A perfect place to start if you’re looking for a real non-stop crime story that isn’t horrendously gory.

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4. The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss 

Had Oscar Wilde branched out into crime fiction, the result may have bared resemblence to Mark Gatiss’ historical spy novel The Vesuvius Club. (And yes, that is Mycroft!) Set in the Edwardian Era, the story follows Lucifer Box, a member of the secret service and quick-witted gentleman with a liking for a pretty face, as he tries to put to a rest a terrible plot threatening the very safety of Europe. Gatiss portrays both the bisexual protagonist and the adventures he embarks on wonderfully and simply; making it an incredibly easy read. If you’re looking for something a little bit silly but retaining enough danger, excitement and comedy to keep you hooked until the very last page then you’ve found your match here!

(Big thanks to my friend for sharing her recommendation with me and now with all of you!)

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5. Cross Kill, James Patterson

I decided to include this novella by James Patterson because it encapsulates everything that makes up a good crime novel; an intriguing story, good action sequences, unexpected plot twists, and nice characters. And wait makes it even better is that this is a novella; it took me less than a day to read! So if you’re really unsure about whether the huge ocean that is the crime genre is something you’re going to enjoy then this is a perfect bite-size read to test the waters.

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There you have it, 5 books that might help guide you into the genre of Crime Fiction! If you would like any more recommendations or some more specific ones then leave me a comment down below or send me a Tweet and I’ll try to lead you to a book that you might like!

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