The hottest crime books of summer 2014

Summer’s gone. It’s time to put on the thick socks, light the fire, and grab a crime novel as the shadows lengthen. If you happen to be looking for a good read, maybe we can help. Below we bring you the top 10 most popular book reviews on our site from July to December, 2014. According to our readers, then, these are the hottest books of the summer.

The Sandman10 – The Sandman by Lars Kepler
The Joona Linna series reached its fourth instalment this summer with The Sandman, which is an unusual example of Nordic Noir. Linna is confronting a missing persons case from his past, one involving two children who disappeared, and one he never managed to solve. Years have passed and now it seems one of the children – all grown up – has resurfaced in strange circumstances. He’s been found wondering and almost dead in the wilds of Sweden. The case is linked to others, and Linna himself is under threat.
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mr_mercedes9 – Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
Stephen ‘the’ King ‘of horror’ has dabbled in crime fiction before, notably with Joyland and The Colorado Kid. However, Mr Mercedes is his first foray into detective fiction. The detective in question is retired cop Hodges, and the criminal he’s after is the one that got away. Back when Hodges was working, the killer stole a Mercedez-Benz and ploughed it into a line of people outside a job fair. Men, women and children were murdered but nobody was apprehended. It’s years later now and the killer has resurfaced to taunt the detective. Great storytelling is the hallmark of Stephen King’s work, and this book has it by the bundle. Read our review here.
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Fall From Grace8 – Fall From Grace by Tim Weaver
Weaver’s David Raker series goes from strength to strength. Raker specialises in missing persons cases and here he’s looking for a husband who stepped out of his Devonshire cottage to get some wood and was never seen again. The missing man was a former Met policeman and his old workmates are more than a little suspicious about the whole affair. Is police corruption involved, and is there some link to a nearby mental institution? Read our review here.
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The Final Silence7 – The Final Silence by Stuart Neville
Ulster author Stuart Neville continues the story of Jack Lennon, a detective in the Police Service of Northern Ireland who’s been through the wringer of late. He only just survived his last case, was shot-up, his wife is dead, and his superiors have it in for him. But Lennon has got his hands on a document outlining corruption within the force. It’s a tale of two documents, in fact, because his girlfriend Rea has found a scrapbook detailing a series of brutal murders that seem to implicate Loyalist paramilitaries. The book leads to her death, and is stolen by the killer before Lennon can get there. Lennon’s harshest case yet? Read our review here.
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The Sun is God, Adrian McKinty6 – The Sun is God by Adrian McKinty
Another Ulster author here and The Sun is God is about as unlike McKinty’s recent Sean Duffy series as you can get. He’s given up the streets of Belfast for Papua New Guinea as a setting, where an offshoot of a German colony seems to have been getting a bit too much sun. They’re worshipping it, going naked, and eating only coconuts. That, and one of their number seems to have been killed, so colonial policeman Will Prior is sent to the settlement to find out what’s going on. Surprisingly, the story is based on actual events. Fascinating. Read our review here.
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Broken_Monsters5 – Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
It’s not surprising to see Broken Monsters in the top five. Lauren Beukes is well known for her sci-fi thriller Zoo City, turned to crime last summer with The Shining Girls, and Broken Monsters received a fair amount of publicity. Both a Detroit cop called Gabi Versado and a blogger called Jonno Haim are trying to figure out who’s behind a series of bizarre and twisted killings. The murderer is butchering his victims and putting their body parts together with pieces of animal anatomy. Is it art? Is it madness? Is it something more? Read our review here.
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MonogramMurders2004 – The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
Who could resist reading our review of The Monogram Murders, the first murder mystery to feature Hercule Poirot since the mid-1970s? Sophie Hannah’s take on the little Belgian sees Poirot striving to solve the murder of three guests in a London hotel, each of whom was found with a monogrammed cufflink in their mouth. There’s a range of quirky characters to meet here, and what of the young lady Poirot meets at the beginning of the book who insists she’s about to be murdered then runs off? Read our review here.
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Broadchurch3 – Broadchurch by Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnall
The book of the TV series takes us to the fictional Dorset town of Broadchurch where everyone knows everyone, and where one small boy has disappeared. It’s murder and DS Ellie Miller must work alongside new colleague DI Alec Hardy to solve the case. Has the bleak and claustrophobic atmosphere of the TV series been recaptured in print? Yes, it has, and so have the characters. Plus, Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnall have woven in a few details and red herrings that weren’t in the TV series so if you’re a fan, and you read the book, it’ll give you that little bit extra. Read our review here.
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The Night The Rich Men Burned2 – The Night the Rich Men Burned by Malcolm Mackay
Having set Scottish crime fiction on fire with his Glasgow Trilogy, Malcolm Mackay returns with his fourth novel which ignites the world of loan sharking in the city. We meet two old friends, Alex Glass and Oliver Peterkinney, who are drawn into this world in different ways and with different consequences. Families fall out, payees get desperate, and the money collectors and the gangs they belong to grow increasingly violent. Read our review here.
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fallingfast2001 – Falling Fast by Neil Broadfoot
Falling Fast tops the list which is surprising for a debut, however the novel is up for a prize at the Bloody Scotland festival this autumn. It starts with the death of a woman. She’s fallen from a building and it could be suicide, or it could be murder… Edinburgh crime reporter Doug McGregor and his police officer contact and friend DS Susie Drummond set out to get to the bottom of it. As they make inquiries, they find out that the victim had some saucy secrets, that her father is a Far Right politician, and that the death might also be connected to a serial rapist McGregor has been tracking. A real buzz to read, and from an indie publisher too. Read our review here.
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Have you read any of the books in our top 10? Let us know what you thought of them in the comments below. To see the hottest books of summer 2013, click here.

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