Criminal Favourites

Gumshoe

Hmm, a friend remarked after perusing my recent listing of the 50 books I’d most enjoyed reading since the turn of the century, not a lot of crime fiction here – for a crime writer, especially. To which I might have replied, that in itself might be reason enough. And besides, if you stretch the definition a little there are five. No, wait, six.

But here, to set things right, or achieve some sort of balance, at least, is the list of my favourite relative recent crime novels, ones I’m likely to read again … and again.

1. Megan Abbott: The End of Everything
2. Kent Anderson: Night Dogs
3. Andrew Coburn: Voices in the Dark
4. K. C. Constantine: The Man who Liked Slow Tomatoes
5. James Crumley: The Last Good Kiss
6. Stephen Dobyns: The Church of Dead Girls
7. Jamie Harrison: The Edge of the Crazies
8. George V. Higgins: The Friends of Eddie Coyle
9. Bill James: Roses, Roses
10. Dennis Lehane: Mystic River
11. Elmore Leonard: LaBrava
12. Laura Lippman: The Innocents
13. William McIlvanney: Laidlaw
14. Bill Moody: Looking for Chet Baker
15. Walter Mosley: Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
16. Jefferson Parker: The Blue Hour
17. George Pelecanos: Shame the Devil
18. James Sallis: Drive
19. Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo: Roseanna
20. Neville Smith: Gumshoe
21. Peter Temple: The Broken Shore
22. Peter Temple : Truth
23. Ross Thomas: The Fools in Town Are On Our Side
24. Brian Thompson: Ladder of Angels
25. Daniel Woodrell: Give Us a Kiss

Two of those, you’ll notice, published by the late lamented Slow Dancer Press. The marvellous cover design the work of the excellent Jamie Keenan.

Angels

 

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2 thoughts on “Criminal Favourites

  1. I miss writers like James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, Philip Kerr, Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin. And in terms of Sjöwall & Wahlöö I believe that “Roseanna”, the first of their ten novels “History of a crime” is the weekest. I appreciate the presence of authors like Crumley, Lehane, Moody, Mosley and Pelecanos. Several of the others must be good ideas for further reading.

  2. I suppose, in part at least, when I compiled the list I was trying to point potential readers towards books they might otherwise have overlooked. Also, I would have trouble choosing one book from Connelly, Rankin or Billingham. And they don’t need more readers, anyway! I used to read and like Burke’s novels a great deal, but lately fell out of love with them a bit – too consciously poetic? Too sentimental?And I think of Philip’s novels more as espionage than crime – if that’s a useful distinction.

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