My 30 (or so) Crime Fiction Favourites

Saturday’s Guardian Review, on the back of this year’s Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival – coming in July – asked the festival’s programming chair, Lee Child, and 21 other writers to nominate a crime novel everyone should read. Top writers, as it says on the front page, choose the perfect crime.

Undeterred by not being included in this merry band of 22 – after all, hadn’t the same publication called me “a true master of the genre” just the week before? – I set to and came up with a list of my own. Thirty (or so) crime novels I count amongst my personal favourites and which I pull down from the shelves and re-read with pleasure from time to time, and all of which I wholeheartedly commend.

end-everythingCoburn 1CainChandlerCoburnCrumley

1. Megan Abbott: The End of Everything (2011)
2. Kent Anderson: Night Dogs (1999)
3 James M. Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
4 Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (1939) The Long Goodbye (1953)
5. Andrew Coburn: Voices in the Dark (1994)
6. K. C. Constantine: The Man who Liked Slow Tomatoes (1982)
7. James Crumley: The Last Good Kiss (1978)

215605HammettHarrison

HigginsJames21671

Leonard51npUFTJtVL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_51Snp67PMNL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

8. Stephen Dobyns: The Church of Dead Girls (1997)
9. Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon (1930)
10. Jamie Harrison: The Edge of the Crazies (1995)
11. George V. Higgins: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1970)
12. Bill James: Roses, Roses (1993)
13. Dennis Lehane: Mystic River (2001)
14. Elmore Leonard: LaBrava (1983)
15. Laura Lippman: The Innocents (2011)
16. Ross Macdonald: The Way Some People Die (1951)

McIlvanneyMankellMoodyMosley698931Peace
17. William McIlvanney: Laidlaw (1977)
18. Henning Mankel: Sidetracked (1995) The Troubled Man (2009)
19. Bill Moody: Looking for Chet Baker (2002)
20. Walter Mosley: Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned (1997)
21. T. Jefferson Parker: The Blue Hour (1999)
22. David Peace: The Red Riding Quartet (1995-2002)

307438SallisSjowall

SmithTemple206148

23. George Pelecanos: Shame the Devil (2000)
24. James Sallis: Drive (2005)
25. Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo: Roseanna (1965)
26. Neville Smith: Gumshoe (1971)
27. Peter Temple: The Broken Shore (2005) Truth (2010)
28. Ross Thomas: The Fools in Town Are On Our Side (1970)
29. Brian Thompson: Ladder of Angels (1999)
30. Daniel Woodrell: Give Us a Kiss (1996)

ThompsonWoodrell

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “My 30 (or so) Crime Fiction Favourites

  1. That’s an impressive list. I have read the majority of them and have others that have been sitting in my to-be-read stack for years, e.g., Gumshoe. The Bill Moody book was one that I was surprised to see. I have read and enjoyed all the books in the series except the last one, which has been difficult to find. Night Dogs is another good one that I doubt many people have read. I also liked Jamie Harrison’s first book. No surprise that Peter Temple was on the list although I lked The Broken Shore more than Truth. I don’t recognize the Brian Thompson book so will have to check it out.

  2. I may be biased towards Bill’s Chet Baker book as he asked permission to include my Chet Baker poem at the front of the book. Brian wrote one crime novel for Penguin – Bad to the Bone – and one that I published with Slow Dancer Press – Ladder of Angels. According to Woody Haut’s Blog there’s a new Kent Anderson around.

  3. Thank you for this terrific list which includes many old favorites (KC Constantine and the inimitable Bill James, for two) and a few authors completely new to me. Goody! And yes, you are a “true master of the genre” and at the top of any list I pass along to friends looking for crime favorites.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s