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Frontlist | 15 best books to read for Halloween 2020

Frontlist | 15 best books to read for Halloween 2020
on Oct 29, 2020
Frontlist | 15 best books to read for Halloween 2020
As the weather gets colder and the days darker, now’s the time to crack out a good crime story. Here’s our pick of the best, from old favourites to recent releases.

Bad Penny Blues by Cathi Unsworth

Strange Attractor Press, out end of November

The queen of dark crime fiction moves to independent publishers Strange Attractor, who will publish her back catalogue starting with this addictive tale of murder in 1960s Soho.

Snow by John Banville

Banville finally shrugs off his Benjamin Black persona with this snowbound 1950s-set story about an Anglo-Irish detective sent to investigate a murder in Wexford.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

YA sensation Bardugo’s first adult novel is an expertly constructed blend of fantasy and crime in which Galaxy “Alex” Stern tries to outrun her grim past while investigating a series of murders.

Heaven My Home by Attica Locke

In American crime star Locke’s latest novel black Texas Ranger Darren Matthews grapples with recent politics and the distant past when a white supremacist’s child goes missing.

DS Alexandra Cupidi series by William Shaw

If you haven’t read any William Shaw before start immediately. His present-day Alexandra Cupidi books are set in the bleak landscape of Dungeness and rarely put a foot wrong.

After the Silence by Louise O’Neill

The versatile O’Neill turns her hand to crime fiction with this impressive and atmospheric story of buried crimes and coercive control set on a remote island of the coast of Ireland.

The Stranger by Simon Conway

Conway is the master of the modern thriller. His latest finds MI6 operative Jude Lyon caught up in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. A taut, tight tale of divided loyalties.

Bloody Valentine by John Williams

Williams’ true crime classic about Lynette White’s 1988 murder is both a clever probe into a possible miscarriage of justice and a detailed picture of a vanished community. Only available second hand.

The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce

Ex-barrister Tyce’s second novel is both a cleverly plotted story of revenge and an acerbic take-down of private school culture in which mother Sadie struggles to adjust to her daughter’s new school.

Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks

Parks’ 1970s-set Glaswegian novels make for bleakly addictive reading. His latest finds Harry McCoy caught up in the case of a missing teen.

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers

The second in Sayers’ classic Harriet Vane/ Peter Wimsey crime novels. The novelist returns to her former Oxford College and is caught up in a poison pen messages scandal.

These Women by Ivy Pochoda

Pochoda’s new novel is a well-plotted murder mystery and a smart dissection of the way in which society treats women. A haunting read but a quite brilliant one.

The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn

Ravatn’s nightmarish second novel confirms her as one of the stars of Norwegian crime fiction. A simple plot evolves into a tense and unnerving story of loss and grief.

A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants

Simants’ beautifully written crime novel A Ruined Girl follows the fall-out from a missing person case and tackles the failings in the care system. An addictive story with a solid twist.

Dead Fashion Girl by Fred Vermorel

A true crime tale mixes memoir, investigation and reconstructionto unpick the morality of a very different time. It focuses on the unsolved 1954 murder of Jean Mary Townsend.  

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