Top Ten Crime Novels of 2015

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We've tried to give you a varied selection of crime novels for 2015. They come from several continents and some have been translated and there are old favourites as well as some talented newcomers. Here they are, in alphabetical order by author:

Manhattan Mayhem – New Crime Stories from the Mystery Writers of America by Mary Higgins Clark (editor)

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I was unsure how to open this review. I heart Manhattan, big time. I am always attracted to any work set in Manhattan, but I don’t want to pigeonhole this remarkable collection of stories into a slot that says only for Manhattan lovers. Far from it – it is a superb collection featuring the highest standards of both mystery writing and the form of short story. Full review...

As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust by Alan Bradley

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Flavia de Luce has left Buckshaw, the family home where she has lived all her life and has gone to school in Canada (actually, 'was sent' is more accurate - the decision was none of Flavia's making and she felt that she'd been banished). On the trip over she was accompanied by Dr Rainsmith and his wife, who were associated with Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, the school which Flavia would be attending. In fact, they delivered her there with scant ceremony late on the night they arrived. Flavia would have settled down to sleep, but first she was attacked by another pupil and then a dead body fell down the chimney. She already felt quite at home... Full review...

Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall

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We've all read the stories in the papers: children who kill, particularly children who kill children. We've always wondered what went through their minds as they did it. We've also wondered about what happens to them once they're no longer children, when they've grown up in prison and are then deemed fit to be freed back into real life. Full review...

Kill Fee by Owen Laukkanen

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The internet has had one of the most profound effects on humanity since the invention of the printing press. A world full of knowledge is at your fingertips and you can access anything from your home. Want to order food? Easy! How about learning how to make a fake ID? It’s all on the net if you know where to look! Want someone killed by a professional for a reasonable fee? This may be depressingly easier than you think. Full review...

Post Mortem by Kate London

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I enjoyed this police crime novel by a talented new writer, Kate London. It is a well written and intelligently thought out book. The characters are clearly drawn and you are able to see the drama unfold from different perspectives. The action constantly shifts from the present, back to the events that lead to the crime taking place and then forward to reveal a little more of the plot with each shift. This helps you engage immediately with the story and with the characters. Full review...

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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A hit and run. A young boy killed. A family devastated.

How can a mother ever recover from seeing her child killed right in front of her? When there are no leads, how can the police know where to look to bring someone to justice? Full review...

Murder in Malmo (Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) by Torquil MacLeod

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Inspector Anita Sundstrom has been on sick leave for a few months. To some extent it's been political: she was involved in a high-profile case which went tragically wrong and left her exposed and emotionally vulnerable. Now she's back at work and there's a lot going on that's exciting. Someone is killing rich local businessmen and one was made (rather clumsily) to look like a suicide, but the reason isn't obvious. At the other end of the economic scale, a gunman is shooting at immigrants and there's fear in their communities. They're aware that they're not well-liked in Sweden and now they're actually getting shot at. But Sundstrom is not going to be allowed to get involved with the murder cases - she's not trusted - and finds herself stuck with the new trainee detective whilst she investigates the theft of some modern art. Full review...

A Possibility of Violence: An Inspector Avraham Avraham Novel (Inspector Avraham 2) by D A Mishani and Todd Hasak-Lowy (Translator)

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Someone leaves a bomb outside a children's nursery in Tel Aviv. This time it's a fake. Next time? Police Inspector Avraham Avraham wants to find the bomber before next time as then it may not be pretence. Meanwhile Chaim Sara has a special interest in the bomb as one of his two sons attends the nursery. But is that the only reason he's interested? Full review...

Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin

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There's a high-profile murder case in Edinburgh. Someone has broken into the home of Lord Minton, senior lawyer and former Lord Advocate, beaten him, strangled him and then beaten him some more when he was dead. A note was found at the scene of the crime which suggested that Minton had been threatened. DI Siobhan Clarke has been seconded to the enquiry and she calls on her old friend John Rebus, kicking his heels in retirement, when Big Ger Cafferty narrowly escapes death as a shot is fired into his house. Cafferty had received the same threatening note as Minton. Fearing a turf war, he's reluctant to open up to anyone but Rebus. Clarke's friend, DI Malcolm Fox has been seconded too - to a team from Glasgow who are undercover and need local expertise, only he's not quite so well received. His former posting in Complaints is well known. Full review...

The Dying Season: A Bruno Courreges Investigation by Martin Walker

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It's said that you should never meet your heroes but Bruno Courrèges, chief of police of the sleepy Dordogne town of St Denis, has no such thoughts when he's invited to the 90th birthday celebrations of the man who has been his hero since he was a child. Marco Desaix is a war hero, flying ace and a man with high level political connections in France, Russia and Israel - and he's known as The Patriarch. The party - if you can use such a mundane word for an occasion which includes a fly past by the air force - went well, with only one minor disruption when an old family friend accosted one of the daughters of the Desaix family and was disinclined to let go. Still, it was well known that he was an alcoholic and no one seemed surprised when Gilbert was removed without ceremony by the gamekeeper. Full review...

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