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4 authors pick future crime thriller classics

There’s rarely a better moment as a reader than when you finish a book that you know will be treasured for years to come. The kind of title that defines the genre and leaves a lasting impression.

Here at Dead Good, we know there are some titles we’ll keep on our ever-revolving book shelves forever – and to help us add to our keepsake collection, we asked some of our favourite authors for their recommendations.

If you’re looking for a recent thriller to pack into a time machine for future generations, look no further!

Simon Lelic, author of The Hiding PlaceSimon Lelic, author of The Hiding Place:

To my mind, Don Winslow’s Cartel Trilogy is a classic already, in particular the second of the three books: The Cartel, published in 2015. Epic in scale, and with a huge cast of characters and a host of sub-plots, it nevertheless exposes the brutality and hypocrisy surrounding the war on drugs with a searing intimacy. Every life lost – and there are many lives lost in the course of the narrative – is painted as the tragedy it is. The great James Ellroy described The Cartel as ‘the War and Peace of dope-war books’, and I challenge anyone who reads it to disagree.

Gillian McAllister, author of Wrong Place, Wrong TimeGillian McAllister, author of Wrong Place, Wrong Time:

I recently read Reputation by Sarah Vaughan and I really think it will go down in history. Vaughan has a knack for tapping into the current zeitgeist, and this one goes to the heart of Westminster: an MP accused of a terrible crime – what will a woman do to save her reputation? Fully believable, gripping, and with some of the most authentic courtroom scenes around, Vaughan is a major talent.

Robert Goddard, author of This is the Night They Come For YouRobert Goddard, author of This is the Night They Come For You:

Predicting which books will endure as classics is a mug’s game. After all, if I’d been venturing a guess back in the 1830s, suggesting the works of Edward Bulwer Lytton would enjoy lasting acclaim would have seemed natural enough, but that hasn’t exactly been the case, to put it mildly. That said, I’m pretty sure the reputation of Derek B Miller’s Norwegian by Night will only grow as the years pass. It’s a thrilling but also utterly convincing story centred on octogenarian ex-marine Sheldon Horowitz and a late life struggle against the forces of darkness he gets sucked into after moving to Oslo with his granddaughter and her Norwegian husband. It’s impossible to do justice to the subtlety and emotional authenticity of this book in a few words, but suffice to say the time the reader spends with the curmudgeonly Sheldon lingers in the mind as precious and all too brief when the book is over. There was a sequel, American by Day, which had many merits, but didn’t have Sheldon. And without Sheldon we’re all the poorer.

Photo of Beth Underdown, author of The Key in the LockBeth Underdown, author of The Key in the Lock:

I think a classic should be kind of timeless and even escapist – something you sink into and suspend the world for a while. Which is why my future classic is Stuart Turton’s The Devil and the Dark Water. It’s a fantastic murder mystery which unfolds on board a ship in the year 1634 – so clever, because you get the ‘locked room’ element of the ship but also a big, expansive and rollicking world which is totally transporting. It’s bombastic and unique and at times even silly: chunky (as a classic should be?), but I flew through it. The Devil and the Dark Water will stand the test of time.

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Which contemporary crime novels do you think will be future classics? Let us know in the comments below…

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