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The best crime books of 2023

It’s been a big year for crime fiction. Not only have we devoured the latest book in the Thursday Murder Club series, but we’ve also raced through new page-turners from Lisa Jewell, Lee Child, Harlan Coben and many of our other favourite authors.

If you’re looking for a new crime and thriller novel to add to your ever-growing reading pile, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve rounded up the best crime and thriller books of 2023.

The best crime books of 2023:

The Secret by Lee Child and Andrew Child
In Lee Child and Andrew Child’s latest action-packed novel, Jack Reacher is back. This time, our newly-demoted hero has been sent by the Secretary of Defense to investigate a mysterious death. As Reacher races to find the killer and solve the case, he uncovers a decades-old secret. This thriller will keep you guessing and, like the rest of the Reacher series, it’s entertaining, fast-paced and the ultimate escapism.

Read an exclusive extract of The Secret by Lee Child and Andrew Child.

The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman
In the fourth book in The Thursday Murder Club series, the gang are once again at the heart of a murder mystery. This time, an old friend has been killed while guarding an antique. As Ron, Joyce, Elizabeth and Ibrahim investigate, and enter the world of drug dealers, smugglers and fraudsters, the body count keeps rising. Is their luck finally about to run out? We love Richard Osman’s writing style, and his cast of quirky and loveable characters.

So Shall You Reap by Donna Leon
Transport yourself to Venice where Commissario Guido Brunetti is forced to confront his past to solve a murder in the latest instalment of Donna Leon’s unmissable series. Wonderfully crafted and vividly told, So Shall You Reap is the ultimate escapism.

Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena
Stanhope is an idyllic town, full of pretty streets and nice families. But when local resident William Wooler’s affair ends abruptly one afternoon, he comes home early to find his young daughter Avery unexpectedly home from school. The next day, Avery is declared missing, and Stanhope is no longer the safe haven everyone thought it was. As the police scramble to uncover what happened, it looks as though William is not the only one keeping secrets. Addictive and tightly plotted, you simply won’t be able to put it down.

The Last Goodbye by Tim Weaver
A man and his son walk into a ghost house at a theme park, and never come out. They seem to have vanished into thin air, leaving nothing but a handful of possessions in their wake. But theirs is not the only mysterious disappearance troubling missing persons investigator David Raker: his latest client is a woman receiving letters from someone claiming to be her mother, who disappeared without a trace 40 years ago. Could the two cases be connected?

Click here to read an extract from The Last Goodbye while you wait for it to hit shelves!

None of This is True by Lisa Jewell
After a few chance meetings, Alix and Josie hit it off. It turns out that Josie is a fan of Alix’s podcast series and suggests herself as a guest. Tentatively, Alix agrees to a trial interview, but digging deeper reveals dark secrets, and she finds herself morbidly fascinated; who is this woman really? And why does she now seem so embedded in Alix’s life? Alix can’t even begin to imagine what Josie has done to get there, and what she will do to stay. The queen of the nail-biting suspense novel returns, bringing us just as much intrigue and twists as in her best-seller, The Family Upstairs.

The Woman Who Lied by Claire Douglas
The bestselling author of The Couple at No. 9 is back with her most suspenseful novel yet. Crime writer Emilia Ward lives a quiet life in suburban London with her husband and two beautiful children. It’s only when she starts penning her tenth crime novel that life takes a frightening turn: someone turns up dead, in exactly the same way as one of the characters in the novel she is currently writing. Who is doing this? Who knows what she is writing? And how long before someone she loves is next?

The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes
Ten years after breaking the mold of crime fiction with his best-seller I Am Pilgrim, Terry Hayes is back. His latest thriller follows a spy for the CIA who travels to the badlands where violence is the only way to survive. While on a mission there, he comes face to face with a dangerous individual who’s playing his own game…

Read an exclusive extract of The Year of the Locust here.

The Wolf by Samuel Bjørk
It’s an unsolved mystery that shocked a nation: two boys were abducted and murdered, their corpses left in artistic poses. Eight years later, it seems the killer has returned – this time to neighbouring Norway. Veteran detective Holger Munch is on the case, joined by Mia, a trainee from the Police Academy. Little does he know that Mia has more invested in this case than meets the eye.

The Trial by Rob Rinder
The hotly anticipated debut novel by TV’s favourite judge arrives this month (and in the meantime, you can read an extract from the book here).

A barrister’s first case is always going to be daunting, but for pupil Adam Green, it’s both high-profile and high-stakes. He’s defending the man charged with murdering national hero DI Grant Cliveden, who dropped dead from poisoning in the Old Bailey, but it soon transpires that the case is not as open-and-shut as it may seem. Secrets about Cliveden’s enemies threaten to unravel the case, and with it, the entire justice system.

I Will Find You by Harlan Coben
If you loved the hit Netflix shows The Stranger and Stay Close, don’t miss this must-read page turner packed with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very last page. A roller coaster of a thriller. Read a chapter here.

No One Saw A Thing by Andrea Mara
Two children get on the train; only one gets off. Nobody saw it happen and no one seems to have any answers, but mum Shive is convinced that no one is telling her truth, and the longer the search continues, the harder her daughter seems to be to find. The new novel from the bestselling author of All Her Fault is as clever and suspenseful as you could hope for – it will have you turning the pages well into the night.

The Dead of Winter by Stuart MacBride
Something nasty has come to the seemingly quaint and sleepy village of Glenfarach, and Detective Constable Edward Reekie is standing right in its way… Chilling and compulsive, with tension that grows and grows, this darkly funny crime novel is a must-read.

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard
In this unpredictable novel of tension-and-release, a young woman takes a calculated risk and accepts a ride home, in the middle of the night, from a perfect stranger. Is he a kind person helping someone in need, or an absolute monster? If it’s the former, she’ll try again tomorrow; she’s looking for the monster who took her sister, and she won’t stop until she’s gotten into the right car…

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent
The past can never be fully forgotten in this exhilarating new novel from the author of Our Little Cruelties. Full of intrigue, with twists a’plenty, Strange Sally Diamond is an unsettling and thoroughly creepy read that you won’t forget in a hurry.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties had already hit the shelves in hardback and were newly available in paperback in 2023.

Have we missed any of the best new books out this year? Let us know in the comments below! For more reading recommendations, take a look at our best books of the month.

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