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The best crime books of 2021 so far

Catching up on the best books of 2021 so far? Looking for new crime and thriller novels to add to your ever-growing reading pile? You’ve come to the right place!

Find our reviews and recommendations for the most exciting new releases of the year right here.

The best crime books out in January 2021:

The Push by Ashley Audrain
out 7 January
What happens when your experience of motherhood is nothing what you hoped for, but everything you feared? That’s the question Ashley Audrain’s standout debut asks. Guaranteed to send a chill down your spine, this is a must-read that’s pacy, absorbing and incredibly hard to put down.

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent
out 21 January
Three brothers are at a funeral. One of them is in the coffin. Which brother put him there, and why? No one writes psychological thrillers quite like Liz Nugent – they’re incredibly dark and perfectly crafted with a sense of menace that really gets under your skin. Don’t miss this.

Your Neighbour’s Wife by Tony Parsons
out 7 January
When Tana makes a mistake in a moment of madness, her life begins to spin out of control – with devastating consequences. Tony Parsons’ first psychological thriller combines emotional warmth with the excitement of his bestselling DC Max Wolfe books to create a fast-paced, page-turning read.

Exit by Belinda Bauer
out 21 January
From the author of Snap comes a brilliant new novel introducing pensioner Felix Pink, an unlikely hero who’s about to find out it’s never too late for life to go horribly wrong. This is a crime book like no other: it’s heart-pounding, darkly comic and hugely original, and we can’t recommend it enough.

The Burning Girls by C J Tudor
out 21 January
C J Tudor is back with her unique blend of chills and thrills and her darkest, twistiest novel yet this month. It transports us to the small village of Chapel Croft, a seemingly peaceful village with a dark history that no one can escape. Read an extract here.

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner
out 26 January
Meet Frankie Elkin – a woman determined to find the missing people everyone else has forgotten, and the star of Lisa Gardner’s first standalone thriller in ten years. With first class plotting and a compelling heroine, this is the perfect place to start if you’ve never tried Lisa’s books before.

Two Wrongs by Rebecca Reid
out 21 January
Perfect for fans of Adele Parks, Claire Douglas and Jane Corry, Two Wrongs explores how far someone will go to correct a terrible wrong from their past. Deliciously dark, intriguing and packed with tension, this is one you’ll race through, desperate to find out what happens.

The Coffinmaker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride
out 7 January
As a storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the sea. But the crumbling headland has revealed what he’s got buried in his garden: human remains. Ex-DI Ash Henderson is on the case in this gritty, atmospheric crime novel that balances darkness and light perfectly.

The Survivors by Jane Harper
out 21 January
When a body is discovered on the beach in a small town, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the brand new novel from the author of The Dry and The Lost Man. It’s a slow burning character study that unfolds beautifully up to the dramatic, explosive conclusion.

I Know What I Saw by S K Sharp
out 28 January
Brilliantly plotted and packed full of twists and turns, I Know What I Saw will keep you guessing right until the end. Domestic suspense fans will be absorbed by this gripping mystery that confronts family relationships and long-buried secrets.

The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean
out 7 January
Will Dean’s atmospheric new novel is far from an easy read, but it’s certainly one you won’t forget in a hurry. Exploring themes of abuse and human trafficking, it’s a harrowing, brutal, powerful tale that’s so well-written you can’t help but keep turning the pages.

Shiver by Allie Reynolds
out 21 January
When Milla’s invited to a reunion in the Alps, she drops everything to go. But when things turn menacing, they realise they don’t know who’s really gathered them there. Mind games, a dangerous natural environment and tension that builds and builds make Shiver a seriously suspenseful mystery.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

The best books out in February 2021:

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
out 4 February in eBook and 18 February in hardback
High in the Alps, a luxury hotel opens in what was once a sanatorium – but the new design can’t hide the building’s dark history for long… Perfect for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware, this debut thriller effortlessly combines a locked-room mystery with a modern day gothic thriller. Read a chapter here.

The Russian by James Patterson
out 4 February
As Detective Michael Bennett’s wedding day approaches, a killer has a vow of his own to fulfil in the thirteenth thrilling novel by James Patterson featuring the NYPD’s finest detective. Suspenseful, action-packed and thrilling to the final page, The Russian is not to be missed.

Prodigal Son by Gregg Hurwitz
out 4 February
Forced into retirement, former off-the-books assassin Evan Smoak receives an urgent request for help in Prodigal Son – from someone claiming to be his mother. This is a tense, adrenaline-fueled and action-packed thriller that’s impossible to put down. Prepare to find yourself on the edge of your seat.

Lightseekers by Femi Kayode
out 4 February
Transporting us to Nigeria and introducing investigative psychologist Dr Philip Taiwo – a man more interested in understanding the whydunnit than whodunnit – this is an atmospheric, vivid and beautifully written mystery and a brilliant first novel from the 2019 UEA Crime Writing Prize winner.

Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman
out 4 February
LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis must call on the expertise of brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware once again in Jonathan Kellerman’s tense, well-crafted new thriller which sees the pair investigating a decades-old unsolved case. If you’ve never read a Kellerman thriller before, you’re in for a treat.

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths
out 4 February
A new Dr Ruth Galloway novel is just what we need right now, and The Night Hawks certainly doesn’t disappoint. With excellent characters, a wonderfully atmospheric North Norfolk setting and a first rate, intriguing plot, this is one you’ll race through.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

The best books out in March 2020:

Win by Harlan Coben
out 18 March
Twists, curveballs and red herrings a’plenty are guaranteed to keep you guessing in this expertly plotted new thriller from the creator of Netflix’s The Stranger – plus fans of Harlan’s Myron Bolitar thrillers will be excited to see Win taking centre stage for the very first time! Read a chapter here.

21st Birthday by James Patterson
out 4 March
Detective Lindsay Boxer vows to protect a young woman from a serial killer long enough for her to see her twenty-first birthday in the thrilling new Women’s Murder Club instalment. Full of twists and turns, this is a fast-paced, read-in-one-sitting kind of book that doesn’t disappoint.

The Dare by Lesley Kara
out 4 March
When she was thirteen, Lizzie lost her best friend in what she always believed was a terrible accident. Now, twelve years on, someone has other ideas… Readers of Shari Lapena, Clare Mackintosh and Liane Moriarty will race through this tense, gripping mystery about revenge and betrayal.

The Family Friend by C C Macdonald
out 4 March
From the author of Happy Ever After comes a modern suspense novel about a mother who achieves sudden fame as an online parent influencer – only to be brought crashing back to earth. Addictive and intriguing, it’ll have you questioning if you should trust those closest to you. Read a chapter here.

Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge
out 18 March
You wake up next to a man who’s not your husband – and he isn’t breathing… DCI Sheens is on the case in the new crime novel from the author of Richard and Judy pick She Lies In Wait. Combining brilliant characters, compelling writing and a twisty plot, this will grip to the very end. Read a chapter here.

Transient Desires by Donna Leon
out 4 March
If you’re fed up of being stuck indoors, let Donna Leon transport you to the streets of Venice this month. In the landmark thirtieth book in this masterful series, Commissario Brunetti faces a heinous crime that tests him to his limits and forces him to listen very carefully to discover the truth. We can’t wait.

The Fine Art of Invisible Detection by Robert Goddard
out 18 March
Robert Goddard’s pacy, page-turning new mystery introduces us to a brilliant new heroine in a warm, witty and humorous story that spans the globe from London to Tokyo, from Iceland to Cornwall. It’s clever and perfectly crafted, with twists that keep you firmly on the edge of your seat.

If I Fall by Merilyn Davies
out 4 March
Four friends gather for a university reunion in a rooftop bar in Oxford. One of them falls from the roof – but did she jump or was she pushed? Blending psychological suspense with police procedural, this crime thriller from a former Crime Analyst with the Met Police is as absorbing as they come.

Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson
out 18 March
A gruesome double murder should be an open and shut case for Banks and his team, but spycam footage at the scene sees the investigation take a shocking turn. Tackling tough subject matter, Not Dark Yet is a particularly dark, gritty, eye-opening new addition to this first rate series.

This Nowhere Place by Natasha Bell
out 18 March
The Dry meets The Girls in this tense and atmospheric drama about loyalty, lies and obsession, set in a town that excels at keeping secrets. Chilling and thought-provoking, This Nowhere Place is one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

The Night Gate by Peter May
out 18 March
Peter May’s latest Enzo Macleod thriller takes place across three generations, from the treacherous years of the Second World War to 2020 where a very different kind of threat has arisen. It’s a complex and seriously intriguing tale, with a tremendously atmospheric sense of time and place.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson
out 18 March
Fans of Rules for Perfect Murders and The Kind Worth Killing will be thrilled to hear there’s a brand new Peter Swanson book hitting shelves this month. Full of characters you’ll love to hate, this twisted, creepy story will send a shiver down your spine.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

The best books out in April 2021:

Missing Pieces by Tim Weaver
out 15 April
If you’ve never read a Tim Weaver book before, now’s the perfect time as his new standalone thriller is heading our way in April. Introducing Rebekah, a woman stranded on an island, stalked by danger, Missing Pieces is a twisty, must-read page turner perfect for fans of Peter May and Val McDermid.

The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter
out 29 April
Cara Hunter fans, rejoice! Her brilliant new book hits shelves this month, following DI Fawley and his team as they investigate a sexual assault allegation in the closed world of Oxford academia. Fiendishly clever and gripping to the very last page, this is a series that just gets better and better.

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
out 1 April
Five killers find themselves on a bullet train from Tokyo competing for a suitcase full of money. Who will make it to the last station? This is an original, propulsive thriller from a prize-winning Japanese bestseller – and it’s already set to be a major film starring Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock. We can’t wait.

The Whispers by Heidi Perks
out 15 April
If you like Liane Moriarty, Lesley Kara and Fiona Barton, you’ll love the new psychological thriller from the author of Richard and Judy book club pick Now You See Her. The tension builds and builds with every chapter in this suspenseful tale of friendship, jealousy and obsession. Read an extract here.

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey
out 1 April
In Whittling Ridge, a 17-year-old girl is missing – and it’s only a matter of time before the small town’s dark secrets come to light. With first class writing and all the twists and turns of a thriller, Tall Bones is a slow-burning atmospheric novel that readers of Jane Harper and Gillian Flynn will love.

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner
out 15 April
When Helen attends her first antenatal class, she’s not expecting to meet Rachel, a mother-to-be who just wants find out every last one of Helen’s secrets… Told from multiple viewpoints, this is a creepy, twisted thriller full of drip-fed clues that will keep you guessing right to the very end.

The Red Book by James Patterson
out 1 April
Detective Billy Harney exposes an evil lurking deep within his city – but it also brings his past demons to light. This hugely anticipated follow-up to Patterson’s bestseller The Black Book is a fast-paced, absorbing thriller guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat.

The Cook of the Halcyon by Andrea Camilleri
out 1 April
Transport yourself to Sicily this spring as Inspector Montalbano steps aboard a mysterious ship seemingly connected with two deaths. It’s packed to the brim with intrigue, Camilleri’s trademark humour and – of course – huge quantities of delicious Sicilian food, and doesn’t fail to delight.

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs
out 29 April
Forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is back for her twentieth outing in The Bone Code, where two bodies washed up on the beach share uncanny similarities with a cold case from fifteen years ago. Dark and tense, this is a crime novel that oozes with fascinating scientific insight.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

Bryant and May: Oranges and Lemons by Christopher Fowler

Lost Souls by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman

The best books out in May 2021:

When They Find Her by Lia Middleton
out 13 May
Penned by a barrister specialising in crime and prison law, this is a sharp, sophisticated and intense debut thriller about a desperate mother, a tragic accident and a terrible lie that spirals out of control. Combining a dark plot with white-knuckle pace, it’s impossible to put it down.

The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury
out 27 May
Disgraced detective turned Brick Lane waiter Kamil Rahman is about to find himself embroiled in a case that might just change his life – for better or for worse. This witty, absorbing novel from the winner of the Harvill Secker Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Competition is as gripping as they come.

Outbreak by Frank Gardner
out 27 May
MI6 operative Luke Carlton returns to the field on his most terrifying mission yet in the third explosive thriller from BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner. Outbreak is a pulse-racing, page-turning read that confronts the all-too-real horrors of 21st century bio-terrorism.

The Guest Book by C L Pattison
out 27 May
From the author of The Housemate comes a haunting, claustrophobic psychological thriller perfect for fans of Harriet Tyce, Lisa Jewell and Ruth Ware. With tension that builds and builds with every chapter it’s guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat. Read a chapter of the book here.

Triple Cross by Tom Bradby
out 13 May
Against her better judgement, Kate Henderson is forced out of retirement from the Secret Service and into a top-secret, deeply flawed and dangerous investigation in this high-stakes thriller from ITV News Anchor Tom Bradby. Full of twists and turns, it’s complex, fast-paced and completely gripping.

Left You Dead by Peter James
out 13 May
DS Roy Grace investigates his most mysterious case yet in the latest instalment of Peter James’s bestselling series. Fast-paced and perfectly plotted, with characters that really shine, this is one not to miss if you were hooked on ITV’s Grace.

Don’t Let Him In by Howard Linskey
out 13 May
Set on the Northumberland coast in a small town where an unnerving number of people have died over the years, this atmospheric crime novel has a terrifying premise that’ll send a shiver down your spine. Creepy, twisty and suspenseful, it’s brilliantly crafted with chills and thrills a’plenty.

You Need to Know by Nicola Moriarty
out 27 May
The Ex-Girlfriend author returns with a brand new read that readers of Lisa Jewell, Adele Parks and Louise Candlish will love this month. Telling the story of a family’s devastating accident and the tangle of dark secrets and lies it reveals, this is an intriguing domestic drama that you’ll race through.

Both of You by Adele Parks
out 27 May
DC Clements is determined to unearth the truth when two women vanish, leaving their seemingly happy families behind. Told from multiple viewpoints, Both of You is pacy, compelling and just when you think you know the solution, you’ll find yourself guessing again…

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

The best books out in June 2021:

The President's Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
out 7 June
The bestselling authors of The President is Missing return with a second compelling standalone thriller told with James Patterson’s signature suspense and informed by details only a President could know. Don’t miss this tense, action-packed, authentic page turner.

The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jonasson
out 3 June
When Una sees an advert seeking a teacher for two girls in a tiny village on the north coast of Reykjavik, she sees it as a chance to escape – but soon she finds her life going from bad to worse. Dark, creepy and atmospheric, this mystery is as claustrophobic as they come.

The Lies We Tell by Jane Corry
out 24 June
Perfect for C L Taylor and Lisa Jewell fans, Jane Corry‘s new heart-in-mouth psychological thriller follows a woman who has to choose between saving her son and saving herself. It’s brilliantly crafted, packed with twists and turns and tense to the very last page.

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox
out 17 June
Dark, pacy and compulsively readable, this first standalone novel by Joseph Knox, author of the Aidan Waits series, blends fact and fiction to create a fresh, unique and hugely original crime thriller like no other. Prepare to be gripped by this unputdownable tale.

The Blood Divide by A A Dhand
out 24 June
Set between England and India, this explosive read from the author of the Harry Virdee novels sees two strangers on the run together after being attacked, desperately trying to find out who is out to get them – and why. Expect fast-paced action, engrossing, vivid descriptions and thrills a’plenty.

I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood
out 10 June
If you loved Imran’s debut, You Don’t Know Me, as much as we did, make sure you get your hands on his second novel this month. With first class plotting, an absorbing writing style, a protagonist you’ll really root for and a gripping, intense story at its heart, this is an absolute must-read.

Knock Knock by Anders Roslund
out 10 June
When Inspector Grens is called to a break-in at what was once the scene of a brutal murder, he fears someone wants to silence the only witness to the killing. Set over three explosive days, this is a masterful, heart-pounding Scandi noir thriller perfect for fans of Jo Nesbo and Samuel Bjork.

Scorpion by Christian Cantrell
out 24 June
Around the world, people have been murdered. The victims fit no profile, the circumstances vary, but one thing links them all: in every case the victim is branded with a number. I Am Pilgrim meets Minority Report in this relentless international cat-and-mouse thriller with an ending you won’t see coming.

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker
out 24 June
Readers who loved Room, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Lullaby won’t want to miss this debut novel when it hits shelves later this year. Dark and claustrophobic, this thought-provoking read asks whether forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed.

Out of Time by David Klass
out 10 June
What if the man you’re trying to stop is the one who’s trying to save the world? David Klass’s modern, explosive thriller follows the FBI on the hunt for a terrorist whose attacks destroy targets that threaten the environment. Fast-paced and suspenseful, this is a timely, thought-provoking read.

In Harm’s Way by Anthony Mosawi
out 24 June
Sara Eden must save the country from a domestic terror attack while grappling with the mystery of her identity in Anthony Mosawi’s second novel. Blending the world of espionage with the supernatural, In Harm’s Way is a high-octane, original take on the spy thriller.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh
out 22 June
Set over twenty hours on a flight from London to Sydney, Hostage is an addictive, nail-biting, high-stakes thriller that oozes with tension. With excellent characterisation and twists that keep you guessing, Clare Mackintosh fans certainly won’t be disappointed when this hits shelves.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

The best books out this month

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
out 22 July
Told from different viewpoints across multiple timelines, this perfectly crafted, suspenseful mystery from the author of The Family Upstairs doesn’t disappoint. It’s dark and twisty, with tension that builds and builds, and we guarantee it’ll be an absolute must-read this summer. Read the first two chapters here.

Private Rogue by James Patterson and Adam Hamdy
out 8 July
What at first seems to be a simple missing persons case soon escalates into something much more deadly in the latest book in James Patterson’s unmissable series. Featuring private investigator Jack Morgan, this fast-paced, action-packed read will keep you on the edge of your seat.

That Night by Gillian McAllister
out 8 July
Packed to the brim with tension and suspense, Gillian McAllister’s gripping new psychological thriller will make you question what you would do if you found yourself in a truly extraordinary situation. If you love Louise Candlish and Clare Mackintosh, you won’t want to miss this.

The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason
out 1 July
Perfect for readers of Ann Cleeves and Ragnar Jonasson, The Darkness Knows sees a retired policeman reopening a case that has weighed on his mind for decades. It’s a powerful story from the master of Icelandic crime writing about the poisonous secrets that time eventually uncovers.

Damage by Caitlin Wahrer
out 8 July
Damage is a compulsive drama about a family torn apart by an alleged assault and the cracks that begin to show in the aftermath. Addictive and twisty, this fast-paced and shocking debut explores themes of justice and doubt, ultimately asking how far you would go to protect your family.

All Her Fault by Andrea Mara
out 22 July
Four women in a close-knit community are thrust into the harsh spotlight when a young child goes missing in this explosive and twisty thriller from bestseller Andrea Mara. Combining domestic intrigue, psychological drama and emotional intensity, this book will hook you in from the very beginning.

Bryant and May: London Bridge is Falling Down by Christopher Fowler

The Rising Tide by Sam Lloyd
out 8 July
This beautifully written, evocative and pulse-pounding new novel from the author of Richard and Judy book club pick The Memory Wood sees one woman battling to save her family against the unforgettable backdrop of a once-in-a-generation storm. We can’t recommend it enough.

Bryant and May: London Bridge is Falling Down by Christopher Fowler
out 22 July
Detectives Bryant and May break rules, infuriate officials and maybe, just maybe, catch the criminal in this hugely entertaining and unorthodox new investigation. There’s no other series like this one – it’s clever, imaginative and a treat to return to time and time again.

Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham
out 22 July
Alice, a former detective and current psychiatric patient, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects a fellow patient has been murdered – only for her life to start to unravel. This new standalone has a great premise, twists and red herrings abound and a brilliant sense of humour.

The Killer Inside by Matthew Frank
out 22 July
Haunted army veteran and Detective Constable Joseph Stark returns in Matthew Frank’s brand new crime thriller – a first class police procedural with excellent characters and expert plotting. This one is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages with its twists and turns!

The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan
out 8 July
For over a century, one of the world’s great treasures has been safely housed at Bombay’s Asiatic Society – but when it vanishes, together with the man charged with its care, the case lands on Inspector Persis Wadia’s desk. What follows is a witty and atmospheric tale that’s as entertaining as it is fascinating.

The Nameless Ones by John Connolly
out 8 July
Fans of Louis and Angel will be excited to hear they take centre stage in the nineteenth Charlie Parker thriller which is heading our way in July. Violent, vivid and not one for the faint-hearted, The Nameless Ones is brilliantly written and gripping to the very end.

Widespread Panic by James Ellroy
out 1 July
Transport yourself to the sleazy underbelly of 1950s LA in James Ellroy’s latest noir novel where fan-favourite Freddy Otash is dishing the dirt on the scandals of the era. With Ellroy’s trademark writing style, this is a brutal, intense and often funny roller coaster of a book.

Razorblade Tears by S A Cosby
out 6 July
This powerful thriller explores grief and redemption through the story of two ex-cons and their fight for revenge following the deaths of their sons. Pacy, action-packed and emotionally raw, this is an outstanding read that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
out 22 July
The Doll is a well-plotted slow burner with a creepy premise and surprising twists and turns that will keep you guessing. With complex, intricate strands that weave together and unfold beautifully and engaging, believable characters, this is a hugely satisfying novel.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

The best books out in August 2021:

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
out 31 August
From the author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water comes a fresh, propulsive new novel that explores how tragedy and trauma can shape the life you lead. Gripping, twisty and brilliantly crafted, this must-read will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena
out 5 August
The queen of the one-sit read is back with an unputdownable new thriller where everyone is keeping secrets – including the dead. This addictive domestic suspense novel will have you turning the pages long into the night as you try to unravel the truth.

A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz
out 19 August
Anthony Horowitz returns with the third novel in his acclaimed Hawthorne and Horowitz series this month. This instalment sees the pair investigating a death at a literary festival on Alderney. It’s clever, witty and inventive, and entertaining to the very last page.

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
out 19 August
Prepare for a lesson to die for in Samantha Downing’s original new thriller, set at a prestigious school where the teacher of the year is more dark and dangerous than anyone realises. Full of humour, this clever, shocking novel is as suspenseful as they come.

The Wedding Party by Tammy Cohen
out 19 August
It was meant to be Lucy’s dream wedding – but when a body is found it becomes clear it’s going to be a day to remember, but for all the wrong reasons… Fans of The Guest List and Big Little Lies won’t be able to put down this gripping whodunnit.

The Noise by James Patterson
out 5 August
The world’s bestselling thriller author turns his hand to psychological suspense in this dark new novel. The Noise is chilling, dark and twisty, with tension that builds and builds with every chapter. We can’t recommend it enough.

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood
out 5 August
Would you kill for the perfect life? From the author of My Sister’s Bones and Day of the Accident comes a compulsive new read that will hook you in right from the start. Fans of Teresa Driscoll and Lisa Jewell will love this. Read a chapter of the book here.

The Heights by Louise Candlish
out 5 August
Louise Candlish’s gripping, emotional new psychological thriller tells a story of grief, obsession and revenge that will make you question what you would do if you found yourself pushed to extremes. Don’t miss it.

Billy Summers by Stephen King
out 3 August
Billy Summers is a good guy with a bad job. He wants out, but first there is one last hit – one where everything goes wrong. With an unforgettable, complex hero you’ll really root for, this is a thrilling tale from a master storyteller.

Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce
out 5 August
Based on the true story of Belle Gunness, America’s first female serial killer, this is a compulsively readable, addictive and tense bombshell of a book blending fact and fiction that readers of Lullaby and The Five will race through.

1979 by Val McDermid
out 19 August
McDermid takes a journey into the past with the first book in a new series featuring an investigative journalist who delves into a world of corruption, terror, and murder. With great characters and an atmospheric setting, this mystery is sure to be another bestseller.

The Turnout by Megan Abbott
out 3 August
If you loved Dare Me and You Will Know Me, be sure to pick up Megan Abbott’s haunting new novel. Set against the backdrop of a family-run ballet school, this is a multi-layered, menacing slow-burn of a story about power, ambition and complex family relationships.

The pick of the paperbacks

These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.

What would make your list of the best crime books of 2021 so far? Let us know in the comments below!

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