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The very best crime novels of 2015

We can’t believe we’re reaching the end of another cracking year – it feels like only yesterday that we were brimming with excitement over what 2015 had in store for us!

And the year sure has delivered on the book front, hasn’t it? Here at Dead Good HQ, we’ve been arguing for weeks over the best crime novels of 2015 because there are so many fantastic contenders.

But after all that bickering we’re finally in agreement. Here are the ten best crime novels of 2015, as chosen by us. What were your favourite books of this year? Let us know in the comments below…

The Very Best Crime Novels of 2015

best crime novels of the year 2015The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

We always knew The Girl on the Train was going to be big – but who could have predicted such phenomenal success? With over two million copies sold so far and Emily Blunt starring in the much-anticipated movie adaptation, this is without a doubt the thriller of the year and one we’ll continue hearing about for some time.

best crime novels of the year 2015I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go is an absolutely beautiful novel with one massive twist you just won’t see coming – and if you’re yet to read it you are definitely in for a treat. Having worked in the police force herself, Clare Mackintosh has written both an authentic police procedural and a gripping psychological thriller that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the final page.

best crime novels of the year 2015What She Left by T R Richmond

What She Left is a story pieced together from what remains after the victim, Alice, has gone: her letters, diary entries, text messages, social media posts and news reports. With many subjective accounts and snippets rather than one single narrative voice, this stunning debut provides a fascinating examination of the traces we leave behind in a digital age.

best crime novels of 2015The Ice Twins by S K Tremayne

How can we describe The Ice Twins? Creepy and chilling just don’t cover it. S K Tremayne deftly weaves together the twisting plot with dark, atmospheric descriptions of desolate landscapes to create a beautiful tale of suspense and never-ending sense of foreboding. A heartbreaking story about love and loss.

best crime novels of the year 2015In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

This fun and deliciously chilling thriller has a hugely entertaining premise: at a hen party for an old friend, something goes horribly wrong. Someone’s getting married and someone’s getting murdered. In A Dark, Dark Wood is an addictive whodunnit – and we’re not the only ones who think so. It’s currently being adapted for film by none other than Reese Witherspoon!

best crime novels of the year 2015The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

With such an evocative title, this novel could hardly not live up to its hype. The Girl in the Red Coat follows Beth, the mother of eight-year-old Carmel, when her daughter is abducted by an elderly man at a festival. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Hugely moving, this is an incredible debut thriller.

best crime novels of the year 2015Disclaimer by Renée Knight

What if you picked up a novel, began reading and discovered – to your horror – that it was all about you? That’s precisely what happens to Catherine in Disclaimer, a brilliantly twisty and intricately plotted psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end.

best crime novels of the year 2015The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Continuation fiction is always a challenge, especially when the original novels are so well-admired as Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy. Luckily for us, Lagencrantz’s novel is a welcome addition to this world with a stylish and complex plot. Murder, hacking, artificial intelligence – this book is a unique and riveting read, not least because of the spiky and compelling heroine in the reawakened Lisbeth Salander.

best crime novels of the year 2015Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell

Reading the last book by one of your favourite authors is always an emotional experience – so we were in equal parts saddened and excited to read Dark Corners, the final novel by Ruth Rendell. This dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense provides the perfect blend of wry humour and acute observation – it’s Rendell at her most memorable and best.

best crime novels of the year 2015Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Cormoran Strike returned this year in what we think is his best outing so far. A complex plot, brilliant characters, twists and turns – Career of Evil has it all and we just couldn’t put it down. We thought we were excited for BBC One’s The Cormoran Strike Mysteries before we read this. We can barely contain ourselves now.


    There were so many good reads in 2015 in the crime fiction genre. I’ve heard good things about “Dark Corners” so I will definitely be checking that out next. I have an awesome thriller/murder mystery/crime fiction novel that I have to recommend called “Uncontrolled Spin” by author Jerry Summers (http://www.jerrysummersauthor.com/). <—You can read an excerpt from the book on his website. It follows marketing mogul Sean Green and his budding romance with new client Jessica Silva (looking to get her apparel company on the map). During their relationship Sean's best friend and best client is murdered and the plot twists and turns begin! It turns out the author is an ex police chief and has had LOTS of experience with crime scene investigations, political corruption and it really shows in this novel. The more realistic the better! I like this book because it has really well developed characters, it covers a wide array of genres, and it keeps you guessing from start to finish. Hope you will give it a read

    Not read any of these so far but they are very definitely on my wish list

    I haven’t read any of the above, my favourite books of the year were
    “Stranger Child” by Rachel Abbott
    “Nowhere Child” by Rachel Abbott
    “Silent Scream” by Angela Marsons
    “Evil Games” by Angela Marsons
    “Lost Girls” by Angela Marsons
    “Little Girl Gone” by Alexandra Burt
    “Cold, Cold Heart” by Tami Hoag
    “No Other Darkness” by Sarah Hilary
    “Trace” by Casey Hill
    “The Dead Ground” by Clare McGowan

    Disclaimer and The Girl on The Train were really really good books,I got bored with I let you go.I really want to read In a dark dark wood.I can’t believe that Follow You Home by Mark Edwards is not on your list,it is a really really good book and my favourite book of the year.

    Likr another reader, I havent read any on the list and am only just beginning ‘I let you go’. All this past year I have enjoying the very exciting novels of Scott Mariani. I can thoroughly recommrnd them. Perhaps these lists depend on the publisher, who ,of course, only recommend their own books!

    Hi Judith,

    Not heard of Scott Mariani, we’ll have to look him up. We’re not publisher specific and we compile this list looking at the books that we have read and loved that were first published in 2015. Because of that it’s going to be a subjective list and we’re really enjoying all the suggestions for books we might’ve missed. Just gives us more books to add to our TBR pile!

    Thank you

    Like Sandy, my list would be different – but I have to say I did enjoy “The Girl on the Train”.

    I’ve still got seven of these to read! I’m not going to bother with the Lisbeth Salander sequel though – I didn’t even read number three. Just got a bit bored with them. As for I Let You Go, I started it but not a lot seemed to be happening. I’ll have to start again and give it more of a chance as it’s on every “Best Of…” list I’ve seen!

    Wow…I read a ton of crime novels & my top ten list is completely different. Just wondering how this collection was chosen.

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