If this line-up is anything to go by, the year ahead is set to be one filled to the brim with exciting new voices. From the Scottish Highlands to the warmer climes of Florida, a long-forgotten Georgian London to the fictional town of Flinstead-on-sea, one thing is clear: murder is catching and nowhere is safe in the realm of crime fiction.
We’ve pulled together some of the most thrilling debut crime novels 2019 has to offer. With serial killers on the loose, a notorious child killer in hiding and a deadly case of sibling rivalry, get ready to add some unforgettable reads to this year’s reading list!
Debut crime books to watch out for in 2019:
The Rumour by Lesley Kara
When Joanna hears a rumour that a notorious killer is living in her town, she does what many might do: she passes on the gossip, unaware that it threatens everything she holds dear. This twisty, addictive puzzle will keep you guessing until the very end, drip-feeding you clues that will leave you guessing until the very end.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
This deliciously clever and witty read set in Nigeria tells a darkly comic tale of how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water. It’s hugely original and wonderfully entertaining, with fascinating characters that jump off the page and a pace that doesn’t let up.
The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup
From the creator of the hit TV show The Killing comes a nail-biting debut thriller that follows the race to find a serial killer terrorizing Copenhagen. With unrelenting tension, flesh and blood characters and a truly chilling setting, this is one you won’t want to miss.
My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber
Winner of the Daily Mail first crime novel competition, this is a gripping debut full of twists and turns. Exploring the pain of losing a child and the devastating effects of a mother pushed to the edge of reason, this thriller perfectly highlights the complex nature of family relationships.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Alex Michaelides’ debut is a suspenseful thriller about a woman’s brutal and random act of violence against her husband and the psychotherapist obsessed with uncovering her motive. Fast-paced and complex, with a twist you won’t see coming, this is one book you won’t forget in a hurry.
Flowers Over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti
In a quiet village in the Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out; it’s just the first in a string of gruesome murders. This book has all the right ingredients: a brilliant protagonist, an eerie setting and a community hiding dark secrets – so it’s no surprise it’s already a runaway hit in Italy already.
Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid
Three women walk into a dinner party, but only two will walk out. This is Mean Girls with murder, perfect for those who loved Big Little Lies, The Girlfriend and The Fifth Letter. Dark and funny, this is a real page turner that you’ll race through, desperate to find out what happens.
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Fans of Louise Doughty’s Apple Tree Yard won’t want to miss this sharp, slick debut about a successful lawyer juggling her first murder case and her own illicit affair. Prepare to find yourself engrossed in this story of fear and desire, jealousy and betrayal, love and hate.
Past Life by Dominic Nolan
A policewoman suffering amnesia must find the truth about her own violent kidnapping in Dominic Nolan’s thrilling, roller coaster debut – the first book to feature Detective Abigail Boone. Tense, gripping and full of twists and turns, this read will keep you on the edge of your seat.
She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge
DCI Jonah Sheens untangles a web of long-buried secrets in this debut novel and the first book in an exciting new detective series perfect for fans of Jane Harper, Ruth Ware and Tana French. It’s an intricately plotted page turner full of characters you’ll really root for, and we already can’t wait for the next instalment.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
This mystery, set in 1826, follows a slave on trial for the murder of the rich couple she served. Well-written and beautifully-crafted, it’s a tale that travels across the Atlantic – from a Jamaican sugar plantation to the streets of Georgian London – and through the darkest channels of history.
A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas
Part psychological thriller, part family drama, A Good Enough Mother is a dark and gripping novel about love, loss and the lies we tell ourselves. It’s an emotional and truly riveting read that will have you turning the pages long into the night.
From the Shadows by G R Halliday
Set against the backdrop of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands, this is the first police procedural in the DI Monica Kennedy series. It’s atmospheric, creepy and perfectly plotted, with a protagonist who’s truly intriguing – and if you like Ann Cleeves, Susie Steiner and Peter May then this is the book for you.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
Every couple has secrets. For Millicent and her husband, theirs is getting away with murder. Dexter meets Gone Girl in this dark, twisted psychological suspense novel that we promise will have you hooked after just one chapter. It’s shocking, devilish and impossible to put down.
The Woman Inside by E G Scott
The Woman Inside is an unputdownable domestic thriller about secrets and revenge, told from the perspectives of a husband and wife who are the most perfect – and most dangerous – match for each other. Get ready for a game of cat and mouse that will make you question how well you know those closest to you.
The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North
Fans of B A Paris, Clare Mackintosh and Lisa Jewell are in for a treat with this dark, emotionally engaging psychological suspense novel that asks: who can you trust in your darkest moment? Delving into themes of grief and friendship, this is a book that explores what happens when people are pushed to their limits.
Call Him Mine by Tim MacGabhann
This gritty crime novel set in Mexico follows reporter Andrew as he investigates the murder of his own boyfriend. Brilliantly plotted, with a strong sense of the vibrant and violent setting, Call Him Mine is a must-read for those who were glued to Narcos and Sicario.
Darkest Truth by Catherine Kirwan
Catherine Kirwan’s debut novel tells the story of a suspicious suicide, a predatory film director and the woman who’ll risk anything to bring him to justice. The first book in a new Irish crime series featuring lawyer Finola Fitzpatrick, this is a timely, gripping thriller brimming with authenticity.
Are there any new crime books by debut authors you can’t wait to read this year? Let us know in the comments below!