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13 must-read books for Killing Eve fans

Perhaps it’s the wild wickedness of Villanelle, or the dogged determination of Eve Polastri, or maybe it’s the symbiotic relationship that’s developed between the now iconic pair, that always leaves us wanting more. At the core of the award-winning British spy thriller television series Killing Eve are fantastically drawn female heroines that are as dangerous as they are delightful.

So, as we wave a fond farewell to our deliciously dark pair at the end of the current season, we thought it was only right to fill the void with some thrilling recommendations to satisfy every Killing Eve fan.

From fantastic female protagonists to Russian political thrillers via domestic noir and plenty of revenge, here’s our top picks of chilling crime fiction that’ll keep your passion for lethally murderous characters and twisted stories well and truly alive.

13 must-read books like Killing Eve:

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

If it’s an utterly addictive anti-heroine you’re looking for then the central character in Kurian’s explosive thriller debut will certainly not disappoint. University student Chloe Sevre is an ordinary girl-next-door type, but peel back her innocence and you’ll find a highly intelligent psychopath who’s out for revenge.

Fresh, fast-paced and freakishly clever, you’ll be scared of, amused by and impressed with Chloe from each page to the next, as she plots her murder right in front of you.

Illegal Action by Stella Rimington

Illegal Action by Stella Rimington

This thriller from former head of MI5 turned bestselling author Stella Rimington features hardy MI5 officer Liz Carlyle working to overturn a plot by the Russian government to kill a super-rich mogul who openly criticizes the Putin regime. It’s not long before Liz finds herself caught up in a high-octane world of oligarchs and lands herself in danger she might not be able to escape…

A hugely topical and authentic window into a power crazed world.

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

High-powered CIA Analyst Vivian Miller has the perfect life with the perfect husband and four beautiful children, until she makes a shocking discovery that calls into question everything she thought she knew.

A pulse-pounding debut novel that combines strong female characters with high-stakes, international intrigue and high-drama domestic suspense. Film rights have already been sold with Charlize Theron set to star and produce, so get in first before it makes it to the big screen.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

If dark and delicious murderous couples are what you’re after then Millicent and her husband, a marriage made in serial killer heaven, are just the pairing for you. Unapologetically sinister and wicked, Millicent’s murdering fetish is celebrated, encouraged and enabled by her hopelessly devoted husband in an oddly charming relationship that breaks the mould of the domestic noir genre.

Surprising, engrossing and highly original, you won’t have read anything quite like this before.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Meet Villanelle where she began. A woman without conscience. Without guilt. Without weakness. Of course, it’s MI5 agent Eve Polastri who gets caught up in this game of cat and mouse, as stopping a ruthless assassin becomes more than just a job for Eve.

The original basis for Killing Eve, this collection of Villanelle novellas introduces us to two of the most memorable heroines of modern crime drama. Gripping from the word go, super fans of the TV show and crime fiction aficionados will enjoy this page turner in equal measure.

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin

Jade is made of claws and fangs and cruel sharp edges. So, when four boys spike her drink one night, lock her in a room and try to ruin her, little do they know they’ve picked the wrong girl.

A fearless, combative novel about sexual assault and what comes after, this explores power, consent, control and retribution. This feminist take on revenge packs a punch and will stay with you long after the final page.

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg

Nobody But Us by Laure van Rensburg

Steven Harding is a handsome, well-respected professor. Ellie Masterson is a wide-eyed college student. They’re about to spend three days together in an isolated forest cabin with no phone reception. Except neither are who they say they are.

Laure van Rensburg’s sexy, addictive, meticulously constructed psychological thriller pits two dangerous lovers against each other in a chillingly claustrophobic book that you won’t be able to put down. A must-read debut from a very exciting new voice.

Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman

Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman

How far would you go to get revenge on an ex? For Imogen, when her husband issues her with an impossible ultimatum, her vengeance knows no bounds. But she’s not the only one who’s out to get the man who destroyed her life.

This vivid, darkly comic suspense novel sees three women taking matters into their own hands to deliver retribution to an abusive partner. It’s the perfect combination of fearless women, wickedly sharp prose and twists and turns you won’t see coming – and a hugely satisfying read.

Private Moscow by James Patterson

Private Moscow by James Patterson

Moscow’s dark underworld is the setting for this action-packed thriller featuring Jack Morgan, head of the world’s largest investigation agency. Uncovering secrets that unite multiple murders, Jack gets entangled in international espionage and a conspiracy that could have global consequences.

It’s a fast-paced, high-octane, addictive read centred on world affairs – and there are plenty more books in the series if you enjoy this one too.

Conviction by Denise Mina

Conviction by Denise Mina

Anna McDonald is a true crime podcast obsessive with a penchant for lying. As her life spirals out of control she takes it upon herself to investigate an unsolved mystery involving a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, a murdered family and a personal link to one amongst the dead.

Denise Mina transports us all over Europe from Fort William to Venice, and pushes the genre into unchartered territory with this mischievous, intriguing, thought-provoking exploration of the zeitgeist of true crime podcasts. For those looking for a fascinating female protagonist, you won’t go far wrong with Anna.

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka

Five killers. One train journey. Who will survive? A locked-room crime drama that hurtles at breakneck speed between five equally compelling assassins all with a reason to kill.

Ridiculously clever, fun, twisty and highly original, there’s a wit and absurdity about the characters and narrative that is expertly conceived and executed. A bestseller in Japan and soon to be a major motion picture, everyone will want a ticket for this unusual and thoroughly enjoyable read.

A Kiss After Dying by Ashok Banker

A Kiss After Dying by Ashok Banker

This is not a love story, but a story about a shy – albeit razor-sharp – female protagonist pitted against a confident man with his sights set on her. A man who always gets what he wants. Until now.

A globe-trotting thriller with a twist you’ll never see coming, this is a read that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat as you delight in the cat and mouse play between two equally fascinating characters.

Alias Emma by Ava Glass

Alias Emma by Ava Glass

Nothing about Emma Makepeace is real – not even her name. The only truth is she’s a newly trained secret agent on her first proper assignment and has twelve hours to deliver her asset across London after Russia has hacked the city’s security cameras. Can they make it without being spotted… or killed?

The ultimate race-against-time with life, death and global politics at stake, this is a James Bond-esque thriller with a likeable and resourceful heroine at its core.

Have we missed any must-read books like Killing Eve? Let us know in the comments below!

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