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7 brilliant boxsets, recommended by crime writers!

Do you marvel at the number of television channels there are these days? Get confused about which crime shows to dedicate your hard earned free time for? Need a good recommendation to tell your Breaking Bad from your Bridges? Well never fear, our panel of author experts is here to help!

We asked fourteen bestselling crime authors to tell us their favourite crime drama of the moment. Unsuprisingly they picked a lot of the same ones – quality is definitely something they recognise. Take a look at our list and see if you share the same favourites…

Simon Kernick

Breaking Bad. An absolutely stunning show. There’s not much more I can say than that, other than I’m bereft that it’s finished.

M. G. Gardiner

Breaking Bad. It’s spectacular: subtle and scarily dark. It’s a Shakespearean-level tragedy played out in the American southwest.

Tess Gerritsen

I used to love “Breaking Bad,” and am still mourning its end! And of course, I always watch “Rizzoli & Isles”!


Sharon Bolton

Dexter. So very deliciously dark. What genius mind thought up the idea of a super-hero serial killer? What clever writing makes us love and root for Dexter, even as he’s committing the most appalling crimes? This is slick TV and black humour at its best.

Sam Hayes

I love Dexter! I’ve no idea how he gets away with it, but he does—and in the eyes of the viewer, too. He’s an utterly loveable yet despicable criminal – but a criminal with morals, which seems to make all the difference.

M D Villiers

I love Justified. I’m a huge admirer of Elmore Leonard’s writing and the characters, especially the villains, are brilliant. I’m always disappointed when one gets killed off. Other favourites are Foyle’s War and Vera.

Karin Slaughter

Since Breaking Bad is no more, I’d have to say Justified. Excellent writing, tight plots and a sexy, lanky guy in a cowboy hat. All the things you need for late-night viewing.

Christopher Fowler

‘The Bridge’. I love the autistic cop Saga; she looks at people as if they’re aliens and is even scarier when she tries to empathise. Mind you, the murder rate in Sweden is higher than Mexico’s.

Jane Casey

I love The Bridge (original Danish/Swedish version). I am completely obsessed with Saga and Martin. The only trouble is that I start to believe I can speak Swedish and Danish after watching a few episodes back to back.

Helen Grant

I love Whitechapel and also Welsh crime drama Hinterland, but I’m currently fixated on The Bridge. I love the interplay between Saga and Martin. I would watch it for that, even without the crimes!

Tim Weaver

I’ll always beat the drum for *The Shield*. It’s a mid-noughties cop show, about an experimental gang unit in the LAPD, and although it’s not as ‘important’ as *The Wire*, which ran at the same time, it’s a slick, powerful, sometimes uncomfortable watch. Brilliantly acted and written, it also has the best last season of any TV show, ever – *and *the best closing shot. That’s an official Weaver fact, by the way.

Emma Kavanagh

It’s an oldie, but a goodie – I’m completely addicted to Poirot at the moment. I love Agatha Christie. Her plotting is so twisting and clever, that I love watching it to see if I can see how she did it. Also, David Suchet is just adorable!

Lynne Truss

I watch old Poirot episodes endlessly. I am quite old-fashioned enough to care who killed Roger Ackroyd – but I am also forgetful enough never to remember precisely who did, so the episodes stay quite fresh! Of ongoing series, I never miss either Sherlock or its American counterpart Elementary.

John Harvey

Allan Cubitt’s “The Fall” for Gillian Anderson’s compelling performance and some fine, moody cinematography.


There you have it seven crime drama’s with our seal of approval. Is your favourite on that list? Let us know in the comments below.


    I would have to go for Foyle’s War, the period setting & Anthony Horowitz’s brilliant writing make terrific tv. I’d also agree with Emma Kavanagh about Poirot, David Suchet was electric.

    Happy Valley (BBC) gets my vote. I think it’s AMAZING – grim, gritty and gripping, with fabulous writing from Sally Wainwright and a tour-de-force performance from Sarah Lancashire. Breathtaking…

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