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Debut crime novels to watch out for in 2022

As we welcome in a new year, with all the possibilities it holds, here at Dead Good we’re most looking forward to discovering the new and exciting voices in crime fiction.

Top titles on our radar include a locked room murder mystery set on a cruise liner, a dark, compulsive medical thriller penned by a GP and the first in a new series featuring a heroine to rival Killing Eve’s Villanelle.

So if you want to be ahead of the curve this year, or the one recommending the must-reads to your book club, then here’s our pick of debut crime novels to watch out for in 2022.

15 of the best debut crime novels coming our way in 2022:

Wahala by Nikki May

Wahala by Nikki May
out 6 January

Ronke, Simi and Boo are inseparable mixed-race thirty-somethings, living in London, questioning their futures. But when Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past, arrives in town, cracks begin to appear in their friendship, and it is soon obvious that Isobel is not sorting, but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

Soon to be a major BBC TV adaptation, this brilliant debut combines the friendship, fashion and relationships of Sex and the City with the deliciously dark humour and killer edge of My Sister, the Serial Killer. Fast-paced and full of warmth, Wahala is a real page turner.

A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle

A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle
out 20 January

November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail to New York with 2,000 passengers – and a killer – on board. When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship’s officer Timothy Birch is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye…

A cruise liner makes the perfect setting for a locked-room mystery with a difference in A Fatal Crossing, a debut crime novel with a classic edge. Perfect for readers of Anthony Horowitz, Sophie Hannah and Richard Osman, it’s an atmospheric, claustrophobic whodunnit with a twist you won’t see coming.

The Anomaly by Hervé le Tellier

The Anomaly by Hervé le Tellier
out 20 January

When Air France flight 006 departed from Paris, no one knew everything was about to change. Amidst terrifying turbulence, the plane – somehow – was doubled. For every one person on board that day, there were now two. A double with the same body, the same mind, the same memories. When the doubles to meet, they must confront their extraordinary fate. And only one thing is certain: life as they know it, will never be the same.

The winner of France’s most prestigious literary prize and already a phenomenal bestseller internationally, The Anomaly brings Hervé le Tellier’s writing to the UK for the first time, asking: what you would you do if there were two of you? It’s an original, high-concept thriller that fans of Stuart Turton, Michel Bussi and Black Mirror will love.

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid by Nita Prose
out 20 January

Molly the maid is alone in the world. A nobody. She’s used to being invisible in her job at the Regency Grand Hotel. But Molly is thrown into the spotlight when she discovers an infamous guest very dead in his bed. As Molly becomes embroiled in the hunt for the truth, she discovers a power she never knew was there. She’s just a maid – but what can she see that others overlook?

Clever and addictive, with a wonderful, quirky main character you’ll really root for, this light-hearted, cosy, escapist read is packed with intrigue.

She and I by Hannah King

She and I by Hannah King
out 20 January

Keeley and Jude have been inseparable since childhood. They share everything: clothes, secrets, booze – and blame. So when they wake up after a party to find Keeley’s boyfriend stabbed to death beside them, they agree to share something else: the story they’ll tell the police. As the murder investigation sends ripples through their community, the girls’ relationship comes under scrutiny – and they start to realise they might not, always, have shared as much as they thought.

She and I is the slow-burning, gritty, character-driven debut novel from Northern Irish writer Hannah King. Told from multiple perspectives that help us slowly piece together the truth, it explores what happens when a claustrophobic friendship is pushed to extremes.

Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner

Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner
out 20 January

After discovering photographs of her estranged identical twin sister on her husband’s phone, Megan wants answers. But when Megan confronts her sister, an argument turns to murder. The only way Megan can get away with killing her twin is to become her. But then lockdown hits. How can she continue living two lives? And what happens if someone else knows her secret too?

Sarah Bonner’s chilling, creepy psychological thriller is guaranteed to keep you firmly on the edge of your seat with its unlikable characters and relentless twists and turns.

Breathless by Amy McCulloch

Breathless by Amy McCulloch
out 17 February

When struggling journalist Cecily Wong is invited to join an expedition to climb one of the world’s tallest mountains, it seems like the chance of a lifetime. But as their small team starts to climb, things start to go wrong. There’s a theft. Then an accident. Then a mysterious note, pinned to her tent: there’s a murderer on the mountain. And then Cecily finds the first body…

Perfect for fans of The Sanatorium and The Hunting Party, this is an ice-cold thriller from an expert mountaineer and the adult fiction debut from a bestselling children’s and YA author. With a terrifying setting and a growing sense of claustrophobia, Breathless is an irresistible and unforgettable read.

A Good Day to Die by Amen Alonge

A Good Day to Die by Amen Alonge
out 17 February

It’s been ten years since Pretty Boy left the big city. Today he’s back. No one knows why, but it’s clear that revenge is on his mind: he is determined to make the person responsible for his exile from the London scene finally pay. But his plans seem derailed when he takes possession of a bracelet, unaware that its original owner has set a high price for its safe return. Suddenly, the hunter becomes the hunted and Pretty Boy will have to find out if it is indeed a ‘good day to die’…

Seriously gripping from the first page to the last, this fast-paced, action-packed roller-coaster of a thriller comes from an exciting new voice in crime fiction.

Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold

Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold
out 3 March

Ben Harper’s life changed forever the day his brother was murdered. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben’s family and their hometown into the spotlight. Twenty years on, when a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him, Ben finds his world is turned upside down once more.

Twelve Secrets is the first book in a brand new series featuring true crime journalist Ben Harper. With twists and turns a’plenty, this unpredictable mystery is full of surprises that keep you coming back for just one more chapter.

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg

Nobody but Us by Laure Van Rensberg
out 14 April

Steven is a handsome, well-respected professor. Ellie is a wide-eyed young college student. Together, they are driving south for their first holiday together: three days in an isolated cabin, far from the city. It should be a perfect, romantic trip for two. Except that he’s not who he says he is. But then again, neither is she…

My Dark Vanessa meets Gone Girl in this powerful thriller about a dangerous couple – who both have something to hide. Balancing a provocative plot with an addictive pace and killer twists, Nobody But Us is a truly unputdownable read.

The Echo Man by Sam Holland

The Echo Man by Sam Holland
out 14 April

Across England, a string of murders are taking place. Each different in method, but each horrifying and brutal. It seems the murderer is copying the world’s most notorious serial killers – but now, imitation isn’t enough. The killer dubbed the Echo Man is ready to create his own masterpiece, and it will be more terrifying than anything that has come before…

This twisted, gruesome serial killer thriller is as dark and grisly as they come. Well-plotted, with believable characters and tension that builds and builds, The Echo Man is not for the faint-hearted.

Deadly Cure by Mahi Cheshire

Deadly Cure by Mahi Cheshire
out 21 April

Dr Rea Dharmasena is devastated when she loses out on her dream research job to her med-school rival, Dr Julia Stone. When it comes to light that Julia got the job using Rea’s own cutting edge research, Rea just can’t let it go. Until finally, just after a life-changing medical discovery, Julia is found dead. Now Rea has the dream job she’s always wanted. A job she would kill for…

If you enjoyed The Silent Patient and Blood Orange then you shouldn’t miss this debut. Penned by a GP with a degree in psychology, it’s dark, twisty and compulsively readable – and it’ll keep you guessing right to the very end.

A Kiss After Dying by Ashok Banker

A Kiss After Dying by Ashok Banker
out 12 May

Ricky is living an idyllic playboy life when, out of the blue, he meets a shy, pretty girl. Her name is Hannah – or so she says – and before long, to the surprise of them both, Ricky and Hannah are falling for each other. But Hannah knows that can’t be allowed to happen. Because murder is only the first stage of her plan…

A young woman plots bloodthirsty revenge in this stylish international thriller – the first from Ashok Banker. Utterly compulsive, totally original and with a truly jaw-on-the-floor twist, A Kiss After Dying is not to be missed.

More Than You'll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez
out 7 July

Lore Rivera was married to two men at once. She led a secret double life – until one man shot the other. That’s the story the world knows. But true crime writer Cassie wants to know more – about the woman at the heart of it all, and about what really happened that tragic night. As the story unfurls, will either woman be prepared when the truth comes to light?

Katie Gutierrez’s stunning debut novel of love, marriage and murder is a hugely entertaining first-class mystery that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. We promise you’ll want to recommend it to everyone you know.

Alias Emma by Ava Glass

Alias Emma by Ava Glass
out 4 August

Emma Makepeace is on her first operation with The Agency. She’s assigned to track down a man wanted by the Russians and bring him in to the safety of MI6. But when she identifies her target, Mike, in the late hours of the night, she realises that to get him to safety, she needs to reach MI6 by dawn. The only problem? It’s on the other side of London – and there are eyes everywhere. If spotted, Emma and Mike will be killed. In a city full of cameras… where can you hide?

Killing Eve meets James Bond in the first novel of the Alias Emma series. It’s a thrilling, cinematic page turner starring the most likeable and resourceful of heroines who you won’t forget in a hurry.

Have we missed any exciting debut crime novels coming our way in 2022? Which of our picks are you most excited to read? Let us know in the comments below!

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