Crime Thriller Hound Book of the Year 2014
Many of my favourite reads this year have come from British authors, including three books that I anticipate will later be regarded as classics, An Officer and A Spy by Robert Harris, Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer and Matt Haig’s The Humans. As they were first published in 2013 they’re not eligible for my book of the year shortlist but I had to mention them. So too Darkness, Darkness, the excellent final instalment in John Harvey’s Charlie Resnick series, which just misses the cut.
Further afield we’ve had strong offerings from the ever-reliable Laura Lippman, Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo and Louise Penny, with After I’m Gone, The Burning Room, The Son and The Long Way Home respectively.
Crime fiction has seen some fine contemporary issue-led police procedurals this year. Keeping up with current world news has proved more difficult. This is where self-published authors have excelled as they react quickly to a rapidly changing and troubled political landscape.
As for my best crime or thriller read of 2014. Here is the shortlist:
Someone Else's Skin
Five years ago Marnie Rome's parents were killed. Since then she's risen to DI and, attending an interview at a women's shelter, walked in on a stabbing.
It seems that everyone has their secrets and good reason to protect them.
In The Morning I'll Be Gone
Once again set during Northern Ireland's Troubles, Sean Duffy’s third outing has him attempting to solve a four-year old locked room mystery and hunting for a terrorist. The clock is ticking.
The Dead Will Tell
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide, and so begins a series of crimes that link back to a thirty-five year old mystery that's been haunting an Amish town.
Long Way Home
A man is burnt alive in a suburban garden shed. DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are called in from the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit to investigate. Their victim is a migrant worker and a man several people might have had good reason to see dead.
The Night The Rich Men Burned
It might be a stand-alone novel but it's the same Glasgow from Mackay's earlier trilogy, with a change of focus from a gunman's lot to that of a debt collector. Two young men become embroiled in the dark and dangerous world.