7 Crime Fiction Books You Cannot Miss in 2018

Bookish people can’t help it. As 2017 is coming to an end all we can think about is all the new books that we are going to read in 2018. And it doesn’t get better. I have always been an impulsive reader and I only managed to schedule my readings during my English Literature degree because I loved lessons and I was obsessed with the professors spoiling the books for me. In my 6 years here, this is the first time not only that I am excited for books up to ten months prior to their publishing, but that I have a list of books, I know their release dates and I can’t wait for them to be out in the world for everyone to enjoy. So, may I share them with you?

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (Simon & Schuster – 11th January 2018)

anatomy-of-a-scandal

What the blurb says:

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

I was sent a review copy of Sarah Vaughan’s Anatomy of a Scandal back in September after hearing wonderful things about the novel – as usual – on Twitter. The plot reminded me slightly of Apple Tree Yard, which I was reading at the time, and since I was enjoying it so much I thought I’d better expand my reading and add some legal action to my crime fiction reading.

This is How it Ends by Eva Dolan (Bloomsbury Raven – 25th January 2018)

This is How It Ends

What the blurb says:

With a near-empty building, the inhabitants forced out of their homes by property developers.

With two women: idealistic, impassioned blogger Ella and seasoned campaigner, Molly.

With a body hidden in a lift shaft.

But how will it end?

Eva Dolan has been one of my favourite crime fiction writers for some years now. Her crime fiction is diverse, complex, and takes the time and space to denounce social ills such as racism, domestic violence, human trafficking and the situation of women in contemporary society in general. Her Zigic and Ferreira series are fantastic, as you already know, but this time Dolan is coming back with a standalone novel about the housing crisis and political activism in the UK. As I am writing this I’m right in the middle of reading the novel and spoiler alert: It will not disappoint.

Come and Find Me (Marnie Rome #5) by Sarah Hilary (Headline – March 2018)

comeandfindme-marnierome5

What the blurb says:

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

Along Dolan and Ward, Sarah Hilary is one of my favourite British crime fiction writers ever since I discovered her Marnie Rome series in 2014. Hilary never disappoints and she has a perfect procedural game going on in the series. She is also the proud creator of Detective Noah Jake, the first homosexual police officer that I have encountered in contemporary literature, and a joy to read. However I am sick worried about him as Hilary has tweeted about a big deadly event coming up in book #5. Please, please, please, let him live!

Let me Lie by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere – 13th march 2018)

Let Me Lie

What the blurb says:

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

This is a good time as any to confess that even though I love British crime fiction I have never read anything by Clare Mackintosh. I am planning to put an end to it in 2018 with Mackintosh’s latest novel.

The Favourite Sister by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster – 17th May 2018)

thefavoritesister

What the blurb says:

Brett and Kelly Courtney are the shining jewels in a New York-based reality TV show called Goal Diggers. One of the most popular shows on American national television, its fiercely competitive cast of five self-made women are defined by their success, beauty and ruthless drive to reach the top by whatever means necessary.
The Courtney sisters’ rivalry goes skin deep despite the blossoming business they have built together that helps disadvantaged women in Morocco. Harbouring bitter jealousies and dark secrets about their manufactured screen lives they’re joined by three other hyper-competitive women who all have their own agendas. And the latest season promises sparks to fly in the quest for even higher ratings.
Vicious backstabbing, scathing social media attacks and finely-tuned scripting draw in the viewing public every week, all orchestrated by the show’s omnipotent producers. But even they don’t know that season 4 will end in murder . . .
From the author of the bestselling debut novel of 2015 Luckiest Girl Alive comes Jessica Knoll’s new thriller, The Favourite Sister, featuring a pair of competitive and uber-successful sisters whose secrets and lies result in murder.

I first discovered Jessica Knoll thanks to my job at the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her debut novel Luckiest Girl Alive was the first book that they commissioned for me to review and I loved it. You can revisit my review here, and read about Knoll’s brave essay about the real-life events that inspired the novel here. Jessica has been very open about the struggles of writing The Favourite Sister, and if you would like to see what being a writer is really about, check her Instagram account and you will not be disappointed. Ever since the publication of Luckiest Girl Alive, Jessica and her family moved from NYC to LA, so imagine my surprise when a package landed in my door in Spain directly from LA with a lovely handwritten note by Jessica herself. I will be reading this book for Christmas and I know I will not be disappointed:

My bookpost made me cry today 🙊 • Thank you @jessicaknollauthor for making Christmas arrive early and for your sweet words all the way from LA 🇺🇸Can’t wait to read #TheFavouriteSister especially after you candidly shared with us that writing might not be easy but it is always rewarding. I have to say, your August deadline became personal at one point! But here it is. Your new book 🎉🎉🎉 • If you want to see what being an author is really about be sure to follow Jessica 👉@jessicaknollauthor. She is also the proud owner of Beatrice 🐶 and writes criminally good crime fiction. I reviewed her debut novel #LuckiestGirlAlive for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and two years later my boyfriend still remembers ‘the book with the cool girl in white jeans who orders a very expensive salad only to play with it’ (apparently men can have a hard time imagining this!). You can revisit my review her: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/a-guide-to-millennial-femininity/ • Or you can wait until @reesewitherspoon’s adaptation comes out 🎬💖 #readwomen #crimefiction #american

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The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware (Harvill Secker – Summer 2018)

The Death of Mrs Westaway

What the blurb says:

When Harriet Westaway – better known as Hal – receives a letter from the blue informing her of a substantial inheritance, it seems like the answer to her prayers. The loan shark she borrowed from is becoming increasingly aggressive, and there is no way that her job as a seaside fortune-teller can clear her debts.
There is just one problem: Hester Westaway is not Hal’s grandmother. The letter has been sent to the wrong person.
But Hal is a cold reader, practised in mining her clients for secrets about their lives. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a strange woman’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.
With only one way out of her problems, Hal boards a train for Cornwall, and prepares for the con of her life. But something is very, very wrong at Trepassen House.  Hal is not the only person with a secret, and it seems that someone may be prepared to do almost anything to keep theirs hidden…

Ruth Ware has become one of the UK’s favourite crime fiction writers since her debut novel In a Dark, Dark Wood became an instant best-seller and the rights for the film adaptation were sold in a heated auction. Since then she has published two other novels, The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Lying Game, and I have read and enjoyed them. Ware writes page-turners, easy to read crime fiction that is just perfect to curl up in bed after a long day with. I hope her latest novel will follow her trademark cozy and female-led fiction.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Transworld – September 2018)

Transcription

What the blurb says:

Transcription follows the story of Juliet Armstrong, who is recruited as a young woman by an obscure wartime department of the Secret Service. After the war she joins the BBC, but her life begins to unravel and she finally has to come to terms with the consequences of idealism.

If you have been following this book for a while you will know that I am a huge, huge Kate Atkinson fan (and if not, you can check all my reviews here). I will never get tired of saying that she is one of the best contemporary writers in Great Britain right now and I have been very vocal about my anger and frustration at the systematical undervalued because of the themes and female-led stories that she writes.

 

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14 thoughts on “7 Crime Fiction Books You Cannot Miss in 2018

  1. I finished the Eva Dolan a couple of days ago. I will be very interested in what you think about the way it ends, which unusually for me where Dolan is concerned did disappoint. Maybe we should have a conversation about it when you have finished?

    1. I found the premise really interesting, and I didn’t see the big plot twist coming. Having said that, it was not up to the Zigic and Ferrera series. The ending was… different. I still haven’t made up my mind because I really wanted to like it, and as I’ve said the plot twist was super cool but I did not enjoy it that much.

      1. I saw the plot twist coming some way out and I wasn’t that surprised about it because I think the anger behind it has been growing in the Zigic and Ferrera series. It was the very final action that I was disappointed by. It smacked of having written herself into a corner and not knowing how else to get out of it.

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