People who run websites love statistics. How many clicks did we get? Which story is the most popular? How many users exited the site after two seconds… We’ve got graphs and charts for all these things here at Crime Fiction Lover. Occasionally, they actually tell us something interesting. We thought you’d like to know which reviews have been the most popular ones on our site and put them into a top ten list – it’s a pretty good indicator of which books crime lovers are most interested in at the moment. So, here goes…
1 – The Killing Pool by Kevin Sampson
Our writer DeathBecomesHer admitted to feeling as if she’d just been punched after reading The Killing Pool, the latest crime novel by Kevin Sampson. That’s a powerful recommendation for a book, but we’re still not entirely sure why this has been the go-to review for so many visitors to Crime Fiction Lover. With scenes taking place in the 80s, 90s and the present day, it looks at the evolving drugs and gangs scene in Liverpool as DCI Billy McCartney and co fight a losing battle to clean up the streets. Gritty and gobsmacking, it scored five stars with us. Read more here.
2 – White Lilies by RC Bridgestock
Write about what you know. That’s what the creative writing coaches will always tell you and it’s exactly what Bob and Carol Bridgestock have been doing with their series of DI Jack Dylan novels. The husband and wife writing team have decades of experience between them on the force in Yorkshire, and this comes through very well in White Lilies, their latest police procedural. Two young reprobates are on a crime spree – including murder – but Dylan’s having a tough time finding cast iron evidence to put them away. The full review can be read here.
3 – The Boy from Reactor 4 by Orest Stelmach
It’s got a fascinating title, and it’s a rip-roaring read filled with Russian and Ukrainian gangsters, ice hockey, murders, prison tattoos and radioactivity. The story centres on Nadia Tesla, whose task is to rescue her younger cousin from the Ukraine, and from the clutches of those aforementioned gangsters. The boy might hold a very valuable secret, you see. You can read the full review here.
4 – White Heat by MJ McGrath
People can’t seem to get enough of Edie Kiglatuk, one of the most original crime solving sleuths we’ve ever come across. That could be to do with the fact that we’ve given this book top spot on our list of Recommended titles to the right. White Heat is MJ McGrath’s crime debut and in it the Inuit guide and hunter Kiglatuk is trying to solve three murders, including that of her stepson. It takes place in that area which is a bit further north of the Far North in Canada. Cold as ice. Here’s our review.
5 – Alex by Pierre Lemaitre
Hugely popular in France, Pierre Lemaitre’s Alex has finally arrived in English and gained a stunning five stars when MarinaSofia reviewed it last month. Beautiful young Alex Prevost is bundled into a van and kidnapped, and Commandant Camille Verhoeven knows more than most cops about missing persons cases. His own wife was kidnapped and murdered a few years ago and he’s determined this won’t happen to Alex. But the girl seems to have an unusual past, and what’s more her disappearance could be linked to other unsolved deaths. With this release, alongside the popularity of TV crime drama Spiral in both the UK and US, French crime fiction is becoming the in thing. Read Marina’s review here.
6 – The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood
No, they’re not like the Cheeky Girls. Not at all. In fact, they’re more like the lads who killed the toddler James Bulger all those years ago. Child killers, all grown up and released from rehabilitation with new identites, Kirsty and Amber bump into each other years later in the fictional Kentish town of Whitmouth. But that’s not all they bump into, because it seems as though somebody’s out to make them pay for their past deeds. Alex Marwood has written a five-star stunner that you can read about here.
7 – A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
There are strange goings on in this community in North Carolina. Pastor Chambliss and his congregation are into handling poisonous snakes. Could their faith bring the answer for young Christopher Hall, who suffers from autism and has never spoken a word in his life? When things go wrong at the healing service Sheriff Clem Barefield has more on his hands than a mere accident in this troubling but excellent example of Southern noir. Read our review here.
8 – A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez
This is another book on our recommended list to the right, so it’s no wonder people are still lapping up LoiteringWithIntent’s review, even though it was written last year. In this very, very dark thriller, DI Jack Carrigan must investigate the rape, murder and mutilation of Ugandan immigrant Grace Okello. Amid police politics, and Carrigan’s own links back to Uganda, the trail leads to a radical Ugandan resistance group based in London. A powerful piece of crime fiction from Sherez – find out more here.
9 – The Swedish Girl by Alex Gray
What a clever idea. Readers seem to love tucking into Scottish crime fiction alongside their Scandinavian reads and Glasgow author Alex Grey has woven the two trends together by having her popular lead detective William Lorimer investigate the death of beautiful young Swede Eva Magnusson. Indeed, the trail takes us all the way to Stockholm and it appears that a serial killer might be on the loose, targeting blondes. Read the full review here.
10 – Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie
This top ten list has a bit of everything – and here’s a cosy crime book to finish on. This one’s not a novel, but a series of six short stories that lead you through a broader narrative that introduces you to the jazz-loving vicar Sidney Chambers and the village of Grantchester in Cambridgeshire. As he investigates a suicide, or the theft of a ring, for example, you’ll enjoy the Englishness of the characters and the charm of the classic crime fiction storytelling. You can read the full review here.
Want to find out which books were most popular in UK libraries in 2012? Read this news story.