So we know that I love a little bit of a crime binge, I always have and I'm just not quite sure why. When I think about the books even as a teen that really captivated me and kept me glued to the pages in my hands I would turn to stuff like Goosebumps, stuff like the Point Horror series, The Beach, and as I got older this developed to stories like The Secret History and The Lovely Bones. Luckily my mother was a fellow crime novel addict and I had a whole house full of incredible crime books to sink my teeth into. I know that a crime book is the thing that is most likely to get me into a read it from cover to cover in one evening mood, and I'm not sure when I became 82 but if your ideal Saturday night isn't lighting a pumpkin spice candle, putting on a fall themed acoustic playlist and reading a crime novel, I'm sorry but I'm just not sure we'll get on.
When you think about it, our fascination with crime, it's a little strange. I know more about polygraphs, murder weapons, serial crimes and the general prosecution system than friends of mine who have actual criminology degrees, since I was a teenager I've always been able to have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of some of these cases, and I just get captivated by them. Me, Millie, the same girl who runs screaming at the sight of a daddy long legs, but ooh a book about a woman who savagely murders her husband? SIGN ME UP DADDIO.
Plus there's just something about this time of year that makes me want to delve into the darker elements a little, it's the perfect time to snuggle up with a great book and give into those slightly creepier interests, it seems to just match this weather perfectly, and I mean I know Halloween is over and all, but it's still autumn, so let's divulge a little into some autumn crime reads that you probably need in your life.
Little Deaths - Emma Flint
I remember the first time I heard the name Emma Flint and quickly became obsessed with the idea of this book. I stumbled upon a video interview with her on the Foyles website and became kind of captivated with the way that she spoke about both her novel, and about true crime in general. Little Deaths is a book that throws you into a sublimely set 60s noir and tells the tale of a woman who wakes up one day in her apartment in a particularly working class area of Brooklyn to find that her children are gone. It follows the real case of Alice Crimmins in the 60s who was watched, followed and observed by the New York Police Department for two years before being arrested and charged with the murder of her two children. With no sufficient evidence, it's a case that still perplexes people, and has been likened to the Kaley / Casey Anthony Case of 2012.
What I love about this book is not only how vivid Emma's writing is, with the perfect mix of hedonistic 60s noir and visual writing that really just captivates you beyond belief, but I love the amount of detail that she piles in. For any true crime addicts who love a new spin on a case that actually happened, this will be RIGHT up your street, and as this is Emma's first novel, I really can't wait to see what she does next!
Murder On The Orient Express - Agatha Christie
So yes, you could just see the movie.
But I mean why would you, when this is probably the most iconic book in existence from the queen of crime and mystery writing, Agatha Christie.
I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in Brixham earlier this year, which is a little town on the South Devon coast, quite close to Torquay where Agatha actually did most of her writing, which I found endlessly inspiring. Her mystery writing is just SO classic, and although I'm not the most seasoned reader of her work, this is simply one that you MUST read.
The novel follows a lavish trip through Europe which takes a bit of a turn when a murder is committed and a well known detective has to work against the clock to put the clues together and figure out who the killer is. It's captivating, gripping, and I'm not at all ashamed to say that I've polished this book off in one sitting.. twice.
Lie With Me - Sabine Durrant
Yep, it's another one that I finished off in one sitting!
I initially saw this in my local book shop a few months ago and thought it sounded super interesting, I picked it up, and in typical me fashion totally forgot about it and it fell to the bottom of my summer reading list. Whoops, my bad. I am totally that girl that walks into a bookshop and spends all her money on new books, forgetting about all the unread ones at home. SOZ BOOKS I LOVE YOU.
Now I'm aware this book won't be for everyone, as to be honest, the main character is such a dick, and seriously unlikeable. I actually picked this up because of that reason, simply from a writer's perspective, that's a really interesting tactic to go about for your protagonist, and you know what, it works.
We meet Paul who uses people in any way, shape and form that he can. He manages to talk himself onto a family holiday with a girl that he's been spending time with, and all of a sudden he's in the middle of an investigation for a girl that went missing years ago on the Greek coast.
This is a page turner without a doubt. I read it all in one sitting tucked up with a pumpkin spice candle one night (party animal of the year am I right?) The twist I simply did not see coming and it's one that has stuck in my mind ever since. You simply MUST read it.
The Couple Next Door - Sharpi Lapena
This is another that follows a Madeline Mccann esque case. Parents go for a dinner party, leaving their child next door, I mean what's the worst that can happen right?
The book makes you question everyone and everything. Secrets come out, mental health comes up, and everything is pulled into question. It's a captivating read that kept me glued from start to end and had a twist that I totally didn't see coming.
It's not the most ground breaking crime novel that I've ever read, but I picked it up after Hannah Gale recommended it earlier in the year and y'know what, it's a damn good, addictive crime thriller.
Happy reading folks.