The top 20 crime authors as voted for by UK crime book club

We recently held a poll of our members on the UK crime book club site on facebook, to discover who their top authors were, the only rules we had were that the author had to be a member of our book club, the results surprised us and make a pretty awesome list of book recommendations from us to you.

With no further ado here are our top 20 starting with number 1, also to be the author of the month for April, I will include amazon links if you want to check them out, if you do purchase pop over to the UK crime book club on facebook, we have author chats with a lot of the authors on the list lined up over the next few months:

1) Caroline Mitchell – Caroline is renowned for her crime thriller series, featuring DC Jennifer Knight. These crime thrillers are infused by Caroline’s personal experiences in both the police and the paranormal.

2) Robin Roughley – Robin writes a series of crime thrillers about DS lasser, there are currently 11 of these crime novels all set in Wigan and surrounding areas. The first one in the series Needle house is currently 99p on Amazon.

3) Elly Griffiths – Elly writes books about forensic archaeologist Ruth galloway, inspired by her Husband who trained as an archaeologist. She also recently started writing a new series, featuring Max Mephisto based on the world of variety shows and magic.

4) C L Taylor – CL Taylor’s first psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT was one of the top ten bestselling debut novels of 2014, She has recently released her third thriller the Missing to much acclaim.

5) Mel Sherratt  – writes gritty crime dramas, psychological suspense and fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, featuring DS Allie Shenton all based in Stoke-on-Trent. The first in the estate series is Taunting the Dead.

6 (Mel and Oliver tied with) Mel Comley – writing as M A comley has a number of series available to buy, Cruel Justice the first in her Hero’s series is free on amazon.

7) Oliver Tidy – A British author who lives in Turkey, Oliver writes three series of books, Romney and Marsh, Booker and Cash and the Acer Samson series. The first book in the Romney and Marsh series Rope Enough is free on Amazon.

8) Sarah Hilary – Sarah is the writer of the DI Marnie rome series, Winner of the Theakston’s 2015 Crime Novel of the Year, and a 2014 Richard and Judy Book Club pick. The first in the series is called Someone Else’s skin.

9) David Videcette – David is a former Scotland yard investigator  with twenty years’ police experience he was a detective on the Anti-Terrorist Branch during the 7/7 London bombings in July 2005. he has used all this experience in writing The Theseus Paradox.

10) Leigh Russell – Leigh writes three series of crime novels the Geraldine steel, DI Ian peterson and Lucy hall series of books. She has been nominated for several awards including CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library. Her first Lucy hall book Journey to death was released recently.

11) Louise Ross – Writing as LJ Ross, Louise writes the DCI Ryan series, Her books are all set in the North of England, where she is originally from. Her first book, “Holy Island”, has consistently been listed as an Amazon bestseller since its release in January 2015.

12)  Tara Lyons – Has recently  released her debut novel featuring DI Hamilton, called In the Shadows. She has also co-written some novels with Mel Comley also featured above.

13) Steven Dunne – writes a series of books set in Derby, that start with the Reaper, featuring the hyper-intelligent but mentally troubled detective, DI Damen Brook. He is currently about to release book 6 in the series.

14) Helen Durrant – Helen publishes a series of books featuring DI Graco  set in the fictional industrial northern English town of Oldston. The first in the Series is called Dark Murder.

15) K A Richardson – Recently published her debut novel called With deadly intent featuring crime scene investigator Cass Hunt. Her books feature themes of domestic violence. She has recently signed a new 3 book deal with Bloodhound books.

16) Katerina Diamond – Another Debut novel, that has received critical acclaim, this is a shocking thriller featuring some quite gruesome scenes. Katerina  is based in Kent and is  currently working on her second novel.

17) Jane Isaac – Jane’s debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’ She writes 2 series 1 featuring DCI Helen Lavery and 1 featuring DI Will Jackman.

18) Maggie James – Writes psychological suspense novels. Her novella Blackwater Lake is free on Amazon, these are very edge of your seat reads, her newest novel the second captive has recently been released.

Joint 19th) Angie Smith  – Based in Yorkshire, Angie writes the CXVI trilogy a series of fast paced international crime thrillers. The third and final novel in the trilogy has recently been released.

19) Michael Kerr – Writes  original, action-packed, violent crime thriller,  he uses his over twenty years experience in the Prison Service  to explore the minds of criminals and the dark worlds of serial killers.

20 )  Owen Mullen – Writes a series of books about Charlie Cameron a PI based in Glasgow, the first in the series is called Games people play. He recently released the second in the series called Old friends and New enemies.


A Bundle of ARC’s

Another perk of helping admin a Delightful not so little anymore online book club is the chance to read books before they come out. I have recently had the great privilege to read some ARC’s (Advance Reading Copies). Here’s a round up of the one’s I’ve read.

  1. With Deadly Intent by K A Richardson – I have been really fortunate in getting the chance to read both a short story and the first novel by this author. Both deal with the difficult issue of Domestic violence in a highly sensitive manner. The novel does have some slow moments, but it is excellently researched and full of twists and turns, I like the aspect told from the killers point of view and would definitely read more from this author, I think that in Cass we have a female character well worthy of an ongoing series although I sincerely hope life starts looking up for her soon, as she is having drama of George R R martin proportions currently. I’m also looking forward to the author chat we have with her online on May 17th.

2.  Blanket of Blood by Eileen Wharton – Another fantastic ARC, this is very gruesome and definitely appeals to my Inner science nerd with the discussion of the fascinating work of Gunter von Hagens. There were time such as when discussing the Tandem repeats in DNA that the scientific detail was slightly too much but again this is an easy fix. This is not a book for the faint hearted there are some gruesome moments but I liked the character development and feel invested enough in the main cast of characters to want to read more from this author

and finally

3. Old friend and New Enemies by Owen Mullen – I discussed this during my post about British Noir as it is a fantastic Scottish detective novel, again there are some gruesome moments definitely not one to read if you feel slightly squeamish. Again I loved the characters although none of them were particularly likeable as people they all felt quite real to me as I was reading, possibly because they were flawed, The novel on my Kindle as it was an ARC finished quite soon and I felt slightly bereft when I reached the end always a sign of a good read. If you like your crime gritty and full of dark drama then this is the read for you, it made me want to immediately start reading the first in the series, a thing I would have done if not for the other ARC’s on my TBR pile. Owen Mullen is now one of my top Indie Authors for the year.

Not to Long ago being an Independent Author or New author could imply a slightly inferior book, In this current crop of ARC’s I think we genuinely have some authors who could take on Crime’s big guns, Yes they are that good and they are in good company in our UK crime book club where my tally of Favourite authors is ever growing, and where there is a strong and ever growing collection of writing talent.



British Noir

So as Noir seems to be making a comeback I thought I’d give my take on it. According to the Wikipedia which is not the most reliable of sources, Noir fiction is dark and generally from the point of victims or non police people, normally in a corrupt decaying world (a very pessimistic view of things).

This is quite a broad and somewhat academic description, and I always think of Noir as being very gritty disturbing fiction sometimes set in a very remote location, which is why the Scandawegians are so good at it.  When I think of Modern Noir my thoughts mostly go to Comics and superhero adaptations, probably more because of the visuals than the content. Sin city for example is a great example of modern film noir (but never watch the sequel). I would also recommend Marvels Daredevil and Jessica Jones for great Televisual Noir, they definitely fit the trends of corruption and moral ambiguity. But when I set my mind to thinking of books I really struggle to name them apart from the obvious classic American Noir Authors. Which makes me wonder how the anthologies of Noir are selected.

For British Noir however here are some suggestions that I have thought of for good Noirish reads, this list is in no way accurate or exhaustive just my honest opinion.

Owen Mullen – New friends and old enemies – A Scottish detective investigates a crime involving the Glaswegian mafia, this has all the darkness and violence you could want from a Noir Novel.

Maggie James – Is an excellent author for a take on crime from a non police perspective, her books can be quite dark at points but she is a fantastic writer.

Katerina Diamonds  – the Teacher – looks at the effect of powerful people and the steps taken to deal with them

Jeanette Hewitts – Exclusion Zone – is also a great Noirish book set between London and chernobyl in Ukraine

and not to forget the Fantastic Angie Smith Author – Who can fit more darkness and corruption (on every level of power) into a book than you can shake a stick at, all set in our beloved West Yorkshire and you can come meet her in April in the White Swan in Leeds.

I guess what I’m saying is Noir when you think about it is a fairly all encompassing umbrella and often the ideas of what makes Noirish literature comes from Film Noir. If you write a novel that addresses corruption or is from the point of view of a detective or Victim then welcome to the wonderful world of Noir fiction, Maybe one day your novel will be given the Modern film Noir treatment and be turned into a kind of Sin city type film. Or you could just realise that you’re a great author who writes amazing stories like the ones listed above and not be to worried about any other labels attached to your work.