My obsession with crime started when I was a teenager and first started watching CSI with my Mum. From those first CSI episodes, I then started watching all the spin-off series, moved to NCIS, watched all those spin-off series, discovered Bones and my television obsession was complete. My Mum has always loved crime fiction, but she is one of those people who can guess it straight away and often – ruins it for those watching/reading with her (love you Mum!) I, on the other hand, developed a reading technique where I purposefully couldn’t guess what was happening. I’m not really sure how to explain it, or even if it can be explained, but for so long I read and forced myself not to work out what was happening, and now it’s become second nature to read that way.
The first novel I tried to write as a teenager was a magical murder mystery. It never saw the light of day because of my parent’s reaction. In fact, it took me almost a decade before I shared any original work with my parents again because they’d laughed at my character names in that first novel writing attempt.
I have since, written three novels (which I am currently editing) that are crime related. Two are part of a series that has paranormal elements to it and the third is a reincarnation murder mystery story. If you’re interested, you can find the stories here.
My first big foray into crime was Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series. Before that, I’d read Kate Mosse, Kate Morton and Steve Robinson, stories where there is mystery and often murder where stories of the past and present combine, but they aren’t necessarily classed as crime fiction. I know many people who dislike Elly Griffith’s work because they think the plot moves too slow or that the structure of the books becomes too generic but I love them. I haven’t once successfully guessed what is going to happen and in a world where that is common practice for me, I was overjoyed to discover a series that kept me guessing.
The level of crime books I read was always a steady clump but this year it has risen far more. I am always on the look out for a new crime book and with my remembrance that I could use the Kindle app without having a Kindle, I have been able to read far more crime books than ever before. I have branched out within the genre. The top of my list are Detective Thrillers, I find those books to be so intriguing and curious and I have never, not once, guessed the ending. Then I enjoy Historical Detectives, where the murder links the past and a story that happened there. Psychological thrillers with crime or detective aspects are always a winner for me because there is so much room to play and I feel that every new book I’ve discovered has brought something new to the table.
At the moment, every single book in my Kindle library is a crime book or a crime sub-genre book. Of the books on my tbr shelves, half are crime books. I have an obsession that is getting as out of hand as my sock obsession. (Yes, you heard that right! I am obsessed with buying socks!)
From Elly Griffith’s work, I was eager to find another series that held my attention and excited me time after time. I found what I was looking for in Lisa Regan’s Vanishing Girl’s, and went on to devour the entire series of books.
The sixth book is now out but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. There have been many mainstream authors that I haven’t managed to enjoy. Stephen King and James Patterson books just haven’t done it for me. It’s a rare sort of fairy dust that I need to be able to like a book, it’s unfortunate then, that I don’t know what kind of fairy dust I need!
I love reading crime books set in the UK. I’ll read books that are set all over the world, but there is a special charm to those set in the UK and an element of grit that you can’t escape. From my obsession with Detective Crime, I was pushed into the realm of Psychological Thrillers. I’d already enjoyed some Thriller books and Crime Thrillers but hadn’t ventured much into Psychological Thrillers. This year I have definitely explored that genre to the fullest and have been delighted with the level of complexity the stories provide and the accompanying adrenaline I feel when reading.
In equal parts, I read Crime and Children’s books the most, with a smattering of YA books thrown in. I am not embarrassed by my obsession with Crime books but I’m sure my shelves would like a break from the books I keep piling onto them. I use my Kindle App to discover unknown books/authors or books that have a lot of hype when I’m unsure I would like them. If I love a book I’ve read on Kindle so much, I buy it in paperback. It has opened me up to a world of crime that I just couldn’t see walking into my local Waterstones. I am happiest when escaping to a world of crime, mystery and murder.
To give an idea of the level of crime books I have to currently read, I’ve posted them below:
I’m pretty sure that I have still left some books out! But then I have so many that it’s easy to lose some. It will probably take me to the end of the year to read all of these – or maybe sooner, depending if I’m sleeping or still suffering from insomnia or not – but I’m still open to any recommendations you have. Feed my obsession! I dare you!
I enjoy stand alone books almost as much as I enjoy reading a series, I look forward to character development, sinister murderers and descriptive worlds. My tbr list on Goodreads is mostly crime. Actually, it’s mostly Agatha Christie at the moment as I decided I wanted to read the entire Hercule Poirot series and Miss Marple Series.
Crime readers, I want to know what’s your all time favourite book? What book was unexpected? What book made you think? What book you’d recommend? & What book you hated?