If, like us, you’ve been completely gripped by the crime dramas that broadcasters have been firing out of late, you’ll need some literary equivalents so that you can take things at our own pace, and step away if you need to (but not for long. Nothing is quite as compulsive as a crime read). Here, for you, are some of our best crime novels, paired with the telly that we’ve been watching (and discussing) of late. We wanted to put BBC One’s new Sunday night drama Undercover in there, but good luck finding a comparison for something so ridiculously compelling…
If you liked Broadchurch, you’ll love Mainlander
Mainlander has television coursing through its bloodstream – its author, Will Smith, is behind many of the UK’s favourite TV shows incluidng The Thick of It and Veep. It has already been optioned for TV so should be lighting up your screens very soon. Its vivid location – windy cliffs, extravagant homes and cheesy hotel bars – and gripping search for a missing boy is sure to appeal to fans of BROADCHURCH. The Independent agree, writing ‘like the ITV thriller, it grips like Velcro’.
If you liked Trapped, you’ll love Black Run
I am absolutely enthralled by Trapped, the new Icelandic drama. Partly because I am not sure I have ever loved anyone more than Andri (please, please, please don’t let him by the murderer). But partly because of the weather – has snow ever been so interesting? Each grand glcial valley or icy fjord that the camera pans across deserves a credit in this show – so atmospheric are they. For more icy crime, look no further than Antonio Manzini’s Black Run. This ‘diamond-hard crime writing’ (Financial Times) features the dark, towering flanks of the Alps, an expanse of ice, no end in sight, a corpse buried under the snow and blood on the black run.
If you liked Grantchester, you’ll love The County Guides Series
For those that like their crime a little cosier, their detecitves dapper, and their locations beautifully British, we recommend Ian Sansom’s The County Guides. Set in the dark heart of 1930s England, each guide features Stephen Sefton, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and his employer, the People’s Professor, Swanton Morley and … a murder. Madcap, endlessly entertaining and very charming, bringing to life a bygone age of pre-war glamour, quaint English villages and old-fashioned murder, The County Guides are an absolute must-read for fans of Grantchester.
If you liked The Bridge, you’ll love Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All
So we all obviously absolutely loved The Bridge but can we all be honest now and admit that it could have done with a few more… jokes? In his new novel, Jonas Jonasson shows us how its done. ‘This Swedish bestseller has all the sordid ingredients of your typical Scandi-noir but gleefully shaken into comedy’ (The Times) A reformed contract killer, seedy hotels and bags of stolen krona are infused with comic potential in this thrilling, immensely enjoyable novel.
Words by Lettice Franklin
All of the books featured are out now