It’s here! #LeedsReads 2013 bumper list of 5 star rated crime books

image-medium (35)All these CRIME NOVELS come with a 5 star rating by our Leeds readers

Close to the Bone by Stuart MacBride Someone’s leaving little knots of bones outside DI Logan McRae’s house, but he’s got more pressing things to worry about. Rival drug gangs are fighting over product and territory; two missing teenage lovers; someone’s crippling Asian immigrants; and an ambitious new Detective Sergeant, a mountain of paperwork, and the unwelcome attention of his superiors and the local crime boss

Wrongful Death by Linda La Plante Six months after the body of Josh Reynolds, a London nightclub owner, was found and determined by police and coroner to be a suicide, DCS James Langton tasks DCI Anna Langton to review the case. Reynolds died from a single gunshot wound to the head, but details are emerging that suggest someone else may have fired the gun

Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo What at first seems like a tragic, but routine car accident suddenly takes on a more sinister cast as evidence emerges that nothing about the crash is accidental. But who would want to kill an Amish deacon and two of his children?

Love Story, with Murders by Harry Bingham The psychotic DC Fiona Griffiths is dealing with as intriguing a pair of murders as you could imagine. Part of a human leg is discovered in a woman’s freezer- Other similarly gruesome discoveries follow throughout a cosy Cardiff suburb, with body parts turning up in kitchens, garages and potting sheds. And while the police are still literally putting the pieces together, concluding that they all belong to a teenage girl killed some 10 years earlier, parts of another body suddenly start appearing..

The Dance of the Seagull  by Andrea Camilleri  Inspector Montalbano is awake at dawn, sitting on his porch, when his attention is caught by a seagull which falls from the sky, performing a strange dance, before lying down to die. Montalbano is perplexed by what he has witnessed and the scene hangs over him like an omen. About to depart for a holiday with his girlfriend Livia, Montalbano makes a quick trip to the police station to tie up loose ends. But when his dear colleague Fazio is discovered missing, he instead launches a desperate search for his lost friend

Ratlines by Stuart Neville Ireland, 1963: as the Irish people prepare to welcome JFK to the land of his ancestors, a German is murdered in a seaside guesthouse, the third foreign national to die within a few days, and Minister for Justice Charles Haughey is desperate to protect a shameful secret: the dead men were all former Nazis granted asylum by the Irish government. Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate the crimes. But as he infiltrates Ireland’s secret network of former Nazis & collaborators, he faces a difficult choice between country and conscience

The Woman who Died a lot by Jasper Fforde The BookWorld’s leading enforcement officer, Thursday Next, is four months into an enforced semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. She returns home to Swindon for what you’d expect to be a time of recuperation. If only life were that simple

The Dark Valley by Valerio Varesi It is autumn in Parma. Commissario Soneri decides to escape the greyness of the city to return to his home village in the Appenines for a much-needed holiday. However, he arrives only to find a town consumed by corruption and suicide that is not all it seems

Cop to Corpse by Peter Lovesey In the small hours of a Sunday morning in Bath, a policeman on beat duty is shot dead – the 3rd killing of an officer in a matter of weeks. Ambitious to arrest the Somerset Sniper, the duty inspector, Ken Lockton, seals the crime scene. He discovers the murder weapon in a garden – and is himself attacked and left for dead

Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain Archie Sheridan should be recovering from his past run-ins with serial killer Gretchen Lowell, yet he’s just as haunted as the day she let him go. But when a cyclist comes across a corpse in Mount Tabor Park on the eastern side of Portland, Archie suddenly has to focus

Brutal Deceit by Mari Hannah  Four a.m. on a wet stretch of the A1 and a driver skids out of control. Quick on the scene, Senior Investigating Officer Kate Daniels and partner DS Hank Gormley are presented with a horrifying image of carnage and mayhem that quickly becomes one of the worst road traffic accidents in Northumberland’s history. But as the casualties mount up, they soon realise that not all deaths were as a result of the accident

A Treacherous Likeness by Lynn Shepherd Charles Maddox takes on a new case. His client? The son of the long-dead poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his wife Mary, author of Frankenstein. Charles soon finds himself being drawn into the battle being waged over the poet’s literary legacy, but then he makes a discovery that raises doubts about the death of Shelley’s first wife

Ceremony in Death by J D Robb ‘Ceremony in Death’ is the fifth investigation for Lieutenant Eve Dallas, the 21st century NYPD cop. Conducting a top-secret investigation into the death of a fellow police officer sees Eve treading on dangerous ground

At the Dying of the Year by Chris Nickson Leeds, 1733. Three children are found dead in a disused bell pit; their bodies battered and bruised, each of them stabbed through the heart. As an atmosphere of fear and suspicion pervades the city, Richard Nottingham and his team find themselves hunting a ruthless child-killer, a monster who preys on abandoned street children

The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg On a late summer’s night, a young woman jumps in her car, her hands slippery with blood on the steering wheel. Taking her five-year-old son, Nathalie flees to the only safe haven she knows: the island of Graskar off the coast of Fjällbacka. Meanwhile, Detective Patrik Hedström has barely stepped foot inside his office following sick leave before he catches a murder investigation. A man has been murdered in his home: the victim, Mats Sverin, was the council’s financial director, heading up a project worth millions

Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina The complicity of an old man in his own death, a promiscuous politician and a bag of untraceable money – one city, three crimes and a powerful connection that runs from Glasgow’s dark criminal underworld to the international spheres of the super rich

Cold Killing by Luke Delaney DI Sean Corrigan is not like other detectives. The terrible abuse he suffered in childhood hasn’t stopped him enjoying family life with his wife and two daughters, or pursuing an impressive career with South London’s Murder Investigation Unit. But it has left him with an uncanny ability to identify the darkness in others – a darkness he recognises still exists deep within his own psyche and battles to keep buried there

Taken by Robert Crais When the police tell a wealthy industrialist that her missing son has faked his own kidnapping, she hires Elvis Cole and Joe Pike – and Cole soon determines that it was no fake. The boy and his secret girlfriend have been taken, and are now lost in the gray and changing world of the professional border kidnappers

Gift Wrapped by Peter Turnbull When four postcards are sent anonymously to the staff of an advice centre, each with the word ‘murder’ scribbled in a foreign language and the same precise OS map reference, the police are called. DCI Hennessey of the Vale of York police and his team of detectives visit the sinister location and make a chilling discovery

Peril on the Royal Train by Edward Marston 1858. The driver and fireman of a goods train are speeding along near the Scottish border. As they take a sharp bend, they can see that the track ahead has been ripped up. There is no way to avert disaster. Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are sent north to investigate

Savage Spring by Mons Kallentoft The Swedish town of Linkoping is bathed in Spring sunshine. The trees are blossoming and families are having breakfast at outdoor tables in the main square. Then a deafening explosion rips through the air. Broken glass and tulip petals cover the cobblestones, and two little girls are killed

Maxwell’s Crossing by J M Trow When one of the poker school’s members is found murdered, newly-promoted Inspector Jacquie Carpenter-Maxwell and Henry Hall investigate, with the assistance of Peter ‘Mad Max’ Maxwell. Something is crooked in this case and Maxwell is sure that it is more than meets the eye

The Woman who Walked into the Sea by Mark Douglas-Home Cal McGill watches the young woman through the dirty windscreen of his Toyota. There’s something compelling about her stillness, about the length of time she has been standing there erect, staring out to sea. But why, 26 years earlier, did another young woman stand on the beach, before walking in to the sea

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night by James Runcie Accompanied by his Labrador, Dickens, and the exasperated Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney Chambers is called to investigate the fall of a Cambridge don from the roof of King’s College Chapel; a case of arson at a glamour photographer’s studio and the poisoning of Zafar Ali, Grantchester’s finest spin bowler

The Seven Wonders by Steven Saylor In this enthralling prequel to his bestselling ‘Roma Sub Rosa’ series of mysteries set in the ancient world, Steven Saylor takes readers back to the younger days of Gordianus the Finder. The year is 92 BC. Gordianus has just turned 18 and is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime – a journey to see the Seven Wonders of the World

Killing Grounds by Dana Stabenow Alaskan detective Kate Shugak, working as a deckhand on Old Sam Dementieff’s fishing boat Freya, finds a body in the water. It’s a fisherman who has been beaten, stabbed, strangled and drowned. Overkill. But why?

The Lost Abbot by Susanna Gregory Matthew Bartholomew doesn’t want to travel to Peterborough in the summer of 1358, but his friendship with Julitta Holm has caused a scandal in Cambridge, so he has no choice. He is one of a party of Bishop’s Commissioners, charged to discover what happened to Peterborough’s abbot, who went for a ride one day and has not been seen since. Also by same author Death in St James’s Park

The Dying Minutes by Martin O’Brien In 1972 a gold bullion convoy is hijacked in Marseilles. The hijackers are swiftly rounded up, but a ton of gold has disappeared. More than 20 years later, Daniel Jacquot receives an unexpected gift from an old fisherman. The gift points the way to the missing gold

Watching in the Dark by Peter Robinson Detective Inspector Bill Quinn is killed by a crossbow in the tranquil grounds of a police rehabilitation centre, and compromising photos are found in his room. DCI Banks, brought in to investigate, is assailed on all sides

Pray for the Dying by Quintin Jardine The killing was an expert hit. Three shots through the head, as the lights dimmed at a celebrity concert in Glasgow. A most public crime, and Edinburgh Chief Constable Bob Skinner is right in the centre of the storm, as it breaks over the Strathclyde force. The shooters are dead too, killed at the scene. But who sent them? The crisis finds Skinner, his private life shattered by the shocking end of his marriage, taking a step that he had sworn he never would. Tasked by Scotland’s First Minister with the investigation of the outrage, he finds himself quickly uncovering some very murky deeds

The Stranger you know by Jane Casey He meets women. He gains their trust. He kills them. That’s all Maeve Kerrigan knows about the man she is hunting. Three women have been strangled in their homes by the same sadistic killer. With no sign of a break-in, every indication shows that they let in their attacker. But the evidence is pointing at a shocking suspect: DCI Josh Derwent, Maeve’s colleague. Maeve refuses to believe he could be involved, but how well does she really know her partner?

The Stolen Ones by Richard Montanari Destroyed by fire years ago, the infamous Philadelphia Hospital was known as a warehouse for the criminally insane. But one man never left. By night Luther walks Philadelphia’s backstreets, drawing to him the mad, the corrupt, the fallen. By day he roams the catacombs beneath the city, killing his prey. Detectives Kevin Byrne & Jessica Balzano are called to a bizarre murder scene: a man killed by a railroad spike driven into his head and left sitting on a bench- just the beginning of a trail of evil that leads back to the hospital

Blind Justice by Anne Perry Oliver Rathbone, William Monk’s close friend, has presided brilliantly over his first cases as a judge. But the next will bring a far greater challenge. Abel Taft, a charismatic minister adored by his congregation, stands accused of terrible corruption and fraud which has ruined the lives of those he’s betrayed. In court, each victim affirms Taft’s guilt, but when the defence’s star witness tears their stories apart, the case seems lost. Rathbone realises he holds a piece of evidence that could change the outcome of the trial and bring true justice, but can he, as the judge, become involved?

Broken Angels by Graham Masterton Someone is brutally killing Catholic priests. Revenge? Or something more sinister? Katie Maguire must get to the truth

The Riot by Laura Wilson August 1958. London is hot and tired, and nowhere more so than Notting Hill, where DI Stratton has just been posted. Stratton’s new manor is dirt poor and rife with racial tension. The end of the war saw a flood of Caribbean migrants. Now, a decade later, working-class Teddy Boys are showing mounting hostility towards their black neighbours. Notorious landlord Danny Perlmann, a Polish refugee, is taking full advantage of others’ reluctance to rent to the immigrants – or to prostitutes – and is making a fortune off the high rents he charges. Caught in the middle of this war over rents and turf is Irene, a young runaway on the verge of going on the game. When Perlmann’s rent collector is murdered, Stratton is called to investigate

The Leper’s Return by Michael Jecks After the brutal murder of goldsmith, Godfrey of London, former Knight Templar Sir Baldwin Furnshill and Simon Puttock are called on to solve the case. It takes them to the local leper home where they finally discover the truth

Death of a Cad by M C Beaton When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiancé home to Lochdubh, all in town is delighted -except for love-smitten Hamish Macbeth- affairs of the heart will have to wait

The Jupiter Myth by Lindsey Davis For Marcus Didius Falco, a relaxed visit to Helena’s relatives in Britain turns serious at the scene of a downtown murder

Bitter River by Julia Keller In a small town, everybody is next of kin to everybody else. When a local high-school student is found murdered in a car in Bitter River, the hunt is on to find her killer. Bell Elkins is on the case, and determined to bring justice for the girl whose death devastates the whole population of Acker’s Gap. But there are even more sinister events taking place in the isolated West Virginia town, and in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains the strength of small community ties is tested by catastrophe

The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison On a dark night in Lusaka, Zambia, an adolescent girl is brutally assaulted. In shock, she cannot speak. Her identity is a mystery. The girl’s case is taken up by Zoe Fleming, a human rights lawyer working in Africa. A betrayal in her own past gives the girl’s plight a special resonance for Zoe, and she is determined to find the perpetrator and seek justice. Also investigating on behalf of the Zambian police is Joseph Kabuta

Next to Die by Neil White Joe Parker is Manchester’s most ingenious criminal defence lawyer. Sam Parker is Manchester’s most tenacious homicide detective. Both bear the burden of the unsolved murder of their sister 15 years earlier. And both have a stake in a new series of murders that has shaken their city to its core

Light of the World by James Lee Burke When Detective Dave Robicheaux’s daughter, Alafair, declares her intention to interview a convicted serial killer in his Kansas prison cell, he does all he can to dissuade her. Dave has always encouraged her ambitions as a writer, but as a father he doesn’t want her to be exposed to a man so nakedly evil. And his fears seem well founded when Alafair is visibly shocked by the encounter. Two years later, the horror Surette evoked is all but forgotten, as Dave, his wife Molly and Alafair are vacationing amidst the natural beauty of Montana. But evil, it seems, has followed them into this wild paradise

The Weeping Girl by Hassan Nesser A community is left reeling after teacher Arnold Maager is convicted of murdering his female pupil. It seems the girl had been pregnant with Maager’s child. Years later, his daughter finally learns the terrible truth about her father. Desperate for answers, Mikaela travels to the institution at Lejnice, where Maager has been held since his trial. But soon afterwards she inexplicably vanishes