Thriller Killers — the appeal of the crime genre

By Ralph McAllister

People who don’t read crime novels often ask me where the appeal lies.

Rather than entering a debate, yet again with my friends, here are four new examples of the genre, read in the first weeks of 2020, which might persuade you, if you need persuading, that millions of people cannot all be wrong.

Chris Hammer in great form

First Australia, and Chris Hammer in a follow up to his terrifying Scrublands.

SilverSilver has Martin revisiting his childhood Port Silver where he hopes to begin a new life with his partner the feisty Mandy. Problem is, no sooner do they start to settle in than she is accused of murder.

The treacherous outback of Scrublands gives way to the threatening landscape of coastal Queensland. The plot is fast and intricate and if you are into maps and mystery, this might just be for you.

The ever reliable Michael Connolly

The Night FireMichael Connelly, in what might be his 30th book, The Night Fire, brings back an aging retired Bosch, complete with walking stick and a new partner Ballard, as they try to solve two cases, one cold and the other immediate and very bloody.

Is this writer ever going to falter?

Not with me.

Scandanavian noir – disturbing but gripping

Three HoursThree Hours by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström is the third in a series which started with Three Seconds, then Three Minutes both major best sellers, first in their native Sweden and then worldwide.

A dark and deeply upsetting story which starts with a container being opened near Stockholm to reveal seventy three refugees’ bodies, reunites Ewert Grens and Piet Hoffman as they discover that the perpetrators of this heinous crime may be Swedish.

Not for the faint hearted but a gripping and relentless page turner.

Sadly Börge Hellström died last year so this unique partnership has ended.

A talented Irish writer

The ScholarFinally, The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan is a follow up on her first best selling The Ruin, this time detective Cormac Reilly is yet again in trouble with authority, his friends and brutal murders which involve his girl friend Emma.

This young Irish writer promises a third novel this year.

I await it impatiently.