The best crime books of 2017

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 crime books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order.

(You can find all our best picks for books, CDs & DVDs of 2017 here.)


The Student by Iain Ryan

It’s 1994 and in Gatton, Queensland, uni student Nate is in need of some weed. But things aren’t right in town: his dealer’s vanished, his friend Maya is dead, someone’s on him for 35 grand he doesn’t have, the suitcase he discovered is causing problems. And he’s still got to get to work, and – most importantly – not die.


Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Following on from Jane Harper’s astonishing, award-sweeping debut The Dry, federal police agent Aaron Falk is searching for the missing Alice Russell after a corporate training bushwalk sees only four of the five participants return. Falk is determined to find out what happened to Alice – an informant in his latest case – in this gripping, layered story.


And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic

Caleb Zelic is recovering – poorly – from the events of Resurrection Bay when a woman in a dark alley attempts to sign to him for help –before being chased and killed. Her journey leads him, of course, back to his hometown of Resurrection Bay, and a spiky, absorbing tale of racial tensions, the scratch of drugs, and the weight of too much history.


Wimmera by Mark Brandi

Australia in the 1980s bristles with heat and small-town tensions in the Wimmera, where childhood friends Fab and Ben figure out the adult world and investigate a new neighbour. Two decades later, Fab is still there, wishing for more and dreading the past, until a body is discovered in the river –and old secrets rise to the surface.


Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

In this compulsive psychological thriller, an author named Delphine, bereft in the face of writing her second book, meets the intimidating L., who swiftly becomes a part of Delphine’s life. Offering advice that turns into commands, L.’s forceful nature changes friendship into something much more manipulative and ominous, leaving readers to reflect on what truth really is.


A Dangerous Language by Sulari Gentill

Gentill’s eighth Rowland Sinclair book sees the scandalous Rowly – heir to a fortune, artist at heart – reluctantly throw his weight behind international activist Egon Kisch, who is trying to enter Australia and spread the word against Nazism. There’s an air race, a dead body outside Parliament House, real historical cameos and, of course, a most excellent literary time.


Crimson Lake by Candice Fox

Ned Kelly award-winner and sometimes James Patterson co-writer Candice Fox has begun a new series, trailing Ted Conkaffey, an ex-detective accused of a brutal crime he didn’t commit, who runs up north and finds himself hunting for a missing father with prickly investigator Amanda Pharrell, who knows what horrors false accusations can bring. A sharp, crocodile-infested thriller.


Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

Edgar award-winning local author Adrian McKinty returns, to our luck, with another immensely enjoyable Sean Duffy book. In 1988 Belfast, the Troubles aren’t the endearingly vexing Detective Inspector Duffy’s only problem – he’s investigating who the hell shot someone in the back with a crossbow, attempting to salvage his relationship, and literally digging his own grave.


The Force by Don Winslow

Denny Malone is a hero to the people of Manhattan North – a cop who cares, who looks after his community, who isn’t afraid to bend rules (or fingers) to keep everyone safe. So how did Malone come to narrate this story from prison? Another electric tale of murky morality by the brilliant Winslow.


The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Police detective Gemma Woodstock is trapped in a regional Australian town by her family and little else, bitter even before the death of Rosalind Ryan. Gemma’s memories of their schooldays together sees her look beneath the rippling surface of her memories to uncover the truth of who Rosalind was –and who, in a small town, is capable of murder.

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Force of Nature

Force of Nature

Jane Harper

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