The best crime books of 2018

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 2018 here.)


The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan

This multilayered bestseller sees a seasoned Garda handed only cold cases in his new police station, including his own from decades earlier. A woman had overdosed and left behind her malnourished children: now, years later, one of them is dead. The police say suicide, but his sister knows there’s more to it – and she has proof.


The Nowhere Child by Christian White

Australian Kim Leamy is approached on her lunch break by a stranger with earth-shattering news: years ago, a young child went missing from Kentucky – and this stranger believes Kim is that child. To discover the truth, Kim must travel to where little Sammy went missing, and investigate the town’s harrowing past.


Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

The fourth book in Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling’s glorious crime series sees dry veteran Cormoran Strike and his efficient partner Robin Ellacott take on an old, possibly misremembered crime with modern repercussions. With some of the juiciest characters around and a vibrant – sometimes terrible – London on show, Strike is worth finding space for on your shelves.


The Lost Man by Jane Harper

When a man is found dead of exposure in the minuscule shade of a gravestone kilometres from his car, no-one’s sure how he got there. In an isolated Queensland town where distance and history are as heavy as heat, his brother alone asks why. Another masterpiece from the award-winning Jane Harper.


Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr’s second-last book, set in 1957, sees the multi-skilled, entertaining Bernie Gunther as an insurance agent, investigating a sunken ship that, years before, belonged to a Jew sent to Auschwitz. When the claimant is killed, Bernie can’t let it go, and Greece’s painful Jewish history means the past is never far from the present.


The Wych Elm by Tana French

After an overly privileged young man is attacked during a robbery, then sent to recuperate at his childhood home, he struggles to cope with his changed health and the realisation – through a skull found in the home’s wych elm – that both the past and the present may not be as they seem.


Trace: Who Killed Maria James? by Rachael Brown

Brown’s excellent podcast has been transformed into an addictive true-crime book that traces the clues, suspects, and devastation left in the wake of Maria James’s 1980 death in the Thornbury bookstore where she worked and lived. With revelations that upend the 1982 inquiry, this is, nearly forty years later, still a nail-biting case.


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Part memoir, part true-crime, this book follows Michelle McNamara’s harrowing, spine-tingling investigation of the ’70s-era rapist and serial killer she dubbed ‘the Golden State Killer’. McNamara dedicated her life to working on the case – but sadly did not live long enough to see the astonishing outcome of the case she was investigating.


Waiting for Elijah by Kate Wild

Nine years ago, Senior Constable Andrew Rich shot dead twenty-four-year-old Elijah Holcombe – a man whose family couldn’t believe he’d charged at police with a knife, despite his mental illnesses. In this thought-provoking, beautiful and devastating piece of journalism, Kate Wild follows the court case and asks: how can we stop this from happening again?


Scrublands by Chris Hammer

In this combustible thriller, tormented Sydney journalist Martin Scarsden is sent to investigate the small Victorian town of Riversend a year after a young priest there shot dead five members of his congregation. There, he discovers there was more to Riversend than reports implied – and that things are about to get worse.

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The Lost Man

The Lost Man

Jane Harper

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