The best crime books of 2020

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books and music of the past 12 months. Here are our top five 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 and music here.)

The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

Razor-sharp Irish Detective Cormac Reilly returns for another utterly riveting police procedural in The Good Turn. While Reilly faces internal corruption and enemies at work, his young protégée, Garda Peter Fisher, is banished to the seaside town of Roundstone where his estranged father works – and where it seems murders aren’t exactly being taken seriously. An atmospheric, morally complex detective story.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

In a quiet retirement village in Kent, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings. When a local property developer shows up dead, they find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Laugh-out-loud funny and surprisingly comforting given the body count, The Thursday Murder Club is a page-turning murder mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie.

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Kieran Elliott’s life is changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. Years later, a visit to his hometown with his young family causes guilt to resurface. And then a body is discovered on the beach… Set in Tasmania, The Survivors is a richly told, character-led crime drama from masterful storyteller Jane Harper.

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Stuart Turton delivers another thrillingly twisty and wholly immersive high-concept murder mystery with The Devil and the Dark Water. Set about an East India merchant ship, this Sherlock Holmes-esque tale encompasses a spooky supernatural element and a vibrant cast, including the world’s greatest detective Samuel Pipps, who is facing trial and execution for a crime he may, or may not, have committed.

The Safe Place by Anna Downes

When Emily is offered a mysterious job as a nanny on a luxurious, isolated coastal property in France, it sounds too good to be true. And she’s right – it is… Initially swept up by the stunning landscapes and charismatic hosts, Emily begins to feel claustrophobic and suspicious of their behaviour – especially towards their daughter. This is a gripping psychological thriller from a fresh new voice in Australian crime.

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The Good Turn

The Good Turn


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