The best new crime reads in April

Our crime specialist shares 10 great crime reads to look out for this month.



The Chase by Candice Fox

At a prison in Nevada, the annual friendly baseball game between the officers and the minimum-security inmates is due to take place. A bus load of family members is coming to cheer on the guards, as they have done every year for the past decade or so. Only this year, someone knows they’re coming. This year, someone is going to take advantage of that fact and hold the bus full of people hostage until the prison officers let every last inmate out of jail, all 650 of them.

As the prison inmates scatter across the country, the race is on to find out who the mastermind was behind the escape and what they plan to do next. In the meantime, death row inmate John Kradle is determined to use this unexpected opportunity to prove his innocence. However, the prison officer he has been goading for the past five years won’t let him get away that easily. That officer, Celine Osbourne, experienced horrific family violence when she was a teenager. Now she hates those accused of murdering their families more than anyone, and in her eyes, John Kradle shot his wife, his sister-in-law and his son. He deserves to rot in a cell until his own day of execution comes and there’s no way he is ever going to convince her otherwise. Except when Celine starts to investigate John’s past, nothing quite adds up.

Roll Prison Break, Con Air and The Fugitive into one, put them in a book, add some seriously kick-ass female characters, and you have The Chase. Highly addictive, constantly surprising and with enough suspense to keep you guessing page after page, it is impossible not to admire Candice Fox’s crime writing skills. By the end of this book, she will make sure you never trust anyone again.



Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

At an antenatal class in anticipation of her upcoming birth, Helen sits alone. Neither her husband, her brother nor her also-pregnant sister- in-law turn up as promised. Instead she meets somebody new: the younger, bolder Rachel, who strikes up a friendship that is not necessarily wanted. As Rachel starts turning up everywhere in Helen’s life, the lives of all her loved ones start to splinter – with secrets leaking out of all the cracks. A stellar, intricately plotted debut.


You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes

Caroline Kepnes’s first Joe Goldberg book, You, was so popular it was turned into a Netflix show, the kind everybody talks about. The second, Hidden Bodies, did the same. Now we’re with Joe for his third journey through love and terror and madness, as he moves to a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with a hell of a lot of money and the kind of past you can never mention to anybody. There, he volunteers at a library, where he meets one Mary Kay DiMarco and knows that she’s the one for him. But he can’t pursue her the way he’s done in the past, and she’s got other people in her life. So all he can to do is wait. Because when it comes to Joe, things have a way of adjusting to what he wants.


Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

Abigail is faltering. She’s thinking of leaving New York to move back with her parents, when she meets Bruce. He’s a start-up investor, ridiculously rich, equally into horror movies, and in love with her. So they plan a wedding, have their bachelor and bachelorette parties, get married, then head to their romantic honeymoon – on a secluded island with all they could need, no wi-fi, and barely anybody else around. Unfortunately, one of those people is all too familiar to Abigail: the man she slipped up and slept with at her bachelorette party. How did he get all the way here? And what does he want with her? Peter Swanson is always excellent at simmering tension and lingering suspicion about what’s going on; his newest shows he’s still at the top of his game.


One Got Away by S.A. Lelchuk

Okay, hear me out: P.I. Nikki Griffin is a private investigator and she runs a bookshop and her life’s work is to make sure that men who hurt women get what’s coming to them? A bookseller-based revenge thriller? Your reviewer is very pleased. In this second book in the series, Nikki is hired by the son of a wealthy family to find out who conned his mother out of a bunch of money – but that’s just the start of a chain of bad guys that she needs to work through. Tearing after them on her motorcycle with some unexpected sidekicks, Nikki is not holding back. This modern noir thriller is one for vengeance-fuelled booklovers – and isn’t that all of us?


Tall Bones by Anna Bailey

In the small Rocky Mountains town of Whistling Ridge, there’s a party one night at the Tall Bones, a circle of six white stones. Seventeen- year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abigail behind at the party without thinking much of it – she doesn’t realise that will be the last time anybody sees Abi. This is a town where the devastating secrets keep its inhabitants trapped, but the disappearance of Abi will be what finally brings everything to the surface. From Abi’s dysfunctional family whose members are under the spell of the local preacher, to Emma’s own family with their deeply buried mysteries, this is an unsettling and eerie debut psychological thriller.


We Wish You Luck by Caroline Zancan

One day, in their college writing class, a visiting professor-turned bestselling author commits an unthinkable act in front of a group of students. When the wronged student reacts devastatingly to what happened, two of his classmates – already infamous throughout campus – vow to make the professor pay for what she’s done. Told through the collective voice of the Master of Fine Arts students who lived through these highly charged semesters, this ornately written, unique tale is a character study of a university class caught up in competition, love and revenge – and a skewering of how creativity can get caught up in academia.


Blackout by Simon Scarrow

It’s a bitterly cold Berlin December in 1939, and Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is feeling the freeze from more than just the weather. After refusing to join the Nazi party, he’s forced to head up an investigation into the brutal assault and murder of a celebrity with connections to Joesph Goebbels. With the Gestapo watching him at every turn, and another, similar murder committed in the city, Schenke must solve the case and survive in a time when nobody trusts anyone. This is a devastatingly authentic and atmospheric historical thriller, featuring a snowy Berlin with all its beauty and horror on show.


The Lady with the Gun Asks the Questions by Kerry Greenwood

One cannot go past a new Phryne Fisher book when one spies it on the shelf. Fortunately, there is a resplendent new Kerry Greenwood to be placed reverently on one’s bedside table. With pearl-handled pistol in hand and her band of friends, foes and lovers in orbit, Phryne glides with her usual aplomb through this collection – which includes four entirely new stories – getting up to her typically luxurious, alarming and wildly entertaining escapades. When Phryne asks, you can but only say yes.


Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

When Cat’s twin sister El vanishes on a sailing trip, Cat is over in Los Angeles, living a life far away from El and the ominous Edinburgh home where the two of them grew up. Unlike Cat, El hadn’t escaped that life, and she and her husband Ross – the man both sisters loved – were living in the gothic house of the twins’ childhood. The house was where Cat and El invented Mirrorland: a place under the stairs that the two girls would escape to, with pirates and witches and their wildest imaginations. Now, all these years later, Cat has to return to the house – only to find that it still has the ability to haunt her. There are nightmares in every room, and messages just for her – and they all lead her back to Mirrorland. This is a clever, twisted dose of magical realism and terror.

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The Chase

The Chase

Candice Fox

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