Top 10 Best Crime Thriller Books 2017

Featuring daring detectives, cunning crimes and ruthless murders, you're guaranteed to be gripped by these white-knuckle crime novels. For the best crime thriller books, both classic and contemporary, check out the list below.

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1. And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie

When it comes to compelling crime writing, no-one can beat the master of mystery herself, Agatha Christie. Ten strangers are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious 'U.N. Owen'. Over dinner, a record starts to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. Tensions escalate as the survivors realise that the killer is not only among them, but is preparing to strike again, and again, and again...

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2. Death of a Ghost

M. C. Beaton

Quick-witted but unambitious policeman Hamish Macbeth returns in this engrossing novel. He hears reports of a castle outside the village of Drim which some believe is haunted. Mysterious lights have been spotted at night, but Hamish expects it to be local youths gathering to take drugs. He decides to spend a night in the castle with his colleague, Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson - but when Charlie falls through the floor and Hamish finds the corpse of a boy in the cellar, things take a very sinister turn. Hamish's claims are dismissed as the words of a drunk, and he must take it upon himself to identify the body and its killer before the 'ghost' strikes again.

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3. The Blood Card

Elly Griffiths

Just as Elizabeth II's coronation looms, wartime commander Colonel Cartwright is murdered. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, as well as a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto resolve to crack the case, but Edgar's investigation into a fortune-teller's death must be put on hold, and Max is busy rehearsing for his television debut. Could a small-town mesmerist in New York provide the key to the entire situation? Sergeant Emma Holmes is also on the case and finds a clue buried in the files of the Zabini case. She discovers there's a group hell-bent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day. Can the plot be foiled in time?

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4. The Birdwatcher

William Shaw

This dark novel follows Police Sergeant William South, who is desperate to avoid being part of murder investigations - because he is a murderer himself. His victim was a passionate birdwatcher and his only friend. Now, he's teamed up with newly-recruited Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi to crack the case of a body found violently beaten inside a wooden chest. Memories come flooding back for South, and when they track down a suspect - Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland - he's horrified to realise they knew each other in their youth. Could South's violent and aggressive past be exposed? This compelling book touches on themes of grief, guilt and humanity.

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5. Eeny Meeny

M. J. Arlidge

The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief, but it was true. Every dreadful word of it. Days later, another desperate escapee is found - and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned, then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed. Lose your life, or lose your mind. Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation into an unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors who hold the key to the case. And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die... This chilling debut novel is sure to enthral its readers.

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6. He Said/She Said

Erin Kelly

This twisted thriller follows Laura and her boyfriend Kit, who witness a brutal attack in the shadows of night. They call the police shortly after the incident, but four lives change almost immediately. Fifteen years later, the couple are still living in fear. Laura believes she was right to speak out, but knows that no-one will ever establish the truth. She also knows that someone is hiding something - but she could never have guessed what it is.

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7. 1st to Die

James Patterson

The first novel in the Women's Murder Club series follows the only woman homicide inspector in San Francisco, Lindsay Boxer. Nothing she has seen prepares her for the horror of the honeymoon murders. A brutal maniac begins viciously slaughtering newly-wed couples on their wedding nights. Lindsay is determined to bring the murderer to justice, but her resolve is threatened by her own personal tragedy. She turns to Claire, a leading coroner, Cindy, a journalist, and Jill, a top attorney, for help with both her crises. Working together to crack cases and support each other, the Women's Murder Club is born...

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8. Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie

This renowned novel begins with a snowdrift, which stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of year, but by the morning, it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment with a dozen stab wounds, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and aware that there's a killer roaming the carriages, it is up to detective Hercule Poirot to get to the bottom of this distressing case - before the killer can strike again.

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9. The Steel Kiss

Jeffery Deaver

Join the brilliant paraplegic forensic detective, Lincoln Rhyme, in this dark and riveting read. When an escalator gives way mid-chase, Amelia Sachs is forced to let a killer escape as she helps the man trapped in the depths. She teams up with Rhyme to investigate if the collapse was a freak accident or a calculated plan. Could they be on the trail of a technical whiz who knew exactly what to do to cause this fatal incident? This spine-chilling thriller is sure to keep you guessing.

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10. Raven Black

Ann Cleeves

This is the first book in the compelling Shetland series. It is a cold January morning and Shetland lies buried beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter's eye is drawn to a vivid splash of colour amongst the white. Ravens circle above the strangled body of Fran's teenage neighbour, Catherine Ross. As Fran opens her mouth to scream, the ravens continue their deadly dance. The locals on the island stubbornly blame one man: loner and simpleton, Magnus Tait. But a veil of suspicion and fear envelops the entire community when the police insist on opening up the investigation. Catherine's neighbours nervously lock their doors as a killer lives in their midst...

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Looking for more criminally good reads? Check out our full range of the best crime thriller books.

  • AAIOK
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
    The first novel in the Women's Murder Club series. As the only woman homicide inspector in San Francisco, Lindsay Boxer has to be tough. But nothing she has seen prepares her for the horror of the honeymoon murders, when a brutal maniac begins viciously slaughtering newly wed couples on their wedding nights. Lindsay is sickened by the deaths, but her determination to bring the murderer to justice is threatened by her own personal tragedy. So she turns to Claire, a leading coroner, Cindy, a journalist and Jill, a top attorney, for help with both her crises, and the Women's Murder Club is born.
  • AABDF
    • £6.49
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.50Save 18.00%
    Agatha Christie's world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again! and again!
  • AJWGT
    • £6.69
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.30Save 16.00%
    Eeny Meeny is the rocket-paced serial-killer thriller debut from M. J. Arlidge. The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it. Days later, another desperate escapee is found - and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed. Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind? Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors - living calling cards - who hold the key to the case. And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die...Introducing M. J. Arlidge's Detective Inspector Helen Grace. Eeny Meeny is an electrifying debut, with the nerve-shredding intensity of Saw and Along Came a Spider. Fans of James Patterson and Mo Hayder should pay attention. M. J. Arlidge has worked in television for the last fifteen years, specialising in high end drama production. In the last five years Arlidge has produced a number of prime-time crime serials for ITV, including Torn, The Little House and most recently Undeniable, broadcast in spring 2014. Currently writing for Silent Witness, Arlidge is also piloting original crime series for both UK and US networks. Debut thriller Eeny Meeny, which introduces Detective Inspector Helen Grace, has sold to publishers around the world. The follow up, Pop Goes the Weasel, is published by Penguin Books in September 2014.
  • The Steel Kiss - Hardback - 9781473618497 - Jeffery Deaver
    SKJD
    • £4.49
    • RRP £18.99
    • Save £14.50Save 76.00000000000000682121026329696178436279296875%
    Jeffery Deaver - the master of suspense - returns with the twelfth book starring his brilliant paraplegic forensic detective, Lincoln Rhyme.

    When an escalator gives way mid-chase, Amelia Sachs is forced to let a killer escape as she helps the man trapped in the depths. Following this, she teams up with Rhyme to investigate if this collapse was a freak accident or planned. Could they be on the trail of a murderer who is a technical whizz and knows just what he needs to do to contribute to a fatal 'accident'?

    Dark and gripping, this is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing and thinking until late into the night.
  • BCEG
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00Save 69.999999999999996589394868351519107818603515625%
    There's an anarchist plot and a ticking bomb... the stakes are higher than ever for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto in the latest book in Elly Griffiths' hit series.

    Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card...
    With a wartime connection and a suggestion of magic, the duo make it their mission to solve this case. However, this means Edgar's investigation into the death of a Brighton fortune-teller is put on hold and Max is busy rehearsing for his television debut. Therefore, it's Edgar who heads to New York to track down a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key to the whole situation.

    Sergeant Emma Holmes is also on the case and she finds a clue buried in the files of the Zabini case. This sparks off another issue - there's a group hell-bent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day. Will our heroes be able to foil the plot?
  • AOHET
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
    Raven Black is the first book in Ann Cleeves' Shetland series - which is now the major BBC1 drama starring Douglas Henshall, Shetland. It is a cold January morning and Shetland lies buried beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter's eye is drawn to a vivid splash of colour on the white ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbour Catherine Ross. As Fran opens her mouth to scream, the ravens continue their deadly dance ...The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man - loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when police insist on opening out the investigation a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community. For the first time in years, Catherine's neighbours nervously lock their doors, whilst a killer lives on in their midst. Also available in the Shetland series are White Nights, Red Bones, Blue Lightning and Dead Water. Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series (ITV television drama VERA) contains five titles, of which The Glass Room is the most recent.
  • BWWS
    (2)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00Save 61.00000000000000085265128291212022304534912109375%
    The new book from William Shaw, the author of the Breen & Tozer series of crime novels, The Birdwatcher is a dark and disturbing novel about a policeman with a shameful secret.

    Police Sergeant William South is desperate to avoid being on a murder investigation. The reason being he is a murderer himself. His victim was a passionate birdwatcher who was also his only friend. Now, he's teamed up with newly recruited Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi to crack the case of a body found violently beaten inside a wooden chest.

    This discovery brings back memories for South and when they track down a suspect - Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland - he's horrified as the two knew each other in their youth. Could South's violent and aggressive past be catching up with him?

    Intelligently written and touching upon themes of grief, guilt and humanity, this is a gripping thriller that will shock and surprise you. You won't be able to put it down.
  • ASZSY
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.80Save 20.00%
    Agatha Christie's most famous murder mystery, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer - in case he or she decides to strike again.
  • HSSS
    (1)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00Save 61.00000000000000085265128291212022304534912109375%
    Already optioned by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment for a film adaptation, The Poison Tree author Erin Kelly's He Said/She Said is the twisted and atmospheric thriller that everyone is talking about.

    Laura and her boyfriend Kit witness a brutal attack late at night. They call the police shortly after the incident but this leads to four lives changing almost immediately.

    Fifteen years later and the couple are still living in fear. Laura knows she was right to speak out, but she's also fully aware that no one ever knows the whole truth. She knows someone is hiding something, but she'd never have guessed what it is...
  • DTGH
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00Save 69.999999999999996589394868351519107818603515625%
    A huge favourite with Book People customers, M.C. Beaton's beloved character, the quick-witted and unambitious policeman Hamish Macbeth returns to try and crack his 32nd mysterious case in Death of a Ghost.

    Hamish is hearing reports that a castle outside the village of Drim is haunted. Lights have been spotted at night but Hamish expects it is local youths gathering to take drugs. To get to the bottom of the rumours once and for all, Hamish decides to spend a night in the castle with his colleague Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson.

    The wind explains the ghostly noises but then Charlie falls through the floor and Hamish finds a dead boy propped up in a corner of the cellar. Chief Detective Inspector Blair arrives to investigate, but the body has disappeared. Hamish's story is dismissed as words of a drunk, so he takes it upon himself to find and identify the body and its killer before the 'ghost' strikes again...