After the heady ascent of DCI Morse, things in crime fiction took, well, a little turn for the timid, which is the only way we can account for the inexplicable popularity of Midsomer Murders. But thanks to the sudden surge in Scandinavian crime fiction led by Stieg Larsson, the gritty world of murder, untold psychopathy and coffee-stained detectives has recovered from its temporary lull. In fact, a crime boom is upon us, and what better accompaniment could you want for your impending wholesome beach holiday than a dark, visceral blood-laden thriller?
Here are 2011’s 20 best new books, plus five big-name authors reveal the crime novel to which they keep returning.
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