5 Unusual Crime Novels You Might Have Never Read

There are some novels in the crime fiction genre that seem weird. Some of these books include elements like science fiction or horror. Often, such hybrid crime fiction novels may not gain much popularity. The literary world is abundant with crime novels that follow a certain formula. 

It would be a refreshing change, therefore, to read something quite different from the usual stuff. Such books deserve some attention, as they break the rules and step into rather unexplored territory. Here are some of these unusual crime novels you might’ve missed:

1. Embry

There are times when weirdness has no effect on the narrative. Embry is a perfect example. Written by Michael Allen Rose, this book is a weird tribute to the sleuth pulp of the 1950s. The novel has a lot of running and hiding, fistfights, and a femme fatale who helps the antagonist. 

It also involves a mysterious murder. Now, the weirdest part is that all the characters in this book are chickens! Yes, you read it right. Apparently, the writer is a fan of pulp and this can be felt on every page of this book.

2. Repo Shark

This novel by Cody Goodfellow qualifies for the crime or bizarro hybrid category. It narrates the story of a repo man whose name is Zef DeGroot. He is sent to a big-time dope dealer in Hawaii to repossess a vintage Harley. What follows next is a succession of fights, misunderstandings, guns, and deities that get transformed into sharks. 

This novel shows that Cody Goodfellow has crime chops. This is surprising, as he is an accomplished writer who is popular in dark and weird fiction. Read this novel if you want to see what pulp appears like when taken to its extremes.

3. Haunt

Written by Laura Lee Bahr, Haunt can be one of the underground cult classics worth reading. Although the book is pure Los Angeles noir at its core, the rest of it is something truly special. The editor John Skipp had to do some serious work on this novel. 

Nevertheless, he turned it into a narrative that was pretty straightforward. It tells the story of a dame who may or may not has died. This keeps the reader interested throughout the narrative. Haunt certainly comes across as one of the most engaging and weird debut novels.

4. Clownfellas

Can you imagine a Mario Puzo joke being turned into a novel? Well, this looks exactly like it. This novel written by Carlton Mellick III is an unusual take on the classic tropes of Italian mobs. Through this book, the author created a world where individuals turn into clowns. 

They do it by injecting themselves with a DNA-altering serum! You’ll find some short narratives in the book that are loosely connected. All of them deal with the criminal acts and tribulations of several characters.

5. Black Gum

You cannot place this work of J. David Osborne is under a particular genre. It would be hard to determine whether it’s really a crime novel. The fact remains that it deals with criminals, unlucky people, and controlled substances. 

In the book, a young man loses control over his life. He then gets into a dark and depressing world of drug abuse, tattoos, and criminals. The oppressive atmosphere created by the story is what makes the book different from the other works of Osborne.

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