Crime novels focus on criminal acts and the investigations that follow the crimes. The investigations are done in them mostly by a professional detective. However, you’ll also come across crime novels where the focus is on an investigating officer from the police. Such kinds of novels can be distinguished from the other forms of mainstream fiction.
They rarely feature the courtroom. Mystery and suspense are two of the key elements that are used in these books to create excitement in the reader. Here are some of the best crime novels that you would never want to let go of once you start reading:
1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
This is the book that made Agatha Christie the best-selling author of detective novels. It was first published in the United Kingdom in 1926. The book was published by Dodd, Mead and Company in the United States. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the third novel featuring Hercule Poirot as the lead detective. In the novel, Poirot retires to a village close to the home of Roger Ackroyd.
He is one of Poirot’s friends. Later, Ackroyd is murdered and this prompts Poirot to come out of retirement for solving the case. This novel was well-received after it was published for the first time. The British Crime Writers’ Association voted the novel in 2013 as the best crime novel ever.
2. The Hound of the Baskervilles
Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is the third of his four crime novels. You’ll be unable to resist reading about one of the most extraordinary cases of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. It tells the story of an attempted murder, which is based on a legend of a diabolical hound. The case is investigated by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, who is his companion.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is considered one of the most famous stories ever written. In 1999, the book was listed as the top Holmes novel. Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance after his apparent death in the short story The Final Problem. The success of this novel led to the eventual revival of the character.
3. The Godfather
This crime novel gives you a glimpse of The Corleones. They are the first family of the powerful American mafia. The Godfather is an epic tale of crime and betrayal, which uncovers the secrets of the underworld. Written by Mario Puzo, the novel was originally published in 1969. It covers the period from 1945 to 1955, including the back story of Vito Corleone.
There were many Italian words introduced in the novel, such as caporegime, omerta, and Costa Nostra. The novel also served as an inspiration for the 1972 film of the same name. It also had two sequels, which were made in 1974 and 1990. Out of these three films, the first two are regarded as shining examples of cinematic art.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
An international bestseller, this psychological thriller tells the tale of Harriet Vanger. She is a young woman belonging to a wealthy family in Sweden. Harriet disappears under mysterious circumstances. Her uncle hires Michael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander forty years later to solve the mystery.
Blomkvist is a journalist, while Salander is a freelance surveillance agent and researcher. The two discover a line of iniquity that runs through the wealthy Vanger family. You’re also given a glimpse of the corruption in Swedish industrialism. This thrilling novel was written by Stieg Larsson, a Swedish author and journalist.