It’s here. Tell your dad, tell your gran, heck, tell your iguana – because the cream of the crop, the cat’s pyjamas, the crème de la crème of 2016 crime fiction is here (can I get a hallelujah amen?)

Resuming at 20, we’ll be passing through the very best and brightest (or perhaps bleakest) crime titles this year had to offer before revealing that coveted number one spot… And boy is it a good’un. Here goes.


20) Die of Shame / Mark Billingham / Little, Brown

19) Black Widow / Chris Brookmyre / Little, Brown

18) Viral / Helen Fitzgerald / Faber

17) The Silence Between Breaths / Cath Staincliffe / Constable

16) Magpie Murders / Anthony Horowitz / Orion

15) The Bird Tribunal / Agnes Ravatn / Orenda

14) The Hermit / Thomas Rydahl / Oneworld

13) You Will Know Me / Megan Abbott / Picador

12) Real Tigers / Mick Herron / Soho Crime

11) A Climate of Fear / Fred Vargas / Vintage

10) The Trespasser / Tana French / Hodder

9) Why Did You Lie? / Yrsa Sigurdardottir / Hodder

8) Dead Man’s Blues / Ray Celestin / Mantle

7) Willnot / James Sallis / No Exit Press

6) The Dying Detective / Leif G. W. Persson trans. Neil Smith / Doubleday

5) Blood Wedding / Pierre Lemaitre, trans. Frank Wynn / Quercus

4) After You Die / Eva Dolan / Vintage

3) Wilde Lake /Laura Lippman / Faber

2) A Rising Man / Abhir Mukherjee / Harvill Secker

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The Christmas Number One that puts Simon Cowell to shame. The measuring stick by which all crime fiction feats of 2017 will be measured.

Drumroll please.

Let’s keep it going.

Little bit longer.

The number one crime fiction book of 2016, as chosen by our distinguished panel of experts is:

Dodgers by Bill Beverley
(No Exit Press)

A huge thank you to everyone who helped compile this list, and Merry Christmas, crime fiction fans!


In case you have forgotten our esteemed expert panel comprises the following luminaries:

Barry Forshaw (Financial Times), Andre Paine (Crime Scene), Marcel Berlins (The Times), Steph Broadribb (Crime Thriller Girl), Jon Coates (Daily Express), Jake Kerridge (The Telegraph), Sarah Ward (Crime Pieces), Karen Robinson (The Sunday Times), Maxim Jakubowski (Lovereading), Katharina Hall (, Russell Mclean (, Doug Johnstone (, Woody Haut (

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Or right back to the beginning? (100 – 51)»

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