20 Greatest Crime Novels of all Time

Over the next twenty weeks, I will be counting down my twenty favourite crime novels. These are always tricky lists to devise and will undoubtedly leave some people feeling incredulous about the non inclusion of a particular text. So from the off I will stress that this list is obviously subjective and of course I would love to hear from you if there are any novels/writers that you feel were wrongfully omitted from my list. Indeed, there are many crime novels that I love that didn’t make the top twenty, so i do intend to post some honourable mentions in the final week.

The decision over which designation to go for has also caused me a certain amount of vexation. I considered ‘detective novels’, ‘mystery novels’ and many other titles, but ultimately landed on ‘crime novels’. The reason for this is quite simply that not all of the novels I have selected contain a conventional detective, nor a conventional mystery for that matter. They span across genres such as the ‘Private Eye’ novel, the ‘Noir Thriller’ and the ‘Police Procedural’ and therefore seemed most logically collated under the banner of ‘crime novels’. Nonetheless, I am hoping that there is still some kind of internal logic connecting the novels that I have selected, a logic that will – again hopefully – become clear over the coming weeks . This list does not, for instance, include any spy novels or generic ‘thrillers’ – just plain on old crime!

So enjoy! I will be posting no #20 later this week…… (hears the sound of shrugged shoulders).



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