The year 2020 was unprecedented in numerous ways, and the sphere of crime literature was no different. It was a year replete with thrilling reads, engaging mysteries, and spine-chilling narratives that had readers clinging to every word. From gritty detective tales to spine-chilling psychological thrillers, the best crime novels of 2020 catered to every enthusiast.
Highlighting the Year’s Top Crime Novels
1. The Guest List – Lucy Foley
Lucy Foley’s The Guest List provided an exhilarating whodunit, set in a remote island setting. The story unfolds around a wedding celebration that takes a sinister turn when a body is found. Foley skillfully escalates suspense, unravelling secrets and fostering an environment of increasing unease.
2. The Searcher – Tana French
The Searcher, penned by Tana French, brings us Cal Hooper, a retired Chicago detective who seeks tranquility in a secluded Irish village. However, when a local youngster seeks his assistance in locating a missing sibling, Hooper is ensnared into a mystery that challenges his sleuthing abilities.
3. Troubled Blood – Robert Galbraith
Troubled Blood, the fifth episode in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym), immerses private investigator Strike and his associate Robin Ellacott in a cold case dating back to 1974. This novel is a convoluted exploration into a GP’s disappearance in Cornwall, presenting the pair’s most intricate and dangerous case to date.
Probing Various Sub-genres
Top Police Procedurals: Long Bright River – Liz Moore
Long Bright River, crafted by Liz Moore, is a poignant police procedural probing the opioid crisis in Philadelphia. This captivating novel amalgamates elements of a crime thriller with a family saga, making it one of 2020’s most riveting reads.
Top Psychological Thrillers: The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
Alex Michaelides’ premier novel The Silent Patient was one of the most discussed psychological thrillers of 2020. This engrossing novel probes into the human mind, exploring concepts of love, obsession, and revenge’s depths.
Top Legal Thrillers: The Holdout – Graham Moore
In The Holdout, Graham Moore weaves an intriguing narrative surrounding Maya Seale, a juror who persuaded her fellow jurors to acquit a man accused of murder. Ten years later, a true crime documentary team reunites the jurors, and one is found dead in Maya’s hotel room.
A Year of Diverse Voices
The year 2020 also witnessed a surge in varied voices and settings in crime fiction. From Attica Locke’s Heaven, My Home, which continued to delve into racial issues in East Texas to S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland, offering insight into rural Southern life, these novels offered not just gripping mysteries but also addressed relevant societal concerns.
The best crime novels of 2020 offered a diverse range of spine-chilling mysteries, layered characters, and captivating narratives. They expanded boundaries, explored novel themes, and kept us flipping pages well into the night. As we delve into the remarkable detective novel authors and their crime novels of 2021 and beyond, these exceptional titles from 2020 continue to resonate, setting a lofty standard for future crime literature.
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