Fiction: Crime & Thriller Book of the Year


The six authors on this shortlist range from huge crime brands which have been loved for decades, to début names. Last year saw the return of the classic murder mystery, while psychological thrillers continued to garner popularity. Indie publishers fared well in this category, using bold online and outdoor marketing strategies to build big names in this crowded genre. 

Book of the Year Shortlists

  • My Sister, the Serial Killer
    Oyinkan Braithwaite (Atlantic Books)
    from this book’s campaign. The story of two sisters, one a serial killer, the other her unwitting accomplice and protector. Atlantic turned this comic crime novel by young Nigerian Oyinkan Braithwaite into a worldwide hit.
  • The Hunting Party
    Lucy Foley (HarperCollins)
    The standout cover disrupted norms for the genre and made a lasting impression with readers, and a meticulously planned campaign ensured The Hunting Party’s success in a crowded market.
  • How the Dead Speak
    Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
    It is not easy to grow sales in a long-running series, but the 11th book in the much-loved Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series from Val McDermid bucked the trend. A strong pre-publication campaign saw hardback sales 25% up on the previous book.
  • The Silent Patient
    Alex Michaelides (Orion)
    This début psychological thriller kept readers guessing until the end. A huge marketing campaign hooked readers with #BreaktheSilence, so everybody wanted to know why Alicia shot her husband. The Silent Patient quickly became a staple on bestseller lists.
  • Impostor
    LJ Ross (Dark Skies Publishing)
    'Impostor' was a success last year as the début publication for Dark Skies Publishing. Author and founder L J Ross believed in her “digital-first” publishing strategy, and it paid off: Impostor had 30,000 pre-orders.
  • Blue Moon
    Lee Child (Bantam Press)
    Will readers ever tire of Jack Reacher? The pace, ferocious violence and thrilling narratives keep fans coming back for more. After a huge marketing effort, which included Transworld’s biggest ever outdoor advertising campaign, Child topped the UK Top 50.