Top 5 books about crime as chosen by Liam McIlvanney

Prepare to be gripped by tales of horror, true-crime and of course, lots of terror...

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson

The classic Scottish crime novel, with a strong dash of gothic and a twist that will never be bettered. A ‘shilling shocker’ with the style and economy of a lyric poem. The fons et origo of Tartan Noir.

The Driver’s Seat
Muriel Spark

A boldly inventive book, in which the murder takes place at the end and the victim spends the entire novel searching for her killer. Spark takes the all the conventions of the crime novel and stands them on their head. Still has the power to shock.

A Place of Execution
Val McDermid

The queen of crime’s masterpiece. Beautifully constructed, with a flawless sense of place. A big, meaty, multilayered novel about power and its abuse, the past’s hold on the present, and the nature of knowledge. Read it now if you haven’t already.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
James Hogg

Is this, strictly speaking, even a crime novel? Who cares. It’s a chilling psychological study of a serial killer, a brilliantly vivid portrait of a divided society, and one of the finest Scottish novels ever written.

The Long Drop
Denise Mina

A gripping true-crime novel centred on the murderous career of Peter Manuel.Mina’s insight into the wellsprings of violence is terrifyingly acute and her eye for period detail is unsurpassed. A bravura reimagining of 1950s Glasgow.

The Quaker, Liam McIlvaney
Liam McIlvanney’s third novel,The Quaker, is out now  (Harper Collins, £12.99)

The Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival takes place in Stirling on September 21-23. The winner of the McIlvanney Prize for which Liam is shortlisted will be announced on the opening night.

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