BritCrime's Best Books of 2016: Author @Sarah_Hilary recommends...

Sarah Hilary's favourite reads of 2016 were:
Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land (debut, out in Jan 2017)

Annie's mother is a serial killer.The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother's daughter...

Creepy, edgy and addictively twisted. I loved it -- Sarah Hilary

Spook Street by Mick Herron
Spook Street by Mick Herron (coming in early 2017)

Twenty years retired, David Cartwright can still spot when the stoats are on his trail. Radioactive secrets and unfinished business go with the territory on Spook Street: he's always known there would be an accounting. And he's not as defenceless as they might think.

Jackson Lamb worked with Cartwright back in the day. He knows better than most that this is no vulnerable old man. 'Nasty old spook with blood on his hands' would be a more accurate description.'The old bastard' has raised his grandson with a head full of guts and glory. But far from joining the myths and legends of Spook Street, River Cartwright is consigned to Lamb's team of pen-pushing no-hopers at Slough House.

So it's Lamb they call to identify the body when Cartwright's panic button raises the alarm at Service HQ.And Lamb who will do whatever he thinks necessary, to protect an agent in peril...

Immensely satisfying and utterly brilliant --Sarah Hilary

Fireside Gothic by Andrew Taylor
Fireside Gothic by Andrew Taylor (short stories, out now)
It’s Christmas before the Great War and two lonely schoolboys have been forced into companionship. Left in the care of an elderly teacher, there is little to do but listen to his eerie tales about the nearby Cathedral. The boys concoct a plan to discover if the stories are true. But the Cathedral is filled with hidden dangers, and curiosity can prove fatal.

One stormy night in Suffolk, a man’s car breaks down following his sister’s funeral. The only source of light comes from a remote cottage by the sea. The mysterious woman who lives there begs him to leave, yet he can’t shake the sense that she somehow needs him. He attempts to return the next day but she is nowhere to be seen. And neither is the cottage.

Clare and Gerald live a perfect life in the Forest of Dean with their cat, Cannop. Then Gerald’s young nephew comes to stay. Jack is from another world – active service in Afghanistan. The experience has left him outwardly untouched, but for a scratch that won’t heal. Jack and Cannop don't like each other. Clare and Jack like each other too much. The scratch begins to fester.

Appointment with Yesterday by Celia Fremlin
Appointment with Yesterday by Celia Fremlin

Celia Fremlin's eighth novel concerns a woman who calls herself Milly Barnes. But this is not her real name - for 'Milly' is on the run, driven by her terrible panic that at any moment the remorseless arm of the law will catch up with her.

'Not less horrible than illicit deaths are the horrors that lurk in female domesticity, and Celia Fremlin has long been the mistress of their fictional presentation. Here, in the best so far of her always good books, she has fused both, in an excellent terror novel.' TLS

Recommended by Sarah Hilary, author of Tastes Like Fear

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