18 best foreign detective books

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

Foreign detective stories are a special genre that does not lose popularity among Russian book lovers. Our rating contains 18 works that will not only not let you get bored, but will also be able to tickle your nerves and keep you in suspense until the very last page.

Rating of the best foreign detectives

Nomination a place Name of product rating
The best new foreign detectives 1 Guess the number 4.9
2 Jump over the abyss 4.8
3 Sharp objects 4.8
4 Crimes of the past 4.7
5 Golden scales 4.7
6 Judgment Day 4.7
7 Over the settled graves 4.6
8 Crossing 4.6
9 Thirteen hours 4.5
10 The voice of the night bird 4.5
11 The truth about the Harry Quebert case 4.5
12 Girl in the fog 4.4 .
13 Collini case 4.4
14 Demon crown 4.4
15 Snowman 4.3
Best Classics in the Genre – Foreign Detectives 1 Hound of the Baskervilles 4.9
2 If death slept 4.8
3 Death is a lonely affair 4.7

The best new foreign detectives

Every year there are new items that can compete with the bestsellers of the past in quality and plot twist. In this category, we have collected the best foreign detectives who will capture from the first page with their puzzles and investigations, and new villains will make the life of respectable citizens unbearable. But in any case, readers will find a solution, predictable or not very predictable – it's up to you.

Guess the number

Book Author: John Verdon

Rating: 4.9

book guess the number

The American writer was able to grab the reader's attention from the first minute. A perfectly constructed storyline, interesting characters and a mystery that a retired detective will have to uncover – all this is the crime thriller Guess the Number by John Verdon, the first book in the David Gurney cycle. Mark Mellery receives a letter from an anonymous person who, it would seem, not only knows everything about him, but also reads all his thoughts.

The detective takes on the solution to the rebus, because for him there is nothing more interesting than engaging in a fight, even with an unknown villain, who stops at nothing. The countdown of casualties has begun. But Gurney also enters the game to emerge victorious in the end. Separately, it is worth noting the detective's wife, who has an analytical mindset, pays attention to the smallest details, but does not try to impose her opinion on her husband.

Many readers, having familiarized themselves with the writer's debut, were able to appreciate his talent at its true worth, and are eagerly awaiting new books about a tireless detective who easily solves any puzzles, is not afraid to face the most intelligent and thoughtful killer and always wins in a fight with him.

Jump over the abyss

Book Author: Peter James

Rating: 4.8

Jump over the abyss

The novel, included in the rating, tells about a seemingly ordinary family in which everything is fine: the husband is a successful doctor, the wife is engaged in a little son. Only this idyll is not real, it is seen by others outside the house. In fact, the happy father of the family is a manipulator who brings his wife with unfounded claims, is not averse to letting go of his hands at any opportunity, and even the child is more than once under attack.

The young woman tries to escape from the tyrant's hands, but she is under surveillance, and her husband knows her every step. Among other things, she turns out to be terminally ill, and a cruel killer walks nearby. Published in 2000, Peter James is a breeze to read.

The author was recognized as one of the best contemporary thriller and detective geniuses. If you are a fan of Stephen King's work, then Chasm Jump will be a real discovery, and you will truly enjoy the intertwining of storylines and characters of the main characters. It is not for nothing that the writer has won several prestigious awards, and his works are included in the list of the best detective stories.

Sharp objects

Book Author: Gillian Flynn

Rating: 4.8

Sharp objects

Thriller detective Gillian Flynn tells the story of a not-so-successful journalist from an unremarkable newspaper who is trying to break out of her routine and make a dizzying career. Fate gives her such a chance. Camilla Parker is sent on the instructions of the editorial office to report on the terrible crimes that shook the small town: young girls are brutally murdered, and the maniac is never caught. Wind Gap is where the journalist comes from, and the editor hopes she will be able to learn a lot and write a sensational story.

Upon arrival, Camilla was flooded with childhood memories. They run away at night with their sister from the domineering mother and ride rollerblading through the sleeping city, and then secretly return to their stately home, more like a manor of past centuries, and sneak into their room, afraid to wake their mother. Eerie memories sweep through the entire storyline: Camilla carves words on her body, which is why she is placed in a specialized clinic for the mentally ill.

For people with a mobile psyche, reading the details of the murders of schoolgirls is not recommended. But if you are really a fan of crime thrillers, then 'Sharp Objects' will not leave you indifferent.

Crimes of the past

Book author: Keith Atkinson

Rating: 4.7

Crimes of the past

Kate Atkinson, whose work was included in our rating, began writing in 1995, and her first creation immediately won the love of readers and was awarded a prestigious award. But her real success came after the publication of Crimes of the Past, the first book about detective Jackson Brody. In addition to the approval of critics and the enthusiasm of fans of the crime genre, Stephen King himself recommended the novels of the English author for reading.

Brody is a former police officer who, although he gave the best years to work, was fired from service with a scandal. He never ceases to be a detective and pokes his nose into those cases from which he is advised to stay away. But Jackson isn't used to backing down, and curiosity beats caution. He will have to unravel several cases that have shaken calm, provincial Edinburgh.

At first glance, all crimes are not related to each other. But investigating them, Brody comes to unexpected results, which can surprise even an attentive reader. Atkinson does not skimp on detailed descriptions, deftly inserting into the plot not only the details of scenes of violence, but also the interconnection of all the characters, their relationship, delighting the reader with an ironic syllable.

Golden scales

Book author: Parker Bilal

Rating: 4.7

Jamala Mahjuba

Parker Bilal is the pseudonym of Jamal Mahjub, who gave the world a private detective Makan. This is not the first work of the author. Since 1989, he has been writing detective stories under his real name. The pseudonym was coined in 2012. English author of British-Sudanese origin specializes in historical novels and crime detectives. His works have been translated into many languages. Readers and critics have appreciated his work, as evidenced by the growing popularity of his short stories.

Barely recovering from grief after the murder of his wife and child, the main character flees Sudan and stops in Cairo, taking on any job in order to somehow make ends meet. But then he gets lucky, and a rich man turns to him for a favor. Then the plot begins to twist, from which it is impossible to break away. Everything that should be in a high-quality detective novel will be here.

The author especially manages to describe a city in which dreams come true and collapse. Cairo is not just a place on the map, but a living organism that exists in its mysterious and frightening reality.

Judgment Day

Book author: Kurt Aust

Rating: 4.7

Judgment Day

The top rated novel is not just a crime detective. The reader finds himself in the distant year 1699, where he gets acquainted with the life and culture of those years. Kurt Aust is originally from Denmark, but lives in Norway and writes in the local language. He became famous immediately after the release of the first book. Doomsday was so positively received by critics and readers that Aust deservedly received the Best Debut award, and his manuscript was published in many European countries.

The plot is based on travelers who are forced to spend New Year's Eve at an inn, since bad weather prevents everyone from moving in their own direction. A professor from Denmark and his student from Norway appear in the narrative. Thomas Buberg and Petter Hortten become the title characters who will have to unravel the tangle of events, and more specifically the murder of the count, found dead in a snowdrift.

The writer uses these two characters more than once, and they will again have to face mysterious crimes that they can solve. Readers like not only the storyline, but also the 17th century flavor described by the author.

Over the settled graves

Book Author: Jess Walter

Rating: 4.6

Over the settled graves

Jess Walter, a laureate of prestigious awards, showed in his debut book that there are no clear boundaries between good and evil, we set them ourselves, and therefore it is very difficult to distinguish bad from good people, because every person has his own idea of ​​them. The action takes place in a small American town, where only drunken fights break the peace, and the police sometimes catch petty drug dealers.

Spokane is agitated by a string of murders of prostitutes. And, most importantly, the trail of a serial maniac appears, who made $ 20 with his business card, invested in the palm of each victim. Caroline Maybri was disappointed in everything: she is not confident in her detective abilities, her personal life is not arranged, she is lonely and is deeply depressed. Alan Dupree's partner is also not doing well: family problems and unrequited love.

The plot of the detective line invariably echoes the personal experiences of the heroes, the description of which is no less interesting than the solution to who really that ruthless and cruel killer is. The book is worth reading to understand that reality sometimes does not coincide with our ideas about the truth, it is much more complicated, and therefore the right choice is often oh so hard.

Crossing

Book Author: Ellie Griffiths

Rating: 4.6

book Crossing by Ellie Griffiths

Our rating includes the debut work of Ellie Griffiths, which is written according to all the rules of a detective thriller. The ancient ruins keep a terrible secret: the druids performed a ritual of sacrifice here, in which young people and girls were killed as a gift to Celtic deities. But all this would have remained just a legend, if one day the girl who was walking near the ruins had not disappeared. A similar crime was committed 10 years ago, and that child was also 4 years old.

The police begin their investigation, and an anonymous person who has been sending news with clues over the past years writes a letter to detective Harry Nelson, and again claims that the missing were sacrificed. The reader asks the question: is not this unknown person the real killer? The intrigue lasts until the end of the book.

The investigation reaches a dead end and the decision is ripe to turn to an archaeologist who knows everything about ancient excavations, murder rituals and much more, which will help solve the disappearance of children. Ruth Galloway, a well-known scientist in her circles, is charming and sweet. The heroes sympathize with each other, so the criminal story comes into contact with the love experiences of two rather middle-aged people.

Thirteen hours

Book author: Deon Meyer

Rating: 4.5

Book Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer's gripping thriller follows Inspector Grissel, who serves in the Serious Crimes Division. The flavor of South American national culture, nature and people living in Cape Town captivates from the first pages. The reader can look at everything that happens through the eyes of a tourist and a local resident, a guardian of the law and a criminal, a prominent figure and an ordinary petty bandit.

The plot revolves around the disappearance of a student, not a local one, but an American one, and this could lead to an international scandal. The talented Benny Grissel is taken to save the day, but he has only 13 hours to solve the crime. And besides that, he must teach newcomers and investigate the death of a famous producer, and his personal problems require immediate solutions: his wife went to the extreme, pushing him out of the house until he quit drinking.

In the story, a missing student runs away from her pursuers for 12 hours. And this is not a joke, her life really hangs in the balance, and as proof of her serious intentions, the pursuers kill her best friend in front of her eyes. Throughout the reading, there are many versions of why she was chosen as a sacrifice and how this chase will end.

The voice of the night bird

Book Author: Robert McCammon

Rating: 4.5

The voice of the night bird

Our rating includes the first book about the clerk Matthew Corbett. Its author, Robert Robert McCammon, who has not released a single work for the past ten years, resumed his work, and in 2002 saw the light of the exciting historical detective story, which was awarded several prestigious awards. A recognized master of thriller, mysticism, horror and science fiction, he was able to immediately captivate the reader, combining several genres in the 'Voice of the Night Bird' and keeping the intrigue to the very last page.

At the end of the 17th century, a young woman is detained on suspicion of witchcraft, and no one doubts her guilt. For the final decision, the master and his assistant, the same Corbett, whose adventures we will be able to observe in the subsequent works of the writer, arrive at Fount Royal. He alone doubts the guilt of the witch and therefore begins his own investigation.

Meanwhile, various mystical phenomena take place in the town and its surroundings, and a terrible monster wanders through the forest, frightening the local residents. A young clerk will have to deal with all this, and the reader will be lucky enough to see with his own eyes the life of America in those years.

The truth about the Harry Quebert case

Book author: Joelle Dicker

Rating: 4.5

The truth about the Harry Quebert case

The writer's debut drew mixed reviews from critics, but readers were enthusiastic about the novel of a talented young Swiss, and almost immediately the manuscript was translated into 30 languages, and Joel Dicker was awarded two prestigious awards. Combining two genres in one: a novel about a murder and a short story about a writer, he managed to captivate book lovers and make them read the work in one breath.

The action takes place in the USA, where a young novelist is going through a creative crisis and from this he cannot find a place for himself, constantly being in a bad mood. He decides to seek advice from his mentor, but it is Harry Quebert who needs help, since he is accused of a murder that was committed more than 30 years ago.

Markus Goldman cannot stand aside and begins to unravel the tangle of mysteries of the past in order to find the real criminal and help the teacher avoid death by electric chair. The hero not only copes with all the tasks, but also receives advice on how to write a best-selling book correctly. Everything is present in the work: a twisted plot, humor, and a love story. The experts' opinion is unambiguous: the book is recommended for reading.

Girl in the fog

Book author: Donato Carrisi

Rating: 4.4

Girl in the fog

The detective thriller, selected in our rating, immediately after the publication aroused the interest of fans of the criminal genre. Donato Carrisi was able to captivate bright characters and hold attention to the very end. The story takes place in a calm town on Christmas Eve. Everyone is preparing for the holiday: dressed up at home, gifts are waiting for their owners. But the sudden disappearance of a young girl who never made it to church disturbs this calm. She only had to walk a few hundred meters, but she disappeared without a trace, and what happened to her excited not only local residents.

Reporters immediately flock to the town in pursuit of a sensation. The tension in the alpine settlement is off scale, because at the time of the loss there were only old residents. So who is to blame when everyone is in sight and everyone is leading a respectable lifestyle? Special agent Vogel, although he is fanning the hype around this case, is more interested in attention to his own person.

As the story progresses, you begin to understand that the cozy atmosphere prevailing in the area is in fact a fake, which permeates the whole life of local residents. Having been in the past and present, you are surprised at the cruelty, heartlessness and indifference to someone else's grief.

Collini case

Book author: Ferdinand von Schirach

Rating: 4.4

Collini case

Ferdinand von Schirach's first fiction is based on a long legal practice. The prototype of the first hero, killed at the very beginning of the story, is the writer's own grandfather – the operativegruppenfuehrer, the German leader Baldur Benedict von Schirach. After the war, many former military men who served Hitler adapted to a peaceful life, and thanks to them, amnesty laws were dragged through. After the publication of the book, a commission was formed to assess the impact of Nazi culture on modern legal law.

The storyline revolves around the death of a good-natured man of rather advanced age. The killer – Italian Collini – is silent about the motives, which slows down the completion of the investigation. In the course of the action, it turns out that in fact the old man is not a cute grandfather, but a Nazi, who personally gave orders for the executions of civilians, among whom was Collini's father.

The son tried for a long time to achieve justice in a legal way, but an amendment that justified accomplices in crimes did not even allow the case to begin. There are no puzzles or riddles in the novel, but it gives readers food for thought: where is the fine line between justice and justice. This question was most often asked after the Second World War in Europe.

Demon crown

Book Author: James Rollins

Rating: 4.4

Demon crown

We have selected detective James Rollins in the rating, who continues the story of the Sigma squad. The first book of the cycle was published in 2004. 'Crown of the Demon' became the 14th novella. The real name of the author is James Paul Tchaikovsky, who became famous for his creations in the genre of adventure thrillers and fantasy and is recognized as the best-selling contemporary author of this direction. Fans all over the world are eagerly awaiting new releases as each novel captures with incredible action lines and always becomes a bestseller.

Group Sigma will have to fight a group of bioterrorists. Ecumenical evil lurked on a desert island in the ocean. It is insatiable and has already wiped everything around from the face. This is an ancient demon who prepared a terrible and painful death for humanity. No one can stop him. But the main characters will emerge victorious from this story.

The writer will not disappoint this time either. The fiction goes in parallel with historical facts, which increases the interest of the reader, who nevertheless learns the secret of Polish amber.

Snowman

Book author: Yu Nesbe

Rating: 4.3

Snowman

The novel became the seventh book in the Harry Hall cycle. The detective thriller by the Norwegian Ju Nesbe was published in 2007. Ten years later, it was filmed, directed by Thomas Alfredson. The story begins with the unexplained disappearance of several women. The investigator finds a clue: all the victims were married, had children, and witnesses saw a snowman in the immediate vicinity. Picking up similar unsolved cases from the archive, he has no doubt that he is dealing with the first Norwegian serial killer.

The team, led by Harry and new employee Katrin, finds out that the husbands of all the disappeared women are not the biological fathers of their children. DNA examination confirms this, which temporarily changes the course of the investigation. Hole and Bratt are obsessed with work, and this trait unites them not only in the professional field, but also in their personal lives.

Unexpectedly, Katrin becomes a suspect, who was at the scene of the last crime, and the investigator was made extreme, because the townsfolk and the press are indignant that the killer took part in the investigation. But everything is happily resolved. Hole will find the true killer and prove the innocence of his beloved.

Best Classics in the Genre – Foreign Detectives

These books have been in the top of the best for more than a decade, they are read and re-read with pleasure. They have become a tool for young investigators. The works are so fascinating that every fan of detective stories will quote any of its passages. In the ranking, we presented works by three world famous authors, written according to the canons of the classical genre, which are definitely worth reading.

Hound of the Baskervilles

Book author: Arthur Conan Doyle

Rating: 4.9

Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle gave the world the great detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Dr. Watson. “The Dog of the Baskervilles” is one of four stories that readers got acquainted with in 1901. The action takes place in the fall of 1889. A famous aristocrat dies under strange circumstances, and gentlemen undertake to investigate this complicated case. Doctor Mortimer, who turned to them for help, told about an ancient legend, according to which all of the Baskerville family are pursued by a terrible creature living in the swamps, and his howl, which can be heard at night, resembles a dog's.

The deceased from a heart attack is found in his own park, and traces of huge dog paws are found nearby. The mystical story with a ghost with glowing eyes and a huge mouth, which scares the whole area, in fact, turns out to be just a legend. Holmes and Watson have to find the real killer, who, though not with his own hands, still committed a crime.

The ancient legend has become a murder weapon. The victim's nephew bought a huge dog and, having smeared it with a luminous composition, left it in the swamps and, at the right moment, skillfully set an unsuspecting relative on it.

If death slept

Book Author: Rex Stout

Rating: 4.8

If death slept

Rex Stout is a recognized master of detectives. The book included in the rating tells the story of the famous detective Nero Wolfe, who will once again solve the crime, but will do it so skillfully and excitingly that you read the novel in an instant. In the center of the storyline are relations within the family of a wealthy industrialist who suspects his daughter-in-law of spying for competitors, so he does not just hate her, but wants to rid himself of her presence in his house.

His son, in love with his soul mate, makes demands that if she leaves, then he will not stay here again for a minute. The only way to maintain a father-son relationship is to catch the villainess red-handed. It is for this that Wolfe is hired, and an assistant detective is hired as a secretary to the businessman, who will monitor and collect dirt on the unwanted daughter-in-law.

Well, and then, according to the law of a classic detective, there will be a corpse, intrigues, puzzles and hints to readers, according to which the most attentive himself will calculate the criminal. Well, if not, then the author will reveal the name of the killer with his usual elegance.

Death is a lonely affair

Book Author: Ray Douglas Bradbury

Rating: 4.7

Death is a lonely affair

Ray Douglas Bradbury has created over 800 works in various genres. These are science fiction and fantasy, horror and psychological thrillers. The novel included in our list was published in 1985. It is set in the USA, California. The description of American Venice evokes sad thoughts. The amusement park carousels have been dismantled, the cinema is empty, and everyone is getting ready to move. The fragile world is destroyed, soon everyone will have a new life.

Against the backdrop of the devastated city, murders take place, which are taken simply for accidents. At first, no one assumes that there is any connection between the crimes. Detective Elmo Crumley begins an investigation. The second hero is a young man who encounters the alleged killer on the tram. It is these two who are sure that the same person is acting.

Together they delve into the logic of the villain and uncover seemingly hopeless crimes. Bradbury not only touches on the criminal theme, but, as in his other works, there is always a philosophical component. To fans of the great master and just readers, we recommend this work to read.


Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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