10 Best Crime Noir Books | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Welcome to the thrilling and dangerous world of noir fiction, where grizzly detectives roam in a dark and cynical atmosphere. With femme fatales luring protagonists into treacherous webs and the seedy underbelly of big cities as the backdrop, noir crime novels offer a riveting blend of mystery and intrigue. Crime noir novels are great for anyone who wants a suspenseful mystery, so we present you with 10 of the best crime noir books. There are some classics and some new novels for you to enjoy.

Devil in A Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins #1) by Walter Mosley

Set in 1940s Los Angeles, Devil in a Blue Dress is a thrilling novel that tells the story of Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran who has just lost his job at a defence plant. Drinking at a friend’s bar, Easy is approached by a white man in search of a blonde woman known to frequent black jazz clubs.

The man offers good money in exchange for Easy’s help in finding her, leading him down a dangerous path filled with violence and corruption. Through striking, gritty descriptions and compelling characters, Walter Mosley brought us a mesmerizing tale about the problems with injustice that plagued many in post-war America, as well as one man’s fight for survival and justice.

The Last Good Kiss (C.W. Sughrue #1) by James Crumley

In this gripping detective story, starring investigator C.W. Sughrue, you are taken on a thrilling journey through the dark parts of America’s seedy underbelly. Sughrue, who spends his time working at a topless bar in Montana, is hired to find a missing author but ends up pursuing a girl who vanished in Haight-Ashbury years ago.

As the hunt intensifies, Sughrue becomes consumed by his quest, leading him through a haunting and disturbing exploration of the country’s darkest and sleaziest corners. With unforgettable characters and a relentless pace, The Last Good Kiss is a gripping and unforgettable tale of obsession and redemption.

Technomancer (Unspeakable Things #1) by B.V Larson

This one is a mix of supernatural, sci-fi and crime noir. In this gripping and suspenseful novel, supernatural investigator and blogger Quentin Draith awakens in a sanatorium with no memory of his identity after a car accident in Las Vegas which reveals a victim’s organs body. Stranger still the body had no organs and was filled with sand.

Draith, determined to solve the mystery of his past and learn more about the victim, begins unravelling the mysteries surrounding his life and the incident that wiped his memories. He uncovers his unique heritage, with powerful and distrustful relatives, and becomes a suspect in a series of bizarre murders involving ordinary objects. Filled with tension and relentless pacing, Technomancer takes you on a thrilling journey as Draith races to uncover the truth about himself and clear his name.

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

In this comically twisted mystery, Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch finds that his peaceful holiday in the countryside is quickly interrupted when he stumbles upon a string of corpses and a centuries-old crime worse than murder. Despite being out of his jurisdiction and out of his element, Vimes is determined to solve the case.

With his wits and cunning, he embarks on a relentless chase for justice, fuelled by the absence of bacon sandwiches and occasional moments of confusion. As always, Terry Pratchett weaves a tale of dark humour and cunning, reminding you that while forgiveness may be offered for some sins, not all transgressions can be pardoned.

Leviathan (2000 AD) by Ian Edginton & Matt Brooker

In this gripping and haunting tale from 2000 AD, the massive Leviathan, the largest cruise liner of its time, vanishes without a trace in 1928 while en route to New York with thousands of crew members and passengers on board. Two decades later, Detective Sergeant Lament delves into the enigma surrounding the stranded ship that now floats on an otherworldly sea.

As he unravels the mysteries at the heart of the vessel, Lament’s world is forever changed, potentially offering a chance to bring the Leviathan back home. From the creators of Scarlet Traces and The Great Game, this unique story leaves a lingering impact on the reader long after the final page is turned.

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund

In this gripping crime thriller, the discovery of a body with bound hands and mysterious markings initiates a high-stakes investigation for Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg. Determined to find the killer, she faces resistance from her superiors. As the body count rises with two more victims, Kihlberg realizes she is dealing with a serial murderer.

With her career hanging in the balance, she seeks the help of psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund. Together, they unveil a trail of horrifying events rooted in the past, but can they uncover the truth in time to catch the killer before more lives are lost?

All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby

Titus Crown, the first Black sheriff of Charon County, Virginia, finds himself confronting a web of secrets that threaten to unravel his town. After a school teacher is killed by a former student and subsequently shot by Titus’s deputies, the hidden tensions within the community explode. As Titus investigates the shootings, he uncovers a series of heinous crimes and a serial killer who has been silently stalking Charon for years.

With the killer’s possible ties to a local church and the town’s troubled history, Titus must navigate the investigation while harbouring his own painful secret. Meanwhile, he must also contend with a far-right group intent on celebrating the town’s Confederate heritage.

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

Set in contemporary India, Age of Vice introduces you to a world where money, pleasure, and power reign supreme, and familial bonds can be deadly. The story begins with a fatal accident involving a speeding Mercedes, leaving behind a bewildered servant who can’t explain the bizarre events leading up to the tragedy.

From there, the plot winds through time and perspectives, exploring the seductive wealth, pervasive corruption, and bloodthirsty violence of the powerful Wadia family. Against a backdrop of loss, greed, desire, violence, and revenge, the characters’ connections serve as either an escape or a trigger for further destruction. Age of Vice transports you from rural villages to the bustling streets of New Delhi, offering an intoxicating tale of gangsters, forbidden romance, false friendships, and the consequences of corruption. It’s a binge-worthy literary masterpiece.

Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun (Blood on Snow #2) by Jo Nesbo

In this gripping Nordic noir, Midnight Sun, Jon finds himself in a desperate situation after betraying Oslo’s notorious crime lord, The Fisherman. Seeking refuge in a remote mountain town in northern Norway, where the sun never sets, Jon hopes to find sanctuary with a religious sect.

Taking shelter in a shepherd’s cabin, his only protectors are Lea, a grieving mother, and her young son, Knut. As the relentless midnight sun plays tricks on his mind, Jon’s sanity begins to unravel. When he realizes that The Fisherman’s men are closing in on him, the tension heightens, leading to a high-stakes battle for survival.

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet #1) by James Ellroy

Set in 1947, the haunting case of The Black Dahlia unfolds, capturing the attention of California in this gripping crime novel. The tortured body of a young woman is discovered in an empty lot, earning her the infamous moniker. Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard, both colleagues and romantic rivals for the same woman, become entangled in the investigation.

Obsessed with the Dahlia, they are driven by an insatiable curiosity about her past, a determination to apprehend her killer, and an unsettling desire to possess her, even in death. Their relentless pursuit takes them through the dark underbelly of postwar Hollywood, into the heart of the victim’s twisted life, and ultimately into the depths of their own troubled minds, all while teetering on the edge of madness.

There we have it. The best crime noir books that publishing has to offer. So, if you’re looking for a crime noir novel, this might help you. Have you read any of these noir fiction novels? Are there any novels that we missed? Comment below and let us know!

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