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10 Crime Novels you Must read: 2021.

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

This year as we predicted had more crime stories and movies released then any other in recent years. The Pandemic may have had something to do with it...

According to our research, reviewing over 300+ crime movies in the past 90 years, we noticed a pattern of certain film genres more than others, yet one kept them all connected, crime.

Here is a list of true crime novels we recommend as a read that are inspiring and informative. We usually look for stories that are original, dynamic and true. Behind every crime, there is a story, and that is a lifetime of content to carry out. No wonder Hollywood has always been fascinated by crime movies especially gangsters, yet the reenactments of them have been thus mediocre to say the least really until American Crime Stories, where the psychologically twisted ideas were reenacted by great actors and took on a world of it's own, really marking a major shift in breaking that invisible line of too invasive for the audience, to fully invade and you see? people like it.

A hand of good ones one can count, and the rest were successful in their own ways, as well as the investors behind them. MobCity Productions started in 2017, with the vision of giving true stories a voice, since " people trust me, and they can. I always had an ear to listen to people who loved sharing their stories. I find that all people really want is to be heard. Being able to empathize and relate, without judgement has allowed people to feel safe to share certain parts of their lives with me and I'm truly grateful for these indivisuals who chose to trust in me." And to wrap that thought, they have every right to. I would only share stories that others want me to equally share that have a purpose and higher message that can be shared, hens the formation of the company." Since, Kaye has successfully acquired the rights to a slate of films, through true crime stories," which she remains hush lip about, we are thrilled for MobCity's upcoming film 'Financial Gangster', involving the first case that set the precedent for all future financial crimes and the first case tried under the Patriots Act.

  1. 'Bath Haus' by P.J Vernon

Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they've made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn't be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it's a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it's the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.

He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies.

What follows is a classic runaway-train narrative, full of the exquisite escalations, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and oh-my-god twists. P. J. Vernon's Bath Haus is a scintillating thriller with an emotional punch, perfect for readers curious for their next must-read novel.

2. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

“Whitehead’s own mind has famously gone thataway through nine other books that don’t much resemble one another, but this time he’s hit upon a setup that will stick. He has said he may keep Ray going into another book, and it won’t take you long to figure out why … brings Whitehead’s unwavering eloquence to a mix of city history, niche hangouts, racial stratification, high hopes and low individuals. All of these are somehow worked into a rich, wild book that could pass for genre fiction. It’s much more, but the entertainment value alone should ensure it the same kind of popular success that greeted his last two novels. It reads like a book whose author thoroughly enjoyed what he was doing … The author creates a steady, suspenseful churn of events that almost forces his characters to do what they do. The final choice is theirs, of course … Quaint details aside, this is no period piece … Though it’s a slightly slow starter, Harlem Shuffle has dialogue that crackles, a final third that nearly explodes, hangouts that invite even if they’re Chock Full o’ Nuts and characters you won’t forget even if they don’t stick around for more than a few pages.” - Janet Maslin (The New York Times)

3. 'Billy Summers' by Stephen King

“[King] actually is as good at the hard-boiled prose—in this case, the tale of an extremely effective assassin trying to get out after one last job—as he is the scary stuff … King’s known for his literary villains, yet in creating his killer title protagonist, he exquisitely gets into the mind of a hitman and roots around in there to figure out what kind of person would do wetwork, the loneliness involved for those who choose that as a career path and the effect it would have on friends and loved ones … Those worried he’s gone full Raymond Chandler, never fear: King makes it clear that Billy Summers very much exists in his creepily familiar world. It’s also very much a part of ours as well, with a few Donald Trump references and a foreshadowing of the COVID-19 crisis as Billy hunkers down and has to watch life go by outside, less because of a pandemic and more because of his morally questionable chosen profession … The biggest crime here, however, would be missing out on Billy Summers and King’s new reign as a pulp genius.” - Brian Truitt (USA Today)

4. 'Dream Girl' by Laura Lippman

“There’s the brilliance, the devastating humor, the complicated sexual history with women, and the fraught relationship with his mother … But, a more explicit literary presence here is that of Stephen King, as Dream Girlswiftly morphs into Nightmare … With each stand-alone novel she writes, Lippman triumphantly turns in a different direction … Socially conscious (the #MeToo movement makes a decisive entrance into the plot) and packed with humor, ghosts and narrative turns of the screw, Lippman’s Dream Girl is indeed a dream of a novel for suspense lovers and fans of literary satire alike." -Maureen Corrigan (The Washington Post)

5. 'The Killing Hills' by Chris Offutt

"A literary master across genres, award-winning author Chris Offutt's latest novel, The Killing Hills, is a compelling, propulsive thriller in which a suspicious death exposes the loyalties and rivalries of a deep-rooted and fiercely private community in the Kentucky backwoods.

Mick Hardin, a combat veteran now working as an Army CID agent, is home on a leave that is almost done. His wife is about to give birth, but they aren't getting along. His sister, newly risen to sheriff, has just landed her first murder case, and local politicians are pushing for city police or the FBI to take the case. Are they convinced she can't handle it, or is there something else at work? She calls on Mick who, with his homicide investigation experience and familiarity with the terrain, is well-suited to staying under the radar. As he delves into the investigation, he dodges his commanding officer's increasingly urgent calls while attempting to head off further murders. And he needs to talk to his wife

The Killing Hills is a novel of betrayal--sexual, personal, within and between the clans that populate the hollers--and the way it so often shades into violence. Chris Offutt has delivered a dark, witty, and absolutely compelling novel of murder and honor, with an investigator-hero unlike any in fiction."

6. 'The Lost Apothecary' by Sarah Penner

An avenging woman in the guise of a quiet apothecary takes center stage in this propulsive historical fiction debut. In 18th-century London, women come to Nella when they need to take action against the abusive men in their life. Soon, the very young Eliza is involved with an act gone wrong, and a modern woman’s search for meaning, in the present-day, becomes irrevocably tied with the past. With immersive storytelling, a dark, gothic atmosphere and unforgettable characters, this is a subversive debut that should not be missed.

7. 'Lady Joker' by Kaoru Takamura.

"That’s what happened to Kaoru Takamura, born in Osaka, Japan, who worked as a stock trader before turning to writing. Her celebrated mystery career culminated in 1997’s “Lady Joker,” a sweeping, nuanced trilogy whose plot kicks into gear in 1947 with a letter to the Hinode Beer Co. from a dismissed employee and takes a dramatic turn with the kidnapping, some five decades later, of the conglomerate’s chief executive. Based on the unsolved Glico-Morinaga case that terrorized Japan in the mid-1980s, the series’ uncompromising dissection of post-WWII Japan was a cultural sensation, sold more than a million copies there and garnered praise for Takamura’s astonishing “eye for detail and storytelling prowess.” But still, no translation.

Enter Juliet Grames, senior vice president and associate publisher at Soho Press. Since 2010, Grames has been editor of the press’ Soho Crime imprint, whose mandate is to publish atmospheric crime fiction from all over the world. A polymath editor and author in her own right, Grames curates a list including Britain’s Peter Lovesey, L.A.-based Ghanian American Kwei Quartey and the Paris-set mysteries of the Bay Area’s Cara Black...“I knew I wanted to publish ‘Lady Joker’ as soon as I heard about it,” says Grames. - Paula L. Woods (The Los Angeles Times.)

8. 'The Mercenary' by Paul Vidich

"From acclaimed spy novelist Paul Vidich comes a taut new thriller following the attempted exfiltration of a KGB officer from the ever-changing—and always dangerous—USSR in the mid-1980s.

Moscow, 1985. The Soviet Union and its communist regime are in the last stages of decline, but remain opaque to the rest of the world—and still very dangerous. In this ever-shifting landscape, a senior KGB officer—code name GAMBIT—has approached the CIA Moscow Station chief with top secret military weapons intelligence and asked to be exfiltrated. GAMBIT demands that his handler be a former CIA officer, Alex Garin, a former KGB officer who defected to the American side.

The CIA had never successfully exfiltrated a KGB officer from Moscow, and the top brass do not trust Garin. But they have no other options: GAMBIT's secrets could be the deciding factor in the Cold War.

Garin is able to gain the trust of GAMBIT, but remains an enigma. Is he a mercenary acting in self-interest or are there deeper secrets from his past that would explain where his loyalties truly lie? As the date nears for GAMBIT’s exfiltration, and with the walls closing in on both of them, Garin begins a relationship with a Russian agent and sets into motion a plan that could compromise everything." - GoodReads Author

9.'Maniac' by Harold Schechter

"Harold Schechter, Amazon Charts bestselling author of Hell’s Princess, unearths a nearly forgotten true crime of obsession and revenge, and one of the first—and worst—mass murders in American history.

In 1927, while the majority of the township of Bath, Michigan, was celebrating a new primary school—one of the most modern in the Midwest—Andrew P. Kehoe had other plans. The local farmer and school board treasurer was educated, respected, and an accommodating neighbor and friend. But behind his ordinary demeanor was a narcissistic sadist seething with rage, resentment, and paranoia. On May 18 he detonated a set of rigged explosives with the sole purpose of destroying the school and everyone in it. Thirty-eight children and six adults were murdered that morning, culminating in the deadliest school massacre in US history.

Maniac is Harold Schechter’s gripping, definitive, exhaustively researched chronicle of a town forced to comprehend unprecedented carnage and the triggering of a “human time bomb” whose act of apocalyptic violence would foreshadow the terrors of the current age." - Amazon

10. 'Velvet was the Night' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Velvet Was the Night has little in common with the delirious Mexican Gothic. Its prose is lean, its characters are nobodies, its setting is urban, and there isn’t the slightest speck of the supernatural. But Moreno-Garcia, a bona fide literary chameleon, slips effortlessly out of the satin pumps of the gothic and into the beat-up wingtips of noir. The scary thing about this novel is how good it is … the way that war—not a world war, but the Dirty War between the government and its restive citizens—keeps erupting into their lives, forcing them to confront the reality of history and politics, keeps the novel fresh; in contrast with classic noir, this war refuses to remain hidden. The delectable cocktail that is Velvet Was the Night contains a generous dash of bitters, but the finish is satisfyingly mellow. It goes down so smoothly that it left me marveling at what kind of sorceress Moreno-Garcia must be as she reworks genre after genre, weaving in Mexican history and culture, satisfying familiar cravings without resorting to mere pastiche.” - Laura Miller (Slate)

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