Here are the best crime and thriller books of 2022 (so far)


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We call it now, here are six of the best crime and thriller books to debut in 2022 (so far).

From the disappearance of a young girl in a rural Australian town to a murder in a university library, each book contains the classic elements of the detective genre we all know and love. So pull up a chair and make yourself a cup of tea, because the team at Lifehacker Australia is ready to spill all of their must-have crime and thriller recommendations.

The best crime and thriller books coming out in 2022

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

Image: Michael Joseph

What we thought:

Lifehacker Australia editor Steph Nuzzo recently read one of Reese Witherspoon’s latest book club picks. She even wrote a dedicated full review, but if you just want a little taste of what she thought, then read below:

Wrong place, wrong time takes the concept of the time loop and renders it in a new way. The murder at the center of the story keeps you hooked, and the author beautifully unravels the mystery page by page, while asking you to reflect on the important moments in life you may have missed when you weren’t paying attention. don’t pay attention.

Or buy: Amazon ($18.39) | Booktopia ($26.25) | eBay ($30.25) | BDQ ($32.99)

Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor

Best detective novels and thrillers: Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor
Image: Mac Millan

What we thought:

earth city is not your usual crime novel. When I picked up this book earlier in the year I thought it was going to be your average Aussie thriller. Drawing on your typical detective novel formula, this first seems to be another story about the murder of a little town girl and the detective who arrives to find the killer.

But Hayley Scrivenor goes one step further, examining the impact a child’s death can have on an isolated and tight-knit community in rural Australia. Throughout the novel there were hints of Australian culture that made it feel more real, more like home than any other book I’ve read. This mystery itself is gritty, compelling, and lovingly written. Although the plot may feel like a slow burner, the writing has always sucked me in for hours at a time.

Or buy: Amazon ($16) | Booktopia ($23.75) | eBay ($16) | BDQ ($22.99)

Everyone In My Family Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

It's criminal how good these thrillers and mystery novels are
Image: Penguin

What we thought:

As it turns out, this book may be one of the most complex detective stories I’ve ever read. In Everyone in my family has killed someone, you’ll meet Ernie Cunningham, who got snowed in during his family reunion at a mountain ski resort. Each section will slowly introduce you to a member of their family – all killers in their own right. But what’s most compelling is that the novel adheres to the membership oath of the Detection Club, a secret society of crime novel writers featuring household names like Agatha Christie and GK Chesterton.

The “10 Commandments of Criminal Fiction” are a strict list of rules that state that “the detective cannot commit the crime” and “the narrator cannot conceal any important fact or information”, among many others. In his latest novel, Stevenson executes these commandments with a dark humor and lighthearted tone that will have seasoned crime lovers writhing to get to the end.

Or buy: Amazon ($16) | Booktopia ($26.25) | eBay ($16) | BDQ ($22.99)

Heat 2 by Michael Man and Meg Gardiner

Best crime and thriller books: Heat 2
Image: Harper Collins

What we thought:

Our own e-commerce editor, Chris Neill, had this to say about Heat 2:

“Heat 2 is both a prequel and sequel to Michael Mann’s 1995 crime epic, Heat. With co-writer Meg Gardiner, Heat 2 expands on the stories of Detective Vincent Hanna and career criminal Neil McCauley, giving us deep insight into why these men are so intensely driven.

The rest of the book is devoted to following the life of Chris Shiherlis directly after the end of the original film, before jumping to the year 2000, in a plot that feels like a spiritual companion to Mann’s cybercrime film, Black hat.

Although in a different medium, this novel retains the feel of Mann’s original film. It’s tight and well-oiled, like a good heist team, moving at a fast pace without missing a word. A sequence where Hanna rushes to stop a potential home invasion and homicide moves with the frantic, high-energy pace of the original film’s iconic bank robbery fight.

To paraphrase Hanna, Heat 2 has a nice ass and I have my head all the way.

Or buy: Amazon ($16) | Booktopia ($26.25) | eBay ($19.99) | BDQ ($22.99)

The Woman in the Library by Gentile Sulari

Best detective novels and thrillers: The woman from the library
Image: Ultimo Press

What we thought:

Kathleen Farmilo, another Lifehacker Australia editor, had nothing but glowing things to say about Sulari Gentill’s latest novel:

The woman in the library had one of the most compelling formats I’ve seen in a searing minute. It has two plots: a novel within a novel alongside letters from the superfan of an acclaimed author, who is writing the aforementioned novel. I’ll give you a second to figure it out, but let me tell you, both storylines are equally captivating, thrilling, and downright suspenseful.

Or buy: Amazon ($22.99) | Booktopia ($26.25) | eBay (30.25) | BDQ ($22.99)

Want more crime and thriller books? So keep an eye out for our new book releases column, where we announce all the great upcoming reads for the month ahead.


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