Top 8 Overlooked Crime Novels Box Set
The Vaults by Toby Hall
The first book in the widely acclaimed City Trilogy, The Vaults is a riveting dystopian thriller set in 1930s America. At the height of the most corrupt administration in the City’s history, a mysterious duplicate file is discovered deep within the Vaults a cavernous hall containing all of the municipal criminal justice records of the last seventy years. From here, we follow Arthur Puskis, the Vaults’ hermit-like archivist; Frank Frings, a high-profile investigative journalist; and Ethan Poole, a socialist private eye with a penchant for blackmail. All three men will undertake their own investigations into the dark past and uncertain future of their surroundings, and what they find will call everything they thought they knew about the City into question.
Scorch City by Toby Ball
The gritty follow-up to Toby Ball’s acclaimed noir thriller The Vaults takes us back to his dystopian City, fifteen years later . . .
The second book in the City Trilogy, Scorch City is a dark and unsettling thriller of urban unease. Journalist Frank Frings rouses Lt. Piet Westermann in the middle of the night with an unusual request: move the body of a dead blonde from where she was found on the bank of a river near the utopian Uhuru Community, a shantytown under threat from a deadly coalition of racists and anticommunists and find out how the body actually got there. As the investigation deepens, the deaths and disappearances add up, and the detectives of the City must uncover the truth behind Uhuru and the murders, while keeping their own dark secrets hidden within the streets of the unforgiving City.
Invisible Streets by Toby Hall
In this visionary dystopian thriller, the hunt is on for a haul of explosives that shouldn’t get into the wrong hands . . . or should it?
A brilliantly imagined thriller, Invisible Streets is a sprawling, noirish epic of crime and corruption by an author who has been compared to Caleb Carr, James Ellroy, and Jonathan Lethem. It’s the mid-1960s, and the City is a hulking shell of itself. Bohemians, crooks, and snarling anti-Communists have their run of the place, but if Nathan Canada has his way, all this decline and decadence will soon be nothing but a distant memory. His New City Project will paper over the grit and the grime, making the City safe for the rich. According to Canada and his influential allies, the project is the City’s last best hope but according to everyone else in town, it’s a death knell.
So when the Project’s cache of explosives goes missing, everyone is a suspect, and police detective Torsten Grip finds himself up against a ticking clock and a wall of silence. Meanwhile journalist Frank Frings—the last honest man in the City sets out to find his friend’s grandson, who has gotten himself involved with Kollectiv 61, a radical group that Grip believes holds the key to the investigation. And in the middle of it all is Canada’s enforcer Phil Dorman, whose job is to ensure that the City’s corruption and chaos remain at a boil but never more than that.
Blue Eyes by Jerome Charyn
A cop and his disgraced mentor attempt to bust a white slavery ring
Before Isaac Sidel adopts him, Manfred Coen is a mutt. A kid from the Bronx, he joins the police academy after his father’s suicide leaves him directionless, and is trudging along like any other cadet when first deputy Sidel, the commissioner’s right hand man, comes looking for a young cop with blue eyes to infiltrate a ring of Polish smugglers. He chooses Coen, and asks the cadet to join his department after he finishes the academy. Working under Sidel means fast promotions, plush assignments, and, when a corruption scandal topples his mentor, the resentment of every rank-and-file detective on the force.
Now just an ordinary cop, Coen hears word that his old mentor has a line on a human trafficking operation. When Sidel’s attempt at infiltration fails, he sends in Coen. For Coen, it’s a shot to prove himself and redeem his mentor, but it could cost the blue-eyed cop his life.
Killing Suki Flood by Robert Leininger
Trouble. The moment Frank Limosin sees gorgeous eighteen-year-old Suki Flood sitting on the rear deck of the Trans Am in the hot empty desert, he feels trouble in the air. The Trans Am has a flat tire. They’re over ten miles from the nearest highway. And Suki, dressed in short shorts and a tiny halter top, doesn’t know how to change a tire. Against Suki’s will, Frank gives her a lesson in tire changing, then he thinks that’s it, he’ll never see her again. How wrong can one man be? Because Suki turns out to be fifty times more trouble than Frank ever dreamed possible. He saved her once. Now he has to save her again and again and again…
Last Night in Montreal by Emily St John Mandel
“When Lilia Albert was a child, her father appeared on the doorstep of her mother’s house and took her away. Now, haunted by an inability to remember much about her early childhood, Lilia moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers and eluding the private detective who has dedicated a career to following close behind. Then comes Eli. When Lilia goes out for a paper and fails to return to their Brooklyn apartment, he follows her to Montreal, not knowing whether he wants to disappear, too, or help her find her way home. But what he discovers is a deeper mystery, one that will set past and present spinning toward collision”–
The Skin Palace by Jack O’Connell
Amid the post industrial decay of Quinsigamond glitters a fabulous jewel – Herzog’s Erotic Palace – America’s most lavish porn theatre and a gangland laundry for semi-sour cash. But most of all, Herzog’s is the place where dreamers meet, seductive nightmares find their dazzling realization, and a former triple X film director, a ruthless gangster, and photographer’s son dangerously cross paths.
Tony and Susan by Austin Wright
Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband Edward Sheffield, an unpublished writer. Now, she’s enduring middle class suburbia as a doctor’s wife, when out of the blue she receives a package containing the manuscript of her ex-husband’s first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says.
As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a math professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read with her, we too become lost in Sheffield’s thriller. As the Hastings’ ordinary, civilized lives are disastrously, violently sent off course, Susan is plunged back into the past, forced to confront the darkness that inhabits her, and driven to name the fear that gnaws at her future and will change her life.