From Agatha Christie to Paula Hawkins. Why do we love crime fiction so much?

Paula Hawkins, “The Girl on the Train” (2015)

The book that has sold 23 million copies worldwide – in more than 50 countries and 46 languages. It is also the fastest-selling adult debut in the history of the British market. It was estimated that someone in the United States bought the novel every six seconds. The Girl on the Train has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 100 weeks, including over 40 at its top.

Paula Hawkins’ first book, published in January 2015, has become an international phenomenon. Stephen King wrote after reading: An excellent thriller. I couldn’t tear myself up all night. “His opinion was shared by millions of readers around the world, and the film adaptation of the novel (premiere in 2016), starring Emily Blunt in the title role, became a blockbuster movie.

So many facts, what about the plot of this thrilling thriller?

The main character, Rachel, commutes to work on the same train every morning. He knows that he always stops in front of a certain signal, right in front of a row of houses. She even begins to think that she knows the people who live in one of them. He believes that they lead a perfect, undisturbed life. She thinks that she would like to be as happy as they are.

Suddenly, however, she sees something shocking. He only sees it for a moment, because the train moves relentlessly – but it is enough. Everything changes: Rachel now has the opportunity to become part of the lives of people she has only seen from a distance. They find that she is more than just the girl on the train.

Photo: Press materials

The cover of the book “The Girl on the Train”

Paula Hawkins, “Saved in the Water” (2017)

“This novel has been maturing in me for a long time. There is something compelling in the stories we tell each other, including how, consciously or unconsciously, you can hide voices and truths, wash away memories and plunge them into oblivion,” Hawkins said of her book. Secrets That Can Pull Us Down have become the leitmotif of the second best-selling novel by the author, which recognizes people’s instincts and emotions. A thrilling thriller with stories from the past lurking in the background reminds us that there is a force in our fate that can destroy our lives …

A few days before her death, Nel Abbott calls her sister Jules. She doesn’t answer, ignoring her plea for help. Nell dies. Beckford townspeople say that she “jumped” into the waters of the infamous Topielisko. A place full of secrets that all residents know. In the past, women suspected of magic were drowned there. Four Beckford residents committed suicide there: Anna, Lauren, Katie and possibly Nel.

Jules returns to where she once, hoping for good, escaped. She has to take care of her 15-year-old, orphaned niece – which is difficult because her relationship with Nell was not very good.

What’s more – Jules is afraid of not only responsibility. He is afraid of long buried memories, the old mill, the bend of the river, Topielisko. And her conviction that Nell would never take her own life. What does the small town and its inhabitants hide? And why did so many dislike that Nell wanted to describe the history of the city?

Photo: Press materials

“Written in the Water”, book cover

Paula Hawkins, “Slow Burning” (2021)

The title term “slow burning” (slow fire) refers to the process of degradation of paper by which the paper turns yellow and becomes brittle due to acidification. Acids are present in the paper itself, the fibers of which contain grains of their own destruction. The people we meet in the pages of Hawkins’ book are also eaten up from the inside – the desire for vengeance, the desire for love, the desire to complete unfinished business.

In his latest book, Hawkins spins a passionate twist on deception, murder and retaliation. This bold and spicy detective story raises an intriguing question: how long can a mystery be smoldering before it explodes into fire?

The gruesome murder of a young man – Daniel – on a barge in London raises doubts about the role three women played in the incident.

Laura is a girl experiencing difficult times, with whom the later victim has a brief sexual intercourse and who, according to witnesses, was the last to leave the barge.

Carli is Daniel’s grieving aunt, already mourning another deceased relative who had died just a few weeks earlier.

Miriam – a nosy neighbor who found Daniel’s bloody body, hiding her own secrets from the police.

Three women: They don’t know each other at all, but each of them was related to the victim in some way. Three women boiling with anger for various reasons. Consciously or not, they demand compensation for the wrong that has been done to them. And when it comes to revenge, even decent people can do terrible things. What will they go to to regain their composure?

“Slow Burning” starts with the brutal murder of a barge in London. Laura is the prime suspect; the witness saw her leave the scene, so the matter seems simple. In this book, I wanted to show that no tragedy happens in isolation – a childhood accident can have consequences ten years later, and trusting the wrong person at the wrong time can completely derail life. I am curious about what makes us who we are; how we choose what to stick to and how it can hurt us – said Hawkins about her latest book.

Photo: Press materials

Paula Hawkins “Slow Burning” cover excerpt

Book premiere: August 31.

Camilla Läckberg, “The Ice Princess” (2009)

Camilla Läckberg – undisputed queen Swedish crime novels. She has published over a dozen books, including a crime series, the plot of which she set in her hometown – Fjällbacce – located on the west coast of Sweden. Formerly it was a small fishing village, now the inhabitants live here mainly from tourism.

The first volume of the series, “The Ice Princess”, received rave reviews and quickly became a bestseller. The heroes of the crime series are Erika Falck and policeman Patrik Hedström. The plot of the novel revolves around the alleged suicide of Alexandra Wijkner. As a result of Erika’s private investigation, commissioned by the victim’s mother, it turns out, however, that the woman’s death may be related to a dark secret from the past …

The writer efficiently combines criminal, moral and psychological threads, reflecting the atmosphere of the modern Swedish province. In a multi-volume saga, intricate criminal investigations are intertwined with family dramas, sometimes trivial problems of everyday life and the search for happiness in personal life. The macabre riddles are accompanied by the specific climate of Scandinavian crime novels – raw, full of anxiety and horror – reflecting the northern landscape and nature.

Photo: Press materials

“Ice Princess”, book cover

Agatha Christie, “And There Were None” (1960)

Christie seemed doomed to success from the very beginning of her career. Already her first novels, published in the 1920s, broke all records of popularity. She was even listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling author of all time. Her books only outperformed the works of Shakespeare and the Bible. In total, she is the author of 66 detective novels, 14 volumes of short stories and 19 plays, which have been translated into over 70 languages ​​and have sold over 2 billion copies worldwide.

“And There Were None” (previously known as “Ten Little Negroes”) is probably Christie’s most popular detective story. Ten people, each suspected of murder, are invited by a mysterious host to his home on the island. When the second person is killed, guests quickly realize that what they initially believed to be an unfortunate accident is the killer’s work. They decide to discover his identity, but it turns out that no one has an alibi. Isolated from society, unable to leave their place of residence, they die one by one as described in the nursery rhyme that is displayed in their rooms.

Photo: Press materials

“And there was no one left,” book cover

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