Gritty Crime Novels

Shorter days. Longer nights. Cold. Sleet. Gray skies. If you really want to lean in to the bleak midwinter, check out these gritty crime novels. Don’t be fooled by some of the sunny settings. Flawed heroes, pessimistic viewpoints, and stark writing all feature in these harsh tales tailor-made for days you’d rather stay inside.  

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The Captive

In the near-future Brooke Holland has escaped from her violent past and lives under a new identity in a rural area of a secessionist state with her family. But her past comes back with a vengeance when an old rival attacks Brooke in her shed, and forces Brooke and her family to go on the run. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

City of Dark Corners

Gene Hammons, a former Phoenix homicide detective who was pushed out of the department when he refused to compromise his principles, teams up with his brother who is still on the force to investigate the death of a woman whose body was found dismembered and placed by the railroad tracks. The investigation leads from the wrong side of the tracks to the highest echelons of society in 1933 Phoenix. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.

Low Desert: Gangster Stories

Twelve character-driven short stories set in various time periods center around organized crime in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

The Night Singer

Newly-appointed to the Kalmar police force, Hanna Duncker returns to her Swedish island hometown after fleeing from it 16 years ago when her father was sent to jail for murder and the residents turned against her.  


A mix of horror, thriller, and Western this genre mash-up follows two vampire-like brothers known as rovers as they cross the Southwest hunting undesirables to feed upon while simultaneously attempting to protect a young woman and escape the chaos and carnage of an undead biker gang.

Velvet Was the Night

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the most exciting and versatile voices in modern fiction. Here she sets her sights on 1970s Mexico. A daydreaming secretary entranced by dime-store comics finds herself caught up in a hidden world of young radicals after investigating the disappearance of her friend and neighbor. You can also check out this title as eBook or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.