Top 10 Crime Reads for Christmas 2008

1. The Business - Martina Cole
Headline £18.99

"She's number 1 on our Christmas list - again - and we're sure not to be the only ones! The Business is classic Martina. It’s a bravura performance and a very easy, yet satisfying read. The ever-popular Martina Cole is simply everywhere right now (and she'll be even more omnipresent in 2009... watch this space!). Bravo Martina! You just keeps going from strength to strength."

2. Portobello - Ruth Rendell
Hutchinson £18.99

"We learned in 2008 not to call Ruth Rendell a "Queen of Crime" (she thinks it a somewhat lazy description)... but she still rules! This book will doubtless please all her fans and create many new ones along the way."

3. The Private Patient - P.D. James
Faber and Faber £18.99

"How does P.D. James manage to maintain that innocent, youthful sparkle in her eyes and write such extraordinary - and deeply disturbing - crime novels? A must for every reader!"

4. Doors Open - Ian Rankin
Orion £18.99

"Rebus is dead (well, not quite...) - long live Rankin! This is a book of extraordinary power and great literary merit. Proving - if proof were ever needed - what an amazing force Ian Rankin is in UK crime fiction."

5. Deadly Intent - Lynda La Plante
Simon & Schuster £17.99

"Almost the definition of a page-turner that you won't be able to put down... Lynda La Plante writes beautifully plotted stories featuring characters who vividly inhabit 'ordinary' lives met with extraordinary circumstances. A word of warning, however. Don't start reading 'til boxing day... you may miss your turkey!"

6. CrossCountry - James Patterson
Century £18.99

"OK, so Patterson is a bit of an industry, but it is a well-oiled machine that creates stunning crime/thriller books enjoyed by millions. Here Alex Cross is drawn into a bitter personal battle against corruption, conspiracy and savage violence in a chase that takes him through a vast and uncompromising landscape. Enjoy!"

7. Agatha Raisin and a Spoonful of Poison - M.C. Beaton
Constable Crime £18.99

"This is the 19th Agatha Raisin outing. The series seems to have grown in stature over the series and appears to receive an almost ‘cultish’ reverence from readers. Our review of this book said; 'Rather like Agatha Christie on acid...' A perfect mixture of crime and sheer entertainment - and a great gift."

8. Scarpetta - Patricia Cornwell
Little, Brown £18.99

"This novel is an extraordinary return to form for Cornwell. The only thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered and that more violent deaths will follow...Intense entertainment guaranteed."

9. A Most Wanted Man - John Le Carré
Hodder and Stoughton £18.99

"A Most Wanted Man is alive with humour, yet prickles with tension until the last heart-stopping page. It is also a work of deep humanity, and uncommon relevance to our times. This novel demonstrates Le Carré - the consumate writer of intelligent and highly popular thrillers - on top form."

10. Silks - Dick Francis and Felix Francis
Michael Joseph Ltd. £18.99

"Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a new Dick Francis in your stocking... Both Dick Francis and his son, Felix, work closely on these new novels. With Silks, Messrs Francis have given us an energetic novel that runs at a galloping pace right from the starting post."