Crime fiction leads in British Libraries

Perhaps not a surprise this, but it has been revealed that loans in UK libraries between July 2010 and June 2011 are dominated completely by thrillers. Top of the pile is Dan Brown and his latest effort, The Lost Symbol, which like the rest of the titles on the main list (see below) I have to admit I have not read yet. When I say ‘yet’, I can’t see myself reading the Brown and the Patterson juggernaut seems to have passed me by (the movie versions haven’t helped either). But I like Rankin and am intrigued by Coben in particular.

Lending libraries in the UK are suffering very badly as part of the inherent phlistinism of the cuts by the current government and various groups are looking to support this crucial institution and try to reverse some of the further closures planned – for more information, please visit:


  1. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
  2. 61 Hours, Lee Child
  3. Private, James Patterson
  4. 9th Judgement, James Patterson
  5. Worst Case, James Patterson
  6. Caught, Harlan Coban
  7. Don’t Blink, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
  8. The Postcard Killers, James Patterson and Lisa Marklund
  9. The Complaints, Ian Rankin
  10. Worth Dying For, Lee Child

As a Lee Child newbie I will definitely go to my local tomorrow and borrow one of his books if I can find a copy as they are obviously popular!

This entry was posted in 'Best of' lists, Lee Child, Support Your Local Library Challenge. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Crime fiction leads in British Libraries

  1. Colin says:

    interesting if unsurprising list. I haven’t read any of those titles either as the majority of modern thriller writing has passed me by, and what I have read has left me cold if I’m going to be honest.

    • Hi Colin – I’m not much for the big blockbuster thriller writers anyway to be honest (never read a Tom Clancy or even a John Grisham), though I do seem to watch many of the movie adaptations! A lot of the ones that I have read do often read like they are angling for Hollywood filming anyway – I recently read Linwood Barclay’s No Time To Say Goodbye and quite enjoyed it, but at times it felt like a movie novelisation in reverse!

  2. Mike says:

    I’ve had Voices for the Library on my Facebook account for a long time now – what a brilliant job they’ve done of keeping up the good fight, even in the face of relentless cutting.

    The only one I’ve read from the list is Dan Brown (my wife is the prolific crime reader), though I have tried to keep up with Rankin over the years and think he’s brilliant. As for The Lost Symbol, it indeed read like the film adaptation was just around the corner. There were several good moments but my main memory of it is being incredibly disappointed by the relentless build-up and utterly flat ending.

    • Thanks for the comments Mike – presumably Tom Hanks will be back to mine box office Gold at the bank of Brown! Apparently 10 years ago the top 10 was full of books by Catherine Cookson …

  3. Patrick says:

    I haven’t read any of the books on the list, but I always try to take advantage of my local libraries. In fact, the Canadian library system seems to be the enemy of all the rare-book hunters in the mystery blogosphere…

    • ‘Enemy’ may be putting it a little bit srongly, but it is definitely creating some serious envy on this side of the pond mate!

      • TomCat says:

        Patrick, this continent has learned a lot from two devastating wars and we naturally become wary when confronted with an organization like the Canadian library system. It has nothing at all to do with envy, but with the fact that we’ve seen this show before and know how it’s going to end. 😉

        Anyway, I have not read a single sentence from any of those writers, but then again, that’s hardly a surprise.

        • Hi TomCat, so we’re going to guilt Patrick into feeding our habit? Very Francis Durbridge … I hope your national lending library system is in healthier shape than our at the moment.

          With regards to the list, Rankin is most definitely worth a look.


  4. John says:

    I’m sure Patterson and Child would also appear on a US list of most often checked out library books. But I’m not thrilled that Patterson’s name appears so often in that list. I think he’s an utter hack. He sure sells busloads of books over here. At every book sale I ever visit (and it can be in ANY state in the country) there are usually half a table full of his books. Sometimes boxes are solely devoted to Patterson books. But he’s read and dumped. No one seems to be keeping his books. What does that tell you?

    In Chicago I can tell you it’s been very difficult to get a hold of Megan Abbot’s latest book in a bookstore or in a library. All copies are always out in the branches of the Chicago library and we have the third largest system in the country. It’s encouraging to me to know that a crime fiction writer of literary merit and excellent storytelling skills is one of the most popular these days – at least in my city.

    I have a copy of 61 HOURS and hope I can get to in as part of my Mt. TBR Challenge. I hear nothing but great things about it. It will be the first Lee Child book I’ve ever read.

    • Cheers John – Patterson really does seem to have covered the entire beach with his towels (so to speak) so the sheer weight of numbers must be a factor. But perhaps that is the nature, in part at least of, of library borrowing for some – books you want to read but not necessarily to buy and keep, at least for some. Thanks also for the reminder about Megan Abbott – very much on my list of new authors for 2012.

  5. The last Dan Brown novel I read was ANGELS AND DEMONS and, frankly, Sergio, I couldn’t put it down. He tells a gripping tale in a gripping style. I have enjoyed Tom Clancy over the years and recently had occasion to read THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. But then, I’m a sucker for Cold War thrillers. Clancy reminds me of another forgotten novelist, Donald Lindquist, known for BERLIN TUNNEL 21 and THE RED GODS. Then there is John le Carré, superior in so many ways. I have yet to read James Patterson and Ian Rankin.

    • I really liked the movie of Red October and adore spy fiction in general, especially Le Carre, Deighton, Adam Hall et al, so I don’t mean to sound dismissive. But I did find the sheer length of some of the Clancy books off-putting frankly (not too crazy about his politics either …). I have not read Lindquist at all but shall keep a look out, thanks very much.

      • Bacon Fry says:

        My trouble with Tom Clancy is when he gets all excited about military hardware and goes on about it at some length over several pages. Some of us like things like plot, Tom, not creaming over some new helicopter. Still, I remember liking Patriot Games a lot, and the 1990s series of films were generally very good, indeed I recall Harrison Ford’s Jack Ryan once being touted as a replacement for James Bond. Then he became Ben Affleck, 007 got better, and it was all over.

        • Hello Mike, I think I too tend to blow a a bit cold about an over-emphasis of hardware – I have that problem with some of the Alistair Maclean thrillers, where I tended to skip all the descriptions of hardware and seafaring to get to the next twist. Now there’s another authors from my teens that I have never revisited except in terms of the movie versions – of course, in his case, he eventually got to the point where he would write an original screenplay and then turn it into a novel – real bit of synergy there …

  6. Pingback: 61 HOURS by Lee Child | Tipping My Fedora

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