Top guns: Britain’s favourite crime writers

American thriller writer James Patterson is very popular with library users in Britain. Not only is he the author of Sail, the most borrowed book last year, but of 17 others on the list of 250 most borrowed books. Most of them, however, were collaborations with other authors.

That leaves the field clear for another American, Patricia Cornwell, to claim the honour of being the favourite crime writer of library users in Britain. She authored five books on the list: The Front, No 7; Book Of The Dead, 22; Scarpetta, 78; At Risk, 81; and Predator, 205.


Other American crime and thriller writers with at least two books on the list include Lee Child (Nothing To Lose, No 6; Bad Luck and Trouble, 84; The Hard Way, 141), Harlan Coben (Hold Tight, 8; The Woods, 175), John Grisham (The Appeal, 9; Playing For Pizza, 80; The Associate, 166), Jeffery Deaver (The Broken Window, 36; The Sleeping Doll, 148; The Bodies Left Behind, 212), Michael Connelly (The Overlook, 35; The Brass Verdict, 44, and Echo Park, 199) and David Baldacci (The Whole Truth, 85; Divine Justice, 186; Stone Cold, 210). Clive Cussler has five books on the list: Plague Ship, 51; The Navigator, 68; Arctic Drift, 114; The Chase, 121; and Skeleton Coast, 207. But The Chase is the only one he wrote himself; the rest are collaborations.

British crime and thriller writers with two or more books on the list include Ian Rankin (Exit Music, No 13, Doors Open, No 15), Ruth Rendell (Not In The Flesh, 57; Portobello, 71; The Water’s Lovely, 234), Jack Higgins (Rough Justice, 28; The Killing Ground, 82), Karin Slaughter (Fractured, 23; Skin Privilege, 232), Reginald Hill (A Cure For All Diseases, 45; The Roar Of Butterflies, 111), Peter Robinson (All The Colours Of Darkness, 64; Friend Of The Devil, 136), Andy McNab (Brute Force,129; Crossfire, 230), Val McDermid (A Darker Domain, 38; Beneath The Bleeding, 105) and Dick Francis, who died two days ago at the age of 89. He and his son, Felix Francis, wrote Silks, No 93, and Dead Heat, No 213 on the list.

My previous post has a list of books popular in Singapore libraries.

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