We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Desert Island Crime with Robert Bryndza

Welcome to Desert Island Crime, where each week we ask a bestselling author: If you were stranded on a desert island and had to choose 8 books to take with you, what would you pick and why?

This week, we asked Robert Bryndza, whose latest thriller Nine Elms is out now, to reveal his top picks.

Over to you Robert:


I’m thrilled to be asked to list the eight crime thrillers I would take with me to a desert island. Whittling down the contents of my huge bookshelf has been tough. I read a book a week on average, so I decided that if I was washed ashore to a desert island, and stranded for some time, I would have to take the crime thrillers I keep revisiting. I have read the books on the list many times, and I know I will want to read them again and again.


Prime Suspect, Lynda La Plante

A gripping plot, and characters so real they could walk off the page. I read this as often as I watch the original TV series. Lynda writes brilliantly as a novelist and as a screenwriter and is a huge inspiration to me as a writer. I’m always excited to see what she does next.


The Wire in The Blood, Val McDermid

A masterclass in crime fiction writing. Knowing that Jacko Vance, the celebrity serial killer was based on Jimmy Savile gives this book an extra dose of chills.


The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris

I love Clarice Starling, as much as I love Hannibal Lecter, which I think is the genius of this book. I don’t think Lecter’s breath taking prison escape will ever be bettered!


Playing with Fire, Tess Gerritsen

I’m sneaking this onto the desert island. It’s not strictly in the crime genre, but this startlingly original novel is part thriller part historical fiction. It’s set in Venice and the U.S with twists and turns with elements of a whodunnit.


Mr Mercedes, Stephen King

Stephen King is the King. His first crime thriller didn’t disappoint. You love to love the good guys and you love to hate the bad guys.


The Secrets She Keeps, Michael Robotham

When a young baby is abducted, the story flips between the point of view of the baby’s mother, and the young woman who takes her. This novel has everything; it’s beautifully written, action packet with twists and turns, and the characters are so believable.


The Cuckoos Calling, Robert Galbraith

Cormoran Strike and Robin are two of the most original and addictive protagonists. This is such a great whodunnit, and is packed full of sharply drawn characters. I’ve read all the books in the series and can’t wait for the next!


The Sculptress, Minette Walters

I first read this as a teenager, and every time I’ve read it since, I get more out of it. The character of Olive Martin really gets under my skin, and if I’ve been reading this at night, I’ve been afraid to turn off the light.