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 Chris Brookmyre


Each week we ask a bestselling crime writer to reveal what 8 chilling titles they would take with them if stranded on a desert island.

This week, Chris Brookmyre, the multi-award-winning crime writer reveals his top picks. Over to you Chris…


The Crow Road – Iain Banks

A murder mystery at the heart of a sprawling, gothic family saga, graced by one of the greatest opening lines in all literature: “It was the day my grandmother exploded.”


Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams

I read this twice back-to-back in 1987 because it is such a different experience once you know what is really going on. I come back to it every few years because it is so much fun.


Laidlaw – William McIlvanney

I first read this when I was living in London and it transported me back to Glasgow while reminding me that there were good reasons not to miss the place too much. It would perform the same function on a desert island. The original tartan noir novel.


Slow Horses – Mick Herron

You need company on an island, so why not share it with a bunch of misfits ruled over by one of the most grotesque, compelling and hilarious creations of twenty-first-century crime writing, the incomparable Jackson Lamb.


The Thought Gang – Tibor Fischer

A tale of mismatched criminals with a philosophical approach to bank robbery. This made me cry with laughter each time I read it.


The Long Drop – Denise Mina

One night of true-crime mayhem that depicts a Glasgow gone but not mourned. There would be no pubs on a desert island, but this would bring them to life so vividly that my clothes would smell of tobacco.


The Alienist – Caleb Carr

Perhaps my favourite historical crime novel. A story about the application of emerging sciences to the art of detective work, set amidst a sprawling nineteenth-century New York.


On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – Ian Fleming

I grew up on the Bond novels, and this was my favourite of them. With no TV on my island, I could play this one in my head with Sean Connery in the part.


Thanks Chris for some brilliant recommendations!


Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre is now out in paperback, audio and ebook.