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The best thrillers and crime fiction of 2019 so far

Four book covers

Our critic rounds up the best crime fiction offerings of the year so far

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson (Dialogue) ★★★★☆

“What chance did I stand between the Communists on one side and the Establishment on the other?” complains the working-class spy in Len Deighton’s The Ipcress File. The heroine of Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel would share the sentiment.

Marie Mitchell is a black woman working for the FBI in the mid-Eighties, in a culture of “machismo and knee-jerk conservatism”, getting nowhere while her colleagues tick her off for not smiling enough. When she gets her big break, tasked with getting some intel on Thomas Sankara, the visiting president of Burkina Faso, it’s because she’s...

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