A HARD-hitting thriller was the most sought- after book amongst North East library users last year.
More readers borrowed Private London by veteran crime writer James Patterson and Mark Pearson than any other publication, according to new statistics released today.
The American author secured five of the top slots in the list of most-borrowed titles from North East libraries, all of them titles he co-wrote with other authors.
The league, compiled by Public Lending Right, gives a yearly snapshot of changing tastes among readers.
Patterson’s thriller, which centres around the investigation into a killer who abducts young women and mutilates them in a particularly mysterious way, was the fourth most popular nationally.
As well as securing the North East top slot, Patterson was also the most popular author in libraries across the UK as a whole for the sixth year running.
The rest of this year’s North East top 10, based on library activity from July 2011 to June 2012, is made up almost entirely of crime titles.
Dr Jim Parker, registrar of the Public Lending Right, said: “Overall, US crime fiction and thrillers, particularly those by James Patterson, are hugely popular in the North East, with eight of the top 10 most borrowed books belonging to the genre.”
Authors Josephine Cox and Danielle Steel were the only non-crime writers to make the list.
Historical romantic dramas, like the works of Catherine Cookson which were firm favourites with readers a decade ago, have been increasingly overlooked in favour of crime titles in recent years.
The South Shields-born author previously had seven of the top 10 adult fiction books from 1999-2009, including the top three.
In total, the works of Dame Catherine, which sold nearly 100 million books in 30 countries, were borrowed more than 14 million times.