20 Best Books Like Crime and Punishment (Classic Literature)

The bestseller and the most famous masterpiece of Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, are among the most significant novels that remain unchallenged. No matter how often you re-read, it will always retain its effect and power on you. 

20 Best Books Like Crime and Punishment (Classic Literature)

Author Fyodor Dostoevsky conveys this meaningful and thrilling story strikingly. In this classic Russian literature, a destitute murderer, Rodion Raskolnikov, justifies the murder he committed and tells the story in a way that kidnaps even innocent readers into its enormity. 

Rodion, a former student of Saint Petersburg, killed an old woman who hid her money and other valuable things in her flat. He believes the stolen money will free him from poverty. 

Thus, he tries to convince himself he did the right thing. He thinks, ‘What could possibly be wrong with committing some crimes that will lead you to attain your higher goals?’ Unfortunately, karma came knocking. 

Everything he believed was just an illusion that did not last. Now he’s only left with confusion, disgust, horror, and guilt; above all, he has to face the consequences of his action. 

The characters, twists, every dialogue, and lines of the cat-and-mouse games between the culprit and the detective will leave you questioning your innermost thoughts. It’s one book that immerses its readers into its pages and lines and portrays the characters realistically. 

Unsurprisingly, this book is famous for being “a high water mark of world literature.”

As you come to the end pages of this novel, you surely want to read other books similar to it. This article highlights the 20 best classic literature books like Crime and Punishment.

The Stranger

The Stranger

The way Camus conveys her story simply yet captivatingly is outstanding and amusing. Everyone judges Meursault as cold and inhumane. However, he is a human detached from the world. 

The priest, judge, and lawyers try to force their opinion on how to live or act. And because he didn’t comply with their living manner, they deem him a monster in human clothing. 

The Stranger is that classic literature that will leave you with more physiological questions than it answers. And these questions mostly need an answer.

Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons is a classic Russian literature that tells the story of two friends-: a talented, sardonic, impatient nihilist Bazarov and a delicate and compassionate Arkady Kirsanov. These two friends visited Arkady’s house. However, the warm welcome did not last. 

Bazarov’s outspoken attitude toward authority and social tradition births disputes, misunderstandings, and entanglements that will change the Karsanov family forever. This 19th-century Russian literature depicts the life of the upper class. And guess what? There is a touch of romance…….

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

What do you think about classic literature with a touch of horror and French fiction? It will surely rock! 

Wilde’s beautifully written piece will leave you wowed and yearning for more. The perfect way he depicts shallowness, casual ruthlessness, and hedonistic greed shows his brilliance. 

Wilde introduces you to three main protagonists, the innocent yet tainted Dorian Gray, the arrogant, intelligent, self-confident villain, Lord Henry, and the innocent painter Basil Hallward. You are not ready for the twists, turns, betrayal, love, hate, and emotions you will experience. 

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness (Reader's Library Classics)

The human heart is full of corruption. Why is that so? Joseph Conrad takes his reader on a journey into the darkness of the human heart in his literary fiction, Heart of Darkness

It’s a narrative within a story in which Charlie Marlow narrates his childhood experiences to some group of men on a ship. 

You get to meet different characters: Charlie the narrator, and the well-known emissary of progress, Kurtz, who thinks of himself as a god among the people. Charlie only has one description for him: a madman. 

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina (Wordsworth Classics)

Anna Karenina is a must-read if you love classic Russian literature, Crime and Punishment. The novel focuses on various characters you will love and hate. Anna was a good wife until she met the dashing Count Vronsky. 

You also get to meet Anna’s reputable husband Karenina, an accurately educated double of Tolstoi, Levine, the simple and adorable woman Kitty, the well-behaved but strategic parasite, Oblonski, and other characters that will take you around the Russian district. 

You’ll remain seated in one position from the beginning to the end. 

And Then there were None

And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie Mysteries Collection (Paperback))

Ten strangers. One island. Unknown host. Mysterious death. Everyone has something they are hiding and a crime they must pay for. Copies of the dreaded nursery rhyme the Ten Little Soldier boys are present in every room. 

Each Stranger’s death matches the deadly lines of the rhyme. With death knocking, the remaining people will do anything to stay alive and unravel the murderer. Anything!! Follow their quest for survival in Agatha’s beloved story



George Orwell merges classic, science fiction, dystopian genre, and school fantasy brilliantly. Little wonder his readers want more of this classic piece. 1984 is a book like Crime and Punishment that will change your view about ideology and leadership. 

It helps you see the flaws, the scathing, and the dark side in an absolute sense. Every chapter and page of this novel will let you experience the incredible, tormenting feeling that will grip you right from the start.

Dead Souls

Dead Souls

Dead Souls is a good option if you are a 19th-century Russian literature fan. Gogol perfectly combines genuineness and the symbolism of Russian life in his novel. It’s a humorous satire that opens all your emotional doors. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s the first outstanding classic of Russian literature. Trust me, you can’t get enough of this book.

War and Peace 


Leo Tolstoy’s bestseller novel War and Peace portrays Napoleon’s attack on Russia in 1812. You follow the life of three famous literary characters; 

The Count’s legitimate son, Prince Bezukhov, is fighting for his heritage and trying again for spiritual fulfillment. 

The brave warrior, Prince Andrei Bolonsky, left his family to participate in the war. 

And the young good looking Natasha is the daughter of a noble that intrigues both men. 

Will they end up having an affair with her? Will peace return to Russia again? 

The Old Man and the Sea 

The Old Man and the Sea: The Hemingway Library Edition

Hemingway’s novella is one of the most successful works that won him the Nobel Prize for literature. Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman, fought relentlessly with the most fantastic catch of his life- the great Marlin. 

But that wasn’t his biggest problem. The problem is how to reach his hometown with the fish and survive the numerous shark attacks they will encounter. 

Although it is a modern story, it’s one of the classic books like Crime and Punishment that is worth reading. 


Oblomov: New Translation

Oblomov! Oblomov!! This classic Russian literature is a must-read for every literary fanatic. 

Beneath the sloth of Oblomov is the question of his entire existence, which no one could answer. Ivan describes the facets of Russian philosophy, intelligence, essence, sentiments, and lifestyle from the superficial to the deepest level. 

No wonder every reader exclaims after reading, What a book! 

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley Novels Book 3)

Alec Leamas returns to London thinking he can return to his everyday life. But that is not what is in his spymaster, Control mind. Alec must take one last mission. A very dangerous one! 

This time Alec is to become the dishonored spy and trick the adversary into his final defeat. This bestseller novel is so unique and intriguing that it makes each strand of hair stand. You’re surely going to love it! 

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

What do you expect when an iconic fiction writer writes an iconic non-fiction classic? You will expect a book to keep you glued to your seat all night. That’s how you feel when you read In Cold Blood, a truly epic story of the Clutter family’s heinous killings.  

As you read between each line about the alternating accounts of the family, the killers, and other characters who are part of the crime, you feel your emotions steer. It can even open the floodgates in your eyes. However,  it’s worth every second you spend. 



Murphy is a piece of art that explodes majestically. The protagonist, Murphy, is idle, unsympathetic, and a contradicted fellow who mistreats women. But how he converts from good-for-nothing to an asylum caretaker is unique. 

Samuel introduces you to entertaining supporting roles like the boozer Cooper, The pathetic lyricist, Ticklepenny, The lustful Irish Miss Couninan, The malodorous landlady Miss Corridge, Murphy’s caring betrothed, Celicia. All these personalities give life to the book, whose essence is a failure. 

Les Miserables

Les Miserables (Translated by Isabel F. Hapgood)

Les Miserables, also known as The Wretched Ones, is not one of those classics with a happy ending. Victor takes you on a journey that portrays the lives and interactions of different characters, especially Jean Valijean, an ex-convict, and his tale of redemption. 

This 19th-century literature depicts how people of lower status in France try to fit into society. You need to get ready for everything you will experience in this remarkable novel. 

The Brothers Karamazov 

The brothers Karamazov

This Russian literature is another masterpiece of Dostoevsky you want to take advantage of. The story revolves around the murder enigma, courtroom drama, and erotic feud involving the vicious Karamazov and his three sons. 

The Brothers Karamazov shed more light on the Russian lifestyle and social and spiritual striving in what appears to be a tragic change in Russian culture. Therefore it’s a must-read for every Crime and Punishment fan. 

The Executioner’s Song 

The Executioner's Song (Director's Cut)

Gary Gilmore, an armed robber, killed two strangers after the robbery. After his trial, Gary insisted he should be executed for his crime. But the system decided to keep him alive. 

Gary’s fame skyrocketed because he fought for the right to die. And he became the first person executed in 10 years. Mailer shows the wickedness down to the most profound origin of American Violence and loneliness. 

He wrote books like Crime and Punishment simply and remarkably. Yet it is a crime literature that is unforgettable. 

The Red Room

Red Room

Are you a lover of beautifully written creepy ghost stories? Then you will never regret reading The Red Room. The novel follows the short tale of a man who wants to stay in the red room, which everyone knows is a haunted house. 

He’s determined to prove to the community that there are no such things as ghosts or supernatural beings. Wells amazed his readers with the perfect manner he merges the Gothic rite of horror and the psychological fears that man developed over the century because of the era of alienism and psychological interest. 

As you flip through each page, the characters become natural to you the more you become immersed in the Red Room. 

The Resurrection

The Resurrection

Leo’s last classic fiction, The Resurrection, tells the tale of a young noble, Dimitri, who must give what it takes to redeem a young girl, Katrina, imprisoned in Siberia. 

Dimitri caused everything that happened to her; he ruined her whole life- she lost her job as a servant and was sent packing, and now she has to face the panel for a crime she never committed. 

And he will do anything to right his wrong…. Compared to other Russian classic literature, you are unprepared for the shocking ending you will experience. 

Fatal Vision

Fatal Vision: A True Crime Classic

McDonald had a beautiful family-a caring wife, and two beautiful daughters and they lived peacefully. But one night, he destroyed his precious family by killing them all. Cruel, isn’t it? But that is not all! 

Like  Rodion, he denied the accusation and blamed it on the four intruders. But will the truth come to light? Will he ever feel remorse for what he did? Will he suffer the proper retribution? Get all your answers in Fatal Vision

Final Thoughts 

Every book mentioned in this article has its own uniqueness. This set of classic literature (fiction and nonfiction) gives you deep insight into the life of Russian, American, and French people back then. 

Although each book’s stories might differ slightly from Crime and Punishment, they will satisfy your Classic book cravings and tap into the most profound emotion you never knew existed. Enjoy your fantastic read! 

Frequently Asked Question

Is Crime and Punishment Novels Hard to Read?

This book is relatively easy to read. However, it depends on the translation you choose to read.

What is the Primary Message of Crime and Punishment?

The main idea of this novel is alienation. Rodion thinks he’s superior to other people, so he separates himself from others in society. 

He sees them as tools and uses them for his benefit.

How Old is Raskolnikov?

He’s a 23-year-old ex-student who is exceedingly handsome, taller than average, slim, and sturdy. He also has a dark eyeball and a deeper shade of brown hair.

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