It's not quite the end of the year yet, but close enough (and far enough away so I get to ask this question again in December) for me to ask everybody to share their favourite reads of the year.
There are two books that stand out for me so far. One I read a number of months ago and the other I finished last week.

First up is Ray Banks' SATURDAY'S CHILD. It's the defining book of the cricket bat wielding PI sub-sub-genre. Chances are if you're on Crimespace, you've already read it, but if not, sort it out quick, fellas.

The other book that blew me away is Don Winslow's THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE. Although I enjoyed the movie The Matador, this book takes the premise of that film and pulls it up more than a few notches, making for a belt that's tight enough to be used as a garrotte.

If I could steal genetic material from Ray, Don and Sara Gran (I'm thinking COME CLOSER), I would shove a needle-full of it in me and finish the novel I'm trying to write before the effects wore off.

Anyone else feel like sharing their faves (or warped fantasies like mine)?

Disclaimer: This post in no way condones the use of drugs by injection. Nothing wrong with imbibing something with a suitable mixer though.

Views: 69

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Oh goodie - just the sort of question I like - one that allows me to enthuse about books I have loved. So here's the list of my ten favourites books so far this year in the order I read them:

Megan Abbott - DIE A LITTLE - Megan's writing is beautifully rich and this is a really evocative noir story.

Ken Bruen - CROSS - Jack Taylor is one of crime fiction's most interesting, touching, tortured protagonists and Ken Bruen's writing skill just has me in awe.

Allan Guthrie - HARD MAN - A wonderful combination of all my favourite elements. It's violent, vicious, in-your-face and hilarious. And if that's not enough to tempt you, this is the only book I've ever read that contains a masturbating hamster.

Joe Lansdale - LOST ECHOES - Sort of supernatural noir. Joe Lansdale weaves such a wonderful tale. For me he is just a master storyteller.

Mark Haskell Smith - SALTY - Sex, drugs and rock and roll. What more could a girl want?

Ray Banks - DONKEY PUNCH - Superb writing, atmospheric, black humour, great dialogue. And Cal is a memorable protagonist - both honest and deluded at the same time, full of emotional depth, and utterly realistic.

Gil Brewer - A TASTE FOR SIN - A nasty book full of nasty people - bless its dark heart.

Kevin Wignall - WHO IS CONRAD HIRST? - One of those satisfyingly perfect books that all way through you are on edge wondering how it's all going to pan out, and then when you've finished it's so much more than you anticipated.

Steven Torres - THE CONCRETE MAZE - A gripping thriller that is also so full of heart and soul and raw emotion that it made me cry.

Declan Burke - THE BIG O - A kidnap caper that is very funny, exhilerating, violent and snappy. A cheeky little feelgood book that will make me smile for months to come whenever I think of it.

And a bonus - one I am still reading but which I know will be on my list at the end of the year - an anthology due out in December called HELL OF A WOMAN, edited by Megan Abbott and published by the wonderful Busted Flush Press. Has some great stories - I've not read all of them yet, but some of my favourites so far are by Naomi Hirahara, Christa Faust, Al Guthrie, Ken Bruen, Vicki Hendricks and Eddie Muller. And, what is probably one of the best short stories I have EVER read, one by Daniel Woodrell. It's perfection.
I feel all exclusive and special because I read THE CONCRETE MAZE back when it was called A BRONX JAM, so I couldn't rightfully include that in this year's reads. DONKEY PUNCH is on my piles (!), CROSS is going to join it once I read a few other Bruen tales, and soon as my dad reads the second half of TWO WAY SPLIT (is that just the one split then?), I'll dig into that too.

Then there are all these others to track down as well. Good stuff!
I finally read the complete Sherlock Holmes collection this summer. I loved it! I've read a lot of books this year (I spend three evenings a week in the car reading during dance class) but that has to be my favorite. I'm looking forward to Sue Grafton's T Is For Tresspass in December and have pre-ordered it. I think it will be second!
I can't say that I have one favorite book. I read so many, but here are a few that I particulary enjoyed.

Megan Abbott's Die A Little

Joseph Finder's Killer Instinct (I've just begun reading this one and it's great).

Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City

Chris Grabensein's Tilt A Whirl was a fun read

I was also pretty impressed with Bill Cameron's new book Lost Dog.
Laura Lippman's WHAT THE DEAD KNOW

Victor Gischler's PISTOL POETS

Megan Abbott's THE SONG IS YOU

Peter Spiegelman's RED CAT

Patrick Quinlan's THE TAKEDOWN


Other than those, I can't remember. School starts next week, and my daughter has to compile a list of the books she's read this summer. We are sadly failing at remembering any except the last Harry Potter. I feel pretty good I've remembered the ones on my list!
I also love Sara Gran, and raved about her latest, Dope -- an incredibly bleak, Bukowski-ish noir P.I. tale.

My favorite of the last year, though, was Frederick Turner's Redemption, a crime drama set in New Orleans' Storyville District in the early 20th century. Wonderful period detail, great plotting, and just damn beautiful writing. It got raves everywhere from The New York Times to Entertainment Weekly, and I couldn't figure out why it didn't take off in the mystery community.
I finally read both DOPE and COME CLOSER. Excellent, excellent writing.
Some of these are older books that I just got around to, but they still rate notice as being worthwhile reads.

S,J, Rozan - In This Rain

Richard Dietrich - Napoleon's Pyramids

William Landay - The Strangler

Robert Crais - The Monkee's Raincoat, Voodoo River

Dennis Lehane - Mystic River
Cross by Ken Bruen
Calibre by Ken Bruen
Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill
The Peddler by Richard Prather
Reasonable Doubts by Gianrico Carofiglio
The Vengeful Virgin by Gil Brewer
The Ruins by Scott Smith--not crime fiction (horror), and a painful read, but the writing in it blew me away.
Tim Maleeny--Stealing the Dragon (smart, witty, fun)
Patry Francis--The Liar's Diary (a wonderfully unreliable narrator)
Laura Lippman--What the Dead Know (just plain good)
Daniel Woodrell--Winter's Bone
Nick Stone's Mr. Clarinet and C.J. Box's Free Fire
If we're only talking about books that were published this year, I'd choose:

Christine Falls, by Benjamin Black, who is really John Banville
Stalin's Ghost, Martin Cruz Smith
The Snakeskin Shamisen, Naomi Hirahara
The Jewish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon
A Case of Two Cities, Qiu Xiaolong

But if we're nominating books we read for the first time this year, I'd add all three of Edward Wright's: Clea's Moon, The Silver Face, and Red Sky Lament. And also a bunch of John Shannon and John Harvey's three Frank Elder books, and about 50 others.


CrimeSpace Google Search

© 2024   Created by Daniel Hatadi.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service