I have not (yet) written as many book reviews this year as I would like. Doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading, though, and some of the titles on which I have yet to opine are ones I really enjoyed. So I wanted to give you a quick list, just in case you’re looking for something fantastic to read this fall.
I still plan to write full reviews of these books and others, of course, but in the meantime, here are quick summaries of 15 of them in no particular order (links lead to author’s website, except James Bowen, which leads to his Facebook page)…
THE NEXT ONE TO FALL by Hilary Davidson: Don’t have the time or finances for a trip to Peru? Never fear, reading this one is as good as making the trip. With a protagonist and sidekick who are among my new favorites, it’s a fast story that has just the right amount of melodrama (which I do mean as a compliment).
TRAIL OF BLOOD by Lisa Black: This one sat on my shelf for quite a while, and I read it because Lisa was going to be at an event I was attending. Turns out, she’s a fantastic storyteller, and this is one of a few books I’ve read this year that move between different time periods with exceptional aplomb.
BLEED FOR ME by Michael Robotham: Despite the fact that I really wanted to slap primary character psychologist Joe O’Loughlin upside the head at several points though this book, I got lost in the story.
FIFTEEN DIGITS by Nick Santora: Totally not my cup of tea, but damned if this wasn’t a bunch of fun. Like a TV show that everyone calls a “guilty pleasure,” only because it’s a book, there’s no guilt in it.
THE DEMANDS by Mark Billingham (GOOD AS DEAD is the UK title): Tom Thorne is back in what is, in my less-than humble opinion, the best Thorne tale so far by quite a ways. In a story that takes place over the course of just a few days, Billingham manages to draw characters more richly through a plot that is as smart as it is compelling.
DARE ME by Megan Abbott: I wasn’t a cheerleader in high school, and so maybe this is why I saw this as less of a “cheerleader story” and more of a plain old murder mystery.
CREOLE BELLE by James Lee Burke: I believe this book to be one of the most important of this century. If you have not read it, please do.
THE SURVIVOR by Gregg Hurwitz: This is one of just a handful of specific books I was really looking forward to reading this year (as a general rule, I prefer to let myself be surprised by my next read, rather than planning far in advance), and it does not disappoint. Hurwitz knows how to make readers’ adrenaline rush while tugging at their heartstrings, and he does so masterfully.
THE PROPHET by Michael Koryta: I had to learn quite a lot about football to fully appreciate this story, but it was worth the effort. While it’s not my favorite of Koryta’s books (that honor still goes to THE CYPRESS HOUSE), it kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read.
INTO THE DARKEST CORNER and REVENGE OF THE TIDE (DARK TIDE is the American title) by Elizabeth Haynes: These aren’t a series, and both are superb. Haynes has a manner of storytelling that gets into your psyche…and stays there.
SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn: While everyone and his uncle has was reading GONE GIRL, I figured it was time I finally get around to reading Gillian Flynn. So I began at the beginning with this one. I’m only sorry I didn’t get to it sooner.
LIVE BY NIGHT by Dennis Lehane: This one’s not out until October 2, and if you’re smart, you’ll preorder it right now. It is as fine a piece of storytelling as I’ve read in quite some time. And no, I’m not biased by the fact that it makes my city of residence look pretty damn cool.
SAFE HOUSE by Chris Ewan: This one has it all: location, characters, delightfully twisty plot…and motorcycles! Lots of motorcycles. Part police procedural and part thriller, this is a fantastic read.
STREET CAT NAMED BOB by James Bowen: One of the loveliest Saturdays I’ve spent so far this year was consumed by this book. It isn’t crime fiction—although crimes do happen—but rather is a story about what can happen when humans open their hearts.