|Wishing you all the best this festive season!|
Anyway, many of the fictional books I've read this year have been really good reads, but I had to narrow it down to those I've found unputdownable (my criteria for star rating as well). I must say I don't tend to read many of the big names, other than John Le Carré and Deon Meyer, and I haven't read any of theirs this year at all (except J le C's memoir, which will be in my other post). So below are the books and authors that have really stood out for me in the past twelve months. You'll probably notice I am a big crime mystery and detective fiction fan!
Carol Hedges: Rack and Ruin; Wonders and Wickedness
I read both books this year and just loved them. Carol Hedges' ability to evoke Victorian London, mix it with social comment, a few grisly crimes and some wonderful lead and cameo characters is just superb. I love Stride and Cully, Lilith and all the other 'regulars' as well as the new stories and characters each book brings.
Terry Tyler: Tipping Point; Lindisfarne
I've read all Terry Tyler's books and for me, these two are just amazing, the magnum opus of her writing. I never read post apocalyptic books as a rule, but since these are so character driven, I found them utterly compelling. The first, Tipping Point, is about what happens to survivors when a deadly virus kills the majority of the British population; the second continues the story of those survivors when they attempt to form a new community on the island of Lindisfarne. Incredibly realistic and so well written!
L M Krier: Only The Lonely; Wild Thing; Walk On By
DI Darling and his crew have become huge favourites of mine, and I romp through every single book. These three are 5, 6 and 7 of a series of nine books (so far). They all deal with topical issues and are, I think, very real portrayals of police procedures. I've become very fond of Ted and Trev, not to mention the others in the cast of characters!
Lynn M Dixon: Gardens of Green
Gardens of Green is the last of the Tyre and Phoenix series. Lynn Dixon's writing is strangely addictive. It's like meditation in words. Inspirational, calm and rhythmic, she focuses on details that should be tedious, but somehow aren't. I enjoyed this one the most of the whole series.
Christina James: Rooted in Dishonour
I've followed Christina James' DI Yates series from the first and this was a very absorbing read. I'm never sure if I really like Tim Yates, but that makes him very real. As always, an unputdownable read. This book focused on the very topical problem of sex slavery.
Deborah Crombie (sorry, quite a big name! I forgot): Garden of Lamentations
The Kincaid and James novels are my all time favourite crime fiction books. I have loved every one of them and this one was just as gripping as the previous books. Deborah Crombie's powers of describing modern London are as good as Carol Hedges' skill at its Victorian version.
Diana J Febry: The Skeletons of Birkbury and The Point of No Return
Again, two detective novels I've romped through; this time set in the west country, which I love because it was where I grew up. I thoroughly enjoyed them both, particularly Diana Febry's cast of country characters who strike me as being totally authentic.
Stephanie Parker McKean: Bridge to Texas; I'm the Grasshopper
These two of Stephanie Parker McKean's rollicking mysteries are set in Texas. Her sense of place is wonderful and all I want to do when I'm reading them is go there, explore the Texas hill country and meet all the colourful people who occupy her books. Great escapism and great story telling.
Lucinda E Clarke: Amie Cut for Life
This is the fourth in a series of action adventure books about an English girl caught up in undercover operations in Africa. Set partly in real southern African countries and partly in a couple of fictional countries, Amie's adventures are fast paced, edge of the seat stuff that are really enjoyable. What makes them even more special, however, is the author's knowledge of Africa: its terrain, wildlife and people. I love them because I can be there, in Africa, while I am reading.
Jan Ruth: Midnight Sky
I read this early in the year and remember I could barely put it down. Jan Ruth's family dramas are excellent and this one, involving an interior designer and a horse whisperer within the magical setting of north Wales, is totally gripping. Her love of animals is a very appealing feature of these novels.
Apologies for the lack of pictures, but with most authors having more than two books in this list, it would have been too much!
Okay, that's really me done on my blog for this year, so Happy Christmas reading allemaal!