Well. Here we are again. 2020 has been a kind of madness for all of us and a lot of people have struggled with their reading mojo, through all of the worry and disruption. But my reading log still saw a lot of action, if rather sporadically. I think this year has been the toughest for me when it comes to picking a Top Ten. I’m even doing it a day earlier than usual having woken up this morning worried if I didn’t do it now I never would.
So here is my personal top ten of the year..I hope you enjoy perusing the list and maybe find something you missed.
The City We Became is a quirky, imaginative and sprawling tale about a city and its protectors- you won’t have read anything like it before. I can also highly recommend all of this author’s novels. It is writing and storytelling like no other that gives a new and speculative perspective of the many challenges facing us today whilst being wildly entertaining and highly thought provoking.
Next up Devolution. Oh gosh I devoured this one in short order whilst its protagonists were often being devoured themselves. Written in a documentary style, this is the legend of Bigfoot like you’ve never seen it before.
Blood Red City. My good friend and erstwhile drinking companion Rod Reynolds decided to come back from the past and into the present with this amazingly addictive and beautifully written modern noir thriller, set in the authors home town. You won’t be able to put this one down once you pick it up…
True story is one of the cleverest novels about the vagaries of memory that I have ever read. Following several characters as they live life after a defining event, the truth as it is slowly revealed is stunning in its complexity and beautifully crafted.
What to say about Truth Be Told. Well it takes a well worn premise and turns it on its head. It is addictively cleverly written and one of the most thought provoking novels I read in 2020. I still think about this one a lot.
Third year in a row in my top ten for the amazing Khurrum Rahman as we once more enter the world of one of my favourite fictional characters, the indomitable Jay. This is fast paced, ironically relevant, often very funny even as it is dark…and I loved it from first page to last.
The Hunted, when I finished it, went straight onto my top ten list no messing. Short but packing one hell of a punch, this is the edgiest edge of the seat thriller you will read in any year you read it. It also has the benefit of stunningly immersive writing and a huge sense of horror and unpredictability.
John Connolly takes us back into Charlie Parker’s past with The Dirty South and boy is it good. If you follow this series it really gives you an extra insight into out much loved main protagonist of the darkly horrific and if you are late to the party then this is for you. It will almost guarantee you’ll go back and read every novel there is about Charlie and his fateful mythology.
Will had my no 1 last year, this year he’s been pushed back to second but let me tell you that was a tough tough call. Hinton Hollow Death Trip is as crazy as a box full of frogs, but it is also hugely observant, wryly intelligent and absolutely brilliant. Say no more.
So who could POSSIBLY beat Will? Well. I’ll have to apologise that you’ll have to wait a bit to get hold of it…
Oh boy. The Last House on Needless Street. There was no choice in this choice. The minute I put it down I knew this was THE ONE. There is not actually a lot you can say without spoiling the utter, bleak beauty of the read you just have to go with it. What I will say is this is the best horror novel you’ll read, the best psychological thriller you’ll read and when you get to the end you will be a wreck of emotional turmoil. Catriona Ward is an incredible writer. Do not miss this.
So. There you go. I hope you’ve all enjoyed my choices and I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s in this most strange of years.
Here’s to 2021. Hopefully better for us all.
Happy Reading! And sleep well tonight…