Top Ten for best reads this year.

Yes it’s that time of year again – slightly earlier than usual as I’m taking some time off in December- here are my personal top 10 of the year. A top 11 to be precise given that my no 1 spot this year is shared by two very different but equally incredible books.

Keep an eye out for more top picks for 2020, including an Orenda special, over the next week.

Here we go then.


A Boy And His Dog was one of the first books this year to really ding my emotions- post apocalyptic road trip with an unexpected ending, some beautifully descriptive writing and a melancholy feel. I loved it and you can purchase it here.


Chris Hauty’s Deep State was one of the most addictive books I read this year and deserves it’s place in this list for the great plotting that saw me completely on the floor over several reveal moments I genuinely didn’t see coming- that is so very unusual these days that I want to make everyone read it and you can pre-order it here.


I was wondering what might replace my Expanse obsession when the final book is done next year, then along came John Birmingham and Cruel Stars, an epic adventure in space with some super cool characters, terrific writing and a plot to die for. I’m desperate for more but the rest of you can find it here


Liz Moore’s Long Bright River had me enthralled throughout- literary style crime with an intensely moving and powerful sibling relationship set against the backdrop of a dark Philadelphia which the author brings to vivid reality. You can purchase it here.


The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is simply WONDERFUL for any fan of literature or of adventure- immaculately plotted and featuring many characters you’ll recognise this is likely to be one of the most fun reads of your life. The writing is darned good too and you can pick one up here.


A late addition to my list Susi Holliday’s Violet is impressive, not only in it’s highly engaging, divisive characters but in it’s old school classic feel, a christie-esque drama that I’m sure Hitchcock would have killed to film – an already excellent author finding her sweet writing spot. Don’t miss is and you can get one here.


Oh I don’t even know what to say about My Lovely Wife – a kind of serial killer thriller domestic noir mash up that you’ll read in one sitting then collapse at the end in a kind of reading haze of delight- quite simply brilliant and you can get it here.


This Little Dark Place is my pick of the many excellent psychological thrillers I’ve read this year – it has the kind of involving literary feel to the prose that I love and tells a dark and dastardly tale that has an outcome I still think about now. Excellent stuff and you can purchase it here.


Joseph Knox is an outstanding crime writer and one I’ve followed since his debut, Sirens. Now here we are with another brilliantly dark and emotional novel featuring his incredibly flawed yet engaging protagonist Aiden Waits – this one is the best yet and the ending had me screaming into the void..absolutely stunning and you can get your mitts on it here.

So we come to my Top read of the year. Well ok it is two reads but every time I tried to choose one to top the list I failed. Because both, for different reasons, deserve the top spot. So they’ll have to share and be done with it.

No surprise here I’ve been banging on about it since I read it in one literally breathless sitting….Three Hours defines the term “edge of seat” there were several instances I almost fell off mine- the most intense, emotionally traumatic and beautifully BEAUTIFULLY crafted novel you’ll read in years. Many school shooting novels have come before it but none have captured the sheer trauma of it like this. An incredible book and you can order it here.

Then of course, just when I thought my number one spot well and truly taken, along came..

I’ve always said Will Carver was a genius and he just pretty much proved me right with Nothing Important Happened Today which I can’t tell you anything about that will make any sense. I can say it is unique, you won’t find another read like it and you won’t be able to stop gazing into it’s abyss even after you’ve turned the final page. Trust me on this one and here’s where you can get one.

So that’s that for another year. I hope something here takes your fancy. I’ve already read a lot for 2020 and next year might even outdo this year. It seems to be a thing.

Happy Reading !

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