So not sure how that happened but we are at the end of November so it’s time to list my top ten for the year again. I’ve read some fantastic books this year and as ever this has been THE hardest thing to do. I already have several possibles for my best of 2019 – the last few weeks have given me many more excellent reads since this list locked down.
Please look out in the New Year for my “Best of the Rest” in which I will list every other book that was on my longlist – including the amazing Sarah Hilary, the indomitable Pierce Brown and my favourite of all authors Mr John Connolly. Plus a plethora of others.
Here though is my subjective top ten. Less crime than usual which reflects my eclectic reading mood this year.
Sarah Pinborough, after killing us all with a mega twist in Behind Her Eyes, goes for your emotional core in “Cross Her Heart which whilst it does twist and turn, it mostly hits you right IN the heart. I loved it and it was an early addition to that longlist. Ultimately nothing knocked it off..
It’s no secret what a fan I was of this author’s debut, Sirens, but The Smiling Man just knocked it out of the ballpark and I can’t wait for more. Aidan Waits is a character to die for….
Actually the last book officially in the running for this year’s list made it straight on there. The follow up to East of Hounslow waa simply an incredible read and my love for Jay knows no bounds. On track to becoming one of the best series out there.
Another book two – this time the follow up to “Defender” which felt epic at the time then G X Todd gave us Hunted – a novel so clever and compelling it gave me goosebumps. The heiress to Stephen King (subjectively my opinion!) left me desperate for more.
I’ve been waiting a while for Paraic O’Donnell you know – his first book made this list a few years back – The House On Vesper Sands was simply brilliant, with it’s historic setting and edgy mythology. I simply can’t recommend it highly enough.
Rob Boffard’s “Adrift” was the MOST fun I had this year with a scifi novel. He just rocks the story along and his characters are so full of life it’s like they are in your front room. Absolute mayhem but WONDERFUL mayhem. Brilliant.
A six stories novel – and look out for Changeling which is probably a shoe in for next years top ten – Hydra haunted my dreams for WEEKS after finishing it. Don’t let them in – but definitely let Matt Wesoloski in because he is a major talent. No messing.
City of Lies was without doubt the best fantasy novel I read this year. With an opening line that resonates and it’s sprawling epic world full of political shenanigans and betrayal it is the very definition of a literary page turner.
Mike Carey’s “Someone Like Me ” would have been No 1 in almost any other year – he was only just pipped to the post for No 1 and this book is addictive, emotional, so SO clever and you should just all rush out and buy it. All the love for this one.
So some kind of fanfare? Well my no 1 was my no 1 from the moment I turned that last page. I knew it immediately and it didn’t change.
Beth Lewis nearly killed me with this beautifully written literary crime drama, it made me sob like a baby with its evocative setting, it’s unforgettable characters and it’s hugely traumatic but truly authentic story. There was never any doubt in my mind that this would be my read of the year. Stunning. So stunning I couldn’t find the words to write a review. Hopefully making my top spot will make it clear enough. Trust me you don’t need one. Read it but be prepared…
Well that’s that! Don’t forget to look out for that best of the rest and I hope you’ll find something in this list that you missed and will end up loving.
Roll on 2019 – my gosh, some banging books on the way. I know. I’ve seen them. I feel a preview post coming on…