Authors’ Top Reads of 2015 – Part Two.


Welcome to day two of a host of lovely authors picking their favourite reads of 2015. Fellow blogger Vicki and I have had the best time seeing all these come in and here are some more for you.

Today I have Nikki Owen, Gerard Brennan, Amanda Jennings, Ava Marsh, James Law, Michael J Malone, Steve McHugh , Jack Croxall, David Ross, Elizabeth Forbes and Tony Black telling us their ONE top pick from books they read in 2015,

Pop over to Vicki’s place to see who SHE has for you today!


Nikki Owen, author of Subject 375, published by Mira Books in June 2015 chose:


A mesmerising story.  Once you get your head around the fact that the characters are bees, the whole thing just takes off and it’s so well written. No fat or waffle, and each line works hard at propelling the plot forward so you have a real page turner. The book stayed in my head for a long time afterwards.”

Book Blurb:

Enter a whole new world, in this thrilling debut novel set entirely within a beehive.

Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen.

Click here to purchase The Bees published by Fourth Estate in January 2015

Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkiwriter and visit her website here. If you fancy trying Subject 375 click here



Gerard Brennan, author of Undercover published in 2014


Aloysius Tempo is an Irish hitman thriller doused in black comedy; introducing a new character to the Jason Johnson universe, I hope aul’ Aloysius has at least four more breakneck adventures left in him.

Book Blurb

Irish-born Aloysius is a freelance killer for hire. Advertising his services – the ‘hard solve’ – on the Dark Web, he arranges fatal accidents, convenient deaths. ‘My job is the only job in the world where people you should have killed will throw it back in your face.’ Living off-grid, an old contact from home offers him work. Aloysius doesn’t take the bait and gets cornered by Imelda, the steely head of a shadowy unit close to the Irish government.

Click here to purchase Aloysius Tempo published by Liberties Press in 2015

Follow Gerard on Twitter @gerardbrennan and visit his website here. To try Undercover click here.




Amanda Jennings, author of In Her Wake, published by Orenda Books in April 2016


It’s not a genre I usually read and I was captivated by her characters and evocative writing from the first page. It was one of those books I was sad to finish and I can’t wait to see what this hugely talented writer brings to gives us next.”

Book Blurb :

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…

Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five.

… He promised to love her forever

Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?

Click here to Purchase Letters To The Lost published by Simon and Schuster UK

Follow Amanda on Twitter @MandaJJennings and visit her website here. To pre-order In Her Wake click here



Ava Marsh, author of Untouchable published by Transworld in 2015


A truly original, thoroughly engaging story with a character you’re rooting for all the way. Superbly written, and impossible to put down – deserves to be huge.

Book blurb:

You’ve never met anyone like Tuesday. She has suffered extreme cruelty at the hands of men, and so has taken it upon herself to seek vengeance. She wants to protect and help others like her, to ease their suffering. A force to be reckoned with, she lives beneath the streets of London in the hidden network of forgotten tunnels that honeycomb the city – and this is her preferred hunting ground.

Click here to purchase Tuesday Falling published by Harper Collins (Killer Reads) in 2015

Follow Ava on Twitter @MsAvaMarsh and visit her website here. To try Untouchable click here.



James Law, author of Tenacity, published by Headline in July 2015


I don’t remember how I came across it, but it’s a beautifully creepy read that I really enjoyed from start to finish. I’d highly recommend it.

Book blurb:

You won’t remember Mr Heming. He showed you round your comfortable home, suggested a sustainable financial package, negotiated a price with the owner and called you with the good news. The less good news is that, all these years later, he still has the key.

That’s absurd, you laugh. Of all the many hundreds of houses he has sold, why would he still have the key to mine?

The answer to that is, he has the keys to them all.

Click here to purchase A Pleasure and a Calling published by Doubleday in 2014

Follow James on Twitter @JSLawbooks and visit his website here. To give Tenacity a try click here



Michael J Malone author of Beyond the Rage published by Saraband in 2015


This is one of the best fantasy debuts I’ve read since The Name of the Wind. Utterly engrossing, adventurous and well-realised. It’s difficult to bring originality to this genre and Levene does it in spades.

Book Blurb

Yron the moon god died, but now he’s reborn in the false king’s son. His human father wanted to kill him, but his mother sacrificed her life to save him. He’ll return one day to claim his birthright. He’ll change your life.

He’ll change everything.

Smiler’s Fair: the great moving carnival where any pleasure can be had, if you’re willing to pay the price. They say all paths cross at Smiler’s Fair. They say it’ll change your life. For five people, Smiler’s Fair will change everything.

Click here to purchase Smilers Fair published by Hodder in 2014

Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelJMalone1 and visit his website here. To try Beyond the Rage click here



Steve McHugh author of The Hellequin Chronicles published by 47North.


John wrote one of my favourite fantasy books in years. The story is well-written, and exciting, but it’s the characters that shine the most. Can’t recommend it enough.

Book Blurb

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.

Click here to Purchase Malice published by Tor in 2012,

Follow Steve on Twitter @StevejMchugh and visit his website here. To try the Hellequin Chronicles click here



Jack Croxall, author of Wye, published independently in 2015


I loved Girl On The Train!! A scintillating mystery, investigated by a gloriously unreliable narrator. This was the one book that forced normal life into the background during 2015

Book blurb

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking.

Click here to purchase The Girl on the Train published by Transworld in 2015

Follow Jack on Twitter @JackCroxall and visit his website here. To try Wye click here.




David F. Ross, author of The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas, published by Orenda Books in e-book now and available in paperback in February 2016.


My book of the year is Beatlebone by Kevin Barry. It’s inventive, imaginative and I sorely wish I’d written it myself.

Book Blurb

It is 1978, and John Lennon has escaped New York City to try to find the island off the west coast of Ireland he bought nine years prior. Leaving behind domesticity, his approaching forties, his inability to create, and his memories of his parents, he sets off to find calm in the comfortable silence of isolation. But when he puts himself in the hands of a shape-shifting driver full of Irish charm and dark whimsy, what ensues can only be termed a magical mystery tour.

Click here to purchase Beatlebone published by Doubleday in 2015

Follow David on Twitter @dfr10 and visit his website here. To give Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas a try click here



Michael Stanley, author of Deadly Harvest (May 2016) and A Death in the Family (July 2016), both published by Orenda Books.


Meyer’s grasp of character is exceptional and the story is totally gripping.

Book blurb:

A week before Christmas, a young photographer discovers a plastic-wrapped corpse amidst the sand dunes north of Cape Town. The only thing found on the corpse is a dead iPhone, but it doesn’t take long for the police to identify the body as that of Ernst Richter—the tech whiz behind MyAlibi, an internet service that provides unfaithful partners with sophisticated cover stories to hide an affair. Meanwhile, Benny Griessel is called to the scene of a multiple homicide involving a former colleague, and four years of sobriety are undone on the spot.

Click here to purchase Icarus published by Atlantic in 2015

Follow on Twitter @detectivekubu and visit the website here To try A Death in the Family click here



Elizabeth Forbes, author of Who Are You?, published by Cutting Edge Press in July 2014.

Although Toby’s Room was written in 2012 I only discovered it this year. Pat Barker’s ability to thoroughly inhabit her characters and bring them to life through her superb prose is second to none. The novel is in turns shocking, poignant and revelatory and focuses on the role art played in recording the horrific disfigurations suffered by members of the armed forces in the Great War

Book Blurb:

This indelible portrait of a family torn apart by war focuses on Toby Brooke, a medical student, and his younger sister Elinor. Enmeshed in a web of complicated family relationships, Elinor and Toby are close: some might say too close. But when World War I begins, Toby is posted to the front as a medical officer while Elinor stays in London to continue her fine art studies at the Slade, under the tutelage of Professor Henry Tonks. There, in a startling development based in actual fact, Elinor finds that her drafting skills are deployed to aid in the literal reconstruction of those maimed in combat.

Click here to Purchase Toby’s Room published by Doubleday in 2012

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @lizzieforbes and visit her on Facbook here To try Who Are You click here.



Tony Black author of A Taste Of Ashes published by Black and White in 2015


A masterclass in how to keep a series character fresh, relevant and interesting. Jack Taylor is still the best mystery series around and I can’t see him being toppled any time soon. Genius writing

Book Blurb:

Recovering from the severe mental and physical wounds inflicted from his recent past, Jack Taylor has finally found a modicum of peace. He has managed to kick the myriad substances that have had a stranglehold over his painful life. Yet this fragile existence is threatened when a vigilante killer begins targeting the scum of Galway, signing mysterious notes with the moniker ‘C 33’. The killer addresses these cryptic letters to Jack, trying to goad the former cop into joining the murderous spree and to help cleanse Galway.

Click here to purchase Purgatory published by Atlantic in 2013

Follow Tony on Twitter @TonyBlackUk and visit his website here. To try A Taste of Ashes click here.

SO that is your lot for today!

Remember to pop by Vicki’s  blog to find some more Authors’ Top Reads of 2015.

Join Vicki and I again tomorrow for the grand finale!

Happy Reading Folks!


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2 Responses to Authors’ Top Reads of 2015 – Part Two.

  1. crimeworm says:

    Great series Liz – and some seriously tempting books there! I’ve heard a lot of great things about Deon Meyer.

  2. carol says:

    A Pleasure and A Calling was deliciously creepy

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