Looking back, 2016 may not have been a banner year for many things, but it sure produced some great books.
Here’s my thoughts on the best books I had the pleasure of reading this past year. To keep things neat, the consideration pool consists of the books I’ve posted reviews for on this blog (which essentially means books I’ve read since July or so). Just to keep things tidy.
OK, here we go:
Number 10: “A Deadly Thaw” by Sarah Ward
This book has a great premise: a man whose wife was convicted of his murder after serving 12 years in prison is found, well, freshly dead. And the woman who served her time quickly disappears, indicating she knew she was serving a bogus sentence. It’s up to her sister to untangle this mess. This book had the perfect tone, a great, multi-layered plot line and interesting characters who will keep me coming back to this series.
Number 9: “Murder in the Marais,” by Cara Black
This was a cozy read, but had some really dark elements, which added to the intrigue. It incorporated history and a present-day murder seamlessly. Plus, bonus points when I learn something new while enjoying myself.
Number 8: “Blood Defense,” by Marcia Clark
This was not only a great book with an intriguing mystery, but it was the start of a series – which means there are plenty more adventures out there to look forward to. Plus, with Ms. Clark’s obvious knowledge of the system, it provides a realistic look at the criminal justice system, while not boring you.
Number 7: “The New Mrs. Collins,” by Quanie Miller
This book both scared me and made me laugh out loud. I couldn’t wait to find out how things were going to turn out and was not disappointed with the conclusion. Plus, this book really blurs the line between villain and victim – yes the villainess is bad, but she went through some tough stuff. I liked that dichotomy.
Number 6: “Dark Flowers,” by Caytlyn Brooke
I read this book in two days because I was so excited to find out what was going to happen! It was a true spooky treat, complete with evil fairies, a villainous in and even a psychiatric institution. This was truly one of the most original books I read this year and the plot was executed flawlessly. It hit just the right tone.
Number 5: “The Devil’s Work,” by Mark Edwards
Speaking of books you can’t stop reading, when I see a new Mark Edwards book, I just clear my day, because I normally pick up the book and don’t stop reading until I’m done. They’re that good – they make you question your own sanity while trying to work out what’s what. You never know where things will lead in his books, but you know you’ll love the ride!
Number 4: “Only Daughter,” by Anna Snoekstra
I loved the premise of this book: we know from the beginning of the novel that the girl who returns to the Winter household 11 years after their daughter Becca disappeared is not Rebecca from the beginning. She’s merely a troubled runaway escaping something in her past. At first, she thinks that life as Bec Winter might not be so bad. But then she realizes that things are a bit……off. And as we learn what really happened to Bec, we realize that she is right. The conclusion is shocking and brilliantly written.
Number 3: “The Silent Children,” by Amna Boheim
This book was creepy and involved a secret so dark, it echoed through generations. It involves an Austria we know will be eaten up by WW2, as well as the present day investigation of a young man intent on fulfilling his mother’s last wish. The entire novel is like waiting for the proverbial other show to drop. I loved it.
Number 2: “Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” by Bernard Minier
You will want to follow the titular advice when reading this novel. It’s dark and spooky, but has a great central mystery which will keep you guessing until it’s finally revealed. It’s also the type of book which you feel could really happen, which makes it that much more intriguing.
Number 1: “The Trapped Girl,” by Robert Dugoni
As I’ve said before, Robert Dugoni has shot onto my favorite authors list this year, in large thanks to his excellent Tracy Crosswhite series. His mysteries are so well-crafted, you will be shocked by the endings, but also kicking yourself for not seeing it sooner. The Trapped Girl proves that in his fourth book, Dugoni is just getting better in this series.
Cupcake from clipartbest.com!