According to Goodreads I read just over 150 books in 2012, about three quarters of which was crime fiction. I reviewed 102 books on crimepieces and discovered some great authors whose books, although not published in 2012, were highlights of my year. These included Deon Meyer’s Trackers, Ashes by Sergio Gakas and Aly Monroe’s Icelight.
However, I’m going to restrict my best reads of 2012 to those published this year. The benchmark as to which books made it onto my list was not whether I had recommended them to other readers but whether I had also actually forced a copy onto someone who I thought would like it. With the exception of Where the Devil Can’t Go which is (for the moment) available only as an e-book I have done this with all of these titles.
So here are my top 5 reads of 2012.
1. Ben H Winters – The Last Policeman
A great concept very well executed. Who would have thought the end of the world could be so interesting?
2. Adrian McKinty – The Cold Cold Ground
The first in a series featuring Catholic policeman Sean Duffy. Set in 1981 during the Troubles, I wanted to read the sequel immediately.
3. Anya Lipska – Where the Devil Can’t Go
A murder set in the heart of the Polish expat community in London. Great depictions of London and Poland and some memorable characters.
4. Elizabeth Hay – Alone in the Classroom
I’m not sure if this is a crime book at all, but death and retribution feature strongly in the narrative. A beautifully written book.
5. Louise Welsh – The Girl on the Stairs
Genuinely spooky and with a strong sense of malevolence, it gives an alternative view of Berlin’s bleak suburbs.
So five great books and if I had just to choose one it would be Adrian McKinty’s The Cold Cold Ground. The sequel I Hear the Sirens in the Street is out in January and I’m already looking forward to it.
What was your favourite crime book of 2012? I’d love to hear what was your best read.