Books to Look Out For in 2019

Happy New Year to all Crimepieces readers. 2018 has been an excellent year for books and my selection of my six favourite crime novels of the year were published over at Crime Time with other reviewers’ choices. A really eclectic bunch and I was delighted to see Alex Reeve’s The House on Half Moon Street make it onto the Richard and Judy selection for their winter book club.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a sneak preview of some novels coming in 2019. I’ve already raved about the excellent Scrublands by Chris Hammer. I use the first chapter of this thriller with my students as an example of how to create tension early in the narrative. I’ve also got a couple of books sitting on my shelves that I can’t wait to read, notably William Shaw’s Deadland

Books are often advertised as containing a ‘killer twist you won’t see coming’ which is often untrue. The only book I can remember being genuinely shocked by the change in direction of the plot was Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth KillingI’m now adding Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient to my list. Alicia, a well-known artist, shoots her husband dead and from then onwards refuses to speak. Psychotherapist Leo Faber becomes fascinated by Alicia’s case and obtains a job in her psychiatric hospital to try to unravel why Alicia refuses to talk about her crime. To say any more about the plot would be to give too much away but I found narrative utterly compelling. You can tell Michaelides has spent time working in a psychiatric unit given the level of detail involved and the ending took my breath away.

I read CJ Tudor’s The Taking of Annie Thorne just before Christmas and it’s an excellent creepy read. Joe Thorne has arrived back in his Nottinghamshire home town with a dodgy CV and an uncertain commitment to his teaching post. With a family tragedy in the past, he’s been sent an anonymous note saying that a horror he thought long forgotten has returned. I loved the regional setting and Tudor’s take on the familiar ‘pit’ theme in horror literature.

It can be hard to create a genuinely original character in a crime novel but  Ilaria Tuti has managed it with Inspector Teresa Battaglia in Flowers Over the Inferno. Despite inspiring awe in her team, Battaglia is suffering from occasional bouts of memory loss. In a village in the Italian Alps the body of a naked man is found with his eyes gouged out. It becomes clear that there are more victims and the children of the village may know more than they’re letting on. I’m delighted that this well-written crime novel is going to be the first book in a trilogy because I loved Teresa Battaglia who makes a compelling but vulnerable protagonist. The translation is by Ekin Oklap.

Those are my reads to look out for in early 2019. Are there any books you’re eagerly awaiting?

 

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21 thoughts on “Books to Look Out For in 2019

  1. Happy New Year Sarah, and all the very best. Now there’s a good few interesting books to be going on with. The House on Half Moon Street has just downloaded, so I’ll be starting that soon. Oh, and Scrublands was excellent btw.

  2. Deadland is also on my list. William Shaw deserves to be far better known than he is. I’m also looking forward to new books by Olivia Kiernan and Vicky Newham who both had successful starts to new police procedural series last year; how will they navigate that awkward second novel?

  3. Hi Sarah,
    You said: “Books are often advertised as containing a ‘killer twist you won’t see coming’ which is often untrue.”

    The problem with that description is that it makes the reader anticipate a twist and by doing so either makes it less unexpected and therefore less “twisty” – or leads to the reader working out the twist before it’s revealed.

    A friend had seen the film The Sixth Sense a while before I did. The only thing she told me was that there was a great unexpected twist at the end. Coupled with some of the revelations in the film trailer and in a review I read, it wasn’t too hard to put the pieces together and work out what that twist was – basically spoiling the film for me.

    Therefore if there’s a twist I prefer not to be expecting there to be a twist.

    I also have to say I’m eagerly awaiting William Shaw’s next book. He’s become one of my favourite authors, one I found through your recommendation of The Birdwatcher a while ago.

    • Hi – yes, I completely agree. Once you know there’s a twist coming, you look out for it. So pleased you’re a fan on Willian Shaw’s books too.

  4. Happy New Year and looking forward to new books and reading your recommendations.

    Scrublands definitely interests me, as well as some other titles here. And I will look at your favorite books of last years. I am looking forward to a new book by Shaw, Griffiths and French.

    Happy year of reading and writing.

  5. My gosh, was Scrublands ever a good book! The writer is brilliant. But the resolution became so complicated that I could not explain it to anyone. Don’t quiz me on it. All I know is that I barely came up for air while reading it, and stayed up all night a few times.

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