My Top Five Crime Reads of 2012

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

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-Cold-Cold-Ground-Adrian-McKinty1

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

Anya Lipska

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

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

TGotStairs

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.

The Best of October’s Reading

It has been an excellent month for reading crime fiction with not a dud amongst my books. I always expect October to be a fruitful month as publishers usually come up with something exiting for the autumn but I was genuinely pleased by the quality of the books that I picked up.

Three of the books that I read were by new-to-me authors and all were excellent. I particularly want to give a shout-out to Tom Grieves and RN Morris, who although writing completely different types of novel, are united by the talent for drawing the reader completely into the world that they have created.

For the first time since I started summing up my monthly reading, I dithered for a long time over what book to choose as my book of the month. However, a book that will stay with me for a long time was Elizabeth Hay’s Alone in the Classroom. It’s going to be impossible for me to sum it up in one sentence so read instead my review and more importantly buy or borrow the book. I’d love to hear what you think.

The seven books that I read for crimepieces were:

1. The Fire Engine that Disappeared by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

2. Autumn Killing by Mons Kallentoft

3. 7 Days by Deon Meyer

4. Sleepwalkers by Tom Grieves

5. The Bat by Jo Nesbo

6. Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay

7. Summon up the Blood by R N Morris

Kerrie from Mysteries in Paradise is hosting a monthly round-up of all the recommendations by crime fiction bloggers. Do pay the site a visit and see if you agree with the books that have been chosen.