Some of you may have seen my posting of my top five novels of the year over at Guilty Conscience. Just picking five did leave my conscience pricked, so I’m posting my top ten today to make amends. I’ll still feel bad about the ones I leave out, but it’s the way the cookie crumbled.
The proportion of good reads in my life has gone up dramatically since I’ve been taking the advice of respected folk around the internet. Though lists don’t always satisfy everyone, they do offer a good guide to what folk might want to be cramming on to their kindles after Christmas.
So here goes.
A tremendous story of kiss chase as a couple attempt to leave for the mainland while the bad guys try to stop them. This never skips a beat. Every word takes the story forward and there’s no friction anywhere to slow it down. It’s told from a number of perspectives and works like a dream.
This is a book that transcends most fiction. It should be placed on a shelf (real or virtual) among the giants of American literature. It’s about as good as it gets.
This was a debut novel, not that you’d know from the way the story is told. A young couple bump into a hard-nosed guy in a diner and end up giving him a lift. It snows, the man dies and he happens to have a shit-load of money in his bags. What to do?
A book that’s full of the flavours of original hard-boiled fiction. Set in the boxing world, a fighter dies in the ring and his brother goes out to find justice. Problem is, justice isn’t so easy to find as it might be. Loved it.
Preaching and killing have rarely been fused in such a wonderful way. Very classy work.
It’s a great book. Sharply written. Brilliantly plotted. Page-turning and thought-provoking at the same time. Highly recommended.
From early on, this book explodes into action. Stallings moves on at a cracking pace and I'm pretty sure this one has got the lot: sex, sleaze, car-chases, hand-to-hand, drugs, an arsenal of weapons, gangsters, assassins and booze.
The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson
Hilary Davidson's debut novel is first rate. The plot is as gently layered as a fine choux pastry.
When I read this book, I laughed out loud so much that I could feel my spirit soaring and my levels of happiness increase. It's hilarious. The kind of humour I wish I could muster. It would be a mistake, however, to underestimate the skill of the author simply because the book's funny. It's only by setting you up, by getting the timing exactly right and by creating a plot that is utterly engaging from beginning to end that one can fully appreciate the talent.
This is cheating a bit as I’ve still got the final hurdle to cross. It’s in the top 10, though, no doubt about it. I’ll be posting a review over the next week or so.
And because The Damage Done isn't available as an ebook yet, I can pick on extra, which is to be:
McLean's touch is interesting. Mostly I found it easy and flowing, one of those page-turners that brings a constant source of pleasure. He almost fooled me with that, for he also has a range of weapons at his disposal. He has blunt which he uses now and then to stun, throwing in a cold, hard phrase to unsettle. There are the sharp objects in there - descriptions and force that cut as the phrase turns. There are guns and fists lurking too. And there's a little wry-smile that jumps out when you're least expecting it as if Harry Lime's lurking in the shadows and having a bloody good time.
All in all, you get youself a copy of each of those and you'll be in reader heaven.
May I thank everyone who has helped me along in any way this year (and there have been so many). Kind words, comments, purchases, reviews, moral support, a gentle slap, visits here and enthusiasm for life. However you've been in contact, may I wish you and yours a very happy Christmas
So pleased that you are now a douglas Lindsay convert. I totally agree with you - humour is incredibly difficult to pull off and Lindsay is a master at this art! And still so many to read!ReplyDelete