Sunday 12 January 2014


Of the 156 books I read this year, I rated 24 of them with top marks. It would be a bit bizarre having 24 titles jointly sharing my book of the year accolade, so after listing all 24, I will try and whittle my favourite reads down to half a dozen or so.

Anthony Neil Smith - All the Young Warriors

Deon Meyer - Blood Safari

Deon Meyer - Heart of the Hunter

Arnaldur Indridason - The Draining Lake

Bill Pronzini - The Snatch

Michael Connelly - The Drop

Bill Pronzini - The Vanished

Alan Furst - Mission to Paris

Robert Crais - Voodoo River

Terry Shames - A Killing at Cotton Hill

Brian Garfield - Hopscotch

Gregory Widen - Blood Makes Noise

Duane Swierczynski - The Wheelman

J. Sydney Jones - Ruin Value

Peter Leonard - Back from the Dead

Malcolm Mackay - The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter

Leif G.W. Persson - He Who Kills the Dragon

Jon Bassoff - Corrosion

J.W. Nelson - Joey's Place

John Florio - Sugar Pop Moon

Elmore Leonard - 52 Pick-Up

P.D. Viner - The Last Winter of Dani Lancing

Malcolm Mackay - How a Gunman says Goodbye

Wiley Cash - This Dark Road to Mercy

On the assumption that if all these were laid side by side and I was to be carted off on a desert island and could only take 6 of these books with no particular order then.......

Set in the 30's US crime fiction about prohibition, likeable albino protagonist. 

Intriguing Icelandic crime.

1st in Glagow hitman trilogy - 3rd due out next week, I can't wait. 

40 years late to the party - 1st in an engaging PI series set around San Francisco. Published in 1971. Series is still going strong about 40 books long and I hope to read them all.
Engaging Texas mystery with a likeable decent man as the protagonist!

Possibly the best South African crime writer of the moment, though I do like Roger Smith and Mike Nicol


  1. That sounds like a good year's reading to me. We have one in common on your top 6, and I've read a few more from your 5-stars. I hope you have equally good results in 2014.

    1. Moira thanks. Hopefully 2014 matches lost year in a lot of respects and exceeds it in others..........females, golden-Age etc!

  2. Col, Bill Pronzini and Deon Meyer are two of a few authors I intend to read this year. I'm going to have to keep an eye on all the promises I make myself this year.

    1. Prashant, I hope you enjoy them both if you get the time. Pronzini's Nameless detective is well worth a visit, but I believe he has written countless standalone novels including some westerns. I do know you like your Westerns as well. Plenty from him to choose from.

  3. Col - Oh, you've got some great reads here. I really like Deon Meyer's work, so happy to see him here. And the Inspector Erlendur series is a great one; I'm glad you thought so too. Nice variety of reads here as well. :-)

    1. Margot thanks, in an ideal world I would read more from all of these this coming year.........we'll see!

  4. Hi Col,

    GREAT list of reads! I missed where you read THE DRAINING LAKE as that one is one of my favorites as well. Deon Meyer I will give a try this year. The Shames book I have as well and will read this year, too.

    1. Hey, YOU'RE BACK! You've been missed!

      Thanks for the approval, hopefully I can read some more from Indridason this year, Meyer too.

      Hope you enjoy Meyer and Shames when you get to them.

  5. After a few years of taking a break from Pronzini, I will definitely be getting back into that series this year. Elmore Leonard is an author I have never read that I plan to read this year. And the Terry Shames book is a definite (and I never would have known about that book or given it a chance if I had not seen your review). Several others there I want to try. You had a great year.

    1. Tracy, you and me both on Pronzini then! Yes, you must read some Leonard as well please......does Glen like him?

    2. I checked with Glen. He has only read Get Shorty and in that case he liked the movie better than the book. He has liked other movies based on Leonard's books and we both like the Justified series.

    3. I've enjoyed the films of his books, particularly Mr Majestyk and 3.10 to Yuma, as well as Get Shorty, and I do like Justified, even if I haven't kept up to date with it. If forced to choose though I'd take his books first though any day.

  6. That's the second time I've seen Deon Meyer's name this week - I think that's a sign!

    1. Hey Vicki, thanks for stopping by. I do think it's more than coincidence that you've happened upon Meyer more than once lately! Time for action, I reckon.

      I've briefly checked your blog/blogs.....some interesting stuff with the food! Great pictures as well. I'm more of a book person myself, so I'll be hoping for some tips for Australian crime fiction - not that I need any more books.
      I'll add you book blog to my blogroll shortly. Cheers,Col