Saturday 31 January 2015


A month after everyone else has selected their books of the year, I have come up with my list for 2014. With my arbitrary scoring of 1 to 5 stars, I had 29 contenders.

I think it would be a bit ridiculous having 29 books of the year, so on the basis of if I was choosing to re-read 10 in the next month what would I choose? This obviously is unfair to those read most recently because they are still fresh in the mind, but hey hoh and off we go.....(in no particular order)

Unknown author, no reviews, bought on spec - loved it, but was unsettled by the climax. Subsequently had an e-mail from the author thanking  me. We had a bit of a chat. Turns out she's an Irish lady - writing about small town America 

Loved it, really clever. I still think about this one at odd moments. Would I understand it all better second time around, or would it spoil it?

British Cold War espionage - not sure if I liked the ending or if I hated it. I loved it today, tomorrow who knows....

Thrilling tale set in Chicago, I nearly selected O'Shea's second John Lynch book - Greed as well.

A short read, bleak, black, dark and hard.

Loved the main characters and their chemistry and the ending!
French noir - short and sour!

Love this guy - hard-boiled New York 

Classic crime novel about race and bigotry.
Short tale with plenty of tension. 
Links to reviews of each below

Craig Faustus Buck - Dead End

John Ball - In the Heat of the Night

A E Greystone - A Prospect of Death

Pascal Garnier - The Front Seat Passenger

John Fusco - Dog Beach

Joel Townsley Rogers - The Red Right Hand

Brian Freemantle - Charlie M

Dan O'Shea - Penance

Jonathan Ames - You Were Never Really Here

Stephen Solomita - The Striver

If I was choosing again in another month's time the list would undoubtedly be a little different, so hat-tips and apologies to Adrian McKinty, Dietrich Kalteis, Keith Nixon, Matthew McBride, Nic Pizzolatto, R.C. O'Leary, John Stonehouse, Lawrence Block, Antonin Varenne, Brian Stoddart, Charles Dodd White, Sam Wiebe, Joseph Koenig, Mike Monson, Olen Steinhauer, J.F. Freedman and Allen Eskens.


  1. Col - Glad you found so many good reads. Not surprised to see the Garnier and the Rogers on your list. And you've reminded me of a few I want to read.

    1. I've since enjoyed another Garnier and it was just as good. Hopefully 2015 is as good a reading year for us all as well!

  2. Great, intriguing list, even if we don't have many in common. I hope you find as many good ones in 2015....

    1. I hope you read Charlie M soon, if you haven't already. That would give us two!

  3. Col, except for the John Ball novel, I haven't read any of the others. But that one book is going to stay with me for a long time.

    1. Agreed I should read more about Virgil Tibbs, I'm particularly interested to see if race is such a big issue in the subsequent books

  4. I liked In the Heat of the Night a lot too. I will be reading the Pascal Garnier this year, also Charlie M. I want to read The Red Right Hand, but don't know when. It is great that you had 29 to choose from.

    1. I saw Glen enjoyed the Garnier book recently, your turn soon I hope! Ditto Charlie M - I ought to locate the second one and read it. Just so many books out there to try.....

  5. Not surprisingly I've only read one of these - your classic. I might be due for a re-read actually...perhaps I'll dig out the film too and do a book vs adaptation post.

    I'd like to read Red Right Hand but that may be because it makes me think of my favourite Nick Cave song :)

    Hope 2015 is just as good a reading year for you

    1. Bernadette - we watched the film too last year. You're welcome to pop around and borrow it....ha ha.

      Have you read Nick Cave? I have his Bunny Munro book somewhere - not sure on the Ass and the Angel....they have some good reviews.

      Hope you do get to the Red Right Hand - I'd be curious on your reaction,
      Best wishes to you also in reading and life for 2015!

  6. I did read the Nick Cave book. I'm a fan but even so...not really going to trouble my desert island list :)

  7. I've only read Charlie M from your list - totally agree that it left me so puzzled about whether I was happy with the ending. I downloaded The Right Red Hand soon after your review, but the moment is not quite right for reading it. I started but it felt too complicated just at that moment. Looking forward to being puzzled again tho!

    1. I should read the second one to see my reactions to Charlie - love or hate, probably not going to be indifference I think, probably not hate either.
      Hope you get to The Red Right Hand soon, and post about it!