Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Favorite books of the year!

Okay, I started this damn blog, and I've been lax about posting. My apologies! Starting today, I'll be posting with greater frequency (though more than once a month would be an improvement, right?). Anyway, I'm writing today as a bookseller, not a publisher. Here are my top three favorite books of the year... all in the thriller vein...

1. CHILD 44, by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central)
What can I say about CHILD 44 other that, holy crap, what a page-turner! There's a serial killer on the loose in 1953 Russia, and state officer Leo Demidov investigates. Scenes -- such as several aboard a Gulag-bound train -- had me nail-biting to the knuckles. (The second Demidov novel, THE SECRET SPEECH, is due from Grand Central in May '09.)

2. THE DAWN PATROL, by Don Winslow (Knopf)
The perfect follow-up to Winslow's crime fiction odes to Southern California, California Fire and Life and The Death and Life of Bobby Z. San Diego private eye Boone Daniels surfs, eats, sleeps, and surfs some more... and takes on the occasional case, such as here, when a young woman needs to be found. Problem is, the most bitchin' set of waves of his generation is scheduled to hit the coast in about 48 hours. An interesting variation on a "ticking clock" thriller, though at its heart, it's more a novel about friendship. I ended the book, sad to leave these characters -- which include Hang Twelve, Boone's extra-toed surfer compadre; and Sunny, Boone's on-again, off-again girlfriend, and the lone female member of the self-proclaimed "Dawn Patrol." But never fear... the sequel, THE GENTLEMEN'S HOUR (I believe that's the title), is due in late '09.

3. HELL'S BAY, by James W. Hall (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Hall has hit the best-seller lists before, but he still hasn't achieved quite the level of success as fellow Floridian Randy Wayne White. And what a shame because Hall is one of the best thriller writers out there... and this may go down as my favorite of his (so far). Reclusive hero / fishing expert Thorn helps a friend who's launching a new business venture: She's found a way to maneuver a boat around the tangly mangrove roots that have made it impossible to access inaccessible lakes... until now. Out in the middle of nowhere -- no GPS, no cell phones, no radio -- and targeted by a killer, Thorn has mere hours to stay alive and find out who's behind it all. (And this would make a great companion read with Jonathon King's ACTS OF NATURE, which is set during and in the aftermath of a hurricane.)

And if you're looking for an outstanding independent bookstore that stocks these titles, just take a look at the handy list to the right. :-)

Happy post-election, and I'll speak again soon!


pattinase (abbott) said...

I just finished Dawn Patrol and he's quite a writer--loved the setting especially. My husband read Child 44 and was impressed as well. Good choices and I need to read the third.

David Thompson said...

Definitely try HELL'S BAY! :-)