With a new year approaching it’s time to share my final post of the year, my top ten reads of 2019. I must admit I was hoping to read lots more books this year, but unfortunately life got in the way. Compared to some book bloggers my total read is abysmal, am I bothered? The answers believe it or not is ‘no’ I would rather read 103 fabulous books in a year, than hundreds of books that were unmemorable!
I decided to choose my top ten reads from the books I choose to give my book hangover award to, 16 in total. It was a really hard choice but these are the books that I still think of months after reading them.
What criteria does a book need to meet to win my book hangover award?
It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.
So without further ado here are my top reads of 2019 in no particular order…..
Changeling by Matt Wesolowski
If you’re looking for a series with an ingenious plot, a book that’s tense, deliciously dark, a classic mystery with a horror feel then look no further than Changeling by Matt Wesolowski it has all these elements and so much more.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient is an assured debut from Alex Michaelides, he’s definitely an author to watch out for. Highly recommend if you enjoy a dark, shocking psychological thriller that will leave you speechless (excuse the pun!)
Breakers by Doug Johnstone
Breakers is a searing and heartbreaking portrayal of modern day Britain, the author takes the reader on an emotional journey, one that at times feels uncomfortable, it packs a hell of a punch, you will find yourself questioning your own assumptions, it’s a book whose characters will remain with you long after you reach the last page
The Whisper Man by Alex North
There is nothing more terrifying than a child being murdered, and the author expertly plays on these fears, creating a dark, creepy, and haunting read. Be prepared for a few sleepless nights, it takes a lot to unnerve me, but this book actually scared me silly in parts! (In the best possible way)
Black Summer by M W Craven
I loved how the author brought all the threads together culminating in a jaw dropping, but very satisfying and clever conclusion. Black Summer isn’t as dark or gory as The Puppet Show, but OMG if anything I probably enjoyed this book more, there’s so many questions, intrigue, and mystery, my perfect kind of crime read.
In The Absence Of Miracles by Michael J Malone
Michael Malone is one of those rare author who appears to be able to write in any genre and turn what could be an interesting read, into something extra special, definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time to come.
Blood song by Johana Gustawsson
The thing I admire about this author’s novels is the fact she can take a period in history, in this case Spain 1938 and the brutalities of Spain’s dictatorship, and incorporate them with crimes set in 2016, how can someone combine such distant periods into a credible story and intertwine them? and yet Gustawsson accomplishes both producing a story that’s harrowing, disturbing, but such a compelling and intensely heart wrenching read.
Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
Dark Elms takes the authors writing to a whole new level of amazing. Dark Elms ticks all the boxes for me it’s dark, gory (I grimaced at more than a couple of the authors descriptive crime scenes) and features a serial killer who will send shivers down your spine, if Hannibal Lecter gave you nightmares, be prepared for a few disturbed nights!
Dead Memories by Angela Marsons
As a huge crime thriller reader I can sometimes find a long-running series has lost its lustre, they can feel repetitive and lacking the suspense I look forward too, but “hell” no Angela Marsons makes sure each book has a unique plot, that are packed to the brim with suspense, with characters whom you genuinely care about.
Non Fiction read of the year
Four Feet Under by Tamsen Courtenay
Four Feet Under is a powerful and moving insight into the day-to-day lives of some the unfortunate people who through tragedy, misfortune and bad decisions have found themselves living on the streets of Britain, displaced, dispossessed and destitute.
Highly recommended reads for a book hangover
Turn The Other Way by Stuart James
For me horror is all about my emotional reaction, that feeling of fear and dread as you turn each page, the constant feeling you should be reading a book from behind a cushion (not practical but you get my drift), a book that makes the heart pound and every little noise makes you jump. This is exactly how Turn The Other Way by Stuart James made me feel, it’s a shocker of a horror thriller novel.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
My Lovely Wife is a deliciously dark tale of relationships and secrets, not original themes by any means, but it’s so different to any other novel I’ve read, it’s wickedly entertaining, full of black humour, and as for the characters their deeply flawed but fascinating never the less.
The Passenger by John Marrs
The Passenger a futuristic novel set in the not to distance future blew me away its original, taut and brilliantly written. I read this book at every opportunity, irritated by the slightest disturbance, which for me is always a sign of a fantastic read.
Night by Jack Jordan
If there’s one thing I can be sure of it’s that Jack Jordan never fails to amaze me, each book he’s written has been very different in tone, content and plot. But still Night By Night the latest offering from the author took even me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting to have my heart shattered, or to find myself sobbing uncontrollably, at this point I realised I had only read the first four chapters of the novel! Such a brilliant and haunting start to what I consider to be Jack Jordan’s best book yet.
The July Girls by Phoebe Locke
If from the book description you thought this was a run of the mill ‘serial killer thriller’ you couldn’t be more wrong. This book has so much more to offer the crime thriller lover, it’s a book that’s superbly written, an extraordinary and highly original tale, told through the eyes of a brilliantly drawn character, ten-year-old Addie.
Violet by SJI Holliday
Oh, how I loved Violet by SJI Holliday, what an intense, psychological thriller this novel turned out to be. Exquisitely written, Violet makes for an all-consuming read, one that begs to be read in one hugely satisfying sitting.
Books I read in 2019
And that’s it for another year folks. Here’s wishing my followers old and new, fellow book bloggers, authors and publishers a happy new year, and here’s hoping it’s a good one for you all, and happy reading.