The Most Memorable Books: 2014

Because it's been such a stellar year for Crime Fiction - a Most Memorable of the Year List before Christmas seems like a plan in case anybody is thinking about books to spoil themselves / friends / family with. Of course the year isn't over yet and I fully expect a few more "memorables" between now and the end of December, if the previous 11 months have been any indication.

The ones that simply will not go out of my head:

Life or Death by Michael Robotham. Simply perfect.

Hades / Eden by Candice Fox. Hades deservedly won the Best First Crime Ned Kelly this year and Eden follows it up strongly with extra layers. Series to watch.

The Murder of Harriet Krohn, Karin Fossum. A telling portrayal of denial and consequences.

What Came Before, Anna George. Simply, flat out a WOW read - couldn't believe it, couldn't put it down, can't forget it.

The "anything by these authors" list:

In the Morning I'll Be Gone / The Sun is God, Adrian McKinty. Anything by Adrian McKinty is pretty well guaranteed to hit the top of the pops list in these parts but these two - the end of a trilogy (although there's a subsequent hint in the wind of maybe / possibly more) and something so unexpected and so good were absolute highlights.

A Murder Unmentioned, Sulari Gentill. The latest Rowland Sinclair outing was as good as it gets. Perfect for fans of something with a lighter touch, but still deeply imbued in the tradition of "lights in darker corners of human behaviour".

Through the Cracks, Honey Brown. Dark, twisting and disturbing there's also something so heart-felt and rewarding about Honey Brown's writing that anything she releases goes straight to the top of the reading pile.

Death Can't Take a Joke, Anya Lipska. Despite this being another 2 book only so far series this has rapidly become one of my favourites.

A Lovely Way to Burn, Louise Welsh. Look I'd crawl over cut glass to read anything Ms Welsh cares to publish. Ever.

8 Hours to Die, J.R. Carroll. I don't quite know why this author is not more well known / commented on. Always been one of my favourites.

Beams Falling, P.M. Newtown. Another 2 book only series which hopefully will expand to include a lot more of the same.

The new (to me as well as debut) authors to keep an eye on list:

Challenge, Paul Daley. Says a lot about the state of Australian Politics that the idea of the honest politician at the centre of this book appealed so very much.

Skinjob, Bruce McCabe. Any author that can make cross-genre work so well for this reader is an author I'm going to be following.

One Boy Missing, Stephen Orr. Moving, informative and dialogue which was an absolute joy to read. Set in the bush and nobody's lurking behind a bush. Nobody.

Frederick's Coat, Alan Duff.  Beautiful, moving and a difficult book to read, it was an absolute privilege to do so.

Non-Fiction that made me think:

In the Company of Cowards, Michael (Dan) Mori. Because there are STILL people out there that believe the propaganda from the Government at the time.

Once Upon a Time in Melbourne, Liam Houlihan. Not just one for those interested in the Melbourne underworld, the pictures drawn of the intrict webs of power and influence are very informative.

The Real Chopper, Adam Shand. There's a difference between the "portrayal" and the reality. Worth reading if only to see how ridiculous the cult of celebrity is.

Murder in Mississippi, John Safran. Another deserved winner of a 2014 Ned Kelly - this time for True Crime this is flat out such a good book.

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