Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best Mysteries and Thriller - 2015

The best mysteries and thrillers offer surprises that tantalize readers. Sometimes those surprises are cozy, occasionally they're grizzly, often  they're frightening, and the very best of them make you wonder what you yourself might be capable of doing - for good or for evil. Beautiful homes and scenic locales are often the scenes of ugly crimes such as the murder of the DeFeo family in 1974 in Amityville, NY pictured here and in the Amityville Horror movie. Regardless of the type of mystery or thriller you prefer, the best of 2015 promise compelling reading opportunities

The Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2015:

  • A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
  • As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman
  • Descent by Tim Johnston
  • Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke (2014)
  • The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
  • The Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews (2013)
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm
The Best Mystery/Thriller of 2015:

Descent by Tim Johnston (Read the complete review here.)
Caitlin’s brother Sean crashes his mountain bike on a remote Colorado road. Caitlin accepts a ride to call for help and isn’t heard from again. As Sean recovers from his wounds, their family slowly disintegrates. Then a clue to finding Caitlin leads to one of the most thrilling endings I’ve ever read. Descent mixes poetic words, heart-rending action, courageous exploits, superhuman survival tactics, fear, and hope. Once you start it, you won't be able to do anything else. Grandma's Pot Roast, Book Club

The Best British Detective Mystery:
A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
A Banquet of Consequences brings my favorite characters, Barbara Havers and Inspector Lynley, together again and reintroduces the ingenious Detective Sgt. Nkata. A suicide by the son of an annoying assistant to a prominent feminist author is at the center of a possible murder. Havers is on probation and must prove herself or be posted to the hinterlands. George is back in form in this one. Chinese Carryout

The Best "Disturbed Women" Thrillers:
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh Eileen is eerily dark. Eileen is a strange
character. Would you keep a dead mouse in your glove compartment? Eileen does. Eileen follows the trend of twisted characters that keep us turning pages. This novel is grotesque, haunting, gothic, and thoroughly gripping. Moshfegh’s mastery of character and plot is superb. Sushi/Gourmet
Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke (Read the complete review
here.) Mind of Winter, published in 2014, chronicles one Christmas day in a suburban home. Holly and Eric oversleep. Eric gets stuck in a blizzard picking up his parents and their daughter is still in bed. Holly behaves bizarrely and something is off kilter. This searing psychological thriller’s shocking conclusion will have you returning to the first page to figure out the puzzle. This one is capital "D" for disturbing, yet you simply cannot put it down. Chinese Carryout, Book Club

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins  Rachel, an alcoholic who’s
lost her job, continues commuting on the train to “work” so her roommate won’t know she’s unemployed. She fixates on a couple she sees living near her former home and after the wife of the couple disappears, Rachel inserts herself into the case. The novel slowly reveals secrets and clues as the line between love and obsession blurs. This novel is as good, as surprising, and as engaging as everyone says. Chinese Carryout, Sushi

The Best Mystery Series that Just Keeps Getting Better:
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
The Nature of the Beast is vintage Penny. When a 9-year-old boy is murdered after telling a tale of a monster wielding a massive gun he’s seen in the woods, Inspector Gamache finds his quiet retirement disturbed. Penny ties things together with the Biblical Yeats lines “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” Penny’s ingenious plotting and ability to get to what’s inside each character make this exploration of evil a triumph. Gourmet, Book Club

The Best Thriller that Makes the Reader Afraid to Answer the Door:
As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman (Read the complete review here.) 

As Night Falls is a thriller featuring an evil prison escapee and his over-sized fellow inmate who break into a remote hilltop home to seek refuge and get supplies to trek to Canada. But much more lurks under the surface as the homeowners try to save themselves. McLean, the sweet dog in the book, is named in honor of Edie, the wonder dog, who reigns at one of my favorite places, McLean & Eakin Books in Petoskey, MI. It isn't often that a dog is such a well-written character. Grandma's Pot Roast/Chinese Carryout, Book Club

The Best Spy Novel (published in 2013 but I read it this year):
The Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Matthews, a former CIA officer, introduces Dominika Egorova, a Russian intelligence agent and Nash, the US handler of a Russian mole. It’s superb and I refuse to divulge more as it's so inventive. I read it because I'd heard that the sequel, Palace of Treason, was excellent and I wanted background before reading it. Chinese Carryout/Super Nutrition

The Best Mystery to Evoke Hitchcock:
The Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

Unbecoming is tough to categorize. Is it a mystery or literary fiction with a crime in it? Grace, a nice Southern girl, plans an art heist from a local historic house. Her co-conspirators go to prison and she’s working in Paris as an art restorer. A touch of Hitchcock makes this an inventive debut. Chinese Carryout

1 comment:

  1. We are excited that Tim Johnston will be a featured author at the Rocky Mountain Literary Festival in Evergreen, CO on October 15, 2016. Hope that you can join us! (