Lucy: Top five books of 2012

2012 has been a great year for crime fiction with some excellent new writers appearing, as seen in New Talent November. This made it particularly difficult to pick my top five books. And with all five having the qualities to be number one, it was even more difficult to rank them. However here are my top five books of 2012…

5 – The First Cut by Ali Knight
This was my first review for CrimeFictionLover and it did not let me down. Whilst on holiday with friends, Nicky’s best friend Grace is murdered and dumped in a lake, only for Nicky to come across the body whilst taking a midnight swim. Five years later we find that Nicky sought solace with Greg, Grace’s widower. Nicky is determined to find answers, but this only leads her to ask more questions and it soon becomes clear that she might be the next one to lose her life. Full of adultery, stalkers and murder, this thriller was exciting and left me totally engrossed, desperate to read more. One of the best parts of The First Cut was the ending which left me completely shocked, and which I definitely hadn’t guessed. This was Ali Knight’s second thriller and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
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4 – No One Left to Tell by Karen Rose
Following incriminating evidence and a discredited, alibi Ramon Munoz is convicted of college girl Crystal’s murder but protests his innocence. Ramon’s wife enlists the help of private investigator Paige Holden and while investigating the murder Paige uncovers corrupt police and bribery and it soon becomes clear that it might be safer for everyone if Ramon stays in prison. This is a fast-paced and exciting thriller which keeps the reader engaged right up until the surprise ending. The detailed and thorough introductions to the characters means that the plot of this thriller flows well, and the romantic plot enabled me to form an emotional connection to the characters.
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3 – Catch Me by Lisa Gardner
I was recommended this book by a friend and it was my first Lisa Gardner novel. It’s set in Boston and sees the main character, 28-year-old Charlie Grant, seeking sanctuary with homicide detective DD Warren because believes she is going to be murdered. In the last two years, both of her childhood friends have been murderer which leaves Charlie the last one from the three friends remaining alive. The question is, is she next? Charlie is an intriguing character who you leaves you concerned for her well-being while at the same time wondering if she shouldn’t be a murder suspect. Catch Me has a variety of twists and turns and a few different storylines which add to the suspense and excitement. Once I started reading this novel I could not wait to finish it and found myself reading it at every available opportunity.
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2 – The Black Box by Michael Connelly
With the 20th anniversary of well-loved Detective Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, Michael Connelly released this new thriller The Black Box. It starts 20 years ago in 1992 with the acquittal of four police officers, cleared of assaulting Rodney King. Bosch re-opens a cold case that has troubled him for years – female, Danish photojournalist, Anneke Jesperson was killed during the riots. Since two decades have gone by since the murder occurred Bosch has a lot more at his disposal but can he overcome the various obstacles in his way and use these resources to crack the case? I have loved all the Harry Bosch novels and this one certainly isn’t any different. With all the classic Bosch traits – uptight and focused – the reader will not be disappointed. I particularly enjoyed the addition of Maddie, his daughter, who adds a family dimension to Bosch as a detective.
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1 – Not Yet Dead by Peter James
I downloaded this book for my Kindle on a 20p special offer and it was definitely the bargain of a lifetime. Not Yet Dead is the latest novel in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace crime series, and is about the making of a Hollywood film. An obsessed stalker is after the leading actress of the film – Gaia Lafayette. One attempt on her life is made days before she leaves her Bel Air home to fly to Brighton for filming, and once she reaches Brighton it becomes clear that the stalker may be at large in the city… waiting, watching and planning. This book is a little slow to start but soon it becomes impossible to put down – I even found myself reading it whilst cooking my dinner. I love Roy Grace as a character, he grows with every story and in my view he is the embodiment of a crime fiction detective. I enjoyed the setting of Brighton and having lived there myself for three years I felt it really brought the novel to life.
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