DeathBecomesHer: Top five books of 2015

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This year, I’ve been lucky enough to review a fair few top-class books for Crime Fiction Lover. What joy! The smile of satisfaction fades when you survey the packed bookshelf and begin to ponder on the five stand-outs.

Five is the limit, so I’m just going to sneak in the almost-made-its anyway… When I tell you that they are No Name Lane by Howard Linskey, Sarah Hilary’s No Other Darkness, Taking Pity by David Mark, and Splinter The Silence and Blood Salt Water by two little known Scottish writers – Val McDermid and Denise Mina respectively – then you’ll be able to see how hard it’s been to choose the best of the best. So here goes – DeathBecomesHer’s five books of the year!

lifeordeath2005 – Life or Death by Michael Robotham
Described as ‘The Shawshank Redemption meets No Country for Old Men’, this is a book that just begs to be given the movie treatment. Audie Palmer has been in prison for a decade for his part in an armed robbery in which four people were killed and $7 million went missing. He’s been a good boy and is due to be released tomorrow, so why on earth would he make his escape today? It’s a question that taxes the police, FBI and even Audie’s old cellmate and Robotham keeps the reader guessing the answer for much of this stand-alone thriller which picked up the CWA Gold Dagger for 2015. Edge-of-the-seat reading at its very best. Read my review here.
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The Ice Twins 2004 – The Ice Twins by S K Tremayne
Since reviewing this book in January I’ve been burbling on about it to anyone who’ll listen. What happens when your perfect life comes a tumblin’ down? The Moorcrofts have great jobs, a lovely home and two darling twin daughters. Then one of the girls falls to her death and that facade of perfection is shattered. Unable to cope, they up sticks and move to a remote Scottish island. It’s a chance for them to start again, but when surviving twin Kirstie insists she is actually her dead twin, Lydia, this book shows its true colours. Dark, disturbing, claustrophobic and haunting, there was never any doubt that The Ice Twins would be in my top five. Read my review here.
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iletyougo200 3 – I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Another book that staked an early claim for my list is this debut novel that came out in May, and whenever I think of the killer twist contained within its covers, I’m still rocked to the core. A run-of-the-mill walk home from school turns into every parent’s nightmare for one mother when she allows her five-year-old son to cross the road alone and he is hit by a car and killed. The driver leaves the scene without stopping, leaving a world of mayhem and recrimination in the tyre tracks. I’ll say no more for fear of giving anything away about this tautly plotted and always surprising blend of police procedural and psychological thriller that will keep you reading on until the wee small hours. Full review here.
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thekindworthkilling2002 – The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
The author’s second stand-alone novel, following the hugely successful The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, is a book with more dead ends and unexpected turns than a road map of a 1970s housing estate. It begins with a somewhat Strangers on a Train scenario when a successful businessman chats to a woman in an airport bar and they end of up the same flight. As the conversation continues, talk turns to murder and the scene is set for a humdinger of a tale where it doesn’t pay to take anything on trust… believe me! Read my review here.
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evendogsinthewild3001 – Even Dogs In The Wild by Ian Rankin
Rebus is back in his 20th novel, and this time the old man is retired. No pipe and slippers for our hero though, and although takings are up in the Oxford Bar these days he jumps at the chance of getting involved when an old enemy is the target of a shooting attempt. Yes, Rebus is working in a civilian role but he doesn’t let that little fact get in the way of his trademark investigating skills. With DI Siobhan Clarke and DI Malcolm Fox in the mix too this is a cracker of a read by an author at the very top of his game. Add it to your TBR list at once! Read the review here.
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Want to know what my picks were last year? Then click here. To see what our other writers have chosen click here.

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