1) All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whittaker
Why I like it: This is the most recent of my recommendations having been only been released in August 2017. It is the second novel by this author with ‘Tall Oaks’’ having been released last year.
An excellent slice of rural Americana, it is more about the residents of a small town where a young girl has gone missing than the crime itself. The local dialect used is very genuine and that may cause the first few pages to be a struggle but please stick with it. The characters are wonderfully drawn and stay with you long after the last page has been turned.
It is one of those rare books that you can’t stop reading but really don’t want to end and I have been recommending it to everyone who asks what my favourite read of the year has been.
2) Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Why I like it: Domestic-noir – if that is the correct term for the sub-genre this recommendation falls into – has always been my least favourite within crime fiction and indeed my wife had to persuade me to give this one a read. I was truly gripped from the word go. The author created an excellent example of a flawed protagonist and the depiction of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, to me, felt very well researched and conveyed. The tension grew fantastically well throughout the course of the book and built to a fantastic conclusion.
With the domestic setting of the book, the events portrayed could very easily be happening to someone – possibly someone you might even know – as you read it and that is genuinely scary.
3) Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
Why I like it: This is the first in the very popular Charlie Parker series which I had steadfastly avoided for many years thinking that I wouldn’t like my crime fiction mixed with supernatural elements. I eventually cracked and found out I had been very very wrong. Not only is Parker a fantastically-drawn protagonist but every recurring side character and antagonist are given real depth and practically jump from the page.
Every Dead Thing itself is a terrific introduction to the character, with Parker following a serial killer into America’s deep south. The atmosphere elicited is enough to get you sweating and swatting at mosquitos.
Admittedly the series is not for everyone, but if you haven’t tried them I urge you to do so. Every new Charlie Parker release is one which I now look forward to months in advance.
BIO: Andrew Maak blogs about books and beer. Check out https://booknbeersite.wordpress.com.