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You'll Read What I Tell Ya! - The Best of 2009

2009 has come to a close. I had hoped to fit in a couple more books after LEVEL 26, but a desperate need for sanity prevailed. I just did not want to read any more this year. Terrible, I know, but necessary. Books were actually the easiest thing to cut out of my life. The Hungry Detective had Christmas to celebrate, gifts to buy, travel to surmount. There are a handful of 2009 books I am still excited to read. I'll knock those off before moving on 2010. Still wondering when I am going to buy a 2010 book. Hopeful I can hold off for a bit.

Compiling the list proved relatively easy, but the exact order has been a difficult one. Besides the Top Three I was also a big fan of FIFTY GRAND by Adrian McKinty, THE MYSTIC ARTS OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH by Charlie Huston and THE MANUAL OF DETECTION by Jedediah Berry. Looking at the list now I only have a small pang of regret about what should be where. First up is THD's favorite non-2009 release.

Wow, what a great book. I could feel the warm Florida Summer nights from all the way in Rochester. I almost felt the need to wipe away the sweat because of Mr. Atkins's humid prose. I really like his Nick Travers series, but this was a quantum leap forward in every facet of his writing. It reminded me of early James Ellroy. WHITE SHADOWS cross section of old world Mafia and Cuban melodrama was fascinating. I'll definitely be playing catch up with the rest of Mr. Atkins's faux-reality based fiction in 2010.

Last year I put SEVERANCE PACKAGE in the third spot because it was the book I had the most fun reading. Mr. Sakey's book is not what I would call fun, but it was the book that provided the best reading experience. I gulped down THE AMATEURS in about five hours. I started it late on Saturday night and finished up pretty early on Sunday morning. It is a compulsive read that contains equal amounts of thrilling action as it does truisms of human frailty.

THE SILENT HOUR is a realistically messy book, where even hard answers are difficult to come by. Mr. Koryta has been the 'young gun' in Crime Fiction for awhile, and hopefully with this book the moniker will fall away. Qualifying him only serves to undercut what a truly sensational talent he already is. THE SILENT HOUR really showcases what a stylish writer Mr. Koryta is particularly for setting the appropriate mood. There are several wonderfully evocative moments in THE SILENT HOUR, but none more spooky than Lincoln Perry discovering Whispering Ridge.

That Mr. Judson's book is in the number one position is perhaps the biggest surprise of them all. As I drew up the 'long list' it was the book I kept having to come up with reasons as to why it shouldn't be in the Number One spot. Eventually it was just easy to put it here and force another book to take it away. When I think about the book it has the most emotional impact; the one that lingers longest. Cal Rakowski is a survivor and his journey through THE VIOLET HOUR is a devastating one. Mr. Judson has written the most wonderfully heartbreaking book I have read in a very long time.


Kerrie said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerrie said…
Dan, are you able to settle on a best 10 (or thereabouts? Check this post on my blog - you can participate in a big collection project I'm running.

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