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My goal for this year was to read 100 books (although not all of them were mysteries). I’m on track for this goal with just a couple more left to catch up to before the year ends. I’ve got to say 2014 was a great year for reading some awesome books. I’ve met many new authors with their fantastic debut novels.
I’ve caught up to latest books in favorite series. I’ve read a few great standalone novels. Overall I loved this year, it offered me the chance to immerse myself in the deep world of characters and storylines that grabbed me from the first pages and never let me go. One note – not all books I’ve read were published in 2014.
While The Savage Sleeps By Andrew E. Kaufman (2010)
This is a standalone novel by the author, and I decided to buy and read it in January after having read two books in his Patrick Bannister series, both which I quite enjoyed. Having said that, I have to admit that While The Savage Sleeps is much, much better than his series, by far.
Boy I was glad to pick it up. Gripping, chilling, with a hint of paranormal, this book has every ingredient that kept me glued to the pages throughout. One of my favorite books read this year.
The Third Gate by Lincoln Child (2012)
Another standalone novel, The Third Gate was, simply put, an awesome read. I might be slightly biased, because I enjoy very much reading everything Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston writes, whether in their popular Pendergast thriller series or standalone novels written separately. I literally buy the books as soon as they are released. So when I started reading this book, I knew it would not disappoint me – and it didn’t.
An archaeological mystery, with some supernatural elements in it that almost border on horror, the book started a bit slow, but by the time I was finished with it, I felt I’ve just been involved in a rollercoaster ride. Highly recommended!
The New Reality by Stephen Martino (2014)
This book was really a surprise as I’ve never read anything by this author before, so when I saw it listed on Netgalley, I got curious due to the blurb, which talks about it being a medical thriller. I love this genre, so I picked it up without any hesitation. When I finished the book, I knew I had a real gem in my hands.
It was so much more than a simple medical thriller. It had also a mix of sci-fi thiller and political thriller in, and their combination made for a very powerful read. One that I’m still thinking about every now and then. I remember when I finished the book I had this vague uneasy feeling that this could actually happen in our society any day now…
Archetype by M.D. Water (2014)
Let me just preface this with saying that the book is not exactly mystery in its true sense of the world. It is more a dystopian novel and I really picked it up as I love dystopian fiction almost as much as I love a good crime mystery or thriller book. It is about a futuristic society where infertility is quite the big issue. And it’s about Emma and her story after becoming amnesiac following an accident.
I decided to list this book here, because even though dystopian, it is a mystery as well. As you are reading the book, you are trying to piece the clues together from the bits of information you are fed. The twists and turns are pretty much constant, just like in any other thriller I’ve read to date. A chilling read, and now that I got hold of the second (and the prequel books, they will be some of my first reads in 2015.
Watch Your Back by Karen Rose (2014)
I have to list this book here, because well, we’re talking about Karen Rose – one of my favorite romantic suspense authors. I’ve read all her books and this is the 15th installment in her Romantic Suspense series.
The book is big. 600 pages and counting. However I never got bored of reading it. The author has a way with words that keeps you engrossed in the pages without tiring of reading at all.
Yes, it is a typical romantic suspense novel, and yes it’s in the usual style for Karen Rose, but if you love this genre and if you love her work, you will savor this book the way you did ever other of her novels so far.
Downfall by Brian Lutterman (2014)
Here is another book by a new author to me. I was given a review copy by the author himself with a request to read and possibly review. Having read it, not only I reviewed it, but also gave it 5 well deserved stars.
Downfall is a standalone thriller that I couldn’t put down once I started to read. Very intense, with many twists and turns and dangers lurking at every pace, it was a surprisingly good read. It got me engrossed in the pages to the very end.
Chimeras by E.E. Giorgi (2014)
Chimeras is a book that I’ve read in March, and it’s still with me, almost at the end of the year. I’ve never heard of Elena Giorgi before, so when she approached me with the request to read her first book in the Track Presius series, I was not quite sure what to expect.
Track Presisus is a very strange guy with a rare genetic disorder, which makes him extremely good at what he does. The character appealed to me from the start and the police procedural story was really well written. I was really glad when the author sent me her second book in the series, Mosaics as well – it’s just as good as Chimeras, some people might say it’s even better.
The Shiro Project by David Khara (2014)
The Shiro Project is in fact the second book in the Consortium thriller series by the French author David S. Khara. I’ve read both books and I found this second one to be better than the first. Even though I don’t list the first book separately here, to read this series it’s really best to read them in order, starting with The Bleiberg Project. Who knows, it might get onto your top reads for the year.
Now You See Me by S.J. (Sharon) Bolton (2011)
Wow what a book! I bought it at someone’s recommendation at Goodreads and having read it, I took no time in buying the next books that follow it,, without being pushed by any recommendations whatsover. If you start this series, you will find yourself in my shoes quite fast, you’ll see.
The book is a crime mystery, but also a dark thriller. The characters grew on me very fast, and although there is (just the hint of) a romance, it doesn’t overpower the storyline at all. It is as intense as it gets, and a real page turner. If you get the chance to read the whole series, do it, you won’t be disappointed.
The 6th Extinction by James Rollins (2014)
I will add this book automatically to this list because James Rollins, along with the duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, belongs to one of my favorites authors, and his writing never fails to impress me. The 6th Extinction is the 10th book in his popular Sigma Force series, and having read all the books so far, as well as his standalone novels, I have the author on my “automatically buy his books” list as soon as they are published.
James Rollins writes wonderful adventure thrillers that keep you glued to the pages, with all their intrigue and nail biting suspense. If you can read the books in the right order, do it, it will be well worth it. And while you’re at it, pick up his standalone novels starting with Subterranean – it’s the book that got me hooked on this author in the first place.
Are You Afraid by Carla Cassidy (2006)
Are You Afraid is one of the (sadly) few paperback novels I’ve read this year, despite having still over 1000 books at home on various shelves just waiting to be picked up and read. While the book is rather old based on modern standards, I found it really good and kept my attention throughout.
It is a standalone romantic suspense novel with some thriller undertones. I don’t think I’ve read anything else by this author before, but having finished her novel, I put her on my ‘authors to watch’ list.
Dead Simple by Peter James (2005)
When I downloaded this book from Netgalley, I’ve already heard of this British author, but never really got to read his books. Truth is I have several Roy Grace books in paperback format at home, but not all – and definitely not his first. So when I saw it on offer to download, I grabbed it, because I knew that this was my chance to finally start on this much talked about series.
Let’s just say that the first book really got me hooked on the series. A British police procedural with a dark atmosphere, complex and rewarding story and a really great writing style. I’m now reading book #3 in the series and I won’t stop until I’ve caught up to the latest published book, Want You Dead.
Snuff by Melissa Simonson (2014)
Here is yet another book by an author I’ve never heard before. I love discovering new gems, and this book really is one. It is the 3rd book in a police procedural series, but it being the only book I’ve read so far, I can safely say they can all be read out of order, as standalone novels.
I bought this book on a whim and I never regretted my decision. As dark, twisted and sick as it is, if you like your thrillers chilling to the core, you will love this one! It’s not a cozy and it’s not even a regular procedural novel. It’s one of those books that stay with you long after you’ve read it. It’s sick and I loved every page of it!
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (2012)
I Hunt Killers is one of those books I bought on a whim after getting poked with a book recommendation over at Goodreads by another book lover.
The blurb talked about a young adult (YA) thriller, so I said – hm, let’s see. And when I finished the book, the hm because a resounding WOW!
If you loved Dexter, this book is like a prequel to it, but still not quite like it. Jasper (Jaz to his friends) is the son of one of the most notorious serial killers ever, and he has to live with it. And living with it means that he has to fight against everything Dear Old Dad taught him, or succumb to the seduction of the DNA strands that he inherited from him. A truly great and unique book – and if you read this one, you will get the rest in the series, so be prepared!
Fall From Grace by Susan Kraus (2014)
This is the debut novel by the author Susan Kraus, and when she approached me asking me to read and review her novel, I was a bit hesitant. You see, at the time her book had no reviews on Amazon or Goodreads whatsoever. I had no idea what I would read and honestly I am reluctant to work with authors whose books might flop because I hate having to give low ratings to the books.
But luckily I didn’t have to worry about this problem with Fall From Grace at all. The book is intense, a psychological mystery that is well worth reading. It’s neither an actual thriller, nor a crime mystery in the traditional sense of the word. It’s really a family drama with lots of suspense, tragedy and fear involved, with a plot that hooks you from the start. Her second book, All God’s Children is just as good (if not even better in fact). A series well worth checking out.
Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (2014)
Blue Labyrinth is the latest offering by the duo author in their Pendergast thriller series. And this book is not only on my top reads for 2014, but also it’s the 4th favorite book in their series, right after Relic, Reliquary and The Cabinet of Curiosities. Thank you Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child for going back to the writing the great books that you are known for, after several – let’s just say – almost letdowns.
Haunted by Kay Hooper (2014)
Haunted is the 15th book in the Bishop/SCU thriller series by Kay Hooper. She is another author whose books I order automatically as soon as they are released. The books have a slight paranormal twist with the Bishop team members each having their own different ‘gifts’ – 6the senses. Some are clairvoyant, others are telepaths, empaths, mediums and everything else in between. And these guys solve crimes that regular police can’t solve due to their weirdness.
I love this series, and I can’t wait for the next installment to be published.