Monday, November 13, 2017

Matters of Opinion

If there’s one thing I learned during my almost six years of writing for Kirkus Reviews, it was that when it came to choosing the “best crime fiction” produced in any given twelvemonth, my opinions often diverged from the publication’s consensus of opinion. This year is no exception. Earlier today, Kirkus released its Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2017 rundown, touting the following works:

Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
The Smack, by Richard Lange (Mulholland)
Say Nothing, by Brad Parks (Dutton)
Exposed, by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s Press)
The Fifth Element, by Jørgen Brekke (Minotaur)
Keep Her Safe, by Sophie Hannah (Morrow)
The Late Show, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
A Cast of Vultures, by Judith Flanders (Minotaur)
Murder in Saint-Germain, by Cara Black (Soho Crime)
Defectors, by Joseph Kanon (Astria)
House of Spies, by Daniel Silva (Harper)
Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke (Mulholland)
Fierce Kingdom, by Gin Phillips (Viking)
Lies She Told, by Cate Holahan (Crooked Lane)

Although I’m still narrowing down my top-five and top-10 crime-fiction choices for the year, I can tell you right now that of the 14 novels Kirkus mentions here, only two have scored spots among my preliminary picks. That has to do in part with the fact that I have not read as many books as all of Kirkus’ reviewers combined; but it’s also true that every individual book critic has his or her own distinctive tastes. It’s just as likely that my selections for 2017 will stand in contrast with those of other Rap Sheet contributors. You will find out for sure come early December, when we all post our “best books of the year” nominations on this page.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

The Michael Connelly has to be one of them. The others, not so much.

Kristopher said...

I think this year is going to be more diverse than normal - which is certainly saying something. Like you, probably only one (maybe two) of these books will make my final cut.

R. K. Robinson said...

Ask 50 people for their 3 favorite books and you'll get a list of 150. So it seems. Eliminate the best seller and traditional favorite authors, and the list expands.

Anonymous said...

The Late Show was a very mediocre attempt at a new series. This book should not be included any 'best of' lists.