Tuesday, December 24, 2019

If You Need Last-Minute Present Ideas …

It seems that no matter how much I try to step away from The Rap Sheet, if only to enjoy a bit of relaxation during the holidays, it keeps drawing me back to work. Today I am called to update the extensive lists, by multiple blogs and Web sites, of the best books of 2019.

The Real Book Spy’s Ryan Steck has finally issued his selections of the “best thrillers of 2019,” breaking them down into seven obvious categories. Among his choices are Joseph Kanon’s The Accomplice, John le Carré’s Agent Running in the Field, Sandie Jones’ The First Mistake, and Alex Segura’s Miami Midnight. However, Steck’s pick for the Best Book of 2019 is Backlash, by Brad Thor.

At the same time, CrimeReads adds to its previous lists one spotlighting what it says are the best historical crime novels of the year, including C.J. Sansom’s Tombland, Sara Collins’ The Confessions of Frannie Langton, Alix Nathan’s The Warlow Experiment, and Sujata Massey’s The Satapur Moonstone. In his Sons of Spade blog, Jochem Vandersteen identifies his favorite private-eye novel of 2019 as Behind the Wall of Sleep, by James D.F. Hannah. And Andrew Nette, co-editor of the fascinating new book Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counter Culture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980, cites his own top 10 reads of the last 12 months, not all of them new.

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