Sunday, December 31, 2006

You’re the Top!

Due to unexpected technical difficulties, it took longer to post than anyone foresaw; but January Magazine’s “Best Books of 2006” mega-feature is finally up, including 45 books--selected by nine critics--in the crime-fiction section. (A couple of other titles that could have appeared along with them--Jeb Rubenfeld’s The Interpretation of Murder and Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Rising--were moved to help fill out the general fiction page.)

Included among this year’s picks:
The Big Boom, by Domenic Stansberry
By the Time You Read This, by Giles Blunt
A Corpse in the Koryo, by James Church
Darkness & Light, by John Harvey
Dope, by Sara Gran
The Drummer, by Anthony Neil Smith
A Field of Darkness, by Cornelia Read
The Hidden Assassins, by Robert Wilson
Liberation Movements, by Olen Steinhauer
The Night Gardener, by George Pelecanos
The Pale Blue Eye, by Louis Bayard
A Stolen Season, by Steve Hamilton
The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard
Zero to the Bone, by Robert Everz
There are also a couple of crime-related books highlighted in this feature package’s non-fiction section: Michael Connelly’s Crime Beat and Erik Larson’s Thunderstruck, a terrifically consuming follow-up to The Devil in the White City (2003).

Special thanks are due here to January editor Linda L. Richards, who put in many frustrating (and tear-provoking) hours trying to overcome software quirks, in order to bring us this year’s selection of “favorites.” Without her persistence and her willingness to learn a new software program, the “Best Books of 2006” might not have been posted until well into 2007. She deserves a hearty toast! Champagne, of course.

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