Saturday, May 02, 2020

Out Ahead of the Crowd

Booklist’s Bill Ott holds the distinction of being the first notable reviewer every year to publish a list of his 10 favorite crime, mystery, and thriller novels. That’s because while other critics select only from books published during the current calendar year, Ott’s picks are culled from works released during the last eight months of the previous annum as well as the initial four months of the new year. The selections he posted on Friday, for instance, all reached bookstores between May 1, 2019, and April 15, 2020.

Those 10 tales, Ott explains, “explore cybercrime, throw ordinary people into situations of unimaginable horror, confront racial injustice past and present, and, yes, seek to understand a deadly virus.” Among his choices are Kate Atkinson’s Big Sky (Little, Brown), Lawrence Wright’s The End of October (Knopf), Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay (Ecco), and Chris Pavone’s The Paris Diversion (Crown). You will find his full top-10 list here.

In addition, Ott offers up a top-10 list of “crime fiction debuts”—first novels of particular distinction. That list includes Owen Matthews’ Black Sun (Doubleday), Heather Chavez’s No Bad Deed (Morrow), Andrew Hunter Murray’s The Last Day (Dutton), and The Whisper Man (Macmillan/Celadon), by “Alex North” (aka Steve Mosby).

(Hat tip to Randal S. Brandt.)

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