Thursday, June 25, 2020

Half Done, Fully Satisfied

With 2020 already half over as of next Tuesday, June 30, you can expect to see blogs, Web sites, and individual reviewers declaring which works of crime and thriller fiction (all published in the United States) they believe are “the best of the year … so far.”

CrimeReads made its 10 picks yesterday, including Ivy Pochoda’s These Women (Ecco), Don Winslow’s Broken (Morrow), Elizabeth Little’s Pretty as a Picture (Viking), Kwei Quartey’s The Missing American (Soho Crime), and Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets (Minotaur).

Amazon, meanwhile, turns thumbs-up on 20 books from this genre—most of them written by women—that have been released since January 1. Among those are Kimberly McCreight’s A Good Marriage (Harper), Michael Connelly’s Fair Warning (Little, Brown), Mindy Mejia’s Strike Me Down (Atria/Emily Bestler), Hye-young Pyun’s The Law of Lines (Arcade), and Sara Sliger’s Take Me Apart (MCD).

My own reading tastes differ somewhat from those of the folks responsible for the aforementioned lists. There are also a few works they applaud (notably These Women and Fair Warning) that I have still not cracked open. All that now said, let me offer my own list of favorite crime novels from the first six months of 2020:

The Decent Inn of Death, by Rennie Airth (Penguin)
Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black (Soho Crime)
Black Sun Rising, by Matthew Carr (Pegasus)
Do No Harm, by Max Allan Collins (Forge)
The Good Killer, by Harry Dolan (Mysterious Press)
Hammer to Fall, by John Lawton (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Death in the East, by Abir Mukherjee (Pegasus)
Dead Land, by Sara Paretsky (Morrow)
Mr. Nobody, by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine)
The Coldest Warrior, by Paul Vidich (Pegasus)

These preferences are likely to change between now and year’s end, when I post my Favorite Crime Fiction of 2020 selections. For the present, however, I’m feeling good about them all.

So, which 2020 releases in this genre have you read since January that you think the rest of us would also relish? Suggestions are welcome in the Comments section at the end of this post.


Scott D. Parker said...

What is your standard reading rate? One book every two weeks?

J. Kingston Pierce said...

No, more like one or two books per week. Unless, of course, I'm tackling War and Peace or some other literary behemoth.