Monday, November 13, 2023

Bouquets All Around

As evidenced by the previous list from Waterstones, this appears to be the year when British book critics abandon all pretense of selectivity, and simply try to make everyone happy. Can a “best books of the year” list that runs to 39 titles really be discerning? How about 44? That’s the length of the following two inventories from the London Times. The “Best Crime Books of 2023” were chosen by reviewer Joan Smith, while the “Best Thriller Books of 2023” come from John Dugdale.

Best Crime Books of 2023:
Past Lying, by Val McDermid (Sphere)
The Prey, by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Great Deceiver, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
Stigma, by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger (Orenda)
Everybody Knows, by Jordan Harper (Faber and Faber)
The Mystery of the Tree House, by Lesley Thomson (Head of Zeus/Aries)
The Pit, by Peter Papathanasiou (MacLehose Press)
The Raging Storm, by Ann Cleeves (Macmillan)
Prom Mom, by Laura Lippman (Faber
and Faber)
Reykjavik, by Ragnar Jónasson and Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Michael Joseph)
All Her Secrets, by Jane Shemilt (HarperCollins)
Someone You Know, by Erin Kinsley (Headline)
Murder in the Family, by Cara Hunter (HarperFiction)
The Contest, by Karen Hamilton (Wildfire)
Case Sensitive, by A.K. Turner (Zaffre)
Standing in the Shadows, by Peter Robinson (Hodder & Stoughton)
Midnight, by Amy McCulloch (Michael Joseph)
Black Fell, by Mari Hannah (Orion)
The Dead Don’t Speak, by Clair Askew (Hodder & Stoughton)
Killing Moon, by Jo Nesbø (Harvill Secker)
The Invisible Web, by Oliver Bottini (MacLehose Press)
The Last Songbird, by Daniel Weizmann (Melville House)
The Detective, by Ajay Chowdhury (Harvill Secker)
The Lock-Up, by John Banville (Faber and Faber)
The Girl by the Bridge, by Arnaldur Indridason (Vintage)
The Monk, by Tim Sullivan (Head of Zeus/Aries)
Cut Adrift, by Jane Jesmond (Verve)
Eleven Liars, by Robert Gold (Sphere)
Freeze, by Kate Simants (Viper)
Tokyo Express, by Seicho Matsumoto (Penguin Classics)
The Broken Afternoon, by Simon Mason (Riverrun)
The Blood Line, by Will Shindler (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Last Remains, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
Exiles, by Jane Harper (Macmillan)
Stay Buried, by Kate Webb (Quercus)
Dead Man’s Creek, by Chris Hammer (Wildfire)
The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, by Janice Hallett (Viper)
Blink of an Eye, by Jo Callaghan
(Simon & Schuster UK)
The Other Half, by Charlotte Vassell
(Faber and Faber)

Best Thriller Books of 2023:
The Secret, by Lee Child and Andrew Child (Bantam)
Kennedy 35, by Charles Cumming (HarperCollins)
Geneva, by Richard Armitage
(Faber and Faber)
The Year of the Locust, by Terry Hayes (Bantam)
Bright Young Women, by Jessica Knoll (Macmillan)
The Beaver Theory, by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda)
The Exchange, by John Grisham (Hodder & Stoughton)
Traitors Gate, by Jeffrey Archer (HarperCollins)
The Trap, by Catherine Ryan Howard (Bantam)
The Lie Maker, by Linwood Barclay (HQ)
The Traitor, by Ava Glass (Penguin)
All the Little Liars, by Victoria Selman (Quercus)
Assassin Eighteen, by John Brownlow (Hodder & Stoughton)
Kill For Me, Kill For You, by Steve Cavanagh (Headline)
The New Wife, by J.P. Delaney (Quercus)
None of This Is True, by Lisa Jewell (Century)
Fearless, by M.W. Craven (Constable)
Beware the Woman, by Megan Abbott (Virago)
The Trial, by Rob Rinder (Century)
Everyone Here Is Lying, by Shari Lapena (Bantam)
The Scarlet Papers, by Matthew Richardson (Michael Joseph)
Central Park West, by James Comey (Head of Zeus/Aries)
Drowning, by T.J. Newman (Simon & Schuster UK)
The End of the Game, by Holly Watt (Raven)
Small Mercies, by Dennis Lehane (Abacus)
No One Saw a Thing, by Andrea Mara (Bantam)
A Good Night to Kill, by Amen Alonge (Quercus)
The Hike, by Lucy Clarke (HarperCollins)
No Place to Hide, by J.S. Monroe
(Head of Zeus/Aries)
The Warlock Effect, by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (Hodder & Stoughton)
City of Dreams, by Don Winslow (HarperCollins)
Until Proven Innocent, by Nicola Williams (Hamish Hamilton)
The Favour, by Nicci French
(Simon & Schuster UK)
The Translator, by Harriet Crawley
(Bitter Lemon Press)
Red Queen, by Juan Gómez-Jurado (Macmillan)
The Mother, by T.M. Logan (Zaffre)
I Will Find You, by Harlan Coben (Century)
Damascus Station, by David McCloskey (Swift Press)
Look Both Ways, by Linwood Barclay (HQ)
All The Dangerous Things, by Stacy Willingham (HarperCollins)
The Only Suspect, by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster UK)
White Riot, by Joe Thomas (Arcadia)
In at the Kill, by Gerald Seymour (Hodder & Stoughton)
Shadow State, by Andy McNab (Welbeck)

(Hat tip to Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine.)

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