The Top Twenty Novels of 2018

Must Read Books in 2018


  1. The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Simon & Schuster)
    (An unlikely book to make it to the top of the list, but Orlean delivers a book so vivid in atmosphere with a detailed plot that will appeal not only to those of us who love books, which makes it a must read book.)
  2. The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly (Atria)
    Without a doubt the book that stands out as Connolly’s best ever, he manages to go into the dark recesses of the human soul and pulls of a plot which deserves to top the bestseller lists and hit the big screen!
  3. The Girl Who Ran by Nikki Owen (Blackstone)
    Not another conspiracy novel, but a book that explores how talent can insure a person’s slavery to a sinister power. The action is non-stop and Owen relies on skill rather than the old troupes.
  4. The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (HMHCO)
    A picture book town can have some pretty sinister secrets and Griffiths does an incredible job with this novel set in Italy where you can only bury secrets so deep.
  5. Wicked River by Jenny Milchman (Sourcebooks)
    Forest, a married couple, a killer, the elements. Very simple, but in Milchman’s hands complex and a creepy page turner, which makes it one of our top must read books.
  6. Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan (Dutton)
    When you think that Tana French has mastered the Dublin police procedural, Kiernan’s debut shows that she’s a force to be reckoned with and is going to add some a splash to this small genre.
  7. The Black Painting by Neil Olson (Hanover Square)
    The art thriller has suffered from being having “art” in its genre, but in Olson’s hands he manages to turn this book into something that crosses into several genres, with unexpected twists, pathological characters and a nod to Goya.
  8. Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate (MIRA)
    This thriller asks us about our memory, our power to repress trauma, and sometimes if we can summon up replay button we may not get the answers we’re after.
  9. Crimson Lake by Candice Fox (Tor/Forge)
    Complex wouldn’t do justice when describing this novel, Fox has the talent to have her readers have their head spinning, and in this novel I felt like reading it twice, since I was eager to find how who the real culprit was.
  10. Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (Mulholland)
    Mosley is more than a mystery writer, more than a writer, more than a poet. He manages with his lyrical writing and sense of social justice to weave novel after novel that are destined to be classics and without saying anymore, this is probably one of his top five.Must read books in 2018
  11. The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver (Grand Central)
    Deaver manages yet another creepy maniac in the form of a killer who murders his victims during the period between engagement and marriage. We have Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs trying to hunt him down and find his twisted motives, like all of Deaver’s books this one is a thrill ride and a template for would be authors on the art of creating a well-oiled thriller.
  12. Dark Side of the Moon by Alan Jacobson (Open Road)
    An ambitious book involving high technology, space, and intrigue. Most authors would have a tough time pulling that off but Jacobson pulls it off with some space to spare,
  13. I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan (William Morrow)
    To most of us who have not had the misfortune of having a loved one or friend murdered, we can only imagine the feeling. Macmillan expertly shows how grief and anger over a murder can never be doused with the passage of time.
  14. Hushed in Death by Stephen Kelly (Pegasus Books)
    Kelly manages to craft a suspenseful book in the vein of Christie set during World War I and chockfull of twists and turns.
  15. The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry (The Mysterious Press)
    Perry in this novel can best be described as a contemporary Joseph Conrad. Read his book and The Secret Agent and you’ll know why.
  16. Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison (Mira)
    Deception plays a big part on this book, but Ellison does more than that, she steers clear of those plots which rely on too many twists, but plays a simple chess game with her readers and what a hell of a chess game!
  17. Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown and Co.)
    Atkinson has tried her hand at several parts of the mystery genre and now this work of spies, and shadows stands as her best yet.
  18. A Baby’s Bones by Rebecca Alexander (Titan)
    Alexander has written a book about a historical murder scene, but she does more than that, she crafts a roller coaster journey of a book. I read it in one sitting.
  19. A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux (Mira)
    A wonderful gem of a book, where three people investigating an old murder in a small town might as well be thrown into a hostile snake pit.
  20. Macbeth by Jo Nesbø (Hogarth)
    Everything Nesbo produces is a masterpiece and a must read book. Enough said.

For an exhaustive list of the must read mysteries and thrillers check out this blog post from Galaxy Press


Posted in Monthly Reads, Reviews.

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