Last year I read a number of exceptionally well-written books. Of course there were old favorites such as Andrew Vachss, Barry Eisler, Robert Crais, David Morrell, Stephen Hunter and others. Surprisingly, the list this year is dominated by authors that I read for the first time. And when I say dominated I mean it! Literally all of the authors in this year’s top five made it on my first exposure to their work.
5. Already Dead by Charlie Huston. Modern day vampire clans are at war and Joe Pitt has a missing girl to find. Huston’s next Joe Pitt novel, No Dominion, is available now.
4. Persuader by Lee Child. I’m coming to this series late in the game, but that doesn’t make me like it any less. Child has a winner with his Jack Reacher novels. In this outing, Reacher is working undercover with the FBI to catch an international gun-runner.
3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. A father and young son journey south through a bleak post-apocalyptic world. Food is scarce and only what they can scavenge. They must make the journey to escape the brutal winter that is almost upon them. If they don’t starve odds are one of the roaming bands of cannibals will find them. Still they press on.
2. World War Z by Max Brooks. A haunting book that Chad Hunt also recommends!
1. Stealing Home / Six Bad Things / A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston. Yeah, he’s the same Charlie Huston that wrote Already Dead. In this trilogy we meet Hank Thompson. When we first meet Hank he’s ten years out of high school and working as a bartender in New York City. Had it not been for a badly broken leg, he would have been a big league baseball player. Now he’s the nice guy who drinks too much and lacks real ambition. That is until the night two strangers yank him over the bar and beat him nearly to death. When he gets out of the hospital he gets more visitors and another beating. Soon he’s on the run from crooked cops, mobsters and hit men. If he lives maybe he’ll get a piece of the millions of dollars that they believe he has. Six Bad Things and A Dangerous Man complete Hank’s story. I loved every page and wish that it didn’t have to end.