Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Thrillers of the Year

Well, it's that time of year when all the 'best of' and 'favourite' lists are made for various things, including books. It's interesting to see the different perspectives (and breadth of reading) on show with various lists from around the world that are regularly cropping up this month. In terms of New Zealand, I've already mentioned the prestigious New Zealand Listener 100 Best Books List - it was great to see several local and international crime/thriller titles make the cut in 2011 (you can now read the full list and reviewer comments about each book online here).

Another great publication in New Zealand, when it comes to book features and reviews, is the Canvas magazine supplement in the Weekend Herald newspaper. And recently, Canvas published a comprehensive "essential Christmas book guide", surveying what its reviewers saw as the best books of 2011, across a variety of categories. Reviewer Michele Hewitson, who provides the regular crime/thriller round-up for Canvas, chose the following five thrillers as top of the tree in 2011:
  • LITTLE STAR by John Ajvide
  • THE AFFAIR by Lee Child
  • THE DROP by Michael Connelly
  • FEAST DAY OF FOOLS by James Lee Burke.
It seems like a solid group of choices by Hewitson. The Burke book was also on the Listener list, and I've seen PD James' book also feature on other lists overseas, as has THE DROP (which I really enjoyed too). I liked THE AFFAIR, and thought it was Child's best in a while, although I personally wouldn't have featured it ahead of several other great thrillers from 2011 (eg IRON HOUSE by John Hart, THE WRECKAGE by Michael Robotham, THE LEOPARD by Jo Nesbo, COLLECTING COOPER by Paul Cleave etc).

But that's the great thing about such lists - they can expose the readers to books we may not have read or thought about ourselves, and they also provide some great discussion-starters for us hardcore crime fiction readers. So, what have been your personal favourite crime novels of 2011? And what do you think are the best crime novels of 2011 (favourites and 'best' aren't always the same - we can like a book that we realise isn't as 'great', but like it anyway).

1 comment:

  1. Craig - I've read too many good books this year to list them... But there are some fine choices there, and that's good to see. 'Course, I'm a Connelly fan and I do really like James Lee Burke, too.