I'm aiming to read about 6-7 books per month in 2012 (78 total, or one and a half a week, down from 2 per week in 2011 - going for quality over quantity a little more this year), of which around five per month will be crime novels (I'm trying to read a little more broadly than my 88 per cent crime fiction intake in 2011) - so each month I will share the crime novels I've read, provide a few brief comments, and choose a 'pick of the month', for whatever reason. In my case, I might not always pick the 'best' book, but perhaps the one I enjoyed the most, for whatever reason, or the one that I think readers should give a go, that is lesser-known.
For January 2012, I've had a slow-ish start to the reading year, with only four books completed (I have another three on-the-go, non-fiction, so they're taking a little longer). Here's the line-up thusfar:
- 1ST TO DIE by James Patterson: I was at a beach house on a rainy first week of the year, and grabbed this off the bookshelf there. I was after an easy, breezy, quick read, and as usual Patterson provided it. The first of his 'Women's Murder Club' series, this introduces the cast of characters, but as usual is more about a quick-moving serial killer plotline, with only minor dashes of characterisation, setting, etc. Enjoyable-ish for what it was, but like fast food, quickly devoured and forgotten. 2 stars.
- SHADOW MEN by Jonothan King: this had been on my TBR shelf for a while - I'd heard good things about King, but just hadn't got to him yet. On holiday in Nelson, I decided to give him a go - and wasn't disappointed. The third in the 'Max Freeman' series, this sees the private investigator trying to find out what happened to three men working in the Florida Everglades eighty years ago. King brings the Everglades - the atmosphere, setting, and history - alive on the page, and weaves in an intriguing plot with some interesting and memorable characters. I will definitely read more. 4+ stars.
- THE TIN COLLECTORS by Stephen J Cannell: I'd enjoyed some of Cannell's TV shows, but hadn't yet read any of his fiction, so when I saw this in a secondhand bookstore in Nelson, I grabbed it. And was glad I did. The first Shane Scully book, it finds the LA cop under investigation after shooting a fellow cop beating his wife. Plenty of political intrigue, conspiracies, visual storytelling, a twisting plotline that kept me hooked, and much more. I will read more Cannell. 4 stars.