This year I have read about 25 books with the theme of crime. I enjoyed most of them, but these are standouts for me.
Out of Breath by Anna Snoekstra Published: 2022 Harper Collins. A young English backpacker travels alone to an isolated region of Western Australia, to work on a mango farm. After a tragic event on the farm, she walks out, and manages to reach an old abandoned settlement, where a group of people are living secretly. Here she discovers disturbing secrets.
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins Published 2021 Penguin Miriam lives on a canal-boat in Regent’s Canal, London. One day sees a woman leaving the scene of a murder on a nearby boat. The story starts with the murder, and then recounts each of the characters’ back stories, weaving them together until the whole story is revealed.
Stay Awake by Megan Goldin Published: 2022 Penguin As the story begins, Liv Reese is waking up in a taxi at night in New York, a blood-stained knife in her pocket, and messages such as “Stay awake” and “Don’t sleep” on her hands. What follows is a perplexing and bewildering quest to find out what’s happening, especially when she sees on the news scenes of a murder, where the message “Stay awake” is written in blood on the window.
Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild Published: 2022 Hachette. Ruby Simon is a therapist living in Miami. She has been involved in at least three murders and perhaps a fourth. Detective Keith Jackson is convinced she is guilty, and goes to great lengths to prove it.
The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian Published: 2022 Penguin Random House. Hollywood actress Katie Barstow is honeymooning with her husband David Hill and a group of friends in the Serengeti, Tanganyika in 1964. They are violently kidnapped by Russian mercenaries, separated, and taken on a journey to an unknown location for unknown reasons.
Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson Published: 2022 Penguin. Ernest Cunningham is a writer whose brother Michael is brought to trial accused of murder. Ernest testifies against him. Years later, a family reunion is organized to coincide with Michael’s release from jail, and the family convenes at a remote chalet in the Snowy Mountains. Several deaths occur, and Ernest opens up some family secrets in solving the crimes.
The Torrent (Detective Kate Miles #1) by Dinuka McKenzie Published: 2022 Harper Collins. Kate Miles is a heavily-pregnant detective in the Tweed Valley region of New South Wales. Just before she goes on leave, a violent holdup at a local fast food store is reported. As she starts investigating this crime, she is also asked to investigate the closed case of a man drowned in recent floods. Both cases become complicated, and Kate finds herself and her unborn baby in danger.