10. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen: I don’t think I’ve come across a Carl Hiaasen book yet that I haven’t enjoyed.As a young adult novel, Hoot has a slower pace and a thinner plot, but still a fun read. Like his adult novels,the characters are just as twisted, the humor is just as warped (that’s a good thing), and the environment is going to be a central theme. [review]
9. Savage Night by Allan Guthrie: Very violent and grossly funny, Guthrie sets the stage for blackmail and a kidnapping that goes wrong at every turn. If you’re at all squeamish, this book is not for you. But it’s fast paced with characters you’re going to laugh at (and with), and you will also roll your eyes at their stupidity (but again, that’s a good thing).
8. Vamp: The Rise & Fall of Theda Bara by Eve Golden ~ What can I say? If you read my review, you know that I’ve had a mysterious fascination with Theda Bara ever since I first saw her poster when I was a kid. Any film buff who is interested in movies before the talkies, especially interested in ‘the vamps,’ this book is a must read. Golden has the ability to take you back the twenties and make you feel like you are there. [review]
7. The Long Fall by Walter Mosely: This is Mosely’s first Leonid McGill mystery. Actually, McGill reminded me a lot of Easy Rawlins had Rawlins grown up in the present day. And speaking of Rawlins, damn you Mosley, are you ever going to tell us if Mouse survived?
6. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell: Another book not for the squeamish. Peter Brown goes from tough guy doctor to running from the mafia in one easy stride. Despite the use of footnotes, which I found distracting, Hazell moves the book at a gallop pace. I did not want to put this one down until I was finished. [review]
5. 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton: Jonas Meitzner is recruited to be a suicide bomber. The plan is to blow himself up, taking as many others as he can, in the subway system of New York City. Instead of a high-paced action book of will he be caught in time, Hamilton weaves this into a psychological thriller, getting into the heads of all her main characters. This slowly but steadily builds the tension to a crescendo as the clock ticks down. Very effective technique. [review]
4. Bottomfeeder by B.H. Fingerman: To the best of my knowledge, me and Bob Fingerman are in no way related. But it’s because we share the same name that I discovered Bottomfeeder (I admit it – I do sometimes Google my name). Bottomfeeder is Fingerman’s first novel (he’s much better known for his adult comics) and one of the most original vampire books that I’ve ever read. Phil is just a regular guy who wants a regular life. He just happens to be a vampire. And of course the other vampires are not going to let this undead man lead an uneventful life.
3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: This is the second young adult novel on my list. Like Hiaasen, Gaiman has no trouble crossing over into YA. Bod (short for Nobody) Owens is raised by ghosts in the graveyard after his parents are murdered. Highly creative, the book follows Bod as he grows into a young man, all the while the murderer is still searching, needing to finish the job he started all those years ago.
2. Bone Song by John Meaney: I love when I happen upon books by accident and they turn out to be gems. I was just walking past the bookshelf when I was drawn to the cover. It had a “Blade Runner” feel to it. This is a very dark thriller taking place in a futuristic world where Detective Riordon hunts down a cult that is killing celebrities. It’s a world where zombies, ghosts, and other worldly beings are integrated among society. Meaney drew me into his dark world and kept me chained there until the last page.
1. Edging Past Reality by David Fingerman: What can I say? I LOVED THIS BOOK! I urge everyone to buy at least one copy. Buy more than one – it makes a great gift. Twenty-two amazing short stories of speculative fiction that will horrify and delight. You won’t want to put it down, but at the same time you’ll want to savor it. I can’t recommend this book highly enough! (Jodi – sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but I had to do it.)