All right, this was inspired by the Chris Rock movie "Top Five" (if you haven't seen it, see it—it's wee-yourself funny). In the film, the "top five" refers to your five all-time favorite hip-hop acts.
In this context, I'm highlighting my top five books of the year so far. I just got back from Thrillerfest last month, which gave me the chance to discover a slew of new writers. I'm always looking for new recommendations, and in case you are too, I'm sharing my current top five for 2015.
Please note, my intent in creating a top five list isn't to exclude any of the wonderful books that have come out recently, but to highlight a few titles that caught my attention. Share yours (either for the year, or of all time), and give me something to read!
A Reunion of Ghosts, Judith Claire Mitchell: Written as a 300-page suicide note by three sisters, this book was a completely fresh premise for me. As the story unfolds, the reason for their family shame is dark, socially relevant and made my stomach plunge.
Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell: For the same reasons I loved Caleb Carr's The Alienist, I adored this well crafted detective novel set in early Nineteenth Century London. Meticulously researched, the crime is based on one of Britain's first serial killers.
Black-Eyed Susans, Julia Heaberlin: Tess is pulled out of a mass grave when she is sixteen, and is trying to remember the crime—is the man on death row the real killer, or is it the person who's been planting flowers near her for the past 18 years?
The Winter People, Jennifer McMahon: This is a great twist on a familiar topic, but I can't say too much without giving it away. On a personal note, for whatever reason, I'm a sucker for anything set in the snow. I blame it on the Hoth scenes from Empire Strikes Back. This was cozy and completely satisfying.
The Girl in 6E, A.R. Torré: Part thriller and part erotica, this was a new kind of voice for me. The main character is a psychopath, and has barricaded herself in her apartment for the past three years to keep the rest of the world safe.