For the second time in this short blog story (though less shorter than last year), here are my top 5 readings in 2014. So sure... some books were printed some time ago in their country of origin but these are books published in English this year. These five books are my favorites in no particular order.
I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Pilgrim is hunting bioterrorism. A head to head waited throughout the book, a rivalry stuffed with testosterone and action. Combination of Bond and Bourne, action, espionage, mystery and a very current theme, everything is good in this book. The author has taken years to write and you'll need a few hours (days actually given the length...) to read it. A book with a taste for another book. I hope there will be a sequel to Pilgrim's adventures, a character who haunts you for days after finishing the book.
Runner by Patrick Lee
Another book of action and espionage (well, it looks like I've acquired a taste for that kind of book!) A man saves a little girl from mysterious but very organized individuals and tries to understand why the girl is so important. A breathless race against the watch, a bit of technology, intelligent and plausible SF, very lovable characters. In short, we do not get bored by reading this book! This book will have a sequel and that's good news because Sam is a character we want to follow.
Phoenix Island by John Dixon
Carl, young boxer with a tendency to defend the poor, is brought on a desert island in a boot camp for young troublemakers. The secret he discovers puts his and his friends' life in danger. Once is not custom, it is a book for young adults (which I discovered after spending a sleepless night reading it!) This book is so good that a TV show was ordered before its release. This is a dark, hard, exciting, well written book, incredibly fast-paced and with a main character you'll love.
Close Reach by Jonathan Moore
A couple who cruise around the world falls onto pirates... this could be the simplistic blurb of this book, but it would not do justice to the author, nominated for the Bram Stroker. A game of cat and mouse in the sea told by a lover of sea, boats and horror. An explosive mixture and not for the faint of heart to discover! Small bonus for me, the detailed and very understandable explanations on cruise and medical techniques... (and here, you think "medical?" Yeah, the price Adam Stroker is not the price Care Bears, right?)
The Second Deadly Sin by Asa Larsson
A family seems particularly affected by misfortune in this Scandinavian story. Rebecka, the young detective who has some problems with a detestable attorney, succeeds in unraveling the mystery. I loved the author's writing, her way to make us feel the emotions of her characters, the dark and hopeful atmosphere, the way we feel like family with Rebecka and the plot that is well done. Another author from the cold, sure, but among the plethora of Scandinavian writers, she clearly stands out!
And as I still read a lot of paperbacks and I'm not always up to date in my readings, here are some books that I really liked, but printed earlier than 2014 (and to be true it allows me drag more books in my top 5!)
The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi. For a first book, it's a hell of a book! How to be led by the nose and ask for more? Just discovered this author who spreads the twists and makes you appreciate his characters to a background of facts.
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler Olson. Because there are very good Scandinavian authors and Jussi Adler-Olson is one! A breathless story that one reads in a few hours and a duet of investigators as endearing as improbable.
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin. Because it's a shame not having read Ian Rankin earlier! Edinburgh (and its pubs) is a character in itself. Everything is good, the dialogues, the story, the characters (ah ... Rebus!), The plot and the social portrait of Scotland.
The Bleiberg project by David S. Khara. This French author is a very nice surprise for me. Action, suspense, history (with a capital H) and mind-blowing humour. A race against the clock and a mysterious character to follow.
Irene by Pierre Lemaitre. An author I don't get tired, the quality of his writing always amazes me and serves so well its well-crafted plot, with a fierce humour. An author apart in the Francophone world. Irene is not for the fainthearted and surprises until the end!