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Monday, May 17, 2004

The Booklist Top Ten 

Bill Ott, writing for one of the influential trade mags, compiles the Top Ten Mysteries of late 2003/early 2004:
ABSOLUTE FRIENDS .... John le Carre
DEAD I WILL MAY BE .... Adrian McKinty
THE DELICATE STORM.... Giles Blunt
HARD RESOLUTION .... George Pelecanos
HAUNTED GROUND .... Erin Hart
HAVANA .... Stephen Hunter
HEAT SHOCK .... Robert Greer
SHADOW MEN .... Jonathon King
A SPECTACLE OF CORRUPTION ... David Liss
SUNSET AND SAWDUST .... Joe Lansdale

Definitely a strong list, and a lot of my own personal favorites are on it (though I haven't read about half the books yet.) What also interests me are the sub-listings:
Runners-Up
* Charlie Opera, by Charlie Stella.
* The Queen of the South, by Arturo Perez-Reverte.
* Spiral, by Joseph Geary.
* Unwilling Accomplice, by Barbara Seranella.
* Winterkill, by C. J. Box.

Unforunately, Booklist really falls down when it comes to their "Best First Novels" list:
* A Cruel Season for Dying, by Harker Moore.
* Dead I Well May Be, by Adrian McKinty.
* Haunted Ground, by Erin Hart.
* The Hundredth Man, by Jack Kerley.
* Mission Flats, by William Landay.
* The Night of the Dance, by James Hime.
* Quantico Rules, by Gene Riehl.
* Relative Danger, by Charles Benoit.
* Weeping, by Shelly Reuben.
* Where the Truth Lies, by Rupert Holmes.

The list itself is fine, but McKinty's book was his second novel (after 1996's ORANGE RHYMES WITH EVERYTHING), while A CRUEL SEASON FOR DYING is the work of a pseudonymous author who has, evidently, written several books previously (though Moore's identity isn't known at the moment. Believe me, I've asked around.) I also believe Shelley Reuben has written several novels before WEEPING, too. Is it so hard to fact-check these things?

Still, congratulations to all the authors who made the big list or the sub-lists. There were some fantastic reads last year and so far this year, and no doubt the trend will continue till year's end.


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