Once again it is the end of another year. I cannot believe that 2018 is over and 2019 has begun. 2018 was a great year for books, but it was a slow year in terms of reading for me with me only reading 53 books. I have struggled to decide between my favourite books of the year so although I don’t give star ratings on Bloomin’ Brilliant Books I do on Goodreads and Amazon and I have simply listed those I have rated five stars on those sites. Click on the titles to read my full review:
Hydra by Matt Wesolowski
Intelligent, thoughtful and damn scary, read Hydra with the big light on and not before bedtime! Absolutely bloody brilliant!
The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravtn
A psychological thriller in the purest sense, The Bird Tribunal is deeply unsettling and will resonate with you for days after reading it. It is, however, more than this and the outstanding prose and rich descriptions make it a beautiful piece of literary fiction. Outstanding!
Last Orders by Caimh McDonnell
An absolute corker and a great way to end the series, Last Orders is brilliant. I loved everything about it and it, along with the other three books, will be one I return to again and again. I’m gutted it’s over but excited to see where McDonnell takes us next. If you haven’t yet read any of these books go out and buy them all now; I promise that you will love them!
Skin Deep by Liz Nugent
Nugent never lets me down and Skin Deep is yet another accomplished novel by this talented author. She has weaved another twisted tale to perfection ensuring her place at the top of my list of favourite authors. Skin Deep takes you for a walk on the darker side of life and it is delectable. An absolute must read for fans of psychological thrillers.
Overkill by Vanda Symon
With a twisty plot, a protagonist who shines and beautifully written observations of the cruellest things, Overkill is crime fiction at its best and this is an outstanding book. I predict that this book is going to soar here in the UK and it deserves to. I adored this book and can’t wait for the next in the series. If you read and enjoy crime fiction, you will adore it too.
Attend by West Camel
The writing is sublime and Attend is a book that is rich in imagery and metaphor, leaving me thinking about it, and feeling it, long after the final page was read. It is a beautifully spun tale that defies being pigeonholed into a genre. A delicately balanced tapestry that combines current social issues, history and a little bit of magic, Attend is an assured debut by a talented writer. Lovers of literary fiction will adore it.
The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech
I have loved Beech’s previous books (although I still have to read How To Be Brave) but The Lion Tamer Who Lost may be my favourite yet. Incredibly moving, at times desperately heartbreaking and always tender, The Lion Tamer Who Lost reminds us that if fate exists, it is fickle and may not always be leading you to the outcome you expect. A truly outstanding and beautiful book.
Docherty by William McIlvanney
Full of grit, rage and despair, yet interspersed with dry, Scottish humour, Docherty is an uncomfortable read but an essential read. If you like your literature to be unflinching in its depiction of life at the harshest end of the scale you will enjoy Docherty.
The Hoarder by Jess Kidd
A first-rate follow up to her debut novel, The Hoarder was everything I expected from Jess Kidd. If you haven’t yet read anything by this author ensure you do now! The Hoarder is exquisite, sublimely written and a great story.
The Old You by Louise Voss
I loved The Old You, and I would go as far as saying if you only read one domestic noir this year make it this one as you will be hard pushed to find better. Tense, chilling and cleverly plotted.
The Retreat by Mark Edwards
The Retreat creeps and twists like the ivy that climbs up an old building and it gets under your skin. Combining old-school style ghost story elements with modern day thriller, Edwards has created a spine-tingling story that it is enthralling and irresistible.
I also want to give a shout out to a book that I have read in a different capacity and, therefore, not reviewed but which I have a huge sort spot for. That book is The Truth About Archie and Pye by Jonathan Pinnock. It is hilarious, and I urge you to read it.