Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My favorite books of 2011

For this post, I’d like to recommend some great books I’ve read in recent months.
Larissa Ione: I LOVED the entire Demonica series and gobbled them down like candy this summer. One of the high points for me when I attended the RWA National Conference this past July was meeting Larissa and getting a book signed. I also highly recommend her new series about the Four Horsemen.
Greg Iles: Blood Memory and Mortal Fear and The Footprints of God – the man’s a genius. These are thick, dense, heartfelt, and exciting thrillers that fly by and make you miss appointments!
Trish McCallan: Forged in Fire – Trish is a debut author, and I can’t recommend her highly enough. This paranormal romantic suspense knocked me off my feet. I couldn’t put it down once I started it. Well-plotted, well-written, and with exciting action scenes and amazing sexual tension between the leads. I want the next one now!
Harlen Coben: Caught – Coben does it once again. Another book I couldn’t put down—the story zipped along, the characters were compelling, and Coben cracked me up repeatedly along the way. If you haven’t been reading Harlen Coben, you’re missing out.
Chuck Wendig: Double Dead – Chuck’s written some great books on writing, but this is his first novel. A vampire with an attitude finds himself caught in the midst of a zombiepocalypse, and realizes that he needs to protect his food source – the remnants of humanity left alive and fighting for their lives. This is a rollicking good, crazy-ass book full of black humor, kick-ass action, and gore galore. (It’s zombies, so of course it’s gory!) If you love The Walking Dead as much as I do, you’ll love this book too.
J.R. Rain: Vampire for Hire series. Rain’s excellent series features Samantha Moon, vampire, mom, and private investigator. Like nothing else I’ve read, and each installment is heart-breaking and exciting as Samantha tries to be a good mother—and a good vampire.
Michele Giuttari: Death of a Mafia Don. Giuttari is the former head of the Florence police force, and his expertise shows in the authentic details in this Italian police procedural. The book is at times slowed down by those details, but Giuttari pulls off one hell of a twist, and the last third of the book is a real page-turner.
Christopher Farnsworth: Blood Oath. Imagine that the President of the United States had a vampire working for him. He’d be one hell of a secret agent, right? A rollicking good read, this story careens along like a car on black ice. This book has to be made into a movie!
J.R. Ward: Envy. Ward’s best entry yet in her Fallen Angels series. If you loved the Black Dagger Brotherhood books (and if you haven’t read those, you must!), you need to read this series too. The first two books were a bit uneven, but Ward really ups the ante in this one, and I found myself tearing up several times. Can’t wait for the next one.
Christa Faust: Money Shot. What happens when a former porn star is left for dead and framed for murder? She gets revenge, that’s what! Hard-boiled noir with thrilling action, black humor, and take-no-prisoners attitude from the heroine, Angel Dare.
Mary Doria Russell: Doc. One of my favorite movies is Tombstone, with Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. I’ve also greatly enjoyed Mary Doria Russell’s sci-fi books (read The Sparrow and its sequel—amazing!), so when I heard she’d written a book about Doc Holliday, I couldn’t pass it up. The book starts a bit slow, but once she’s through Doc’s early life, the story takes off. Beautifully, masterfully written with gorgeous prose and precisely chosen details. By the end, I felt like I knew the man and that I’d been there right next to him walking the streets of Dodge City.
What books have you read lately that you couldn’t put down?