Friday, January 12, 2018

What Are You Reading? - Part 2 - Glen Davis' Favorites of 2017

Well, if I don't mess up the post today, Glen Davis can share his list of favorites for 2017. I've really enjoyed this. And, everyone sent me their list in a different way. I think I only messed up Margie's though.

And, just a reminder. If you're here for the book giveaway, check the previous post. And, if you're really here to see what Glen read, you're also welcome to mention your books read this week. Thanks for joining us.

And, thank you, Glen, for sharing what your read last year.

This year I somehow managed to read 370 books. That's an awful lot of fodder for a list. I tried to format the list to something manageable, comparing apples to apples, instead of apples to oranges or kumquats.

Best Espionage Novels:

Use of Force by Brad Thor

Starting with a gripping scene taking place during the Burning Man Festival, Scott Harvath has to stop a conspiracy by a Tajik terrorist. It's very exciting, and humanizes the antagonist to an unusual extent.

Trap The Devil by Ben Coes

Dewey Andreas is framed for the murder of the Secretary of State. There's a gripping scene on a train that will really stick with you.

Oath of Honor by Matthew Betley 

When a Russian Black Ops team is discovered in Alaska, Logan West and company pursue a conspiracy of stolen technology. A lot of breakneck action.

Hong Kong Black by Alex Ryan 

A bit different than the others on this list, as it features a romantic couple, Nick Foley and Dash Chen. As bodies wash up on a Hong Kong Beach, and someone murders a CIA agent, Nick and Dash uncover a conspiracy in which organ harvesting is just the tip of the iceberg

Best Hit Man Novels:

Zero Sum by Barry Eisler

Returning to Tokyo in 1982, John Rain tries to go back to work in his vocation as assassin. Unfortunately, another killer, named Victor has cornered that market. To get back in the game, Rain has to assassinate a government minister. 

Quarry's Climax by Max Allan Collins

Quarry is sent to Memphis by his boss, The Broker to find out who is trying to kill a publisher of pornography. This is a strange book, with not one, not two, but three layers of nostalgia. Like most of the series, the book in set in the 1970's. By the subject matter, it seems like it was first conceived in 1998, back when they made a movie about Larry Flynt. The book was published right before the "ME-TOO" movement started. I can't help but wonder if it would be published today.

Best Martial Arts Thrillers:

The Spy Across The Table by Barry Lancet

Some might say the Jim Brodie series is not a martial arts thriller, but in the first book, Japantown, he confronts a village full of ninjas. Case Closed.  In this entry, Jim Brody runs afoul of the North Koreans, and he finds out what his way of life can cost him.

The Aikido Caper by Daniel Linden

Parker is an aikido instructor in Florida. When things get a little lean, he also works as a PI. He gets a gig as a bodyguard to a movie star because accidents keep happening on the set. As much a meditation on the place of Aikido and Steven Seagal in the popular culture as it is a mystery.

Best Mystery (Non-Cozy) 

Dead To Begin With by Bill Crider

A wealthy recluse restoring the old opera house by staging A Christmas Carol is murdered. Sheriff Dan Rhodes investigates and finds the roots of the crime stretch back into the 1950's. All of the books in this series are great.

Torn and Restored by Austin Williams

Magician Rusty Diamond has to return to Las Vegas, a city he fled after accidentally injuring the daughter of a mob boss. Someone has found Diamond, and blackmailed him into coming back. Someone who is killing people and showing it on the dark web.

The Crack in the Lens by Steve Hockensmith

Old West cowboy sleuths Big Red and Old Red head down to San Marcos, Texas, to find out who killed Old Red's paramour. They found the town is a lot different than the one they left, but there are still people desperate to keep them from solving the crime.

Best Cozies

Antiques Disposal by Barbara Allan

Brandy and Vivian participate in a storage auction, and win a compartment that contains a vintage coronet and a dead body!

Dying for a Diamond by Cindy Sample

Laurel McKay and her husband Tom Hunter go on a honeymoon cruise. Somehow the entire supporting cast goes on the cruise too!  Laurel thinks she sees a body fall into the ocean...or does she? Nobody seems to be missing, but some jewels are!

The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper by Sally Carpenter

Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax tries to clean up his act and make a comeback. The only gig open is playing at a Beatles convention in Evansville, Indiana. While there, a member of a tribute band is shot. Sandy decides to sing with the band and solve the mystery.

Murder Has Nine Lives by Laura Levine

When Jaine Austin's cat is picked to be in a cat food commercial, Jaine is ecstatic. Maybe she'll finally have some extra money. Of course, nothing goes quite right, and there's a murder. Jaine's personal life is crazy, and she has to deal with that as well.

Best Psychological Thriller 

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

I read something like 30 books in this genre, and this is the only one I really remember. Five women go out into the wilderness of the outback, but only four come back. The police try to find out what happened, but nobody's story really matches with the others. Quite good.

And there it is! I tried to keep the list relatively short, but also include some lesser known books.



Grace Koshida said...

Glen: Great list of books read.

I do like thrillers and espionage books and have enjoyed reading the 2 Barrys (Eisler and Lancet) and Ben Coes. I did not know about ZERO SUM so will have to track that down to read about Rain's earlier days.

Of the cozies you listed, I enjoy Cindy Sample's DYING series but have not read the others.

And since I liked THE DRY, I am looking forward to reading FORCE OF NATURE.

Thanks for giving me more titles to add to my 2018 reading list!

Lesa said...

370 books! Wow! Good for you, Glen!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Amazing total, nice list. The Collins was far from my favorite in the series, and I just cannot read his collaboration with his wife (as Barbara Allan). The mother in that series is like fingernails on the blackboard to me.

Charlotte said...

Glen, I was so impressed with the ones who read 200 books. Then you wrote you read 370 books. That blew me out of the boat. I think that is outstanding. I read 83, maybe one day I might reach where you have been.

I did know three of the authors you wrote about. I haven't read any of their books so far. I do have The Dry by Jane Harper that I received as a Christmas gift. Sure The Force will be added. Reminds me of the book I just finished called The River at Night by Erica Ferencik. It is about four women with a male guide on the river. I enjoyed it. Did everyone make it back home? Good question. Have to read the book for the answer 😊😮.

You did a real nice review for us and I enjoyed it, thank you for sharing your love of books with us today. I plan to go over it again and decide what to add to my reading list.

May 2018 be another blessed reading experience for you with new thrills and excitement.

holdenj said...

I am enjoying all the lists!

Margie Bunting said...

Glen--a book a day--wow! Very impressive. I'm going to show the first part of your list (espionage, hit man, etc.) to my husband because I think he's going to find a lot of good suggestions there. I definitely want to read Force of Nature, as I loved The Dry, as well as the Bill Crider book. I think I've read all of Steve Hockensmith's books (and want more), and I've read some Laura Levines and Cindy Samples. You have a very eclectic list--bravo! Thanks for the recommendations.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Of course, Bill's book was a favorite. And the Jane Harper.

Kay said...

370 is a lot of books!! Wow! I'm planning on reading FORCE OF NATURE very soon. Our book group is discussing THE DRY in early March and I really enjoyed that one. Look forward to this second book. My husband reads Brad Thor and read your favorite this last year. Amazing book list. Thanks for sharing with us!

Glen Davis said...

Jeffrey Meyerson: I would describe Collins' Antiques series as a cozy on steroids. MAC himself says the series is supposed to be a parody (although I'm not sure I believe him).

Lesa said...

Thank you, again, Glen! I really enjoyed the list, and your comments.

Glen Davis said...

Thank You, Lesa!

I hope to do it again next year!

Lesa said...

Glen, I hope we're all around to do it again next year!