2015 has been a hell of a great year for novels, novellas, and short story collections. An informal count reveals that I read about 75 books this year. Which of those 75 books would I put into my Best of 2015 you ask?
The following is a list of books that have stayed with me for various reasons; great plots, memorable characters, or perhaps they were written by authors who just have a poet’s touch with brutal results. Whatever the reason … these are the books that left a mark on me this year:
Uncle Dust by Rob Pierce: Pierce paints a beautiful picture of a conflicted thief who is trying to get right with himself and the world. Unbelievable book by a great author.
New Yorked by Rob Hart: This book introduces a great main character, has a great setting, and just does everything right. I have his next addition in the series on my TBR pile and I can’t wait to tackle it very soon.
Love You to a Pulp by C.S. DeWildt: A glue-sniffing private eye who emits trouble like a hobo emits body odor? You had me at hello DeWildt…you had me at hello. One of my favorite reads this year.
The Glasgow Grin by Martin Stanley: I love me some Stanton brothers … really I do. Another book that does it all right. Great characters and great action packed plotting.
Knuckleball by Tom Pitts: A great novella that mixes noir with baseball fever. What more could a red-blooded American ask for? I read this in one sitting and wanted more. One of my favorite novellas of the year.
Selena and Diesel Therapy (Selena Part 2) by Greg Barth: Holy shit. What more can you say? I would be a jackass to leave it off a best of list ... dark, brutal, but with a touch of humanity. These books are special.
The Fury of Blacky Jaguar by Angel Luis Colon: Blacky Jaguar is one of my favorite characters and Colon one of my favorite authors. He better be coming out with his novel soon.
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich: This novel has scope, depth, and is a true piece of kick-ass literature. I never wanted this book to end.
The Incurables by Jon Bassoff: The man is a writing god … what more needs to be said? The despair and decay he emits from the pages of his books are a thing of beauty. He started at the top of his game and he only gets better with each book he puts out. Of all the great books I read this year, I think this one tops the list. This book does everything right.
I also managed to read a few books published prior to this year that blew me away. Not sure how I let these pass me by upon initial publication.
Junkie Love by Joe Clifford: This reads like the most noir-ish noir you will ever read…the fact that it’s non-fiction makes the punch it delivers even more brutal. I loved it.
The Subtle Art of Brutality by Ryan Sayles: This book was published a while back, but being late to the party, it was new to me. Sayles writes like a demon and I devoured this book. Looking to sink into the follow-up in the near future.
If there are any books on this list you let pass you by this year, make it a resolution to rectify that shit pronto.
Read on, Derrick Horodyski.