Yes, I’m making lists. Aren’t we all? I read a lot this year, as I always do. Most of the books I read were digital and at least half of everything I consumed was an audio book. Not all were released in 2022. These are just the ones that made my life better because they exist.
So here, in no specific order, are 5 books I loved the most:
1. The Sean Duffy Mysteries by Adrian McKinty
The Sean Duffy Mysteries by Adrian McKinty. Yes! I know, that’s cheating because there’s 6 of them. But this series about a Catholic detective in the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1980s Belfast is top notch. As good as it gets. The narrator, Gerard Doyle does a fantastic job to bring this voice to life.
2. You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes
You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes. I’ve read all of the You novels so far, watched the Netflix series, and I truly believe they just get better. The most unusual and awesome aspect of the story arc is that the “bad guy”, Joe Goldberg, is not only extremely relatable and likable, but he is undergoing changes, which is something most psychopathic killers in literature don’t do. He not only wants to change, but he does.
3. Girl A by Abigail Dean
Girl A by Abigail Dean An incredibly compelling and creepily well written novel of a damaged young woman and the past family trauma she has to face and overcome. I couldn’t put it down, primarily due to the excellent prose and perfectly setup storyline.
4. A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins is a devastating and devastatingly good novel. This time I couldn’t put it down because she did such an excellent job of creating characters I could care about. I wanted to know what happened to them! And I wanted them to be happy! That’s one gifted storyteller.
5. Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian is a solid historical novel with plenty of well rounded, real characters and atmosphere to spare. So, if you’re in the mood for something that will transport you, this is it. The best thing about this novel is that despite it being set four hundred years (or so) in the past, what makes it real are the people and their very universal desires and conflicts.
How about you? What were your favorite reads of the year?
Her short stories appear in the Bouchercon 2023 Anthology, A Stranger Comes to Town: edited by Michael Koryta, Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, and 1+30: THE BEST OF MYSTORY.
When not writing, Emilya works as a visual artist and reads massive quantities of psychological thrillers, suspense, and crime fiction. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.