My Top 10 Books of 2016 (and an update!)

Sunday 18 December 2016 4 comments
2016 was a quiet year for me on the blog but I was still lucky enough to read some absolutely amazing books and I have compiled my favourites into a Top 10 here in the hope that it will help you find a recommendation for a book that I can recommend with no hesitation and with a certainty that you will enjoy it. Before I begin the list though I would like to write a short update about where I am personally and where I see the blog going in the future.

I sadly lost my grandad in July of this year and despite the fact I knew it was coming, it still knocked me for six and the blog went on hold indefinitely. For the past few months, despite the fact that I have been reading on and off, I just haven't felt like reviewing, and have even toyed with the idea of giving up the blog. I decided though that it's not something that I want to do just yet and I'm going to keep the blog going and perhaps review occasionally or hopefully, more regularly in the New Year. In other news I finally came out to my family and friends and luckily (as it wasn't exactly a secret to all of them) it went down well and I am hopeful and excited to see what 2017 is going to bring and not just in the world of books... 

For now though, here are My Top 10 Books of 2016

10. The Rule of Fear - Luke Delaney

The Rule of Fear immediately jumped out at me as one of my most memorable reads of 2016 because it was one of the darker reads that I read this year. Luke normally writes realistic police novels that have a real authenticity and this time around, despite the book still carrying that authenticity, he took a look at how a policeman suffering from PTSD can go on a real downward spiral and the closing scenes of this story are still extremely vivid in my mind. Crime fans who are yet to read this book should make sure that it is on their TBR.

9. My Map of You - Isabelle Broom

My Map of You was one of my absolute favourite stories that I read in the summer and it got me in just the right mood for the holiday to Cyprus (my favourite place in the whole world) that I went on just days after finishing this book. It had one of my favourite love stories ever in a book, and Isabelle captured the Greek setting better than any author ever has before and I just loved the time I spent within the pages of this book. A fantastic summer read that would be perfect reading for warming up this winter. 

8. A Tapping at My Door - David Jackson

David Jackson's new Liverpool-set series was a resounding success and there wasn't any hesitation in me including it in my Top 10 Books of 2016. It was an extremely powerful story that contained a number of twists that I am still annoyed at myself for not seeing coming. It's a memorable read that will hit all readers emotionally, and I love a crime novel that can achieve that. I was also thrilled to see my quote used inside the paperback copy of this book, and it's a book that I am constantly recommending to crime fans. 

7. Then She Was Gone - Luca Veste

Another Liverpool-set crime novel and this time it is from one of my favourite crime authors, Luca Veste. Luca is an author who almost reinvents himself with each book that he writes because he makes a conscious effort to make them different from the one that came before but at the same time retain his 'hallmark' that has already made him an author to watch within the genre. Then She Was Gone is one of my favourite books from him so far, and has a rather chilling ending that I won't be forgetting in a hurry. 

6.  In Her Wake - Amanda Jennings

In Her Wake was a book that consumed me whilst I was reading it and it was one of the most vividly told and most memorable books that I have ever read. It was a book that drew a real emotional response from me, and I finished the book believing the story within and seeing these fictional characters as real people. Characters that I still think about now, long after finishing the book. Amanda Jennings is an extremely talented author, and one that all readers should discover if they haven't already.

5. The Finding of Martha Lost - Caroline Wallace

Lime Street Station is a place I see five days a week, and so when I read that this book was set in Lime Street Station and that it was about a young girl who was left abandoned inside the lost property at the station, I simply could not wait to read it. The Finding of Martha Lost is just a pure joy from start to finish. It is one of the best books that I have read, ever, not just in 2016. It's inventive, it's clever, and it's a story that I will never, ever forget. It's a book that you really can't say too much about without ruining it for potential readers, and so the best thing that I can say is read it and fall in love with the story.

4. Blood Lines - Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is another of my all-time favourite authors, and I could easily have included both of her 2016 books in this list but I do have an unofficial rule that I want to just choose one book per author and Blood Lines was my favourite out of the two (although Play Dead was absolutely fantastic). Angela writes some of the most authentic crime fiction that I have read, and her character of Kim Stone is perhaps the best fictional detective that I have ever read about. Angela's stories are gritty, but they also have a real emotional depth to them and they draw real emotion from me as a reader, and her books are always some of my most memorable books of the year and they are the crime books that I look forward to the most. 

3. Lovers and Liars - Nigel May

Nigel May has fast become one of my all-time favourite authors these past few years and Lovers and Liars was another winner from him. He has been called the male Jackie Collins and that is absolutely true. Like all of his previous books, Lovers and Liars contains multiple stories within one and goes so far beyond being just another bonkbuster. There's a real mystery contained within his books, and they contain some of the best characters you will find in a fictional novel because Nigel's led a fabulous and colourful life and uses that to create some memorable and thrilling reads and Lovers and Liars is no different. Nigel also named a character after me in this book and I have to say that it is the best thing that has happened to me since starting the blog. I hyperventilated when I read the scenes and I am making a return in Nigel's upcoming 2017 book and I cannot wait. 

2. Tainted Love - Kimberley Chambers

Readers of my blog probably know by now that I absolutely adore Kimberley Chambers and her books. I am simply in awe of everything that she has achieved, and when I received an early copy of Tainted Love I think my screams could be heard for miles around. I cannot say too much about this book because we are so far into the series, but it did not disappoint and I finished it absolutely desperate for me and I am so excited to get stuck into Backstabber which is the final instalment in this series and will be out in 2017. Kimberley Chambers is in a league of her own when it comes to the gangland genre and if you are one of the few people yet to discover her books, then what are you waiting for?

1. Deep Down Dead - Steph Broadribb

It wasn't difficult to choose my Book of the Year for 2016. When I thought about which book was my absolute favourite of the year, Deep Down Dead immediately jumped out at me. It is Steph Broadribb's debut novel and it is a remarkable achievement as it reads like it was written by somebody who has been writing for years. I believe I was one of the first to call her the female Lee Child and whilst that's a lazy comparison (the story actually has depth you don't often find in a Child novel), there are comparisons to be made between the two. I was late to the Jack Reacher novels and I like to think that somewhere in the world there's a person yet to discover the love of reading, and in years to come I hope that person will discover the back catalogue of Steph Broadribb when the 20th Lori Anderson book is being released into the world. I cannot recommend Deep Down Dead enough, it is easily the best book I have read this year and it's my favourite release from Orenda Books. I simply cannot wait for the sequel.
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