Thursday, December 23, 2010

My 10 or so Best Novels Read in 2010

Joining the list-mania, here are some novels I read in 2010 that you might find are worth a look.  Have a great holiday everyone!!!

The Ghosts of Belfast: Stuart Neville
Gerry Fegan, a former IRA hit man haunted by the ghosts of the 12 people he killed, realizes the only way these specters will give him rest is to systematically assassinate the men who gave him his orders.

Ravens: George Dawes Green
Shaw takes the family “hostage” by telling them that Romeo is driving around their small city, ready to murder their loved ones if they don’t support the ruse that Shaw is due half the families 318 million in lottery winnings.

Speed Queen: Stewart O'Nan
Narrator Marjorie Standiford waits on Oklahoma's death row for her role in the infamous "Sonic" drive-in killings. America's "King of Horror" (a never-named Stephen King) buys the rights to Marjorie's story, and she is given a tape recorder and more than 100 questions to answer in the hours before her death.

Zombie: Joyce Carol Oates
Meet Quentin P. He is the most believable and thoroughly terrifying sexual psychopath and killer ever to be brought to life in fiction
Old Dogs: Donna Moore
La Contessa Letitzia di Ponzo and her sister Signora Teodora Grisiola are actually Letty and Dora, a pair of ex-hookers turned con-artists who’ve decided to steal a pair of gold, jewel-encrusted Tibetan shih tzu dog statuettes from a Glasgow museum, if they can avoid the Australian hitman with his sights on a very different future for them.

Resurrection Man: Eoin McNamee
The setting is Belfast in the 1980s; the Resurrection Men are a gang of four led by Victor Kelly, a Protestant drawn into the sectarian violence. Victor is a ruthless killer; his M.O. is the knife across the throat.

Divorcing Jack: Colin Bateman
When Dan Starkey returns to the apartment of his new conquest, Margaret McBride, after going out for pizza, he finds the young brunette riddled with bullets. Starkey is pursued by several parties, including an IRA contingent with a reputation for mayhem and violence.

Boyo's: Richard Marinick
Set in and around  the South Boston working-class Irish-American enclave, the story focuses on Jack "Wacko" Curran, a rising young player in the criminal underworld. Curran and his coked-out brother, Kevin, work for mob boss Marty Fallon, wholesaling drugs to a network of area dealers. Jack dreams of replacing Fallon and figures that the bankroll from the armored-car heist he's planning will put him on his way.

Dead I Well May Be: Adrian McKinty
a brutal tale of revenge starring a young illegal immigrant from Ireland who chooses a criminal career in New York over unemployment in Belfast.

The Big-O: Declan Burke
Frank is a self-important but inept plastic surgeon who wants to have his ex-wife, Madge, snatched so that he can collect a half-million in ransom.

Hard Man: Allan Guthrie
After taking a beating, the men of the Baxter family--dad Jacob and sons Roger and Flash--look for help protecting the pregnant May, Roger and Flash's sister, from her psychopathic husband, Wallace.


  1. Intriguing list!

    I usually can't get into Joyce Carol Oates. What did you think of Zombie?

  2. R.S- Zombie was awesome. I really liked it. Never read any of her other novels though.

  3. I haven't read Zombie either, but I have read a surprisingly large selection from your list and I concur on their excellence.

    I've done everything I could to get people to read Ravens, but have been largely unsuccessful. Doesn't make sense--he wrote The Juror, which was a fairly big and successful movie, and he gets zilch?

    I like reading lists, but I suck at making them.

  4. Thanks for the list Sean and some great recommendations. And, a Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Best, Alan.

  5. What a great list! I've read some of these - Donna's book (of course!), Hard Man, which, like all of Al Guthrie's stories, is excellent, and Divorcing Jack, which I really enjoyed. I have The Big O and a couple more Bateman books on Mount TBR. As for the rest, they all sound like good reads, but it's Zombie that's got my attention. Sounds good to me! :)

  6. Nice list. My favorite from the list is Dead I Well May Be, and I really enjoyed The Ghost of Belfast too. I was thinking of starting The Big O in the next day or so since I decided to wait until the kids go back to school before tackling The Lamb Enters the Dreaming, (which seems to take more focus then the kids allow me at the moment).

  7. Seana/ Alan/ Julie / Glenna- Thanks for swinging by and commenting. I have found out about a lot of good reads the last couple weeks via all the lists on blogs. Hope you all have a great holiday!

  8. Thanks for the above list, Sean. I'll be adding to my ever growing book collection.

    Wishing you and your family a fantastic Christmas and even better 2011!!