The five novels listed below weren’t published this year. I’m a slow reader and always on the hunt for great books no matter what year they were born. I also like to return to the classics – Patricia Highsmith; Daphne du Maurier; Katherine Anne Porter. They up my writing game. But the following books top my 2022 list of new reads. Mostly suspense. All woman authors. Highly recommend each and every one.
THE PLOT, Jean Hanff Korelitz. (2021) “A psychologically suspenseful novel about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.” (Goodreads) As an author, I can so relate to the conflicted protagonist. While the pilfered plot wasn’t especially unique, this thriller gripped my attention to the very last page.
WE ARE ALL THE SAME IN THE DARK, Julia Heaberlin. (2020) “The discovery of a girl abandoned by the side of the road threatens to unearth the long-buried secrets of a Texas town's legendary cold case.” (Goodreads) I’m a sucker for unique voices and this novel hooked me from the very first line and didn’t disappoint throughout.
MIRACLE CREEK, Angie Kim. (2019) “In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.” (Goodreads) A well-plotted, genre-blending thriller presented in multiple points of view. The novel explores the hazy line between innocence and guilt and examines the lengths a parent will go to in order to protect her child.
THE CUTTING SEASON, Attica Locke. (2012) “A heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Louisiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier.” (Amazon) A novel rich in atmosphere and complexity that seeks to illuminate our present in the light of our problematic past. I can’t help but admire (and envy) the author’s expertise in evoking a sense of place.
WHEN SHE WOKE, Hillary Jordan. (2011) “A fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, who embarks on a path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith.” (Goodreads) This book caught me by surprise as I was sure – until I checked midway – that it had been written post-2016. It predicts the end of Roe vs. Wade and then hurls the reader into a scarily believable dystopian aftermath.