In 2017, I settled into a genre that doesn’t seem to be waning. I’ve always enjoyed a good whodunit, but that’s morphed into thrillers and mysteries that do a good job of hijacking my brain. The best books are the ones with top-notch character development, a plot you can’t dissect, and pacing so swift that you can’t look away for a moment without wondering what might happen next.
Not all of my favorites from 2018 are thrillers, but most of them are. (Keep in mind these aren’t necessarily books that debuted in 2018.)
The Secrets She Keeps follows two storylines – Agatha is a pregnant thirty-something who works at a dreadful grocery store. She longs to have her ex-boyfriend back in the fold of their impending family. Life is pretty miserable. Meg, on the other hand, is a pregnant mommy blogger who enjoys a happy, public life married to a handsome sportscaster. Agatha’s life is notably less desirable than Meg’s, and after watching the pregnant blogger shop in the store where she works, a plan starts to form. Obviously, Agatha is jealous of Meg, and it’s this emotional drug that keeps her watching and waiting. When their stories finally align, the pacing and tension is everything you need it to be.
As soon as I finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I knew it was going to be a 2018 favorite. Additionally, I recommend you listen to this book instead of
Eleanor Oliphant is a special lady. Thirty years old and full of quirks, she is likely somewhere on the autism spectrum, though fully capable of living an independent life. Her mother is a constant nag, and her co-worker Raymond provides a lovely contrast to Eleanor’s cut-and-dry lifestyle. Unfortunately, something bad exists in Eleanor’s history, an event we don’t yet understand. However, as memories unfold, the tragedy comes to light, and Eleanor’s life will never be the same.
The book is a perfect mixture of serious and funny. There are laugh-out-loud moments followed by pure heartache. Gail Honeyman deserves all the applause.
If you’ve asked me for a book recommendation in 2018, it’s likely I told you to read Sometimes I Lie. Hoo-boy, it was good.
Told through three timelines – Now, Before, and Then – we learn about Amber Reynolds’ life.
Lest you think three timelines
If you asked me for a book recommendation in 2018, it’s also likely that I told you to read Homegoing, which is not a thriller. It begins in 18th Century Ghana, where two half sisters,
Thus begins a 300-year journey that follows the descendants of
My final favorite book I read in 2018 is The Word is Murder, which I love even more whenever I think of it. Anthony Horowitz was given the go-ahead by the Conan Doyle Estate to write two Sherlock Holmes novels, so he was well-equipped to craft The Word is Murder.
To explain this book well takes more than a paragraph, so I encourage you to click on the link above or do your own research if you want to know more. Essentially, Horowitz writes himself into the book as the narrator and main character. He’s an established novelist, doing just fine, when ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne (the obsessive, sharp Sherlock character) asks for his help to document a murder investigation. After some hesitation, Horowitz morphs into the Watson role, and the pair investigate the murder of Diana Cowper, a woman who walks into a funeral parlor one afternoon to prepay for her future services and is found murdered in her apartment later the same day.
If you have any interest in Sherlock Holmes at all – the TV series or the original works – The Word is Murder is a must-read.
And since I also appreciate knowing what books people DON’T recommend, I suggest you pass on The Last Mrs. Parrish, The Anatomy of Dreams, There Will Be Stars, and possibly Witch Elm, which currently remains unfinished because it is dreadfully slow.