My Top 15 books of 2010

On December 15, 2010, in book reviews, Books, Crime, Fiction, Historical, by Milo

A top 15 is a relative thing and I thought long and hard about what I considered to be my definitive list of the best books published in 2010. To coin the phrase “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” and all that malarkey! I can’t tell you how close the top three titles were changing position on numerous occasions before I settled on the result!

All the top publishers are represented including Orion, Penguin, Transworld, Random House and Headline. One independent made the top 15 – never easy competing against the main publishing houses. So without further ado and in reverse order I give you my top 15 books of 2010 ….

And before I forget – if you’d like to win a signed copy of my number 1 book then check out the competition at the end of the chart!!

15
Sacred Treason James Forrester – Sacred Treason [Book Review

Sacred Treason is at times a brutal reminder of how much of a struggle life was in the 16th century. A powerful, evocative and gripping tale with an abundance of historical facts, the book is a sure fire winner.

Published by Headline

14
Cut and Run – Matt Hilton [Book Review]  

Joe Hunter is more than a match for Jack Reacher – what would happen if they both ended up on opposite sides, the mind boggles – let’s hope that never happens. Highly recommended. If it’s action you want, Cut and Run will not disappoint.

The Book is published by Hodder

13
Kevin Lewis – The Kid [Book Review

“The Kid” is without doubt a tail of triumph over adversity, incredibly moving and a harrowing tale of one kid’s struggle against an oppressive mother and father. If you read one book in 2010 I urge you to pick up this one from Kevin Lewis.

Published by Penguin

12
SJ Parris  – Heresy [Book Review

Tolerance, secrecy and reputation combine with brutality and torture to offer a provoking tale of religious fervour and heresy. Wonderfully captivating.

Published by Harper Collins

11
Lynn Shepherd – Murder At Mansfield Park [Book Review

I never for one moment thought I would enthuse over a book of this type but I have to admit it is, without doubt, definitive proof that readers should every once in a while challenge themselves and try something a little outside their comfort zone.

Deliciously opulent, Murder at Mansfield Park is a must read.

10
Grant McKenzie – No Cry For Help [Book Review]  

McKenzie building on a solid foundation plays the story like a concert pianist; faultless anticipation and an all engulfing plot; this is one not to be missed. Powerful stuff – Semper Fi.

Published by Bantam/Transworld

9
Tom Harper – The Lazarus Vault [Book Review

The sights and sounds of 12th century England and Wales come to life in Harper’s magical prose effortlessly relaying the stark contrast between 12th century poverty and present day affluence.

Atmospheric and imaginative, The Lazarus Vault will tease and tantalise and take you on a charismatic journey across the globe.

Published by Arrow

8
Andy McDermott – The Sacred Vault [Book Review

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and although part of a long standing arc, The Sacred Vault is a superb standalone novel. I look forward to the follow up!

Published by Headline

7
Linwood Barclay – Never Look Away [Book Review

A stunning novel, well delivered with more than its fair share of twists and turns and intelligent sub plots. It has been a difficult review to write, only in so much that to mention one sub plot invariably leads to another and another.

Published by Orion

6
Michelle Paver – Dark Matter [Book Review

Fear and doubt are two very real emotions and Jack has them in abundance. Smothered by darkness his imagination runs riot, he hears voices; he sees shadows – unsettled by the bleak conditions, he is determined to succeed. As much as “Dark Matter” is a chilling ghost story, I found it to be one of self-discovery.

A delight to read, Paver captures the harsh realities of the Arctic with ease. Survival and discovery the key ingredients to a chilling tale found in abundance. Most certainly recommended.

Published by Orion

5
Daniel Silva – The Rembrandt Affair [Book Review

The characters are well written the dialogue is crisp and believable, not once did it feel strained. The sub plots all tie in effortlessly with the main storyline without a feeling of being side-lined for no apparent reason.

The Rembrandt Affair” hooks you in from the outset, with Silva’s descriptive powers and tense scenarios I found myself holding my breath on occasions waiting to find the outcome of a tricky situation. A wonderful meaty novel, you’ll never view the art world in the same light again. Excellent.

Published by Michael Joseph

4
Jed Rubenfeld – The Death Instinct [Book Review

Full of twists and turns “The Death Instinct” is a tale of despair, murder, corruption and greed. Wonderful story, Rubenfeld has a natural gift for blending fact and fiction making history come alive in his work. Highly recommended.

Published by Headline

3
Michael Koryta – So Cold The River [Book Review

A story of Yin and Yang, light and shade, good and evil – the book is an engaging, icy page turner in every sense. This is Koryta’s first book to be published in the UK and certainly won’t be his last, not on this form I suspect.

Don’t drink the water! You have been warned!

Published by Hodder

2
Belinda Bauer – Blacklands [Book Review

The characters are realistic. I felt for Lamb. Here’s a young lad who just wanted a normal home life but the lack of money and to a certain extent love from his mother he never had it. At the other end of the scale is Avery, the convicted paedophile – a dangerous, complex and intelligent character – two opposites are drawn together in this gripping tale of intrigue.

Blacklands is a powerful work of crime fiction set at an incredible pace. Recommended.

Published by Transworld

1
Jo Nesbo – The Snowman [Book Review

I can promise you one thing; my days of making snowmen are over. Harry Hole has a lot on his mind; an ex-wife he still loves, a new female detective as his partner and his very personal battle with alcoholism – to catch the killer he has to fight his inner demons, only then will he have the strength to make sense of the brutal slayings.

Both chilling and imperial, The Snowman is an unyielding story that will delight the reader with every turn of the page – guaranteed! Highly recommended, I can’t wait for the next Novel!

Published by Random House

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8 Responses to “My Top 15 books of 2010”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rhian Davies, David Capper, Thomas Stofer, Jan, Gav @ MFB and others. Gav @ MFB said: RT @milorambles: My Top 15 books of 2010 http://bit.ly/ij6ohs (also win a signed copy of the top book!) Please RT […]

  2. Thomas says:

    Definitely agree about So Cold The River. Really didn’t think that I was going to enjoy a supernatural thriller about ‘weird’ water, but how wrong I was!!

  3. […] Library Journal (best books) Library Journal (best consumer health books) Mac McCaughan (books) Milo’s Rumbles (top books) Music and More (favorite books) National Times (best books on science and scepticism) […]

  4. Dot says:

    I thought Blacklands was brilliant! I have just received Sacred Treason so I am looking forward to it even more now that you have awarded it your number 1 slot!

  5. […] Celebrate “The Snowman” topping my top 15 of 2010 we are giving you the chance to win a signed copy of “The Snowman” by Random House! If […]

  6. iubookgirl says:

    The Death Instinct and So Cold the River are both on my TBR list for January and am looking forward to both. I’m glad to see you liked them.

  7. […] a follow up to “The Snowman” – which incidentally was my top book of 2010 – Inspector Harry Hole is back in action as Norway is gripped by yet another Serial Killer. With […]

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