I am currently on track to read or listen to 100 books in 2022. I’ll probably slow down next year, but it’s a good goal to have.
And by the end of this year, I’ll have read two more crime novels and start 2023 off with a third. What are they?
The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias– I ran across this one via editor Jim Thomsen’s Twitter feed, where I also discovered SA Cosby’s work, Ohio, and Lincoln Highway. Gabino Iglesias tells the tale of Mexican gangsters, a far different breed from the Sicilians of old or the now-tired Russian mobsters, none of whom seem to look much alike between novels by different writers. Iglesias received a lot of buzz for this one, and usually, I’m seldom disappointed by a crime novel with that kind of attention.
A Galway Epiphany by Ken Bruen – The end (for now) of the Jack Taylor series. Jack is tired. And I get the impression Bruen is tired of writing him. This last Taylor novel came out in 2020, and nothing appears to be on the horizon for Jack nearly two years later. It’s a long one, and what is there to say? Jack’s inner circle is gone. He’s lost three dogs, still grieves over a baby who died in The Dramatist (possibly Bruen’s best novel, but so heartbreaking that I can’t reread it), faced down the Devil, and has fled to a farm away from Galway. But as of the last novel, he still had his all-weather Garda coat. Usually, I begin the year with a Taylor novel, but the novel I ended the year on doesn’t come out until December. Which is…
My Darkest Prayer by SA Cosby – Cosby does for the South what Bruen does for Galway. A child of the Virginia and the Carolinas, he writes with an instinctive ear for the local dialect and the South’s peculiar mix of racial tension, religion, food, and working class ethic. His Blacktop Wasteland was a masterpiece, as was its follow-up, Razorblade Tears. My Darkest Prayer debuts in early December, but will be the second book of the new year for me. (The first will be Call of the Wild. A promise I made to myself.) As Billy Mays used to say, “But wait! There’s more!” Coming six months later is the novel he seems to be most proud of, All Sinners Bleed, debuting in June, 2023. I’m debating whether to grab it on day 1 or wait until January, 2024 to start a new tradition.