Monday, January 9, 2012

My Top of 2011 - Better Late Than ...

The end of 2011 brought many pleasant memories of books gone by and some technological issues, hence the untimely post. Looking back to 2011, there were many thrilling reads, some from this year and some from past years that I had overlooked. I will limit my selections to books released during 2011 and divide them into mainstream and indie.

There were many mainstream releases this year which I have not read yet, like Crichton’s Micro or Khoury’s The Devil’s Elixir. I will select three from mainstream releases and three from the Indie releases I have read.

3. The Vault by Boyd Morrison – While it may be a tad inferior to The Ark, The Vault is a thrilling mixture of history, science, action and intrigue. Continuing the adventures of Tyler Locke and his former pro-wrestler/army ranger Grant Westfield, Morrison creates an intriguing tale involving a search for King Midas’ tomb and the ultimate secret of his golden touch.

2. The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry – Cotton Malone begins by stumbling on to a plot to assassinate the President and winds up battling pirates off the Eastern seaboard. Steve Berry mixes historical fact with current economic unrest to create an entertaining read. The book was enhanced by an e-short story released before the novel that gave essential background to one of the new characters. This is not the first time Berry has done this and several other authors have followed suit including David Baldacci and my next pick, James Rollins.

1. The Devil Colony by James Rollins – The new Sigma adventure is centered mostly in the US for a change and involves Native Americans, Mormons and secrets of the founding of America. While the action is intense and seemingly nonstop, the historical references kept me just as interested. This novel was preceded by an engrossing e-short story involving Seichan and the Paris underground.

Indie Top Three:
Great year for indie authors, as next year proves to be even better. Tough choice with many falling just short like New World Orders by Edward G. Talbot and Quick Kill by Patricia McCallum, but here are the top three:

3. The Ninth District by Doug Dorow – Dorow uses his knowledge of his home environment, Minneapolis, Minnesota, too create a tense robbery caper involving FBI Special Investigator Jack Miller. This is the beginning of what I believe will be many thrilling endeavors by Dorow.

2. Petroplague by Amy Rogers – This tense science-based thriller will enthrall the Crichton fans and surprise the Rollins fans with a mixture of scientific background blended seamlessly into a story involving a doctoral student and her relationship with her kid sister. The world hangs in the balance, but we wouldn’t care if we didn’t care about the characters.

3. 30 Pieces of Silver by Carolyn McCray – This is a break-through work that defines Ms. McCray as a force to be reckoned with in the field of historical/thrillers. This exploration into the religious realm, combined with the military and historical elements place her in the company of Rollins, Berry and Brown.

Special Note: This Tuesday 1/10 is the release of Preston/Child’s new installment in the Gideon Crew series entitled Gideon’s Corpse. I will be attending a rare book-signing by both Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child this Thursday in Princeton NJ. If you have any questions, comment on this blog and I will confront them face to face.


  1. Hey thanks for the mention of New World Orders! I haven't read numbers 1 and 2, but #3 was in my top three or four indie thrillers of 2012, along with Run by Blake Crouch, Wrecker by Dave Conifer, and one or two others.

  2. Thanks for the recognition for THE NINTH DISTRICT! With so many great thrillers out there I wish I had more time to read!