My Favourite Books of 2017 - Part Three! My Top Reads!

Over the past two days I've posted Part One and Part Two of my favourite books from 2017 and so far I've listed twenty two fabulous books that have really stood out for me this year. There are four books though that just blew me away. When I first started thinking about compiling my end of year list I intended to choose just one title as my top read but I couldn't choose between these four brilliant books.

So without further ado, here are my four outstanding books of the year, listed in the order I read them in.If you click on the titles it will take you to my full review for each of them.

As always Paul E. Hardisty has written an uncompromising and brutal action thriller. He doesn't sanitise war, it's ugly and vicious, there are multiple deaths, a vicious rape and always the stench not only of blood and sweat but also of corruption. What he also achieves though is superlative characterisation, he never sacrifices top quality character development for the complex, exciting plot. Reconciliation for the Dead is perhaps the highlight of a superb trilogy, it's a powerful and honest look at war, inhumanity, brutality and the need for forgiveness. It's a complex and engaging thriller that never forgets that the lead character is a human being who is deeply affected by the events that shape his life and lead to him taking the lives of others. 

By the end of the novel I felt emotionally wrung out by a book that never pulls back from exposing evil acts, the horror described may be in a work of fiction but as the author notes in her acknowledgement in the back of the book we owe it to the survivors and the millions of men, women and children who perished in the Nazi camps to keep reminding people of the atrocities that occurred there. Block 46 is the best kind of book, it's a gripping psychological thriller with a clever and engaging resolution but it also does what the most intelligent fiction can do, it reaches into the past and tells us that there are some lessons we must never forget.

The Unquiet Dead is brimming with justifiable bitterness and anger at the suffering, the sheer magnitude of the atrocities and the feeling that what occurred there is still not largely acknowledged and has not really entered our universal consciousness as it should. 
This is a truly stunning debut novel, a poignant, uncompromising look at tragedy and humankind's capacity for evil. This isn't a book about forgiveness, it's about the need for justice and retribution and as such it's far from an easy read. Nevertheless it is utterly absorbing, to read something so intelligent and powerful is very special, The Unquiet Dead is an extraordinary book. I urge you to read it.

 I'm going to be singing its praises for years to come. If there was ever such a thing as an app to match readers to books then The Man Who Died would be chosen for me. I'll probably never look at mushrooms, saunas or hedgehogs in quite the same way again and it left me with a terrible craving for ice cream but if I haven't already made it clear enough, I really loved this captivating book, I'm smiling again just thinking of it now. An unforgettable and life affirming book about death, I highly recommend it!

All four books are simply wonderful reads, if you haven't read them already I suggest you make it your New Year's Resolution! I'm looking forward to more fabulous fiction from these authors in 2018; Paul E. Hardisty's next Claymore Straker book, Absolution will be published in May; Johana Gustawsson's sequel to Block 46, Keeper will be out in April; the print version of Ausma Zehanat Khan's second novel, The Language of Secrets will be published in July (the ebook is available now and also on my list of my favourite books this year); Antti Tuomainen's next book will be another dark comedy, Palm Beach Finland will be published in the UK in October.

Here's all the beautiful front covers of my favourite books together, it really has been a great year for books!

All that remains now is for me to thank all the authors and publishers whose books I've featured in 2017, without your words to inspire me, Hair Past A Freckle wouldn't exist. A big thank you too to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment and share my posts, and also to my fellow bloggers, your support and friendship means so much to me. 
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a successful and happy New Year.


Post a Comment