T is the night before Christmas and the final day in my series showcasing my top reads of 2018, following the innovative idea of #bookvent from Jen Lucas of Jen Med’s Book Reviews.
I hope you have enjoyed looking through the books I have really treasured this year, and maybe found something that appeals to you.
,As I predicted, however, my #booklove is such that I have ended up here with more books than I have room for. I managed, through superhuman effort, to whittle that list down to 2, but I can’t choose between them, so I’m not going to.
If you read my blog regularly, you’ll have spotted that I am a fan of Orenda Books, a small independent publisher characterised by it’s ability to spot writing of quality, whatever the genre.
My last two choices for this year are surely evidence of that, for they could not be more different.
Let’s start with Good Samaritans.
One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs.A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning in today-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.
Brilliantly constructed, innovative and seriously deranged,this book is the very definition of noir and is not for those of a weak disposition. With graphic sex and violence that makes perfect contextual sense, Good Samaritans nevertheless manages to be both thrilling and entertaining.Good Samaritans is addictive, destructive, dangerous, and sexy as hell and it has a heart of real darkness.
You can read my review here
Contrast that with West Camel’s Attend.
Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend
Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a
world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the
uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.
Attend is a book of contrasts. Sam, Anne, Derek and Mel have all lived their lives in the grimy East End of London where the working class way is to chance your arm and see where the punches fall, which is, all too often, on the wrong side of the law. Hardship and the law of the jungle are paramount in this part of Deptford, where only the strong survive
Amidst this macho culture West Camel has created a delicate love story of strength and survival that shows us a different way. His precise,measured and evocative prose contrasts beautifully with cruel and shameful behaviour. Camel has an uncanny ability to show the beauty amidst the ugliness of poverty, drugs and violence.
You can read my review here