This was another strong year for new books in the Mystery and Crime genre. These are the best books reviewed by this Blog in 2014:
The Drop by Dennis Lehane - A hard-edged crime story set on the bleak streets of South Boston. The rough, blue collar characters speak in terse, streetwise dialogue that reflects the worn hardness of the neighborhood around them. It all moves inexorably toward a violent end, as if the characters are hopelessly fated by their own warped natures.
The Burning Room by Michael Connelly - LAPD detective Harry Bosch is back in the latest novel in a highly popular continuing series. Bosch is his typical tenacious, maverick self as he digs into a politically charged cold case. The chemistry between the wily veteran Bosch and the new young partner he is training, Lucia Soto, brings added depth to the novel. A compelling, first rate police procedural.
Perfidia by James Ellroy - A lurid noir crime epic set in post-war Los Angeles, and a prequel to Ellroy's famed Black Dahlia-Big Nowhere-L.A. Confidential trilogy. This novel portrays an LAPD awash in corruption, dirty politics, and bone-splintering cop beat-downs. It's all written in Ellroy's trademark manic, machine gun style, and salted with sleazy Hollywood dirt. A wild whirlwind of a ride that just skirts the dark rim of craziness.
The Son by Jo Nesbo - A tale of revenge set in Oslo, Norway. An escaped prison inmate, a ghost-like figure known as The Son, goes after those responsible for the death of his policeman father. The cop tracking The Son is Simon Kefas, a balding, tired man nearing retirement and an unlikely hero. Offbeat and eerie at times, with a wrenching final plot twist.
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin - Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh, Scotland police returns from short lived retirement. He takes on an auto accident case that turns into a cover-up by powerful people. Rebus is at his gruff best with his tactless rudeness and deep-held cynicism. An intriguing plot puzzle for mystery readers.
Field of Prey by John Sandford - Minnesota State Police investigator Lucas Davenport pursues a grisly new serial killer case. The bodies of twenty young women are discovered in an old, buried cistern on a vacant farm. A killer has been at work for years and he's still living in one of the small towns in the area. A dark, relentless thriller that drives toward a brutal climax.