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December 29, 2011 / C.T. Henry

My Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers of the Year

2011 was a lackluster year for reading crime novels.  While I often read 50+ crime novels a year, I only read 20 in 2011.  Why?  I read several long and extremely satisfying novels – Justin Cronin’s The Passage, George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall – all more than 600 pages each.

So here’s my list of the best mystery/thriller books I read in 2011:

1. Rupture (or A Thousand Cuts – US Title) by Simon Lelic (2010)

2. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre (1963)

3. Still Life by Louise Penny (2006)

4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre (1978)

5. Fault Line by Barry Eisler (2009)

6. If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr (2010)

7. Luther: A Calling by Neil Cross (2011)

8. The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly (2010)

9. 
Pariah by Dave Zeltserman (2009)

10. 
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane (2010)

Best Book of 2011
Rupture (or A Thousand Cuts – US Title) by Simon Lelic

Worst Book of 2011
Tularosa by Michael McGarrity

Most Disappointing Book of 2011
The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer

Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2011
Still Life by Louise Penny

Book you recommended to people most in 2011
If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr

Best series you discovered in 2011
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache – Still Life by Louise Penny

Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011
John LeCarre and Louise Penny

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
by John Le Carre

Book you most anticipated in 2011
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre (US paperback edition)

Most memorable character in 2011
Alec Leamas (The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre)

Most beautifully written book in 2011
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011
Rupture (or A Thousand Cuts – US Title) by Simon Lelic

Book you can’t believe you waited until 2011 to finally read
Still Life by Louise Penny and The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre

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