10. The Ice Twins
It’s a well-written thriller, and despite the fact that it was nominated in the horror category on Goodreads, it’s psychological with only bits of implied supernatural happenings. What puts it in tenth place in spite of its merits is the reveal in the end, with which I had problems. But no spoilers here. Read for yourself.
9. Let the Old Dreams Die
Yes, Let the Right One In has a followup. Except not really. Only one story in this anthology took place in the same universe as LtROI. And most of it had nothing to do with Oskar and Eli. But my favorite story in this collection was the first one, Border. That alone makes this book worth it.
8. We Need to Talk About Kevin
Sociopathic child grows into murderous sociopathic teen. What’s not to love? This book is slow to get going and very long, but if you stick with it and power through that wordy, overwritten beginning, it has some wonderful surprises to offer.
7. The Wicked Girls
More sociopathic kids. In this book, the story is split between the murder the two main characters committed as young children and the rather predictable story of a murder spree in an English resort town. The past and the psychologies of the protagonists interested me so much more. They’re superbly written and the subject just too intriguing to pass up.
6. Before I Go To Sleep
This gets the prize of “I can’t believe I didn’t get to it until now”. Despite the plot holes, it’s compulsively readable and unputdownable.
5. Save Yourself
Sociopathic goth teens. Yes. My favorite subject. Here, I found the goth kids so much more compelling and fun to read about than the whiny and weak protagonist–although it was part of the book’s charm. Not in the top four because [spoiler] goths who drink blood… give me a f—— break.
Russia in the late 90s-early 2000s was a chaotic Babylon and a godsend for crime fiction. Again, the setting and supporting characters were so much more vivid than the protagonist–but in this case, it’s clearly intentional, the better to establish a contrast between the “hero’s” white-bread Western life and the law-of-the-jungle world of Moscow.
3. Glass Bodies
This hasn’t come out in English yet so I read the French translation. An obscure rock star makes personalized tapes for suicidal teens to listen to while they kill themselves. Also some much-appreciated hints as to what became of the characters from the Crow Girl series after the end.
2. The Crow Girl series
It comes out in July (I think) so I read it in French translation too. AMAZING, deliciously dark and oftentimes disgusting trilogy about, among other things, abuse, murder, cults, dissociative identity disorder, and child soldiers. Not for the faint of heart.
And number one…
1. Night Film
I don’t know what to say about this phenomenal book except that it blew my mind. I have broken out of the locked room. Marisha Pessl is a genius storyteller and a master of narrative structure. It’s insanely long and worth Every. God. Damn. Page.