Thanks to this publication, your Grit-Lit columnist attended ThrillerFest 2010 in New York City. ThrillerFest is the place where thriller readers meet the authors who write the books they crave. It’s also an awards ceremony like the Emmy’s. And so much more.
ThrillerFest’s parent group ITW – International Thriller Writers — does a lot of good work. They partner with Reading Is Fundamental providing underprivileged kids books and teaching them to read. Plus this fall five top authors are doing a Persian Gulf USO tour entertaining our military.
The group includes: Steve Berry, (The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit…), David Morrell, (First Blood — Rambo, The Brotherhood of the Rose…), Doug Preston (The Monster of Florence and Relic), James Rollins (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the Sigma Force series), and Andy Harp (A Northern Thunder).
If you haven’t read these authors, check them out.
Normally Grit-Lit is me recommending to you the best gritty new thrillers. The reviewed books are the best books I read each month. Unfortunately this leaves out hundreds of great books.
Today, let’s look at the books that ITW picked as top thrillers. Fifteen outstanding books, in three categories, selected by some of the best writers alive. Any of them would be worthy additions to your must read pile.
Best First Novel
“Fragment” by Warren Fahy
“Dead Men’s Dust” by Matt Hilton. A Grit-Lit Must Read Winner!
“Collision of Evil” by John J. Le Beau
“Dracula: The Un-Dead” by Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt.
And the winner … “Running From The Devil” by Jamie Freveletti which bestselling author Tess Gerritsen describes as “A breathless, hair-raising read.”
“Running” had to be excellent to beat “Dead Men’s Dust” which Grit-Lit would have put on the short list for best book by a debut author. Period.
Best Paperback Original
“Shadow Season” by Tom Piccirilli
“Urge To Kill” by John Lutz
“Vengeance Road” by Rick Mofina
“No Mercy” by John Gilstrap
And the winner is … “The Coldest Mile” by Tom Piccirilli.
Best Hard Cover Novel
“Vanished” by Joseph Finder. A personal favorite and one that you should rush out to add to your personal library. Outstanding.
“Long Lost” by Harlan Coben. Another outstanding novel from the author of the Myron Bolitar series.
“Fear The Worst” by Linwood Barclay
“The Renegades” by T. Jefferson Parker.
And the winner is … Lisa Gardner. Who beats out two Grit-Lit all time favorites in Joe Finder and Harlan Coben with her outstanding book, “The Neighbor.”
At ThrillerFest I discovered what I’d call the serious student’s guide to thrillers. “Thrillers: 100 Must Reads” edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing, $27.95, 378 pages, http://oceanviewpub.com).
“Thrillers” is a series of essays by today’s best thriller writers. It begins with Lee Child’s thoughts on the very first thriller “Theseus and the Minotaur” and concludes, 100 essays later with Steve Berry’s analysis of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”,
Read it and you’ll have earned the equivalent of a Masters Degree in thrillers.
Now, the most action packed book I’ve read in a long, long time. Maybe ever. Dedicated readers tell me they are looking for action, action, more action and characters that they care about involved in even more action. Shane Gericke’s just released paperback, “Torn Apart” is the book for us.
“Torn Apart” by Shane Gericke, pronounced yerkey, (Pinnacle Books, $6.99, 421 pages, www.shanegericke.com),
The problem with an action packed novel is that it’s almost impossible to create characters you care about and carry even a semblance of a plot when every single page is a fight or a rape or a sex scene or a sex crime or a murder or worse. I’d have said it was impossible, until I read “Torn Apart.”
Read it. Rated it – top notch, absolutely the best. Ordered every other book he’s ever written. Can’t believe it didn’t win a ThrillerFest award. But, then, what do those folks know about books, anyway?