A Listmania! list by Gary Griffiths(Los Altos Hills, CA United States)
The list author says: "Try to recall the BEST crime fiction you've read over the past ten years - those books that are so powerful, so different, and have so much action that, while most books fade into oblivion in your memory after a few weeks, these are memorable and still crystal clear. The books that come to mind when asked at the party: "What are the best books you've ever read?" Here's my list, but let me tell you, limiting it to a dozen is really hard."
"It is hard to say enough about this one: how prose so beautifully rendered can cover such brutal ground: rape, forced addiction, mutilation, but in the end, the love of a father for his daughter, as he sets out on his personal odyssey to rescue her from a band of psychic thugs in SoCal's barren desert wastelands. Landmark crime fiction."
""Caught Stealing" is the first of Huston's Hank Thompson trilogy, a hip, unconventional, adrenaline-laced romp across the country and more as an unwitting Hank, an everyday-kind-of-guy baseball fan and bar tender, gets set up in a case of badly mistaken identity and transforms from slacker to stone-cold killer. Followed by "Six Bad Things" and "A Dangerous Man"."
"Nobody can rip and and shred and torture the English language and then reassemble it shunning convention and punctuation and make it all sound so beautiful while leaving you shocked and stunned and realizing that maybe you've really never understood the language before discovering McCarthy. Choosing this over "All the Pretty Horses" or "Blood Meridian" was a tough call."
"A bleak and brutal tale of the drug wars on the Mexican border that will leave you shocked and frustrated, but is so illuminating, so lyrical, and so well researched that you'll be talking about it for years."
"It is a pity that Kent Anderson seems to have written a couple of novels that will hit you like a 2x4, before going after you like a chainsaw, but then apparently stopped writing. This is the tale of a Viet Nam vet doing time on Portland's mean streets as a beat cop. Try "Sympathy for the Devil" as well - but it's a pity Anderson hasn't continued writing."
"The first of Irish author McKinty's "Dead" series, similar to Huston's Hank Thompson in the transformation from relative innocence to hard-boiled assassin. But in this case, the protagonist cuts in teeth in Northern Ireland's "Troubles" and comes to America to hone his craft. Followed by "The Dead Yard" and "The Bloomsday Dead", you'll be reading all three once started."
"All of Swierczynski's work is off-the-wall creative, hip, and irreverent, and if this isn't the best of the bunch, it is certainly the most bizarre. Close call between this one and "The Blonde" or "The Wheelman" - do yourself a favor and read them all - anything with Swiercynski's name on the cover, for that matter."
"No list of top crime is complete without Keb Bruen, and I'm going with "American Skin" because nobody can do the bad guys like Bruen, and you've got the worst on both sides of the ocean competing for most cruel in this violence fest which, nonetheless, carries the beauty of Bruen's sparse, clipped prose."
"First of the highly unusual and darkly humorous series featuring by Siri Paiboun, the fictional national coroner in 70's Communist Laos. A fascinating blend of politics, mysticism, forensics and humor that has to be read to be appreciated."
"Dennie Lehane is a true master of crime, and his absence has been sorely missed. Given many strong entries in the Kenzie/Gennaro series, and the shocking "Shutter Island", it is tough call, but the mystery and poignancy, and authentic "Southie" setting of the finely drawn "Mystic River" puts it on my list."