Top Dozen Crime Fiction of the DECADE

A Listmania! list by Gary Griffiths (Los Altos Hills, CA United States)
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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."
God Is a Bullet
1.  God Is a Bullet by Boston Teran
The list author says:
  "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."
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Caught Stealing: A Novel
2.  Caught Stealing: A Novel by Charlie Huston
The list author says:
  ""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"."
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No Country for Old Men
3.  No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
The list author says:
  "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."
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The Power of the Dog
4.  The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow
The list author says:
  "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."
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Night Dogs
5.  Night Dogs by Kent Anderson
The list author says:
  "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."
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Pyres
6.  Pyres by Derek Nikitas
The list author says:
  "First time author knocks it out of the park with this tale of coming of age in Hell that would do Sam Peckinpah proud.  Can't wait for more from this guy."
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Dead I Well May Be: A Novel
7.  Dead I Well May Be: A Novel by Adrian McKinty
The list author says:
  "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."
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Secret Dead Men
8.  Secret Dead Men by Duane Swierczynski
The list author says:
  "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."
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American Skin
9.  American Skin by Ken Bruen
The list author says:
  "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."
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The Coroner's Lunch
10.  The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
The list author says:
  "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."
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Mystic River
11.  Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
The list author says:
  "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."
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The Bottoms
12.  The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
The list author says:
  "Powerful and poignant American fiction in the vein of Faulkner or Harper Lee - but much more readable."
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4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)

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Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
The Barracuda 18 Aug 12, 2013
What Happened to the Punctuation?? 15 Apr 20, 2012
60 second remake! 0 Feb 7, 2012
Bell's dreams at the end 12 Oct 5, 2011
Spelling error in Derek Nikitas' Pyres? 0 Jun 12, 2011
Who Killed Moss? 1 Mar 15, 2011
Plot Clarification 47 Oct 16, 2010
Can't remember when movie and book were so close in content 3 May 23, 2010
Chigurh 18 Jan 10, 2010
Can't remember what novel was called - please help! 0 Sep 24, 2009
Carson Wells-incompetent? 2 May 26, 2009
Wells 2 May 26, 2009
 
   

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Gary Griffiths (Los Altos Hills, CA United States)
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Last updated: 10/8/08
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