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SCOTT'S TOP TEN (OR TWELVE) OF 2023 SO FAR


This has already brought us a lot of great reading. With July, August, and September bring us the return of Reed Farrel Coleman, and Lou Berney, as well as a new Walt Longmire mystery I thought it would be good to look back at 2013's first six months and what I read sharing my favorites. As usual with my top ten lists, I found a way to sneak in a few more. Also keep in mind there are some great books that could be on this list i haven't gotten to like Joe Ide's and Peter Blauner's Picture In The Sand.



1. EVERYBODY KNOWS by Jordan Harper - A great L.A. thriller that captures the entire structure of the city as a P.R. fixer and her "protection specialist" ex move through the town when a scandal and it's cover up puts them in danger. Picture James Ellroy working in a more modern and humanistmode, but with a voice that solidifies Jordan Harper as the rising star he is.


2. OZARK DOGS by Eli Crano and BACK TO THE DIRT by Frank Bill - Both one of the new talents and one of the established masters of rural noir prove the staying power of the genre. By using Vietnam veterans haunted by their experience, Cranor and Bill take violent and poetic looks at small town America and folks the country left behind.


3. THE PICTURE TELLER by Collin Coterill - Funny and moving tale about two Thia cinephiles in the nineties who discover a VHS of a brilliant movie no known history. An authentic and human look at the love of the movies and the bonds and obsessions it creates.


4. ALL SINNERS BLEED by S.A. Cosby - Cosby has the first black sheriff in a southern town deals with it's past and current sins when a school shooting uncovers other crimes. Cosby proves he's no fluke combining procedural, rural noir, and southern gothic.


5. THE FORGOTTEN WAR by Don Bently - This third outing for government operative Matt Drake has

him going against orders and back to Afghanistan during the U.S. withdraw to clear his buddy of a murder charge. A cinematic action thriller that also serves as a meditation our involvement in that country.


6. BEWARE THE WOMAN by Megan Abbott - Abbott takes the tropes of a woman isolated in a cabin with questionable family and weaves something new in this dark, taut chamber thriller that looks at marriage and family. Proof of why she is one of the best.


7. THE LAST SONG BIRD by Daniel Weizman - My favorite debut. An Uber driver looks into the the murder of one of his regulars, a Joni Mitchell type singer with many skeletons in her closet. A fresh take on the L.A. noir told with a lyrical mood and grounded emotion.


8. BAD INFLUENCE by Alison Gaylin - Gaylin takes over Robert B. Parker's Sunny Randall with authority and wit. She balances the entertainment of the P.I. tale with the right amount of emotions for her P.I.



9. SUNSET & JERICHO by Sam Weibe - The latest book featuring Vancouver P.I. Sam Wakeland has him taking on two cases that have him questioning both his clients and what he does. Wiebe continues to deliver everything we love about the genre while pushing outside its boundaries.


10. DISTURBING THE PEACE by Terrance McCaulley and SHORT ROPE FOR A TALL MAN by Nate Morgan- Two Pinnacle westerns that deliver fun characters and dialogue as well as six-gun action. Whether McCaulley's deputy marshal or Morgan's reformed outlaw, you can't find better companions to ride don the trail with.

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