23 March 2022

Favourite Books Read in 2021

 Well what a surprise, this post is extremely late. I'm determined that 2022 is the year I get my shit together with blogging. So I thought I'd start with sharing my favourite books that I read in 2021. I read a lot last year and enjoyed it so much that I smashed my reading challenge of 80 books and finished the year on 90. Narrowing down 90 books to my top 12 was extremely hard but here are my faves. As usual, they are all filled with murder.

A collage showing the covers for 4 books Shadow Falls, Flight, Lost Angels and Darkest Place

1. Shadow Falls by Wendy Dranfield (Free on Kindle Unlimited) - #1 Madison Harper

A 12 year old girl goes missing from camp and the police have no leads. PI Nate Monroe agrees to take on the case with the help of ex cop Madison Harper. Madison's instincts tell her there is more to the case and another child could be a risk so they have to work fast. 

I love this duo. They both have a lot of baggage from traumatic events in their past and they work so well together. It's a great start to a new series (I have read the rest and they are also excellent books). The hunt for the missing girl had me hooked and I had no idea who had taken her. 

2. Flight by Laura Griffin* - #2 Texas Murder Files

Miranda is taking a break from Forensics. Her plans are shattered when she comes across the bodies of a young couple. The location of the scene means that she has to jump back into her forensic photographer role if she wants to give the police a fighting chance of catching the killer. Detective Breda is on the case but can't help but be distracted by the beautiful aloof photographer. 

This book gave me Nora Roberts vibes with a fast paced hunt for the killer balanced perfectly with a slow burn romance. The suspense of whether their chemistry will develop adds to the tension of trying to work out who the killer is before someone else is murdered. It kept me guessing until the very dramatic ending. There are so many great characters and the author really manages to set the scene.

3. Lost Angels by Stacy Green* - #3 Nikki Hunt

Nikki's childhood best friend is murdered and the evidence seems to link her murder to the serial killer Nikki has been hunting for years. More evidence leads Nikki to her past to find answers and reveals that these murders could be about to get even more personal.

This is such a great series. Nikki and her team are so lovable and she has an adorable daughter. There is also some romance to help break up the death and fear. It's a dark and twisty read packed full of tension and emotion. 

4. Darkest Place by Jaye Ford*

Carly moves to a new town but her dreams of a quiet new life are shattered when she wakes to a man standing over her. Once the police uncover her history of mental illness, they accuse her of attention seeking. Is she losing her mind or is someone really breaking in and watching her sleep?

Jaye Ford knows how to write a creepy psychological thriller. I had no idea who the bad guy was or if there even was one. This was a chilling creepy read that made me check my doors were locked, not that that helped Carly. 

Collage showing the book covers for The Safe Place, The Midnight Man, A Killer's Daughter and Alone in the Woods

5. The Safe Place by L.A Larkin*

Jessie is made an outcast after reporting her much loved fire chief boyfriend for beating her. A series of house fires are linked to her and the locals are convinced she is the arsonist. She has to risk her life and maybe even scarier she has to trust at least one person to help her clear her name. 

This was such a stressful read. Jessie makes some terrible decisions but I was rooting for her. I just had no idea how or even if she could clear her name. It's a fast paced read with a lot going on and I was suspicious of absolutely everyone. The wildfires add some extra fear and suspense.

6. The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell(On Kindle Unlimited) - #1 Slayton Thriller

Five girls play the Midnight game in Blackhall Manor but only 4 girls come home. Detective Sarah Noble is called in to investigate. She has a personal link to Blackhall Manor and she's going to have to return to her past to get answers. 

This is the kind of thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and reading well into the night. The supernatural elements amp up the creepiness and who doesn't love an urban legend especially when it happens to come true. Sarah is a great character and her past added to the drama. I also adore little Elliot and his chapters gave me goosebumps. 

7. A Killer's Daughter by Jenna Kernan(On Kindle Unlimited) - #1 Agent Nadine Finch

Two bodies are found floating with the same MO as forensic Psychologist Dr Nadine Finch's serial killer mother. Unfortunately, she is already on death row. Nadine is called in to aid the investigation but no one knows about her past. She knows she is going to have to speak to her mother and revisit her dark childhood to get to the truth. 

This has a bit of a twist compared to the usual crime thrillers. I really liked Nadine's character and her paranoia made me question every other character and whether they could be trusted. There were so many red herrings that I had zero idea who the bad guy was. It's fast paced with an explosive ending. 

8. Alone in the Woods by Charly Cox* - #3 Detective Alyssa Wyatt

Alyssa is called out to the murder of a couple after their 17 year old daughter raised the alarm. By the time they get there, here and her best friend are missing. The girls wake up in a cabin in the woods. The race is on but the investigation is tough to get started. 

Charly Cox is an incredible thriller writer. I've read this whole series and every book sucks you in and keeps you hooked until the very end. I didn't have a clue who the bad guy was and it's not very often that I am shocked at the reveal. Alyssa has a great team and an adorable family. I also love that one of her colleagues is a wheelchair user. 

Collage showing the book covers for False Witness, The Darkwater Girls, A Deadly Influence and A Killers Mind

9. False Witness by Karin Slaughter*

Leigh is offered the chance to defend a wealthy man accused of rape. It's the career break she needs but when she meets the client she realises she was picked for a different reason.  This man is from her past and he knows her darkest secret. If she doesn't win this case her life is over. 

I love Karin Slaughters stand alones. Most people know her for her Grant County and Will Trent series but I highly recommend checking out her other books as well. The first chapter of this book is chilling and threw in a surprise straight off the bat.  It does slow down again but the dark story full of twists and turns drew me back in. I had no idea how or even if (you can never trust Karin) the characters were going to get out of their mess. There is a range of characters to love and hate and I definitely ugly cried.  

This is a dark book though so a TW for rape, child abuse and drug use. It is a tough read in places

10. The Darkwater Girls by Maegan Beaumont(On Kindle Unlimited)

Georgia finds her sister dead outside a bar with bruises around her neck. The police rule out murder but Georgia doesn't believe them. She has to turn to someone from her past for help but can she trust him.

This book is chaotic and I loved every second of it. So much drama for such a tiny island. I did guess the main twist  but had no idea how it would be proved. I also had no idea who could be trusted. There's murder, stormy relationships, corruption and an adorable little girl. 

11. A Deadly Influence by Mike Omer (On Kindle Unlimited)

Abby is a hostage negotiator for the NYPD. She is also a survivor of the infamous Wilcox Cult. A fellow survivor of the cult gets in touch with her when her son is kidnapped. Abby agrees to help but is made to face her past. 

I'm so intrigued by cults which is what first drew me to this book. It is a great opener for a new series with some great main characters. Nathan was absolutely badass and the bad guy was super creepy. I was kept guessing until the end and I was never quite sure which way it was going to go. 

12. A Killers Mind by Mike Omer (On Kindle Unlimited)

Zoe is called to investigate the murders of 3 women but she clashes with her new partner. Then a link is found to murder's from Zoe's childhood and things start to get personal.

After enjoying A Deadly Influence by Mike Omer I looked up his other series and got started on this one asap. Especially as book 2 in the Abby Mullen series ended with the potential for a crossover between the 2 characters. I really enjoyed Zoe's character and seeing her relationship with her partner adapt and grow. I definitely recommend checking out the rest of the series. 

So there we have it. The top 12 from the 90 books I read in 2021.

What books have you loved recently?


* This book was gifted in exchange for an honest review, however, it does not affect my views and the opinions expressed in this post are independent and my own

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