Books of the year 2022

Well, that’s 2022 almost done. Usually by now I’d have done my books of the year lists – one for crime, one for SF/fantasy and one for everything else.

This year I’m going to condense it all into one list. Hey, it’s my blog, my rules.

I read 52 books this year (assuming I don’t finish one between now and midnight on the 31st – possible but unlikely), which feels like a nice round number. A book a week is a lot for some people, not a lot for others. It’s the lowest total personally since 2016 when I read 31 books.

Can’t think why 2020 might have had so many books…

Anyway, we were talking about books that I’ve loved this year. Here then is an entirely unsorted list of some of the books I’ve really enjoyed in 2022.


A Sh*tload of Crazy Powers, by Jackson Ford

Teagan Frost is back with a bang. Ford cranks the dial hard up way past eleven, and you’d better strap yourself in for another high-octane ride. It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s even been paying the slightest bit of attention that I love these books, and they’ve been a regular feature on my books of the year list. No pressure if you’re watching, Jackson.

The Rabbit Factor/The Moose Paradox by Antti Tuomainen

I adore Antti Tuomainen’s books, so it’s no surprise to find The Rabbit Factor and the sequel The Moose Paradox on this list.. They’re Tuomainen’s best yet, with black humour at its finest, deftly handled. Quirky characters, a fantastic setting and just great, fun reads.

Incy Wincy, by RJ Dark

Incy Wincy follows on from RJ Dark’s first Mal and Jackie adventure, A Numbers Game. More glorious shenanigans as everyone’s favourite psychic/private investigator and his best mate Jackie. Hugely entertaining, cracking plot and superb characters. Book 3 please, RJ.

Little Sister, by Gytha Lodge

A young girl staggers out of the woods covered in blood, but she insists that it’s her sister they need to worry about. The fourth book in a series, but worked as a standalone and left me wanting more. Lodge deftly leads you down various paths, crossing and uncrossing narratives – a gripping thriller that I enjoyed enormously.

Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins

Regular readers will also be aware of my love of Fiona Cummins’ books, and Into The Dark is no exception. Cummins carefully delivers little snippets of information as the plot unfurls, and you’re often left questioning what you thought you knew as each chapter plays out. Who do you trust, when no-one seems to trust each other? Dysfunctional families, secrets, lies and mysterious goings-on. And a new police detective on the case with a bit of a dark past himself…

Taste: My Life through Food by Stanley Tucci

I listened to this book on Audible, narrated by Stanley Tucci himself. He’s a genial host, regaling us with tales and recipes and other stories from his love of food. Hugely enjoyable.

Dog Rose Dirt, by Jen Williams

I seem to have been a bit remiss with my reviews this year – I could have sworn I’d written a long, glowing review of Jen Williams’ foray into crime writing, but it seems that it’s got lost along the way. Suffice it to say that this is a superb specimen of a ‘true crime’ serial killer story which is very much worth your time checking out. Superb writing, taut plot and another which I whipped through at pace, always needing to know what happened next.

The Dying Squad by Adam Simcox

Hugely enjoyed this. I read a lot of crime books and love a good supernatural thriller and police procedural, so this was right in my ballpark. What if a detective has to solve his own murder? Superb.

Life Sentence by AK Turner

Another which seems to have slipped down the back of the review sofa. I loved AK Turner’s first book Body Language, featuring mortuary assistant Cassie Raven, whose has a special connection with her recently deceased clients. Life Sentence is another fantastic book, and I highly recommend you picking up both.

SOLO: What running across mountains taught me about life, by Jenny Tough

Jenny Tough (yes, her real name) ran across mountain ranges on six continents, solo and unsupported. This is an incredible set of adventures, beautifully written. There’s a short film about her runs that’s just been released, and I highly recommend both the book and the film. I met Jenny at the Sidetracked event in Leeds in October, and she’s just as fabulous in person as she comes across in her book.

Wolf Pack, by Will Dean

Another year, another Tuva Moodyson mystery. Another certainty for the books of the year list. Look, if you’ve not read any of Will Dean’s books, sort that out. Wolf Pack is the fifth in the series, and not the best place to start as there’s a lot of backstory. But once again, if you’ve read the first four, you need no encouragement from me. If you’ve not read any yet, get yourself to a bookshop!

The Redeemer, by Victoria Goldman

This is a great debut from Goldman and I really enjoyed it. The story is strong, well-plotted and kept me guessing (wrongly, of course) all the way. Great start to a series, looking forward to more!

And Your Enemies Closer by Rob Parker

And Your Enemies Closer is the follow-up to Rob Parker’s brilliant Far From The Tree. It follows on six months after the events of the first book, and from the opening page (can it have a first page if it’s an audiobook?) I was hooked. I even found myself sat outside my house in the car for a couple of extra minutes’ listening time. Parker has got a knack for creating compelling, flawed characters that half the time you’re rooting for, and the other half you’re wondering what on earth they’re doing. He’s also a dab hand at a dark, twisting plot and has some very creatively unpleasant ways for equally unpleasant people to get their just rewards. Superb

Truly Darkly Deeply, by Victoria Selman

Now you know that I do like a good psychological crime thriller, and that’s exactly what we have here in Victoria Selman’s excellent Truly, Darkly, Deeply. It’s a fascinating glimpse into fractured family dynamics and the possibilities of innocence and guilt, with a serial killer stalking the streets of London. Deliciously twisty.

Sundial, by Catriona Ward

This one snuck under the wire. I adored The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial was just as good. Part psychological thriller, part horror, it’s another incredible book following Rob and her daughter Callie as they go back to Rob’s childhood home of Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. There’s a creeping sense of dread that permeates the book as secrets and lies are gradually stripped back to an incredible finale.

Phew! Those were my books of 2023. Bit of a mixture, and I hope you find something in there to tickle your fancy.

Before I go, here’s a sneaky 2023 book that you MUST add to your list.

Children of the Sun, by Beth Lewis

Another of my all-time favourite authors, Beth Lewis has given us some incredible books. The Wolf Road is just stunning, and last year’s The Origins of Iris was wonderful. Dark, raw and startlingly original, it will linger long in the memory after you turn the last page. It took me a while to recover myself after reading. So it was with some trepidation that I embarked on Children of the Sun (out in May 2023, sorry you’re going to have to wait). Incredible book about cults and family and belief and loss. Lewis’s writing is, as ever, just beautiful. Hugely recommended.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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