Another year full of incredible books and once again I’ve read or listened to just over 100.
As usual Goodreads has kindly provided me with a quick overview of these books and I have had quite a difficult time picking my TOP TEN from these:
And now, in no particular order are my personal TOP TEN books of 2022.
THE HERD – EMILY EDWARDS – Read my full review here
Published by Transworld on 3 Feb 2022
Two best friends
Elizabeth and Bryony are polar opposites but their unexpected friendship has always worked. They’re the best of friends, and godmothers to each other’s daughters – because they both trust that the safety of their children is their top priority.
One little secret
Little do they know that they differ radically over one very important issue. And when Bryony, afraid of being judged, tells what is supposed to be a harmless white lie before a child’s birthday party, the consequences are more catastrophic than either of them could ever have imagined.
Every parent’s worst nightmare . . .
THE MARRIAGE ACT – JOHN MARRS – Read my full review here
Published by Macmillan on 19 Jan 2023
What if marriage was the law? Dare you disobey?
Britain. The near-future. A right-wing government believes it has the answer to society’s ills – the Sanctity of Marriage Act, which actively encourages marriage as the norm, punishing those who choose to remain single.
But four couples are about to discover just how impossible relationships can be when the government is monitoring every aspect of our personal lives, monitoring every word, every minor disagreement . . . and will use every tool in its arsenal to ensure everyone will love, honour and obey.
THE HOUSEMAID – FREDA MCFADDEN – Read my full review here
Published by Bookouture 26 April 2022
“Welcome to the family,” Nina Winchester says as I shake her elegant, manicured hand. I smile politely, gazing around the marble hallway. Working here is my last chance to start fresh. I can pretend to be whoever I like. But I’ll soon learn that the Winchesters’ secrets are far more dangerous than my own…
Every day I clean the Winchesters’ beautiful house top to bottom. I collect their daughter from school. And I cook a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in my tiny room on the top floor.
I try to ignore how Nina makes a mess just to watch me clean it up. How she tells strange lies about her own daughter. And how her husband Andrew seems more broken every day. But as I look into Andrew’s handsome brown eyes, so full of pain, it’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband.
I only try on one of Nina’s pristine white dresses once. Just to see what it’s like. But she soon finds out… and by the time I realize my attic bedroom door only locks from the outside, it’s far too late.
But I reassure myself: the Winchesters don’t know who I really am.
They don’t know what I’m capable of…
FOR YOUR OWN GOOD – SAMANTHA DOWNING – Read my full review here
Published by Penguin 20 July 2021
At Belmont Academy, excellence comes at a cost . . .
The teachers demand too much from their students.
The students are devious and unpredictable.
The parents will do anything to get their children ahead.
And when a parent dies in suspicious circumstances, it’s clear that someone at Belmont is a murderer.
But how do you uncover a killer when anyone could be a suspect?
LAST ONE AT THE PARTY – BETHANY CLIFT – Read my full review here
Published by Hodder & Stoughton 4 Feb 2021
December 2023. The human race has fought a deadly virus and lost. The only things left from the world before are burning cities and rotting corpses.
But in London, one woman is still alive.
Although she may be completely unprepared for her new existence, as someone who has spent her life trying to fit in, being alone is surprisingly liberating.
Determined to discover if she really is the last survivor on earth, she sets off on an extraordinary adventure, with only an abandoned golden retriever named Lucky for company.
Maybe she’ll find a better life or maybe she’ll die along the way. But whatever happens, the end of everything will be her new beginning.
EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE – BENJAMIN STEVENSON – Read my full review here
Published by Penguin 18 Aug 2022
I was dreading the Cunningham family reunion even before the first murder.
You see, us Cunnighams don’t really get along.
We’ve only got one thing in common: we’ve all killed someone.
So when they find the first body, it’s clear that only a Cunningham could have committed the crime – and it’s up to me to prove it.
There are plenty of killers in my family. But only one murderer . . .
HIDDEN PICTURES – JASON REKULAK – Read my full review here
Published by Sphere 10 May 2022
Mallory is delighted to have a new job looking after gorgeous four-year-old, Teddy. She’s been sober for a year and a half and she’s sure her new nannying role in the affluent suburbs will help keep her on the straight and narrow.
That is until Teddy starts to draw disturbing pictures of his imaginary friend, Anya. It is quite clear to Mallory and to Teddy’s parents, even in his crude childlike style, that the woman Teddy is drawing in his pictures is dead.
Teddy’s crayons are confiscated, and his paper locked away. But the drawings somehow keep coming, telling a frightening story of a woman murdered… and they’re getting more sophisticated. But if Teddy isn’t drawing the pictures anymore, who is? And what are they trying to tell Mallory about her new home?
RAZORBLADE TEARS – S A COSBY – Read my full review here:
Published by Headline 6 July 2021
Ike Randolph left jail fifteen years ago, with not so much as a speeding ticket since.
But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.
Ike is devastated to learn his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Though he never fully accepted his son, Ike is broken by his death.
Derek’s father Buddy Lee was as ashamed of Derek being gay as Derek was of his father’s criminal past. But Buddy Lee – with seedy contacts deep in the underworld – needs to know who killed his only child.
Desperate to do better by them in death than they did in life, two hardened ex-cons must confront their own prejudices about their sons – and each other – as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.
A provocative revenge thriller and an achingly tender story of redemption, this novel is a ferocious portrait of grief; for those loved and lost, and for mistakes than can never truly be undone.
BAD FRUIT – ELLA KING – Read my full review here
Published by HarperCollins 18 August 2022
LILY IS A GOOD DAUGHTER
Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges the teddy bears on Mama’s quilt, she puts on her matching pink clothes. Anything to help put out the fire of Mama’s rage.
MAMA IS A GOOD LIAR
But Mama is becoming unpredictable, dangerous. And as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long.
She only wanted to be good, to help piece Mama back together. But as home truths creep out of the shadows, Lily must recast everything: what if her house isn’t a home – but a prison? What if Mama isn’t a protector – but a monster . . .
DAISY DARKER – ALICE FEENEY – Read my full review here
Published by Macmillan 18 August 2022
Isolated on their private island in Cornwall, the Darker family have come together for the first time in over a decade. When the tide comes in, they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing – because one of the family is a killer . . .
As the leaves of autumn fall, Daisy Darker arrives at her grandmother’s house for eightieth birthday celebrations. Seaglass, the Darker’s ancestral home, is a crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island.
Every member of the family has their secrets. Nana, alone for so long. Daisy’s absent father, Frank. Her cold-hearted mother, Nancy. Her siblings, Rose and Lily, and her niece, Trixie, full of questions and without a father of her own. Daisy has never had an easy relationship with her family, but some secrets are much darker than others. This will be a gathering that some of them won’t remember.
So that is my Top Ten reads of 2022 – however I can’t stop there because I’ve also read some brilliant books which are being published next year and I wanted to give these 3 a shout out too:
First up is the mistress of the twist Liz Nugent with the wonderful Strange Sally Diamond which is being published by Sandycove on 2 March 2023. I absolutely adored this book and highly recommend it.
Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.
Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she cannot remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends and big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say.
But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world? And why does her neighbour seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged . .
THOSE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR – KIA ABDULLAH
Published by HQ 19 January 2023
Yet another hard hitting and thought-provoking thriller from one of my favourite authors:
You can choose your house. Not your neighbours.
WELCOME TO YOUR DREAM HOME…
Salma Khatun is extremely hopeful about Blenheim, the safe suburban development to which she, her husband and their son have just moved. Their family is in desperate need of a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like the place to make that happen.
MEET YOUR NEW NEIGHBOURS…
Not long after they move in, Salma spots her neighbour, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner her son put in their front garden. She chooses not to confront Tom because she wants to fit in. It’s a small thing, really. No need to make a fuss. So Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window instead. But the next morning she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint.
AND PREPARE FOR THE NIGHTMARE TO BEGIN…
This time she does confront Tom, and the battle lines between the two families are drawn. As things begin to escalate and the stakes become higher, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming… And someone is going to get hurt.
NONE OF THIS IS TRUE – LISA JEWELL
Published by Penguin 20 July 2023.
At last Lisa has finally embraced the dark side fully and None of This is True is a simply brilliant tense thriller which I literally devoured in a day.
Celebrating her 45th birthday at her local pub, podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie is also celebrating her 45th birthday. They are, in fact birthday twins.
A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for Alix’s series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.
Alix agrees to a trial interview. Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep digging.
Slowly Alix starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life – and into her home.
Soon she begins to wonder who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?