Patrick Millikin’s Best of 2021

If you follow the blog or The Poisoned Pen’s Facebook or YouTube pages, you’ve seen Patrick Millikin. He’s the magician behind many of the virtual events, and sometimes he’s the host in front of the camera. Patrick is an author and editor himself, and he’s the noir fan on the staff. He says though, that he reads widely, and his taste is always evolving. If his picks for the Best Books of 2021 are similar to your interests, you might want to check out the Web Store for the titles Patrick recommends.

Best of 2021

William Boyle. Shoot the Moonlight Out. – A haunting crime story about the broken characters inhabiting yesterday’s Brooklyn, this is the new novel from modern master of neo-noir William Boyle.

Michael Connelly. The Dark Hours. – A Wall Street Journal and South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Book of the Year

“A masterpiece”—LAPD detective Renée Ballard must join forces with Harry Bosch to find justice in a city scarred by fear and social unrest after a methodical killer strikes on New Year’s Eve (Publishers Weekly).

S.A. Cosby. Razorblade Tears. – A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance.

Abigail Dean. Girl A. – She thought she had escaped her past. But there are some things you can’t outrun.

Percival Everett. The Trees. – An uncanny literary thriller addressing the painful legacy of lynching in the US, by the author of Telephone.

Tod Goldberg. The Low Desert. – Raymond Carver meets Elmore Leonard in this extraordinary collection of contemporary crime writing set in the critically acclaimed Gangsterland universe, a series called “gloriously original” by The New York Times Book Review.

Naomi Hirahara. Clark and Division. – A New York Times Best Mystery Novel of 2021

Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara’s eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister’s death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.

Kathleen Kent. The Pledge. – In this “instantly cinematic and completely compelling” thriller (Hank Phillippi Ryan), Detective Betty has only two weeks to take down her deadliest rival—this time for good.

Richard Lange. Rovers. – Two immortal brothers crisscross the American Southwest to elude a murderous biker gang and protect a young woman in this “utter triumph and delight” from award-winning author Richard Lange (Jonathan Ames, author of A Man Named Doll)

David Swinson. City on the Edge. – An American teen living abroad discovers the truth about himself and his family in this thrilling novel from “one of the best dialogue hounds in the business” (New York Times Book Review).

Vlautin, Willy. The Night Always Comes. – Award-winning author Willy Vlautin explores the impact of trickle-down greed and opportunism of gentrification on ordinary lives in this scorching novel that captures the plight of a young woman pushed to the edge as she fights to secure a stable future for herself and her family.