1) The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt
What would a favorite list of books for a particular year be without one from David Rosenfelt the creator of Andy Carpenter and his gang. Always written in a pleasantly humorous style and generally alike. Andy, who is the recipient of a large legacy would rather stay away from practicing law and enjoy his good life. But something happens and we go to court and do good. In this one Mr Rosenfelt also brings in his real life love of dogs and ties it in with a case for Andy.
2) Goliath by Shawn Corridan & Gary Waid
If you’ve grown up with sea stories by the likes of Jack London you’ll love this story about men against the sea. A gigantic Russian supertanker runs aground and two groups based out of Alaska go to the scene in the hopes of salvaging the ship. The Goliath part is the name of the ship, which becomes Goliath in English. And the task of salvaging it is for one of the groups a David vs Goliath. Sonny Wade is owner of this group which is on the verge of going broke. The depiction of the efforts of both salvage crews is excellent and displays a vast knowledge of what it takes to do so.
3) The Killing Game by James Carol
A depiction of people caught dining in a famous Hollywood restaurant when a suicide bomber walks in. He indicates that he is wearing a bomb and will blow himself and the restaurant up. The novel provides a study of emotions, fear, bravery and disbelief while the narration continues to mesmerize the reader. Certainly one of Mr. Carol’s most fascinating books.
4) The One Man by Andrew Gross
I finished this book with the distinct impression that I had read probably the best novel written by Andrew Gross to date. From start to finish it grabs you, and doesn’t let go. A German Jewish scientist is imprisoned in a Concentration camp during WWII. His knowledge includes work that could literally start a war, or end one, and the Nazis have destroyed his notes. A Polish Jew that escaped to the United States volunteers for the impossible task of getting into the camp and getting the scientist out in order to provide information important to what is really building the first atomic bomb. A brilliant effort, and one that will stay with any reader for a long time.
5) The Commodore by Peter Deutermann
Another story of the sea and man triumphing against it’s force. This time by a retired Captain of the US Navy and involving naval battles during World War II. The backdrop is the US invasion of Guadalcanal and the sea battle surrounding that. Harmon Wolf is a new destroyer commander, born on an Indian reservation and not thought of as a worthy officer for the Navy. His thoughts and actions and his battle field promotion are the key elements in this story. The actual events described are the result of good research by a man whose first career was as a fleet officer.
6) Summit by Harry Farthing
Harry Farthing has succeeded in climbing Mount Everest and therefore qualifies as an expert in that en devour. Farthing describes two climbing attempt 80 years apart. The first was by a soldier in the German army during WWII. The soldier grew up in a section of Germany in which mountain climbing was common and was considered an expert. He committed an infraction of rules and expected to be executed for that. Heinrich Himmler just at this time conceives of the idea of scaling Everest and planting the Nazi flag at the top as a way of rubbing England’s face in the dirt. Seventy years later Neil Quinn, a leader of 8 successful climbs has a fatality occur to a young man climbing with him. He is disgraced and is stopped from leading further climbs. On the ascent in which the fatality occurred he found an axe with a Nazi swastika engraved and begins an attempt to find out the story was on that. Excellent, obviously factual descriptions of what occurs on these climbs make for great reading.
7) Hell’s Gate by Bill Schutt
A book that opens with the discovery of a Japanese submarine in the middle of the Brazilian jungle during World War II has got to get the reader’s interest. An American military expedition sent to investigate the sub goes missing. One scientist parachutes into the area to determine what is going on. He finds the makings of a Nazi plot to utilize a secret weapon against the allies in order to win the war. Yes, science fiction, and interesting on it’s own right, but the author writes an afterward that the said secret weapon is and was feasible based on scientific findings.
8) The Cairo Code by Glenn Meade
No list of books would be complete without a love story would it? Difference though is that this one occurs during the Second World War. Two men who were in love with the same girl prior to the war find themselves on opposing sides. A meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill was scheduled to take place in Cairo in order to discuss plans for Operation Overlord; the invasion of Normandy. The man in the German army is assigned to assassinate Roosevelt and his friend, in the US army is tasked to stop it. Their mutual love, who is Jewish is told to help with the assassination or not only she will, but her family in a concentration camp will be killed. Riveting to say the least. We know Roosevelt was not killed, but the events on both sides of the plot could very well have happened.
9) Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
The master of challenging fiction presents another all nighter. Maya Stern was an officer with the US army when she met her future husband, was married and never returned to the military. The book opens with Maya in attendance at her husband’s funeral. He was killed by a robber while walking with her in Central Park. The police have arrested two men and charged them with the murder and the case seems closed.
But her husband Joe is seen on a Nanny Cam walking around her house two weeks after the robbery and Maya is sure that he is still alive. And to complicate the matter what is the connection between her husband’s death, the killing of Maya’s sister and the drowning of Joe’s brother 17 years ago while on a trip to the Caribbean?
10) After the Crash by Michael Bussi
A night flight from Istanbul to Paris crashes in the French Alps killing the 169 people aboard. But there is one survivor. An infant girl is thrown from the plane and reached by first responders while still alive. An enigma occurs when two families that had infants aboard the plane claim the child as their own. A judge awards the child to one of the families. These people have two other children; a boy and a girl. The other family hires a private detective with funding for his work to last 18 years to determine who the baby actually belongs belongs to. The science of DNA testing has not begun as the story unfolds, and a huge complication arises when the girl and what is her brother fall in love. You have to read this to find out what happens, but it is well worth while.