Best Books of 2016: Becky LeJeune

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THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones – This series by Jones is hilariously fabulous and the ninth installment is no exception. They do have to be read in order, but this sometimes racy and always excellent grim reaper PI series is one of my favorites!

EX ISLE by Peter Clines – the superheroes are back in this fifth installment of Clines’s post apocalyptic series. As more time passes, resources at The Mount are becoming stretched thin. The discovery of another settlement could mean salvation, but it could also mean something worse. Another favorite series of mine that has to be read in order, but it’s so worth it!

I’M TRAVELING ALONE by Samuel Bjørk – this first in a new Scandinavian crime series features a disturbing crime, an elite investigative team, and a suicidal cop. The plot is twisted and the characters are fantastic – definitely a recommended read for any dark fiction fan.

DEAD BEFORE DYING by Kerry Schafer – a fifty-something FBI agent goes undercover in a retirement home that’s hiding a great big supernatural secret. I loved everything about this paranormal mystery and will be looking forward to more from Shafer!

THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz – Tanya has lied to everyone she knows for most of her life. Now her husband is dead and she’s on the run, but did she kill him? This dark thriller from Lutz is quite a change from her light and hilarious Spellman mysteries. It is equally excellent, however, and wonderfully intense.

DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch – a middling academic is attacked, kidnapped, and left unconscious in an abandoned warehouse. When he awakens, his life is vastly different, leaving him to question everything he thought he knew. Crouch’s latest is a sci-fi thriller that will blow your mind!

THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi – this YA debut is based in Indian folklore blended with the Hades/Persephone myth and features a beautifully built world with vibrant and creepy imagery. It is definitely one of the most unique folk/mythology/fairy tale retellings I’ve had the pleasure of reading so far.

THE LAST ONE by Alexandra Oliva – a post apocalyptic tale based around a character who’s part of a survival TV show. This book is thought provoking and fabulous. And while it’s definitely not horror, it is dark enough to appeal to genre fans for sure.

THE DREAM-QUEST OF VELLITT BOE by Kij Johnson – this odd novella is an HP Lovecraft retelling that flips “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” on its head. Johnson’s modern and feminist twist coupled with the excellent world building and imagery make this a stand out of 2016.

CERTAIN DARK THINGS by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I thought I had had enough of vampires, but Sylvia Moreno-Garcia proved me wrong. Vamps, drug wars, and a near-future Mexico City make this a wholly unique and excellent read!

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