The Ten Notable Books of 2022: Part 1

 It's that time of the year when everyone is scribbling down their year-ender lists, and not wanting to be left too far behind, out of the 80-odd books read in the past year, I also managed to compile my list of the best of the year gone by. (Opinions, strictly personal and based on the books read last year)

 Rock Paper Scissors (Alice Feeney, HQ)

Alice Feeney's Rock Paper Scissors is one of the few genuine thrillers I have read for a long time. Adam and Amelia are spending the weekend in the Scottish Highlands. Adam is a successful screenwriter, and Amelia is his wife. The remote location is perfect for what they have planned. But can they trust each other? Twisty and engaging with a bit of horror element thrown in, this one is definitely worth your time and money!


1980 (Anver Abdulla, Mathrubhumi)

1980 is a work which can be safely bracketed as a work of speculative fiction. Inspired by the real-life accident of yester year Super Star Jayan, 1980 marked the return of Detective Perumal. An engaging mystery and an ode to the Malayalam Cinema of the 80 s, this work by Anver Abdulla can be regarded as one of the best works in the franchise. With Characters modelled on real-life personalities, the Novel also has some genuinely heartwarming moments, which makes this one much more than your typical detective story.

3.      The Tattoo Murder (Akimitsu Takagi, Pushkin Vertigo)

2022 was also a year where I found a taste for vintage Japanese Crime fiction. Set in Post War Tokyo, this vintage locked room Japanese mystery is the story of three cursed tattoos and the series of murders connected with them. Though the core story might have gotten dated a bit, the backdrop of Seedy Tokyo, dive bars and Yakuza Gangs makes this one a worthy read.


Aanandha Bhaaram (Jisa Jose, Mathrubhumi)

In a year which saw a slew of below-par works which tried to compensate for their hollowness with fake female centricity,  Aanandhabhaaram, stood out for its genuine writing and believable characters. Rathnamekhala and Parimalam were real, and their miseries were relatable. The Novel also had many heartwarming moments, and the ending was quite satisfying. Mudritha indeed got its worthy successor in AanandhaBhaaram.


The Trees (Percival Everett, Influx press)

Perhaps the bluntest and the most provocative books of this lot, this black comedy was short-listed in this year's Man Booker Prize. A series of murders are happening in a small town in Mississippi, and two State Detectives are brought in to investigate the same. This page-turning potent Satire of U.S. racism is a challenging yet racy read. Though this one is packaged as a regular Murder Mystery, its themes are pertinent and thought-provoking.

 (The Second Part of this post will be post will be published tomorrow)


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