January’s FEATURED AUTHOR: Alan’s top three 2011 crime fiction books…

Today, our Featured Author Alan Orloff stops by to answer that oft-asked question: What are your favorite books, and why? I bet you can’t wait to see what he has to say… 😉 Read on!

I don’t know about you, but when I try to come up with a list of my favorite books, titles and storylines and characters begin to flash before my eyes, and I quickly become overwhelmed. I mean, how can I compare A WRINKLE IN TIME, which I read in sixth grade, to IT, which I read much later. Both great books, but not quite on the same playing field… And ENDER’S GAME, and THE HOBBIT, and WATCHERS, and THE UNORIGINAL SINNER AND THE ICE CREAM GOD, and THE BLACK ECHO, and NATHAN’S RUN, and ABSOLUTE POWER, and THE FIRM, and THE MONKEY’S RAINCOAT, and, well, I could go on. So I’ll just tell you about three excellent crime fiction books I read in the past year.

innocent monsterINNOCENT MONSTER by Reed Farrel Coleman
(Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository)

If you haven’t met Moe Prager yet, what are you waiting for? He’s the former NYPD cop-turned-PI with a tumultuous personal life, and in this book (the 6th in the series), he comes out of retirement to investigate the abduction of an 11-year-old girl at the request of his estranged daughter. As usual, Coleman combines wonderful prose, a twisting plot, and terrific characters in the perfect proportions and comes up with another winner.

the lock artistTHE LOCK ARTIST by Steve Hamilton
(Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository)

In Steve Hamilton’s stand-alone crime novel, the eighteen-year-old protagonist has a unique relationship with locks—he can open them all. He also has a unique affliction; due to a traumatizing event that took place when he was a young boy, he can’t speak. So what does a mute boy do with his talents? Become a safe-cracker, of course. Despite how this summary reads, THE LOCK ARTIST is really a love story. As well as being a great book. And it’s not just me who thinks so — it won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

defending jacobDEFENDING JACOB by William Landay
(Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository)

I was lucky to score an ARC of this one at Bouchercon, and man, it was one of those books you don’t want to put down! It’s been getting terrific pre-pub buzz, and every word of it is deserved. It’s a legal thriller that’s well-written, well-plotted, and has great, but flawed, characters. I will go out on a very short limb and predict many awards for this one.

Well. There are three more books that just got added to my want-to-read pile. Thanks, Alan! (No sarcasm there at all. Really.)

I’ve added the pile-o-books Alan listed right off at the beginning of his post to a widget for those who would like to take a peek. The three above are on my wish list (hint! hint!). Have you read any of these titles?


  1. Thanks Alan, The Lock Artist has my interest….And to think I was going to trim my tbr pile this year…..Well there is still time and hope for that but not today…(Grin) Great Post…..

  2. I think The Lock Artist looks very interesting too. And a Wrinkle in Time is such a classic. One of those ones you could re-read as an adult and get a little of that same wow factor!

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