A list of our team’s favorites books published and reviewed in 2015
|Workman’s Complication by Rich Leder
Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator. Henry Baum, owner of SPR wrote of this book, “In the seven years I’ve been reading and reviewing books for SPR, I’d put Workman’s Complication in the top five.”
|Blackcloak: A Man of his Sword by W. James Chan
A poetic exploration of the hero myth with strange and elegant ideas and imagery throughout, culminating in one of the more thoughtful tales of revenge and bloodshed out there.
|Somerflip: Based on a True Story…Witnessed by Drunks by Daley James Francis
British humor abounds in Francis’s brilliant comedy about English pubs, relationships, and the silly goings on of two English lads Gavin and Neil over the course of 48 hours, that anyone who have ever had a pint in a UK public house will enjoy. SPR says, “the characters and dialogue are a riot in this book, with parts that had me absolutely roaring with laughter.”
What’s it like: If Simon Pegg and Nick Frost wrote books, this would be it.
|Katherine Hayton – Skeletal
One of the most creepingly original books of 2015, New Zealander Hayton manages to pull teen angst, corporate murder, and disturbingly psycho-spook into this superdark first novel centering around Daina, a troubled, lonely high-school student on the edge of paranoia, consumed by an event in her childhood that could mean she’s insane or maybe possessed… Recommended, haunted – someone give this woman a book deal already!
|Anna Schlegel – The Dead Bank Diary
Russian author Schlegel is brutal, hardcore, immensely cynical, and massively entertaining on the subject of “breaking banks,” a somewhat grey process used during events in Russia during the collapse of the financial markets in the 1990s. Anyone looking for a book that explores the darker sides of being a woman in a man’s world, Schlegel is a fascinating writer, with a heavy and unique Russian accent in her prose.
What’s it like: Marina Stepnova meets The Wolf of Wall Street
|The Sixteen Burdens – David Khalaf
David Khalaf has clearly got it right with his book career. With gorgeous covers, a fabulous website, and a world that jumps off the page, this book is something completely different: a retelling of 1930s Hollywood where stars are supernatural. Khalaf is one to watch. SPR says, “An incredible first novel in this stellar new trilogy.”
What it’s like: The Day of The Locust meets AHS:Hotel
|Nika: Layers of Veronica Series by Emilia Rutigliano
With the Layers of Veronica series, Russian-New York lawyer Rutigliano brings to life a whole soap opera’s worth of interesting and exciting characters on the darker end of playing the field. This series is about lawyer Veronica Palese’s adventures, an NYC girl in her thirties left alone with two kids as she navigates life, love, and sexy dreams. You’ll wonder why you’ve been putting up with such flaky heroines in your romance novels until now. Addictive stuff.
What’s it like: Sex And The City meets Bared To You
|Sucker – Mark Lingane
Mashup master Lingane, usually knee-deep in Steampunk and Sci-Fi/Apocalypse, pleasantly surprised our review team with Sucker, a Hardboiled-Vampire (Sucker, geddit?) mashup that combines snark, melodrama, and grit to deliver one of the most original supernatural novels of the year.
What’s it like: Doctor Who meets Sin City – with vampires