I’m sure all of us booknerds are the same: We are asked for a wish list for the holidays – “What do you want for Christmas? Give me some ideas!” – and your ideas turn into a long list of books.
Generally, people are too nervous to buy me books (at this point in my life, I’m fully aware people are legit scared of me but I’m really not that bad?) so, I just end up with a lot of gift cards. But that is totally fine with me! The more excuses I have to walk around a bookstore the better.
So, today I thought I’d share the books that are top of my list this holiday season.
🔪The Last by Hanna Jameson
HTFT Tagline: Apocalypse Clue
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: Breaking: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
Breaking: London hit, thousands feared dead
Breaking: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm
Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilization, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn’t ignored Nadia’s last message.
Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.
Then one day, the body of a young girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer.
As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists?
Why I Fucking Want This: I’m so intrigued by the concept of this book. It’s like the author took dystopian fiction and mashed it up with the locked-room mystery trope. I’m 100% here for this.
🔪The Killer You Know By S.R. Masters
HTFT Tagline: Romy and Michelle’s Killer Reunion
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: I’ll murder three strangers. And you’ll know it was me. That way we’ll all be connected. Always.
When Will jokes about becoming a serial killer, his friends just laugh it off. But Adeline can’t help but feel there’s something more sinister lurking behind his words.
Fifteen years later, Adeline returns to Blythe for a reunion of the old gang – except Will doesn’t show up. Reminiscing about old times, they look up the details of his supposed murder spree. But the mood soon changes when they discover two recent deaths that match.
As the group attempt to track Will down, they realize that he is playing a sinister game that harks back to one they used to play as kids. Only this time there are lives at stake…
Why I Fucking Want This: I’d be lying if I said that going to a high school reunion and realizing an old friend was a serial killer, and it was up to me to catch him, wasn’t a serious dream of mine.
🔪The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke
HTFT Tagline: Slender Man, Actually.
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁
Back of the Book: A senseless murder. A terrifying legend. A family haunted.
1990: In the darkest woods, three girls devote themselves to a sinister figure.
2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.
2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.
Three chilling events, connected by the shadow he casts.
He is the Tall Man. He can make you special…
Why I Fucking Want This: Okay, so admittedly this isn’t high on my list, but every time I come across it in my TBR I think, oh yeah I want to read that. So that’s got to mean something. Truly my interest in this comes to down to the fact that I think the birth of the Slender Man phenomenon is fascinating.
It is clearly born on the internet, never existed before the internet, and yet people have literally tried to kill for this spooky figure as if it’s real. As if you can’t trace back the story to some dude on his laptop writing scary stories.
Human psychology is endlessly interesting to me. Except for that of Trump supporters. I’m just sick of that psychology at this point.
🔪The Puppet Show (Washington Poe, #1) by M.W. Craven
HTFT Tagline: Edgar Allen OH NO YOU DIDN’T BURN THOSE PEOPLE ALIVE Poe.
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.
When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation, he wants no part of.
Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason, Poe is part of it.
As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…
Why I Fucking Want This: I’m pretty sure I’ve put this book on a list or two around here already. And that is because I’m dying to read it! (Not literally, please let me live.)
It is exactly the kind of book synopsis that has always gotten my interest piqued and rarely let me down. A serial killer burning people alive? GIVE IT TO ME. A detective named Poe? YASSS KWEEN. An author with the last name Craven? HOW COULD THIS GO WRONG? I am desperate to read this book and to have a copy of it on my shelves forever and ever, r’amen.
🔪Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
HTFT Tagline: *drooling*
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, lies the Finch House.
For years it has perched empty, abandoned, and overgrown–but soon the door will be opened for the first time in many decades. But something waits, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests.
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt soon becomes a fight for survival–the entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.
Why I Fucking Want This: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? If you don’t want to read this book I don’t know what to do with you other than belittle you endlessly. This book is like if you stuck Stephen King and some other favourite horror authors in Hill House and watched what happened, all over Halloween.
I’m obsessed with the premise and need this book immediately. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find it for sale at the places I regularly shop. Online shopping it is!
🔪Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard
HTFT Tagline: Killer, Interrupted
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: Sean Suh is done with killing. After serving three years in a psychiatric prison, he’s determined to stay away from temptation. But he can’t resist Annabelle–beautiful, confident, incandescent Annabelle–who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he’s desperately trying to be.
Then Annabelle disappears.
Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being taken firsthand—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the centre of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened then he’s able to remember?
Though haunted by the fear that it might be better for Annabelle if he never finds her, Sean can’t bring himself to let go of her without a fight. To save her, he’ll have to do more than confront his own demons… He’ll have to let them loose.
Why I Fucking Want This: This is all good things – an unreliable narrator, a missing girl, killer instincts vs human instincts, psychiatric elements and word of mouth that is looking really, really good. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and the more I hear the more I want to read it.
🔪Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine, #1) by David Baldacci
HTFT Tagline: Profilers gonna profile
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States.
Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the Bureau’s top criminal profilers, if she didn’t prefer catching criminals in the vast wilderness of the West to climbing the career ladder in the D.C. office. Her chosen mission is a lonesome one–but that suits her just fine.
Now, Atlee is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon–and hopefully, solve the disappearance of its rider. But this isn’t the only recent disappearance. In fact, it may be just the first clue, the key to unravelling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon. . .
Why I Fucking Want This: Confession – I’ve never read David Baldacci before. I don’t know if it’s because I never found anything by him that I thought was interesting, or because he was too deep into other series for me to jump on the bandwagon.
But this is a brand new series, and the synopsis hits a bunch of sweet spots for me. A tough female lead, profiler vibes, a small-town feel to the case and a reemerging serial killer. Shut up and take my money! …or the money of whoever gets me this as a gift!
🔪The Craftsman (The Craftsman, #1) by Sharon J. Bolton
HTFT Tagline: My Boy Builds Coffins
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: Catching him will make her career – and change her forever.
On the hottest day of the year, Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, the convicted murderer she arrested thirty years earlier. A master carpenter and funeral director, Larry imprisoned his victims, alive, in the caskets he made himself. Clay effigies found entombed with their bodies suggested a motive beyond the worst human depravity.
13-year- old Patsy Wood has been missing for two days, the third teenager to disappear in as many months. New to the Lancashire police force and struggling to fit in, WPC Lovelady is sent to investigate an unlikely report from school children claiming to have heard a voice calling for help. A voice from deep within a recent grave.
As she tries to lay her ghosts to rest, Florence is drawn back to the Glassbrooks’ old house, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where she once lodged with the family. She is chilled by the discovery of another effigy – one bearing a remarkable resemblance to herself. Is the killer still at large? Is Florence once again in terrible danger? Or, this time, could the fate in store be worse than even her darkest imaginings?
Why I Fucking Want This: The older I get, the more my love for crime fiction set before the smartphone era grows. There is something to the simplistic nature of a crime that doesn’t allow for the quick access to answers that we are so accustomed to.
Not to mention, this is, once again, all good things – a creepy ass serial killer and a tough female lead. I have to have this.
🔪A Killer’s Mind (Zoe Bentley, #1) by Mike Omer
HTFT Tagline: Twisted minds, twisted limbs
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: A chilling thriller of serial murder and dark secrets that will leave you wondering, is the past really in the past?
Three Chicago women have been found strangled, embalmed, and posed as if still alive. Doubting the findings of the local PD’s profiler, The FBI calls on forensic psychologist Zoe Bentley to investigate.
Zoe quickly gets off on the wrong foot with her new partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray. Zoe’s a hunter, intense and focused; Tatum’s a smug maverick with little respect for the rules. Together, they must descend into a serial killer’s psyche and untangle his twisted fantasies, or more women will die. But when the contents of three inconspicuous envelopes reveal a chilling connection to gruesome murders from Zoe’s childhood, suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted.
Why I Fucking Want This: I probably should have been a forensic psychologist, but alas I hated school. A tale as old as time – I’m intelligent, but a terrible student. So now I’m just a random person who talks like she knows shit and annoys everyone who is around her soapbox. Meh, what are you going to do?
That being said, I always gravitate towards anything that has to do with profilers or forensic psychiatrists. Throw in a serial killer who is creepy as fuck and the potential for a love/hate sexual situation and I’m all but guaranteed to want what you’re selling. In this case, it’s Thomas & Mercer selling a goddamn book that is right up my fickle alley.
🔪The Body Counter (Jude Fontaine, #2) by Anne Frasier
HTFT Tagline: The sticker on her forehead reads, FRAGILE.
Wishlist Index: 🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁
Back of the Book: Months after discovering the mastermind behind her own kidnapping, Detective Jude Fontaine is dealing with the past the only way she knows how: by returning to every dark corner of it. But it’s a new, escalating series of mass slayings that has become her latest obsession at Homicide.
At first, Jude and her partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, can see no pattern to the seemingly random methods, the crime scenes, or the victims—until they’re approached by a brilliantly compulsive math professor. He believes that the madman’s next move is not incalculable; in fact, it’s all part of a sequential and ingenious numerical riddle. His theory is adding up. The body count is rising.
But when the latest victim is found in Jude’s apartment, the puzzle comes with a personal twist that’s going to test the breaking point of her already-fragile state of mind. For all she knows, her number may be up.
Why I Fucking Want This: I LOVED the first book in the series, The Body Reader. Loved, loved, loved. For real, it was everything. Mostly because Jude Fontaine is one of the most amazing female leads I’ve read. Damaged, yet tough. Mentally out of it, but on the fucking ball when it comes to crime.
At the time I read The Body Reader, I didn’t know if it was going to become a series or not, but ever since the sequel was released I’ve been like a drug addict jonesing for another hit. I’ve even toyed with selling my husband’s things to pay for it, even though that’s totally unnecessary. I can’t be held responsible! It’s the book-drugs!
I mean, honestly, that’s just a small chunk of my wishlist. What’s on yours?!
Stay safe. Be Kind. But, take no shit.
Later, Booknerds ✌️🔪