The 2012 List

Adrenaline

Before I Go To Sleep, by S. J. Watson, Harper Collins, (9780062060556)

Each morning, Christine wakes with no memory. From the clues she left herself, she tries to piece together her identity and sort lies from the truth. The unrelenting pace thrusts the reader into the
confusion of a waking nightmare in which revelations of her past lead to a frantic crescendo.

Read-Alikes

The Likeness, by Tana French
Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane
Memento (Summit Entertainment, 2000)

Short List

Now You See Me, by S. J. Bolton, St. Martin’s (9780312600525)
Spiral, by Paul McEuen, Dial Press, (9780385342117)
The Woodcutter, by Reginald Hill, Harper Collins, (9780062060747)
You’re Next, by Gregg Hurwitz, St. Martin’s, (9780312534912)

Fantasy

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, (9780385534635)
Le Cirque des Rêves is utterly unique, disappearing at dawn in one town only to mysteriously reappear in another. At the heart of the circus are two young magicians, involved in a competition neither completely understands. The dreamlike atmosphere and vivid imagery make this fantasy unforgettable.

Read-Alikes

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Prestige (Touchstone Pictures, 2006)

Short List

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor, Little, Brown, (9780316134026)
The Magician King, by Lev Grossman, Viking, (9780670022311)
The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, (9780756404734)
Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes, Angry Robot, (9780857660558)

Historical Fiction

Doc, by Mary Doria Russell, Random House, (9781400068043)
In the early days of Dodge City, a genteel, tubercular Southern dentist forges a friendship with the infamous Earp brothers. Combining historical details and lyrical language, this gritty psychological portrait of gunslinger Doc Holliday reveals how the man became the legend.

Read-Alikes

Deadwood, by Pete Dexter
Etta, by Gerald Kolpan
Gunman’s Rhapsody, by Robert B. Parker

Short List

Bright and Distant Shores, by Dominic Smith, Pocket Books, (9781439198865)
Lionheart, by Sharon Kay Penman, Putnam, (9780399157851)
Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles, Viking, (9780670022694)
The Sea Captain’s Wife, by Beth Powning, Penguin, (9780452296954)

Horror

The Ridge, by Michael Koryta, Little, Brown, (9780316053662)
The unexplained death of an eccentric lighthouse keeper in the isolated Kentucky woods, followed by a mysterious threat to a nearby large cat sanctuary prompt an investigation by a journalist and the local sheriff. Palpable evil and a sense of dread drive this chilling tale.

Read-Alikes

The Dead Path by Stephen Irwin
Those Across the River, by Christopher Buehlman
Harbor, by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Short List

The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan, Knopf, (9780307595089)
The Night Strangers, by Chris Bohjalian, Crown, (9780307394996)
Raising Stony Mayhall, by Daryl Gregory, Del Rey, (9780345522375)
The White Devil, by Justin Evans, Harper Collins, (9780061728273)

Mystery

The Devotion of Suspect X, by Keigo Higashino, Minotaur, (9780312375065)
An introverted mathematician matches wits with a brilliant former colleague to protect the neighbor he secretly adores from a murder charge. Although the reader knows the murderer’s identity from the beginning, this unconventional Japanese mystery remains a taut psychological puzzle.

Read-Alikes

Out, by Natsuo Kirino
Think of a Number, by John Verdon
Sherlock (BBC, 2010-2012)

Short List

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, by Sara Gran, Houghton, Mifflin, (9780547428499)
Killed at the Whim of a Hat, by Colin Cotterill, Minotaur, (9780312564537)
The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo, Knopf, (9780307595867)
A Trick of the Light, by Louise Penny, Minotaur, (9780312655457)

Romance

Silk is for Seduction, by Loretta Chase, Avon, (9780061632686)
Ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot will do almost anything to secure the patronage of the Duke of Clevendon’s intended bride. Neither her calculated business plan nor his campaign of seduction can withstand the force of their mutual attraction. Witty banter and strong-willed characters make this a memorable tale.

Read-Alikes

Dangerous in Diamonds, by Madeline Hunter
The Raven Prince, by Elizabeth Hoyt
Untie My Heart, by Judith Ivory

Short List

Dragon Bound, by Thea Harrison, Berkley, (9780425241509)
A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal, by Meredith Duran, Pocket, (9781451606935)
My One And Only, by Kristin Higgins, Harlequin, (9780373775576)
When Beauty Tamed the Beast, by Eloisa James, Avon, (9780062021274)

Science Fiction

Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey, Orbit, (9780316129084)
The missions of a jaded cop and a dedicated ice hauler officer collide as the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. A mystery adds a noir touch to this space opera featuring deeply flawed yet heroic characters, non-stop action, and Earth versus Mars politics.

Read-Alikes

Up Against It, by M. J. Locke
Pandora’s Star, by Peter Hamilton
The Quiet War, by Paul J. McAuley

Short List

Embassytown, by China Miéville, Del Rey, (9780345524492)
The Quantum Thief, by Hannu Rajaniemi, Tor, (9780765329493)
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, Crown, (9780307887436)
When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan, Algonquin, (9781565126299)

Women’s Fiction

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh Ballantine, (9780345525543)
A former foster child struggles to overcome a past filled with abuse, neglect and anger. Communicating through the Victorian language of flowers allows her to discover hope, redemption and a capacity for love. Damaged, authentic characters create an emotional tension in this profoundly moving story.

Read-Alikes

Like Family, by Paula McLain (NF)
The Lost Garden, by Helen Humphreys
White Oleander, by Janet Fitch

Short List

Deep Down True, by Juliette Fay, Penguin, (9780143118510)
Joy for Beginners, by Erica Bauermeister, Putnam, (9780399157127)
The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown, Putnam, (9780399157226)
What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty, Penguin, (9780141043760)