2008 “Ten Best” Lists

December 28th, 2008

This is the time of year when people make lists, and i selfishly say God bless them for it.

THE FOURTH WATCHER is showing up on a bunch of lists.  Just today I learned that January Magazine named it one of the Best books of 2008 (and accompanied the listing by a review from Dick Adler, one of America’s most highly respected critics — excerpt below).

A couple of days ago, WATCHER was named one of the Best Asia Books of 2008 by The Japan Times.

WATCHER and A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART are also being named to lists of best 2008 books, and best books read in 2008, by some writers I admire on the 4_Murder_Addicts_Only online group, which has among its members five or six novelists who are on my automatic “buy” list.  Obviously, praise from a writer whose work I like has a special resonance.

Here’s a piece of Dick Adler’s review in January.

The Fourth Watcher by Timothy Hallinan (Morrow) 320 pages
I thought that John Burdett’s terrific books (Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo, Bangkok Haunts) about Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, the only practicing Buddhist on the Bangkok police force, contained all I needed to know about the darker, sadder side of that popular tourist stop. But then I began to read Timothy Hallinan’s novels about American travel writer Poke Rafferty, starting with A Nail Through the Heart (2007), a moving thriller full of violence, depravity and love. Hallinan’s latest, The Fourth Watcher, is even better: the kind of book that makes you wonder, What more can he possibly do?

Then Dick goes on to enumerate some of the things I did do, and the whole thing is almost enough to make me forget my own doubts about the book — doubts that made me change the ending moments before it was set to go on press, which the people at William Morrow VERY kindly allowed me to do even though it cost them money.  So thanks to all who are kind enough to point an approving finger at my book.

COMING ON NEW YEAR’S DAY — THE FIRST “CREATIVITY” GUEST BLOG, FROM A KNOCKOUT BRITISH WRITER NAMED CHRISTOPHER WEST.  PLEASE, PLEASE CHECK IT OUT!!!!!

5 Responses to “2008 “Ten Best” Lists”

  1. usman Says:

    Congratulations for THE LISTS.
    Waiting for Jan 1.
    Usman

  2. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Thanks, Usman — It feels good.

    Keep writing.

    Tim

  3. Dana King Says:

    For what it’s worth, THE FOURTH WATCHER made my Top Ten list over at my blog, One Bite at a Time. (http://danaking.blogspot.com/)

  4. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    It’s worth an enormous amount, Dana, and I thank you. I’ll be quoting the review when I put up a reviews page on WATCHER. I’m too modest to quote it here, but it says, in part:

    “Maybe the best pure thriller I read this year, but reading it as just a thriller is cheating yourself. This is what thrillers should want to be when they grow up, a multi-layered story about people, with the suspense growing entirely from the reader’s empathy for the characters. Hallinan’s writing style is perfectly suited for such a tale: crisp, not dry; humor flows naturally from the characters’ personalities and relationships; and your emotions are evoked, not demanded. Not to be missed.”

    Whoops, that’s the whole thing. And thanks again.

    Tim

  5. Stefan Says:

    Congrats! I just wish your distribs would somehow get the books display-priority in Thailand…was at the Krabi airport and confronted with an entire rack of the usual suspects (Stephen Leather et al, including books dating back at least a decade) but yours were nowhere to be found…I can scour around here in HK but methinks you should be cheek-by-jowl with Burdett etc in the retail areas of Thailand, where I rarely have time/luggage space for book-shopping…

    s

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