Even though Karen Ellis writes mysteries & thrillers (like A Map of the Dark, book 1 in The Searchers series), she’s an avid reader of all genres. Here, she shares her top 5 favorite books of all time (regardless of genre).
Having read a lot, it’s nearly impossible to choose only five novels that are most beloved to me, but these spring readily to mind. Each one transported me into a complete and mesmerizing world, and left behind a feeling as vivid as the most spectacular travels. When I think of these novels now, I recall them not as entertainments but experiences that enriched my life.
by Donna Tartt
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love–and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
A bestseller that takes readers on a journey to New York of the Belle Epoque, where Peter Lake attempts to rob a Manhattan mansion only to find the daughter of the house at home. Thus begins the love between the middle-aged Irishman and Beverly Penn, a young girl who is dying.
Born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence, Saleem Sinai grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
When advertising artist Si Morley is recruited to join a covert government operation exploring the possibility of time travel, he jumps at the chance to leave his twentieth-century existence and step into New York City in January 1882. His friend Kate has a curious, half-burned letter dated from that year, and he wants to trace the mystery.
But when Si begins to fall in love with a woman he meets in the past, he will be forced to choose between two worlds—forever.
The last two are tied:
Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.
Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr is the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Karen Ellis is the author of A Map of the Dark, the first novel in The Searchers series. The highly anticipated sequel, Last Night goes on sale January 2019. Ellis lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.
by Karen Ellis
Even as her father lies dying in a hospital, FBI Agent Elsa Myers can’t ignore a call for help. When a teenage girl disappears from Forest Hills, Queens, a series of false leads during the critical first hours of the case obscure the fact that she did not go willingly. But as Agent Myers searches for a man who may have been killing for years, everything she has buried from her own self-destructive past threatens to resurface with devastating consequences.