Top Ten Self-Published Books 2022

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We're constantly amazed at the quality of the self-published books which come our way and we've seen some real gems in 2022. Here they are, in alphabetical order, by author:


Review of

Noema by Dael Akkerman

4.5star.jpg General Fiction

This is a story about some things that happened to me about twelve thousand years ago.

Maya is a young girl living in a hunter gatherer village during the Mesolithic era. Climate change is occurring, the Sea of Grass encroaches further and further into Maya's forest home, and food is becoming more and more scarce. What to do? Can the law givers in the federation of villages muster peaceful ways to cope? Can the Traveller, a spiritual figure who interprets the wisdom of All Life, provide solutions? Full Review


Review of

The Boy Who Loved Boxes: A Children's Book for Adults by Michael Albanese

4.5star.jpg Lifestyle

There was a Boy who loved boxes. He had a box for everything and he was meticulous about storage: his parents probably couldn't believe their luck! It began with art supplies, stuffed toys and the like: all the things which most children have in abundance. The Boy's delight was in the sense of order in his room: it made him feel happy. As he grew up and became a Man, his life became more complicated and he dealt with this by getting bigger and better boxes. Look carefully at the pictures and you'll see that one of them has a padlock... Full Review


Review of

The House in the Hollow (The Talbot Saga) by Allie Cresswell

4.5star.jpg Historical Fiction

We meet part of the Talbot family in Yorkshire in November 1811. Twenty-seven-year-old Jocelyn Talbot and her mother have travelled in some discomfort from their home at Ecklington, to the house in the hollow. The two women are angry with each other and Jocelyn is well aware of her mother's strengths and weaknesses:

She is practiced at subterfuge, at concealing, beneath a facade of respectability, the deplorable truth.

Hester is furious about Jocelyn's refusal to do as she was asked, which has precipitated this violent and unexpected removal.

Then we are told of the birth of a child and, soon after, Hester Talbot departs, leaving Jocelyn in shame and isolation in Yorkshire. Full Review


Review of

The Lensky Connection by Conrad Delacroix

4.5star.jpg Thrillers

When we first meet Major Valeri Grozky, it's June 1995 and he's at the Serafimov Cemetry in St Petersburg. He's a pallbearer for his elder brother, Timur, whose death was drug-related. Valeri and Timur's father, Keto, is also a pallbearer and he's disgusted by what his son had become. Valeri thinks differently: he's determined to make his own stand against organised crime and avenge Timur's death. Within a matter of months, his obsession will have cost him his marriage to Marisha and created a dubious link with Natassja Petrovskaya, a journalist. She's determined to expose any and all corruption - and she's less concerned than she ought to be about her own safety. To her, he's a good source. For him, it's a way to get information published, which wouldn't otherwise be possible. Full Review


Review of

The Calculations of Rational Men by Daniel Godfrey

5star.jpg General Fiction

It's the 10th of December 1962 when we first meet Dr Joseph Marr. Just to put what happens in context, the Cuban missile crisis is still very fresh in people's minds. The world has barely had a chance to breathe out. But for Joe Marr, it's not the missile crisis that's at the front of his mind. He's been convicted of murder. With the current state of medical knowledge, it's hard to think otherwise than that the prosecution would never have been brought but Joe Marr has spent his first few days in HMP Queen's Bench, a relatively new prison. He's just getting used to his roommate, Mervyn, and learning to be wary of the McArthur brothers. Full Review


Review of

22 Ideas About The Future by Benjamin Greenaway and Stephen Oram (Editors)

5star.jpg Science Fiction

Our future will be more complex than we expected. Instead of flying cars, we got night-vision killer drones and automated elderly care with geolocation surveillance bracelets to track grandma.

I've got a couple of confessions to make. I'm not keen on short stories as I find it easy to read a few stories and then forget to return to the book. There's got to be a very compelling hook to keep me engaged. Then there's science fiction: far too often it's the technology which takes centre stage along with the world-building. It's human beings who fascinate me: the technology and the world scape are purely incidental. So, what did I think of a book of twenty-two science fiction short stories? Well, I loved it. Full Review


Review of

Galaxy by Mark Lingane

4star.jpg Science Fiction

Spark, who is an elite pilot with the Space Academy, barely makes it through a battle alive. His co-pilot was not so fortunate. Waking from a coma that lasted years, he remembers little and is in no physical shape to resume his duties. But Earth is under threat and he must. Returned by his superiors to the space station, he finds himself amid a last ditch attempt to save humanity - and not just from the alien threats against it, but also from its own sins against itself. Full Review


Review of

Killer in the Photo by Annette Mark

4.5star.jpg Crime

We're in Northern Thailand, at a place called Nampangsa, near Chiang Rai. You might know the area better as the Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia meet and there's a huge crowd, partly because Thailand's Prime Minister, Chairat Anantara, is speaking. On the periphery of the crowd, Kate St George, her cousin, Lord Charles and his wife, Nina, pause to take a photo which includes a monk sleeping under a tree. A pleasant family holiday, you might be thinking - but Charles St George is the founder and CEO of Global Cuisine and Kate is the HR Manager. They're also deeply involved with the National Crime Agency and the undercover Secret Intelligence Unit, where Kate's brother, Ethan, is the Director of Intelligence. None of this stops the monk from adding botulism to the food which is going to be served to the crowd. Only Kate's quick thinking averts mass deaths, but Peter, the only child of her best friend, Carmen Tan-Williams, will die. Full Review


Review of

Azabu Getaway (Detective Hiroshi) by Michael Pronko

5star.jpg Crime

You can't put 'good at golf' on your tombstone, can you?

When we meet Patrick Walsh he's outside his family's home in the Azabu district of Tokyo, hoping that his key will still work but prepared to break in if it doesn't. He's there to remove his daughters, Jenna and Kiri, and take them back to Honolulu. It's a quick day trip, with just one purpose in mind. Patrick's employed by Nine Dragons Wealth Management and for the past year, he's been working in Wyoming because the privacy laws there are conducive to the business he's in. His wife, Miyuki, hasn't been in Wyoming with him and is in the process of divorcing him after photographs sent to her anonymously suggested that Patrick had not been faithful to her. Patrick's plan didn't work out and he finds himself on the run in Tokyo with the two girls. Full Review


Review of

Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man's Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement by Frederick Reynolds

5star.jpg Autobiography

Corruption is not department, gender or race specific. It has everything to do with character. Period.

One more body just wouldn't matter.

The murder of George Floyd, a forty-six-year-old black man, on 25 May 2020 by Derek Chauvin, a forty-four-year-old police officer, in the US city of Minneapolis sent shock waves around the world. We rarely see pictures of a murder taking place but Floyd's death was an exception. The image of Chauvin kneeling on George's neck is not one which I'll ever forget and the protests which followed cannot have been unexpected. There was a backlash against the police - and not just in Minneapolis: whatever their colour or creed they were all tarred by the Chauvin brush. Full Review