Laura Root's favourite reads of 2016
Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant
A classy psychological thriller.
The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride
The second to most recent instalment in the hugely successful Logan McRae series.
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
Fast, furious and bleakly funny modern Irish noir.
The Catalyst Killing by Hans Olav Lahlum tr. Kari Dickson
Takes this retro series featuring K2 and Patricia into the 1970s and the milieu of militant student politics.
Streets of Darkness by A A Dhand
A scorching Bradford-set debut.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Here are Laura's favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016:
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Here are Michelle's favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016:
Michelle Peckham's favourite reads of 2016
A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward
A great second outing, with DC Connie Childs making an interesting detective.
The Crow Girl by Eric Axl Sund tr. Neil Smith
An intriguing and complex plot. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is a strong female lead.
The Maria Kallio Series, books 1-4, by Leena Lehtolainen tr. Owen Witesman
A new author to me, I’ve been reading the first four books in the series. The lead investigator, Maria always seems to be investigating murders that involve her friends, and she makes for another strong female character.
The Treatment (Jack Caffery #2) by Mo Hayder
Having read most of the Caffery series, somehow I’d missed this one, which nicely filled in some background to the later books. Well written and plotted.
The Hanging Girl (Department Q6) Jussi Adler-Olsen tr. William Frost
I could read these books over and over. The strange cast of detectives in the basement, following up on old cases is fascinating. The book is well plotted, and completely absorbing.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Here are Lynn's favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016:
Lynn Harvey's favourite reads of 2016
Not all of these books were published in 2016, some were hunted out as being by favourite authors. All, with the exception of Wolf Winter, have been translated from their original language – so once again – here’s to the wonderful work of translators, where would our love of Euro Crime be without them.
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck
The Arc of the Swallow by Sissel-Jo Gazan tr. Charlotte Barslund
Rage by Zygmunt Miłoszewski tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones
The Hermit by Thomas Rydal tr. K E Semmel
The Voices Beyond by Johan Theorin tr. Marlaine Delargy
Friday, January 13, 2017
Here are my favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016:
Karen Meek's favourite reads of 2016
In descending order, though there is not much between them!:
A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward
Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen tr. Don Bartlett
The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum tr. Kari Dickson
The Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston
Midnight Sun by J Nesbo tr. Neil Smith
2. Favourite Short Story
Small Wars by Lee Child
3. Favourite US Cozy
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Here are Ewa's favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016:
Ewa Sherman's favourite reads of 2016
Choosing my Top Five of 2016 wasn't easy, especially as I had a chance to read many amazing books. Also, I have some not-yet-read, but I already know that I’m in for a treat. So I’ve decided to concentrate on books coming from the five Scandinavian/Nordic countries. So here are my favourites.
The Vanished by Lotte and Søren Hammer (translated by Martin Aitken)
After a severe heart attack Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen returns to the Homicide Division in Copenhagen. Instantly he is at the scene of violent shooting at school where the victim appeared to have some connection to another deceased. As Simonsen investigates the suicide of a postman, he finds evidence pointing towards murder. He also discovers possible links to the case of a missing English girl who had disappeared in 1969 after her visit to Denmark, following an encounter with six Danish students of the Lonely Hearts Club. This leads to revaluating his past when he was in love with a left-wing flower-child, and deployed to provide the ‘crowd control’ during 1970’s demonstrations. In true Nordic Noir fashion this third book by the brother and sister duo brings disturbing themes, deft characterisation and social conscience.
The Wednesday Club by Kjell Westö (translated by Neil Smith)
The Wednesday Club was founded by the decent broad-minded lawyer Claes Thune and his five friends, and it became an exclusive gentlemen’s club. As the political situation in Europe escalates in 1938, its members’ lives are threatened. Thune, recently divorced and feeling lost, employs an efficient new secretary Mrs Matilda Wiik who tries to repress painful memories of her time as a prisoner in the starvation camp during the Finnish Civil War, twenty years earlier. One day she hears a voice of her former tormentor and rapist, the silent ‘Captain’, and this time she doesn’t want to be a powerless victim. Part historical novel, part crime mystery with elegant measured prose, sophisticated language, and a truly contemporary feel though the events are firmly based in the turbulent past, Westö’s work belongs in Thomas Mann’s league.
Why Did You Lie? by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (translated by Victoria Cribb)
Three maintenance workers and a photographer arrive by helicopter to the tiny lighthouse on a remote ocean rock. Weather turns worse and tensions soar, and a recurring dream turns real: two dead, and a third person fighting for their life.
An ordinary family returns from a house-swap holiday in Florida to find their home in disarray and their American guests missing. Noi hears strange noises, sees flashes of light and finds notes with menacing messages. His wife seems calm.
Journalist Thröstur worked on the forgotten cases of child abuse but now he’s in coma after his failed suicide attempt. His wife Nina, a police officer, clears old documents at the station where she finds possible evidence that it might have been an attempted murder. This mixture of supernatural and factual is spellbinding.
Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen (translated by Don Bartlett)
Three years after Varg Veum’s fiancé Karin’s death his personal and professional life lies in tatters. Luckily he gets a chance to help a grieving mother in search for answers as to what had happened to her missing small daughter Mette. Bergen’s PI was approached as the expiry date for the statute of limitations draws near. The girl vanished without a trace twenty-five-years earlier from a secure garden of five houses, a close-knit community of five families whose lives fell apart shortly after the event. The original thorough investigation was fruitless. The experience as a social worker in child services makes Veum use his intuition, sensitivity, determination and often barely legal methods to bring a glimmer of hope. This is another beautifully written, complex and emotionally-charged novel from the Norwegian Chandler.
The Dying Detective by Leif G W Persson (translated by Neil Smith)
Lars Martin Johansson, the retired Chief of the National Crime Police and the Swedish Security Service, has suffered a stroke, following a life of stress, work pressure, good food and fine wine. While recovering in a hospital he meets a neurologist who provides an important piece of information about an unsolved 1985 case just as the window for prosecution expired weeks earlier. The rape and murder of a young girl destroyed her parents who had arrived as political refugees from Iran. Respected for his extremely sharp mind Johansson becomes obsessed with finding the truth and enlists help of family members, two carers and old colleagues. Dark humour and perceptive observations punctuate this hugely intelligent and inquisitive novel from the renowned Scandinavian criminologist and psychological profiler.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Here are Mark's favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016:
Mark Bailey's favourite reads of 2016
In alphabetical order by author:
The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths
Personally, I am a big fan of the Ruth Galloway novels but should warn you that this is best enjoyed if you are following the series through in order but I still do think you can pick up most of the background needed to enjoy the novel as you go along. There is the usual excellent characterisation that one expects in Elly Griffiths’ books that gives you believable albeit flawed but ultimately likeable ongoing main protagonists (Ruth Galloway, Harry Nelson and Cathbad especially in this one) along with a sufficiently twisty plot to keep you engaged and a well-researched backdrop to hang the story on.
If you have a liking for modern cozies with a hint of grit than I would strongly recommend this to you.
Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah
This gets in as a most improved series as my issues with The Monogram Murders have been partly addressed. Edward Catchpool is now a much more rounded character who is a friend to Poirot – speaking of which the fussy Poirot we know and love is back which may be due in part to the Country House milieu of this novel and the book is a bit tighter which might be due to it being shorter (I reckon it is about 6% shorter). The plot still does rely however on Poirot making some leaps of logic that are perhaps a teensy bit heroic if one is being kind. I am optimistic that similar improvements on a third Poirot book by Sophie Hannah will get it into my Top 5 purely on merit.
Rain Dogs (Sean Duffy 5) by Adrian McKinty
Technically this was published in the UK in very late 2015 but January is Sean Duffy reading time for me (number six is being read at the moment). Again this a very assured police procedural with multiple serious themes (the peace process is still in the background, economic regeneration is in the middle and a political cover up in the foreground) and great writing which is strongly literate but still keeps you engaged and turning the page.
Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin
Rebus is back in his twenty-first novel appearance and is retired once again and his memories are turning to past events – one of those is a murder in the Caledonian Hotel forty years ago.
It is an utterly compelling and gripping read which I read worryingly quickly as you get engrossed in the book by both the characters and the plot lines. The ending does set up the series for more novels very nicely.
Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste
This is the fifth in the Murphy and Rossi police procedural series set in Liverpool.
They are investigating the disappearance of a politician which turns into a serial killer case with political underpinnings. This is a tight well written novel with strong well drawn characters which grabs your attention and keeps you turning the page (or clicking the Kindle).
Monday, January 09, 2017
Terry's favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016 happen to all be historicals this year:
Terry Halligan's favourite reads of 2016
1. By Gaslight by Steven Price
A hunt for a mysterious murderer in mid-nineteenth century London by the son of the founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency.
2. Bretherton: Khaki Or Field Grey? by W F Morris
A very thrilling and historically accurate story about a double agent in World War I originally published in the 1920s.
3. Queen's Accomplice: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal
An American agent in war-time London enlists the help of the Queen to help stop a German agent leaving.
4. Journey To Munich by Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs is sent to Munich to rescue someone from a concentration camp.
5. The Lone Warrior by P F Collard
How his protagonist Jack Lark gets involved in the Indian Mutiny in 1857.