Saturday, June 30, 2007

Jo Nesbo news

Another of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole books will be available in English next March. The cheerily titled, 'House of Pain' is the fourth in the series, falling between the previously translated, The Redbreast and The Devil's Star.

Synopsis from

A bank robbery takes place in Oslo. The robber asks for the safe to be emptied in twenty-five seconds while he holds a gun to the head of a woman; the deadline is not met and he kills her. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case. In the meantime, Hole's ex-girlfriend suddenly gets back in touch. He goes for dinner at her house and wakes up at home the next morning after a twelve-hour black out. On the same morning, the girl is found shot dead in her bed and it looks like suicide. While trying to stay dry and out of prison, Harry is faced with the all-pervasive and all-connecting tentacles of anger and revenge and witnesses the liberating power of atonement. Gripping and surprising, "The House of Pain" is the new thriller by the one of the biggest stars of Scandinavian crime.

More on Nesbo in the next few days...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Articles in The Times

I'm woefully behind with updating the News page on the website but I've just spotted a few interesting articles in The Times:

An excerpt from Ian Rankin's introduction to the Rough Guide to Crime Fiction.

An interview of Michele Giuttari, the author of 'A Florentine Death' and the only (I think) translated (into English) author appearing at the Harrogate Crime Festival this year.

Marcel Berlins meets Jasper Fforde, author of the Thursday Next and Nursery Crimes series.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Publishing Deals

From Publishers Lunch:
Leif GW Persson's The Fall of the Welfare State Trilogy: BETWEEN SUMMER'S LONGING AND WINTER'S COLD, ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE and FALLING FREELY, AS IF IN A DREAM, telling what could very well be the truth about the biggest unsolved crime in modern European history.
I haven't found anything about this (Swedish) author written in English yet so I shall have to do more research!

also from PL:
Film rights to P.B. Kerr's CHILDREN OF THE LAMP series, to DreamWorks, with Nina Jacobson producing
P B Kerr is probably better know to crime readers as Philip Kerr, author of the Bernie Gunther series. (In the UK, Quercus are publishing the latest in that series, One from the Other in July. It came out last September in the US.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Free Shipping (P & P) at The Book Depository

I first heard of this firm through dovegreyreader a while ago and I've heard many words of praise since. The Book Depository offers free delivery anywhere which is particularly beneficial for those living in eg Australia and America where the shipping can equal the cost of the books.

It's also an informative site with news and articles. Publisher of the week is Arcadia whose list includes Dominique Manotti, Leif Davidsen, Jan Kjaerstad and the new book from Joan Smith.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Reviews and it's the last week for June's contests

Slightly later than normal but here are the latest additions to the review archive:

Latest Reviews:

Simon Beckett's The Chemistry of Death is one of this month's prizes and Fiona Walker calls it a "fine thriller indeed"; to say that Pat Austin is not impressed with Illusion by Daniel Boyle is rather an understatement; moving onto Scandinavian crime, Maxine Clarke enjoyed Sun and Shadow by Ake Edwardson, very much and I can't find enough superlatives for Karin Fossum's books, including her most recent in paperback, Calling Out For You, and lastly, historical crime fiction fan Jan Harris is disappointed with The Medieval Murderers' The Tainted Relic suggesting it works better as a taster for trying the work of the various contributors rather than as a whole entity.

Just a few more days to enter June's competitions:

Win one of five signed copies of 'The Chemistry of Death' by Simon Beckett (UK & Europe only)

Win one of six copies of 'The House of Shadows' by The Medieval Murderers

Win one of five copies of 'How to Kill' by Kris Hollington (non-fiction)

Win one of three copies of the R2 DVD of Romanzo Criminale (UK & Ireland residents only)

Win one of five copies of the R1 DVD of Missing (US residents only)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Slight delay to the new reviews...

Family committments this last week have meant that I've not had much time to respond to emails (so many apologies if you're waiting for a response) or prepare this week's new reviews. Normal service should resume shortly.

In the meantime, please do enter this month's competitions, look at the new titles coming out over the next few months and peruse the reviews already posted :-).

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Who is Lou Sciortino? reviewed in The Metro

Thursday's Metro ran a review of 'Who is Lou Sciortino?' by Ottavio Cappellani. The review isn't online but as it's short I've typed it in:

Fans of The Sopranos who can't wait for the final series of the US TV show to arrive on British screens should check out this Italian Mob novel. Who is Lou Sciortino? is a comic and sometimes confusing excursion into the world of so-called organised crime, where a surburban barbecue can be more dangerous than a dark alley.
Lou is the grandson of Don Lou, LA's top Mafia boss, but he's not made for the life. After a bomb goes off in the offices of his Hollywoood film company (in fact a money-laundering operation), he's sent off to Sicily until things calm down. There, he is bullied into acting the picciotto (foot soldier) for the untrustworthy Uncle Sal, and Don Lou decides things need to be taken in hand.
Sicilian journalist Ottavio Cappellani has written a smart first novel where old men reminisce while the plot unfolds in a flurry of slick and grisly hits - one person dying 'with a Prada stiletto heel hammered into his left eye'. Hardly groundbreaking but thoroughly satisfying entertainment. (Jonathan Gibbs in The Metro)

Friday, June 22, 2007

More offers from The Book People

The Book People have another couple of great crime fiction offers in their latest catelogue:

Three titles in Simon Brett's Fethering series: Death on the Downs, Murder in the Museum and The Stabbing in the Stables for £4.99 (plus P & P).

Here's the Euro Crime bibliography page for Simon Brett for the series order and reviews.

The first three titles in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, set in Sicily: The Shape of Water, The Snack Thief and The Terracotta Dog for £4.99 (plus P & P).

Here's the Euro Crime bibliography page for Andrea Camilleri for the series order and reviews.

The ten Agatha Raisin books for £9.99 offer is also still available.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sebastian Fitzek - publishing deal

Today's Publisher's Lunch annouces:
Sebastian Fitzek's THERAPY, in which a child disappears without a trace, to St. Martin's and to Pan Macmillan, by AVA-International.
German author Fitzek has written two novels, 'Die Therapie' and 'Amok Spiel'. You can read more about him and his books at his website (in German). The website is being revised at the moment according to the google translation of the homepage.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shortlist for the Theakston award

Following on from the twenty strong longlist, the votes have been counted.
The six titles that are on the (all male) shortlist for the Theakston's award are:

The Dead Place - Stephen Booth
All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye - Christopher Brookmyre
Two Way Split - Allan Guthrie
Blood and Honey - Graham Hurley
The Death Ship of Dartmouth - Michael Jecks
Cold Granite - Stuart MacBride
Not having read any of them, but based on reviews and word of mouth, I'm tipping 'Cold Granite'!

Monday, June 18, 2007

BBC 4 tomorrow night

Tuesday 19th June at 8pm on BBC Four:
Ian Rankin Investigates: Dr Jekyll...and Mr Hyde

Ian Rankin investigates Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a story of a lawyer who analyses strange goings-on between his friend Dr Jekyll and Mr Edward Hyde.

The idea for the novella came to Stevenson in a dream and was first published in 1886.

Ian Rankin explores the origins of the book, and visits Edinburgh, the city that inspired the tale and also talks about the influence the book has had on his own Rebus novels.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day Reviews & Competition reminder

Another seven days have flown by, so here are this week's:

Latest Reviews:

Maxine Clarke calls Seth Garner's The Blood Partnership a good escapist read, if you don't think too hard about the details and Terry Halligan says that Gerald Seymour's latest, The Walking Dead, is another enjoyable if slightly overlong offering.

In response to my recent plea for more reviewers, here are the first reviews from three of the people who contacted me:

Norman Price reviews Library of the Soul by Simon Buck a thriller revolving around the Vatican, and writes that it's a "very welcome "Da Vinci Code" antidote, but there are a few caveats; Fiona Walker takes on the second book from Asa Larsson, The Blood Spilt, but finds she can't get involved with the characters but says that Larsson is brave to begin the book so similarly to her first, Sun Storm/The Savage Altar and Declan Burke reviews Bishops Pawn by K T McCaffrey concluding that it is "a superb addition to the canon of Irish crime fiction".

June's competitions:

Win one of five signed copies of 'The Chemistry of Death' by Simon Beckett (UK & Europe only)

Win one of six copies of 'The House of Shadows' by The Medieval Murderers

Win one of five copies of 'How to Kill' by Kris Hollington (non-fiction)

Win one of three copies of the R2 DVD of Romanzo Criminale (UK & Ireland residents only)

Win one of five copies of the R1 DVD of Missing (US residents only)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

More Papal intrigue

I really will shut up about The Last Confession but I am intrigued by the forthcoming book from Juan Gomez-Jurado entitled 'God's Spy'. Actually 'God's Spy 'came out in the US in April, to good reviews I believe, but it won't be out in the UK until July.

Synopsis from The novel takes place in the days following the death of Pope John Paul II, when 115 cardinals have to be called to the Vatican in order to take part in the Conclave to elect the new Pope. With Rome under siege to foreign press and thousands of mourners, the last thing it needs is a serial killer on the loose. Paola Dicanti is a profiler who works with the Italian police - she has been put in charge of profiling serial killers in a department of one ie herself. She is untested and her experience of serial killers is, as yet, theoretical. This is until she is called to the church of Santa Maria in the Vatican state. A cardinal has been found murdered, his eyes destroyed, his hands cut off. It seems that this is not the first victim - another cardinal was found in similar circumstances but the authorities didn't want a scandal. Recovering from a bitter affair with her boss, Paola begins to build her profile using information from the scene of the crime, from the autopsy, and from forensic evidence. She is helped in this by Anthony Fowler, a priest from the States. But it turns out that Fowler is no ordinary priest - he clearly has links to the CIA, and knows a lot about the serial killer than Dicanti could ever have guessed. The situation is complicated further when a young female journalist intercepts tapes that were meant to be sent to the press, putting her life in danger.

'God's Spy' is Spanish author Gomez-Jurado's first book. Read more on his website plus there's a website for the book where you can view a map of the Vatican, read about the characters and so on.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Richard and Judy Summer Reading List

According to Publisher's Lunch, Richard and Judy's 2007 Summer Reading List is:

The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards
Getting Rid of Matthew, by Jane Fallon
Relentless, by Simon Kernick
The Other Side of the Bridge, by Mary Lawson
The Savage Garden, by Mark Mills
The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, by Paul Torday
How to Talk to a Widower, by Jonathan Tropper

Congrats to Simon Kernick and Mark Mills as they watch their sales sky-rocket.

Ann Cleeves' follow-up to Raven Black

The second book in the planned quartet of novels set on Shetland is to be called 'White Nights'. On Ann Cleeves' website, she says:
The launch of an exhibition at The Herring House art gallery is disturbed by a stranger who bursts into tears, then claims not to remember who he is or where he comes from. The next day he's found dead, wearing a clown's mask.

Set in mid-summer, the book captures the unsettling nature of a landscape where the sun never quite sets and where people are not as they first seem.

White Nights is scheduled for publication in the UK in April 2008.
The first Shetland/Jimmy Perez book, Raven Black won the 2006 CWA Duncan Lawrie Dagger.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Last Confession is on its way to the West End

Indie London reports that:
FOLLOWING its run at this year’s Chichester Festival and a brief regional tour, the new thriller by Roger Crane, The Last Confession, will transfer to the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited 12-week season – from July 4, 2007 (previews from June 28).
You can read a review in This is London. I agree with most of it, though I disagree with the comment about the pedestrian nature of the internal enquiry scene. If you get chance, do go see the master (Suchet) in action...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wire in the Blood (tv series) news

From Val McDermid's recent newsletter:
News from Wire in the Blood: Series 5 will begin its run in the UK in July. I don't have details of precise dates, and I don't yet know about foreign transmissions. But I've seen it, and it is very, very good. Don't miss it.
The production team will be flying out to Texas at the end of July to film a special set in the US. Watch this space for more details. (I'm not going, btw. Texas in August? You have to be kidding. No offence to my Texas pals, but it's way too hot for somebody raised in Fife.)
The next book in the Wire in the Blood series is 'Beneath the Bleeding', out on 6th August. You can read the synopsis and an extract on Val's webpage.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Eoin McNamee on Radio 4 tomorrow

On tomorrow's Radio 4 Front Row,(19.15 - 19.45),
Mark Lawson discusses dark deeds in a Paris tunnel with the Irish writer Eoin McNamee, whose new novel, 12:23, suggests that the death of Princess Diana was not an accident.
Not to be confused with Tom Cain's 'The Accident Man', whose main character has to 'organise a car crash in a Paris underpass...'

Having watched the recent Channel 4 documentary The Witnesses in the Tunnel which appeared to document what actually happened that night, I shall be very interested in reading both these new titles.

Front Row programmes can be listened to for 7 days after broadcast.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Last Confession

I've succumbed to temptation and a recommendation in the comments to my earlier post, I've booked tickets to see David Suchet in The Last Confession at Malvern Theatre on Wednesday.

If all goes well with the trains, I hope to get back to Birmingham to try the Organic Vegetarian restaurant which had a good review in the What's On a few weeks ago.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New Reviews & Competition Reminder

Latest Reviews:

This week's new reviews on Euro Crime are; Karin Chisholm's review of the International Dagger shortlisted Shame by Karin Alvtegen a rather non-traditional crime novel; Terry Halligan says that Paul Johnston's The Death List is gripping but perhaps not for the squeamish; Maxine Clarke finds Relentless by Simon Kernick a quick, escapist read with maybe a twist too many and Sunnie Gill reviews the Dagger nominated Sovereign by C J Sansom and finds it worth every word of its 600 plus pages.

June's competitions:

Win one of five signed copies of 'The Chemistry of Death' by Simon Beckett (UK & Europe only)

Win one of six copies of 'The House of Shadows' by The Medieval Murderers

Win one of five copies of 'How to Kill' by Kris Hollington (non-fiction)

Win one of three copies of the R2 DVD of Romanzo Criminale (UK & Ireland residents only)

Win one of five copies of the R1 DVD of Missing (US residents only)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

Another Swedish crime novel to be added to the TBR

I've added another Swedish author to my database - Elisabet Peterzen. It appears that only one of her crime novels has been translated into English, called 'The Last Draw'. It was first translated and published by Seal Press in 1989, then Intrigue Press reissued it under their WorldKrime selection in 2001. There's little information in English about her and it may be that she hasn't write any other crime novels...

Synopsis from amazon:
The Last Draw is a provocative Swedish mystery that tackles the issue of misogyny and its far-reaching effects in a stunning new way.

Husband-and-wife journalist team, Erik and Katrin Skafte, are in hot pursuit of killer who is systematically murdering a string of people in the Stockholm area. The victims seem completely unrelated-an Arab immigrant, a Socialist member of Parliament, a well-known playwright, a computer salesman, a stock boy, a psychologist, a noted TV producer. Unrelated but for one fact: they are all men.

With the police coming up empty-handed, Erik and Katrin conduct their own investigation hoping for a journalistic scoop. The pieces slowly drop into place, until a surprise twist leads them to an unsettling conclusion.
It's only available second-hand but prices start at 1 cent on and £1 on

Words Without Borders - new edition

This month Words Without Borders is concentrating on Scandinavian authors. From the newsletter:
Chill out with our Midsummer festival of literature from Scandinavia. From Norway, Johan Harstad's projectionist takes a cinematic ambulance ride, Levi Henriksen strands a sailor landlocked by the charms of an octet of sisters, and Per Petterson goes out to steal horses and comes back robbed of illusions. Matti Joensuu creeps into the mind (and more) of a Finnish serial killer. Finland-Swedish writer Kjell Westo flags a soccer referee. Sweden's Willy Kyrklund presents a case of psychiatric transference, and Jonas Karlsson's raffle risks a daughter's loyalty. Denmark's Helle Helle packs the emotional baggage of a cross-country move. And Sweden's great Tomas Transtromer joins his countrymen Gunnar Harding, Hakan Sandell, and Harry Martinson and Norway's Catherine Grondahl around a poetic Maypole. See you at the Solstice.
Crime-wise only the short story from Matti Joensuu is posted but:
One final note: as a magazine that prides itself on old-fashioned editing values, we're taking a brave new leap into the web world―we will now be rolling out pieces throughout the week rather than all in a monthly lump. Come back early and often to catch new stories as they appear.
You can scroll through a whole list of European short stories and extracts here.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Awards page updated on Euro Crime

I've added the nominations for the main Dagger awards - Dagger, International, Ian Fleming Steel and Debut to the awards page.

I've also pulled together a list off the Euro Crime database of titles published in the relevant time period which could be considered for the International Dagger. These are just European titles so there will be more from the rest of the world but scanning the list I am surprised that Indridason didn't make it on the shortlist with 'Voices' as Euro Crime reviewer Maxine Clarke says that 'Voices' "is even better than the first two" and of course his previous book, 'Silence of the Grave', was the last translated title to win the Gold Dagger. (And seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back as soon after that the International Dagger was born).

You can peruse my unofficial list here and see if you think there's anything else that should have been on the shortlist.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Half Broken Things to be televised

From the 4RFV website:
Granada International has acquired a brand new drama produced by Festival Film & TV for international distribution.

Starring Penelope Wilton ('Five Days', 'Doctor Who', 'Falling'), 'Half Broken Things' is a tense and disturbing two hour film commissioned by ITV.

Half Broken Things is a one off drama adapted from the award winning Morag Joss thriller by Alan Whiting, creator and writer of the hit series 'Kingdom'. Daniel Mays and Sinead Matthews also star, with Tim Fywell directing.
'Half Broken Things' won the CWA Silver Dagger.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Shortlist

£2000 prize money, sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd

‘Out of the many exciting submissions received this year, from established names and newcomers alike, the judges were particularly pleased to see some powerful fresh explorations of the genre. Themes ran from present day spies and terrorism to a focus on psychological edge, and we read explosive storylines alongside those with arrowing personal repercussions for the protagonists. The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger judges are looking for the best in any of these fields.’

Alex Berenson - THE FAITHFUL SPY - Random House
Judges’ comments: ‘A very assured first novel, exciting, well-informed and engrossing with the most mature take on the threat of terrorism from Al Qaeda in this year's crop of thrillers. An excellent read.’

Harlan Coben - THE WOODS - Orion
Judges’ comments: ‘Gripping. This departure from his usual series crackles along with excellent dialogue and fast-paced plot. A really good blend of past intrigue and present dangers.’

R.J. Ellory - CITY OF LIES - Orion
Judges’ comments: ‘Told in a unique style, peopled with highly believable characters with dialogue that is evocative of 1940s’ classic noir. New York City lives and breathes in this distinctive thriller.’

Gillian Flynn - SHARP OBJECTS - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Judges’ comments: ‘A very good debut, atmospheric and creepy, with a complex and convincingly drawn female protagonist. The claustrophobia of small-town America in the south is portrayed exceptionally well in this dark psychological thriller.’

Michael Marshall - THE INTRUDERS - HarperCollins
Judges’ comments: ‘A book that is impossible to put down. It has pace, a marvellously believable lead character, and a plot that grips all the way through to a surprising conclusion.’

Michael Robotham - THE NIGHT FERRY - Little, Brown
Judges’ comments: ‘Very involving and accomplished, especially in the portrayal of the female Sikh lead character. Robotham handles his subject with great deftness and perception in this modern take on people smuggling.’

Karin Slaughter - TRIPTYCH - Random House
Judges’ comments: ‘Compulsive reading. Slaughter has moved away from her series to produce a skilfully and confidently written analysis of a killer and how his crimes over time have affected him and those around him. Utterly convincing and hideously believable.’

Judging Panel
Corrine Turner (Chair) - Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications
Seraphina Granelli - head of retail with Millivres Prowler, Europe’s biggest gay and lesbian publisher and retailer, and former manager of Waterstone’s, Piccadilly
Mike Jecks - founder member of Medieval Murderers, author of the Templar series, former Chair of the CWA.
Mike Stotter - editor of Shots e-zine, award-winning children’s author
Zoë Watkins - Publishing Manager of Ian Fleming Publications
Gordon Wise - former bookseller and publisher with Pan Macmillan and John Murray, now a literary agent
Three Euro Crime if we include Michael Robotham who is actually Australian but sets his books in London. Special congratulations to R J Ellory who came to Mere Green Library a few months ago.

CWA Dagger Shortlist

Continuing with Zoe Sharp's press releases:

£20,000 prize money, sponsored by Duncan Lawrie Private Bank

Giles Blunt - FIELDS OF GRIEF - HarperCollins
Judges’ comments: ‘This is a novel with a great sense of place that intertwines what are apparently disparate plot lines into an unexpected resolution.’

James Lee Burke - PEGASUS DESCENDING - Orion
Judges’ comments: ‘Burke is a master of crackling dialogue and exploration into New Orleans lowlife and corrupt politics, and in the Police Department he creates a steamy world of violence and intrigue. His is unforgiving territory he knows so well in which alcoholic ex-cop, Dave Robinson, is drawn inexorably into another tangled story of broken families and revenge.’

Gillian Flynn - SHARP OBJECTS - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Judges’ comments: ‘Flynn’s novel is a study of evil at the heart of the family set against a background of southern gothic American life. The reader is drawn into the macabre relationship of mother and daughter resulting in physical self harming.’

Craig Russell - BROTHER GRIMM - Hutchinson
Judges’ comments: ‘A compelling police procedural set in Hamburg, Russell’s novel is a horrific modern twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. A vividly drawn and believable set of characters.’

C.J. Sansom - SOVEREIGN - Macmillan
Judges’ comments: ‘An historical thriller that brings together and original and multi-layered plot with a rich story set against a royal progress by Henry VIII to York and his dissolution of his marriage to Catherine Howard. Sansom is a masterly story teller and natural plotter.’

Peter Temple - THE BROKEN SHORE - Quercus
Judges’ comments: ‘This is a well written crime novel with excellent characterisation mingled with a subtle exploration of contemporary Australian landscape and mores. This is a first class read with a sympathetic engrossing police protagonist.’

Judging Panel
Geoff Bradley (Chair) - editor of Crime And Detective Stories (CADS) magazine
Lyn Brown MP - committee member on the London Libraries service
Steve Craggs - crime reviewer for The Northern Echo
Heather O'Donoghue - academic, linguist, crime fiction reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement, and keen reader of all crime fiction
Barry Forshaw - reviewer and editor of Crime Time magazine
Elinor Goodman - former political editor for Channel Four
Frances Gray - academic who writes about and teaches courses on modern crime fiction
Margaret Kinsman - senior lecturer in English Studies at London South Bank University
James Naughtie - BBC journalist and Radio Four Today programme resenter
Only two of these are Euro Crime and I'll be posting Sunnie Gill's review of 'Sovereign' at the weekend. My money's on The Broken Shore!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The CWA Dagger award shortlists are out of the bag

Sarah on Confessions has a nice summary of the nominees. Zoe Sharp has posted to DorothyL longer descriptions of the nominees and who the judges are etc so I'll start with the one I'm most interested in:
£5000 prize money for the author and £1000 for the translator, sponsored by Duncan Lawrie Private Bank For crime, thriller, suspense novels or spy fiction which have been translated into English from their original language, for UK publication.

Karin Alvtegen (Sweden) - SHAME - Canongate
translated by Steven T. Murray
Judges' comments: ‘A clever psychological study of a small group of people brought together by shared experiences of abuse which they must now, finally, confront.’

Christian Jungersen (Denmark) - THE EXCEPTION - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
translated by Anna Paterson
Judges' comments: ‘Something completely out of the ordinary: a thought-provoking novel in which workers in a centre monitoring human rights abuses slide into bullying office politics.’

Yasmina Khadra (Algeria) - THE ATTACK - William Heinemann
translated by John Cullen
Judges’ comments: ‘A harrowing psychological novel which explores the motivations of a suicide bomber, and lifts the conventions of the whydunnit.’

Åsa Larsson (Sweden) - THE SAVAGE ALTAR - Viking
translated by Marlaine Delargy
Judges' comment: ‘A fine sense of Northern Sweden with a story of mayhem in a small religious community.’

Jo Nesbø (Norway) - THE REDBREAST - Harvill Secker
translated by Don Bartlett
Judges' comments: ‘Secrets from Norway’s discreditable wartime past resurface when a lone terrorist threatens an assassination.’

Fred Vargas (France) - WASH THIS BLOOD CLEAN FROM MY HAND - Harvill Secker
translated by Sîan Reynolds
Judges' comments: ‘A stylish return to the shortlist for last year’s inventive winner with another unconventional police procedural.’

Judging Panel:
Adrian Muller (non-voting Chair) - freelance journalist and an events organiser specialising in crime fiction
Peter Guttridge - crime writer and the crime fiction reviewer for the Observer
Ruth Morse - has written about post-colonial crime fiction, and is a reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement
Susanna Yager - the crime fiction reviewer for The Sunday Telegraph
Well I've only read the Nesbo and Vargas so far...but I've got some of the others in the tbr. NB. Khadra was also on last year's shortlist.

Peter James on Radio 4

On last Monday's Front Row:
Mark Lawson's guest is best-selling crime writer Peter James - who balances writing with working in film and television - he was the producer of the Al Pacino film version of The Merchant of Venice and creator of the Channel 4 series Bedsitcom. As his new book Not Dead Enough is published - Peter James discusses how he came up with the character of Roy Grace - a Brighton based Detective Superintendent whose wife has gone missing.
Listen again here until next Monday.

You can also read Maxine Clarke's review for Euro Crime, of Not Dead Enough.

Jack (Parlabane)'s back

Out on 2 August, this will be the fifth in Christopher Brookmyre's Jack Parlabane series after a three year gap:

Do you believe in ghosts? Do we really live on in some conscious form after we die, and is that form capable of communicating with the world of the living? Aye, right. That was Jack Parlabane's stance on the matter, anyway. But this was before he found himself in the more compromising position of being not only dead himself, but worse: dead with an exclusive still to file. From his position on high, Parlabane relates the events leading up to his demise, largely concerning the efforts of charismatic psychic Gabriel Lafayette to reconcile the scientific with the spiritual by submitting to controlled laboratory tests. Parlabane is brought in as an observer, due to his capacities as both a sceptic and an expert on deception, but he soon finds his certainties crumbling and his assumptions turned upside down as he encounters phenomena for which he can deduce no rational explanation. Perhaps, in a world in which he can find himself elected rector of an esteemed Scottish university, anything truly is possible. One thing he knows for certain, however: Death is not the end ? it's the ultimate undercover assignment.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Laughing Policeman

Reading matters has drawn my attention to 'Toby Litt's Cult Choice' which this month is 'The Laughing Policeman' by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. The article begins thus:
Wife and husband Maj Sjowall (1935-) and Per Wahloo (1926-1975) decided that together they would write ten crime novels, and together – over the next ten years – they wrote ten crime novels.

These were constructed with the openly Marxist intention of using the crime novel as 'a scalpel cutting open the belly of an ideologically pauperized and morally debatable so-called welfare state of the bourgeois type'.
Continue reading the article here

I've got 'Roseanna' and 'The Man Who Went Up in Smoke' in my TBR and one day I'll get to them...

Kate Ellis news

From Kate Ellis' website

Kate is delighted to announce that she is writing a new series of crime novels (published by Piatkus) featuring Detective Inspector Joe Plantagenet who operates in the picturesque and historic northern city of Eborby - a thinly disguised York (don't worry, Wesley fans - he is still going to carry on fighting crime in Tradmouth) The first book in the series is entitled 'Seeking the Dead' and is to be published in August 2008.
The twelth Wesley Peterson, 'The Blood Pit' is to be published in March 2008.

Monday, June 04, 2007

More New Tricks

Digital Spy reports that:
A fifth series of BBC One drama New Tricks has been given the go ahead following a successful fourth series, which peaked at 8.8 million viewers.

The show, made by Wall To Wall Television, has seen its audience increase week on week, and took a 38.5% audience share on its highest-rated episode.

Starring Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, Alun Armstrong and James Bolam, the new eight-part series will begin filming in London later this year.
Apparently the co-creator is Nigel McCrery of Silent Witness fame...

Eddie Muller in Italy

From yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle:
When my colleague Anita Monga learned that the Czar of Noir and his wife were taking a much-needed vacation in Italy, she said, "Good, you need a break -- and Italy is the least noirish place on earth." My vacation reading proved otherwise.
Muller then goes on to review 'Suffer the Little Children' by Donna Leon and also interview the author, who explains her decision to to be published in Italy.

He then moves on to Massimo Carlotto, explaining about the notorious miscarriage of justice surrounding him and what happened afterwards:
Immediately, Carlotto began transforming his life story into a series of hardboiled crime novels that feature a world-view of the most cynical and pessimistic variety. Fortunately, the books aren't bitter, and Carlotto has a lean and rock-hard style that is comparable to the best of Hammett and Cain. "The Colombian Mule" and "The Master of Knots" are terrific reads, but the depth of the philosophical undercurrent raises them to the level of art.
In the UK Orion have published the only two Alligator books translated - The Columbian Mule and The Master of Knots - and in the US Europa Editions have brought out The Goodbye Kiss and Death's Dark Abyss.

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

New Reviews and June competition details

Latest Reviews:

This week's new reviews on Euro Crime are; Mike Ripley's May crime file where he reviews 'Absent Light' by Eve Isherwood, 'Mistress of the Art of Death' by Ariana Franklin, 'Hard Man' by Alan Guthrie and 'Donkey Punch' by Ray Banks; Maxine Clarke doesn't find the plot too taxing in Not Dead Enough by Peter James but is still addicted to the series; Pat Austin was enthralled by The Reckoning by Sue Walker and I review the audio version of the last entry in the award winning Nell Bray series from Gillian Linscott - which came out a few years ago - Blood on the Wood.

June's competitions:

Win one of five signed copies of 'The Chemistry of Death' by Simon Beckett (UK & Europe only)

Win one of six copies of 'The House of Shadows' by The Medieval Murderers

Win one of five copies of 'How to Kill' by Kris Hollington (non-fiction)

Win one of three copies of the R2 DVD of Romanzo Criminale (UK & Ireland residents only)

Win one of five copies of the R1 DVD of Missing (US residents only)

(geographical restrictions are in brackets)

The other updates to the website, can be found

Interview with Ken Bruen

Over on the Mystery Readers International website, the latest of their 'at home online' interviews is Reed Farrel Coleman interviewing Ken Bruen.

Here's a snippet:
RFC: How do you determine that a series has run its course? Can you envision a series that could go on indefinitely that would still be fresh?

KB: Well, that's a tough one, my own 2 series, Brant, the very last one is AMMUNITION, OUT IN JULY FROM SMP and Jack Taylor, I'm working on no 7......... also the end......... I want them to end on a blast and a What if.

John Sandford, Larry Gough seem to be able to keep their series up to 17, 18, etc......... me, I'D GO MAD

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Winners of May's competitions on Euro Crime

Here are the winners of May's Euro Crime competitions (and the correct answers):

1. Not Dead Enough by Peter James

The Roy Grace series is associated with which of the following places:
a) Brighton


Teresa Butler
George Grieve

2. Severed by Simon Kernick

What was Simon Kernick's first book called:
b) The Business of Dying


James Andrews, UK
Bill Barnes, Australia
Jayne Burchfield, USA
Emma Howard, UK
Sherry Sharp, USA

3. Every Breath You Take by Shelia Quigley

Which of the following authors, also has a series of books set in the North East of England:
c) Martyn Waites


Allison Fradgley
Kim Holgate
Lucy Irving
Stuart Smale
Wendy Spridgeon

4. Proof DVDs


Karen P Barnett, MN
Fran Chennells, OH
Jean Ells, NC
Sarah Kennedy, IL
Desmond Warzel, OH

Enter this month's competitions here.

June's competitions on Euro Crime

The new competitions are up - a bit varied this month with two crime fiction books, a non fiction book about the history of the assassin plus two DVD competitions - one for UK & Ireland residents, the other for US residents.

I haven't yet run the random number generator to select the winners of May's competitions but it won't be too long, watch this space.

The competitions are open until the end of June. Please check the geographical restrictions. Enter here!

Friday, June 01, 2007

ITW Webzine Issue 4

The International Thriller Writers fourth webzine has just gone online and in the News section of the ITW website, you can watch a slick two minute trailer for Alex Scarrow's A Thousand Suns.