Zift by Vladislav Todorov (tr. Joseph Benatov) (out now, US edition)
December 21, 1963: Having served 20 years for a murder he didn't commit, "Moth" exits Central Sofia Prison anticipating his first night of freedom. Instead he steps into a new and alien world—the nightmarish totalitarianism of Communist Bulgaria. In his first hours of freedom he traverses the map of a diabolical city, full of decaying neighborhoods, gloomy streets, and a bizarre parade of characters.
A novel of grave wit, Zift unfolds in the course of a single, frenetic night, offering a fast-paced, ghoulish, even grotesque—but also enchanting—tour of shadowy, socialist Sofia. To achieve his depiction of totalitarian absurdity, Vladislav Todorov combines the methods of hardboiled American crime fiction and film noir with socialist symbols and communist ideological clichés.
An extract can be read via the publisher's website.
Treachery in the Yard: A Nigerian Thriller by Adimchinma Ibe (out now, US edition) - intended to be the first in a series. From the publisher's website:
A stunning police procedural debut from one of Nigeria’s young up-and-coming talents, Treachery in the Yard introduces an electrifying new setting to the world of international crime fiction.
Detective Peterside is drawn into the politics of Nigeria when a bomb goes off at Mr. Pius Okpara’s home. Mr. Okpara is locked in a conflict with a political rival, as both men are seeking their party’s nomination prior to the general election.
As Detective Peterside investigates, one murder leads to another and soon events appear to be spiraling out of control. The more he digs, the more corruption surfaces. Soon he is not sure whom to trust, including even his own mentor.
An intriguing blend of locale and familiar police procedure, Treachery in the Yard provides a unique brand of international suspense.
Looking ahead - The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (tr. Alexander O. Smith) will be published in the US in February 2011 and in the UK in August 2011. [Petrona and I were given a glowing recommendation of this title by a publicist from a rival company to the one publishing the UK edition.]
Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime...One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction.
The cover above may not represent the final cover. More information on the book and the author can be found in the publisher's catalogue (pdf).