Continuing the series of Euro Crime reviewers' favourite reads of 2012 here are Mark Bailey's favourite Euro Crime and/or translated titles:
Of the new releases in 2012 (either in paperback or hardback), I would strongly recommend (in alphabetical order by author as I don’t want to choose an order):
Fowler, Christopher – BRYANT & MAY AND THE INVISIBLE CODE (10th novel about Arthur Bryant, John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit - another strong Bryant & May novel with a very intricate plot with lots of twists and turns; some new characters (some of which are almost fantastical) are introduced to set up for the future which he has got a 2 book deal for starting with BRYANT & MAY AND THE BLEEDING HEART).
James, Peter - NOT DEAD YET (8th Detective Superintendent Roy Grace novel)
Nesbo, Jo – THE BAT tr. Don Bartlett (the 1st Harry Hole novel chronologically – it was nice to see the back plot to the later novels explored in more depth.
Rankin, Ian - STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE (Rebus is back – I read it in a day and loved it)
Robinson, Peter – BEFORE THE POISON (not a DCI Banks book but it takes the well-used idea of somebody becoming obsessed with solving a decades-old murder and executes it very well)
Other 2012 releases that had good points were:
- McKinty, Adrian - THE COLD COLD GROUND (the 1st Sean Duffy novel set in 1980s Northern Ireland; yes I am biased as I go past most of the places in this novel on my train to work every day but this is an assured police procedural in the main - the next book (I HEAR THE SIRENS IN THE STREET) is just out as I write and if it is just a tad better then that is one of my 2013 best reads sorted)
- Staincliffe, Cath - DEAD TO ME (the 1st Scott and Bailey tie-in novel by Cath Staincliffe; yes this is a tv tie-on but it captures the characters and is compellingly written)
- Tursten, Helene - NIGHT ROUNDS tr. Laura A Wideburg (the 4th Irene Huss novel; this is a good novel but I have seen the first 6 Swedish TV movie adaptions so I spoilt it for myself).
- Wanner, Len - THE CRIME INTERVIEWS VOLUMES ONE AND TWO (These are available most easily for Kindles but if you like tartan noir, they are a good insight into how authors minds work as they have interviews with 19 crime writers between the two volumes)
‘Blasts from the past’ series reread or read for the first time in 2012 are:
- Crispin, Edmund - the Gervase Fen series (I re-read these in the Summer. They are whodunit novels with complex plots written in a humorous, literary style with references to English literature, poetry, and music; my favourites are THE MOVING TOYSHOP (1946) and FREQUENT HEARSES (1950) – it is a crying shame that Crispin went 25 years between the penultimate and the last novel in the series).
- Burley, W J – the Wycliffe series (I remember the tv series with Jack Shepherd well and recently bought them on DVD but had never read the books; yes they are dated and even the later ones read like those written in the 1970s (they were 22 written from 1968 to 2000) but they are also tightly plotted concisely written books with a great sense of place and a complex main character)
- Edwards, Martin – the Lake District Mystery series (these were a new read for me and as said elsewhere on the website these are very classy page turners with a good sense of history and the area it is set in – the English Lake District)
- Harvey. John – the Charlie Resnick series (I am just over halfway through re-reading this quality police procedural series set in Nottingham in the late 1980s and 1990s in the main – the last one was published a decade later in 2008)
Again, they reflect in the main my liking for police procedurals.