Norman Price's favourite reads of 2014
My top five Euro Crime selections are:
Phillipe Georget - Autumn All The Cats Return tr. Steve Rendall & Lisa Neal
This was even better than Georget's debut book Summertime All The Cats Are Bored as it blends in an informative backstory about the Algerian War and the status of pied-noir, with the hunt for a killer. How will the relationship between Gilles and his beautiful wife Claire develop? This is a series that has characters, plots, and an interesting location in Catalan country.
Hakan Nesser - The G File tr. Laurie Thompson
The end of the series in which Van Veeteren is given a final chance to get closure in his dealings with Jann G Hennan a man he has known and clashed with since schooldays. The contrast between the drunken failure Maarten Verlangen and the smooth success G Hennan is almost distressing in the clarity in which it is portrayed in the book. Hakan Nesser makes Van Veeteren's guilt at his past failures one of the themes of the story. This is a long book but an easy read, and a fitting end to a superb ten book series.
Leif GW Persson - Free Falling As If In A Dream tr. Paul Norlen
Lars Martin Johannson and his team attempt to solve the mystery of the assassination of Olaf Palme, the Swedish Prime Minister, in 1986. Witty entertaining and with some great female characters this is among the best of Swedish crime fiction. Although the Persson books are long and he invented the misogynist Evert Backstrom, in this book Anna Holt and Lisa Mattei do the work while the men eat, drink and talk, making it a fine reading experience.
Liza Marklund - Borderline tr. Neil Smith
More adventures of journalist Annika Bengtzon this time faced by a topical and up to the minute problem in that her husband Thomas, now reconciled with her after past differences, is kidnapped while working for an EU commission in East Africa. The tension mounts as she, aided by Jimmy Halenius, tries to negotiate her husband's freedom, but things are never that straightforward with Annika and complications occur.
Ben Pastor - A Dark Song of Blood
Martin Bora returns in a tense hunt for a murderer set in Rome during the first six months of 1944. A mixture of terrible real life events and the personal problems of Martin and his Italian police colleague Guidi are told in an easy to read style. Considering the complexity of the situation with the Vatican, Wehrmacht, SS, Italian Fascists, and the Resistance all having a part to play Ben Pastor does a fine job in making the narrative so clear.