I'll shortly be totting up the number of mentions of authors, titles and translators to reveal the overall Euro Crime favourites of 2014.
Amanda Gillies's favourite reads of 2014
Michael J Malone with Bashir Saoudi - The Guillotine Choice
In the 1920s, in French-controlled Algeria, a young man is forced to make a terrible choice – either tell the authorities the name of a killer (who will meet with Madame Guillotine) or be sent to Devil’s Island in Guyane for the rest of his life. Based on a true story, this harrowing tale will haunt you long after you have finished it.
Doug Johnstone - The Dead Beat
Another cracker by this talented author, The Dead Beat follows the life of Marta, a student journalist who has managed to land herself some work experience at her Dad’s old paper. Except her Dad has just committed suicide. When someone calls her at the paper on her first day, and kills himself while she is on the line, you get the feeling this is not going to be a particularly fluffy book. And you would be right…
Neil Broadfoot - Falling Fast
This is a truly awesome debut novel and I am expecting Neil Broadfoot to become a very familiar name in the world of crime fiction. The opening page sets the tone with a young lady leaping to her death from Edinburgh’s Scot Monument and everything spirals downwards from there. Fantastic!
Michael J Malone - Blood Tears
Another favourite written by Michael Malone. This was the first of his that I read and I was hooked immediately. Dark and disturbing, this is the first in a series featuring DI Ray Macbain – who is haunted by repetitive dreams full of blood and floating white feathers. A must-read if you like your crime fiction a bit on the darker side.
Mark Roberts - What She Saw
This is the second book in the author’s DCI Rosen series and it is another first-rate shocker. Thomas, a young boy, is set on fire in a car on a London housing estate and the only witnesses are themselves children. This dark tale follows Rosen’s attempt to track down those responsible, all the while being scared for the safety of his wife and own young child.
It gets harder to choose my top 5 each year as the books I read just keep getting better and better! My favourite books have to mess with my head in some way and my number one choice this year is based on a true story, so it has had the greatest affect on me of all the books I have read. Having listed my favourites I am intrigued to see that 4 of them are by Scottish authors. I am a firm fan of “Tartan Noir” and if you haven’t tried it yet, then I really think you should.
Many thanks to Karen, once again, for another fantastic year of Euro Crime. Here’s to a happy 2015!!!