Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Euro Crime Favourite Reads of 2012

I've asked the recent contributors to Euro Crime to choose their favourite European reads of 2012 and a total of 71 titles have been submitted. The following favourites come from the lists submitted by: Mark Bailey, Maxine Clarke, Amanda Gillies, JF, Terry Halligan, Lynn Harvey, Sarah Hilary, Geoff Jones, Michelle Peckham, Norman Price, Laura Root and myself. The breakdown by reviewer, with additional recommendations and any additional comments they have made, can be found here. Quotes are taken from the Euro Crime reviews.
The most mentioned titles are:

3 votes:

Last Will by Liza Marklund tr. Neil Smith

Liza Marklund has [] said that it doesn't matter in which order you read her Annika Bengtzon books as she herself doesn't write them in chronological order, having started with the "fourth" in terms of journalist Annika Bengtzon's life and career. LAST WILL is the sixth in the series to be translated into English, this time by the sure skills of Neil Smith. And I say too – read them in whatever order you like, but do read them. Not least this nail-biter, LAST WILL.

2 votes:

The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri tr. Stephen Sartarelli

THE POTTER'S FIELD is an excellent book. All the familiar characters are here, but events have taken a darker turn. Salvo is feeling his age, and with reason is increasingly depressed about the state of his beautiful country and the way in which it is ruined by politicians and gangsters alike. The novel is more than a crime novel - though the plot is very clever and convoluted, because of the way Salvo decides to proceed with it - it is a meditation on getting older, on failing powers, and on the uncertain future we all face.

The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill tr. Laura McGoughlin

THE SUMMER OF DEAD TOYS is the best Spanish crime novel I've read. Structured round a classic police procedural plot, the author exposes some of the baser aspects of human nature as he peels off the layers of respectability of a group of privileged high-society types. At the same time, his protagonist, Inspector H├ęctor Sagaldo, has issues of his own to cope with - issues that result in an atmosphere of vague menace that pervades the book and culminates in a shock ending. All set in the blistering heat of Barcelona, a town that comes alive in this absorbing narrative.

7 Days by Deon Meyer tr. K L Seegers

I always look forward to a new novel by Deon Meyer, and his latest, 7 DAYS, is a perfect example of why he is, in my opinion, one of the very best crime fiction authors in the world today...7 DAYS is a marvellous crime novel which must be a strong contender for best crime novel of 2012.

Another Time, Another Life by Leif G W Persson tr. Paul Norlen

This is a quite remarkable book on several levels. ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE succeeds as a meticulous police procedural, deftly combining multiple timelines and details of investigations into a coherent whole, written from the point of view of several police officers in a manner reminiscent of Ed McBain or Joseph Wambaugh...I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the darker side of Swedish political and government life in the post-Palme era, or who simply fancies a meatier, skilfully crafted police procedural with political elements. I thoroughly look forward to reading other books by this writer.

Bed of Nails by Antonin Varenne tr. Sian Reynolds

It is a powerful and original debut crime story, definitely one for Vargas fans to try, and I very much hope that there is more Varenne crime fiction to come. I will be waiting, with bated breath, my hands over my eyes and peeking through my fingers, as I watch his next story unfold.

The most mentioned authors (irrespective of title) are:

3 votes:

Liza Marklund
Deon Meyer

2 votes:

Andrea Camilleri
Antonio Hill
Peter May
Jo Nesbo
Leif G W Persson
Antonin Varenne

The most mentioned translators are:

4 votes:

Neil Smith (Mons Kallentoft, Liza Marklund)

3 votes:

Don Bartlett (K O Dahl, Jo Nesbo)
Stephen Sartarelli (Andrea Camilleri, Marco Vichi)
K L Seegers (Deon Meyer)

2 votes:

Laura McGoughlin (Antonio Hill)
Paul Norlen (Leif G W Persson)
Sian Reynolds (Antonin Varenne)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this summing-up, Karen. There really were some excellent translated books released this past year.

Lindsay said...

I do love the Liza Marklund series, great to see that this was popular here too.