Monday, January 27, 2014

The Euro Crime Favourite Reads of 2013

I've asked the recent contributors to Euro Crime to choose their favourite European reads of 2013 and a total of 72 titles have been submitted. The following favourites come from the lists submitted by: Mark Bailey, Amanda Gillies, Raven Crime (aka JF), Terry Halligan, Lynn Harvey, Geoff Jones, Michelle Peckham, Norman Price, Laura Root, Sarah Ward, Susan White 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, unless stated otherwise.
The most mentioned titles are:

3 votes:

The Ghost Riders of Ordebec by Fred Vargas tr. Sian Reynolds

Vargas has a genius for weaving a strand of the supernatural into her crime stories without breaking faith with the credibility of her plot. In previous novels, she's had readers almost believing in vampires, werewolves and ghosts, before extracting a commonsensical explanation at the last moment.

THE GHOST RIDERS OF ORDEBEC [] is no exception, with its evocation of a terrible legend with the power to drive ordinary people to commit murder. Yet there is never any doubt that this legend is being manipulated by a killer who's very much alive. With a surfeit of suspects, can dreamy and distracted Jean-Baptiste sort the clues from the red herrings? You'll be turning the pages to find out, but also because Vargas has created a compelling world of characters that is simply irresistible.

2 votes:

Pilgrim Soul by Gordon Ferris interesting brevity to the style of writing, and particularly the dialogue that is somewhat reminiscent of the Chandler novels (and the main hero, Philip Marlowe). I quickly became immersed in this book, and very much enjoyed it, so much so that I've already started to read the earlier books in the series. An intelligent, thought provoking story that I thoroughly recommend.

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

An Officer and A Spy is a very fine novel full of great characters, plot and atmosphere. Robert Harris has got inside the personality of his protagonist, Georges Picquart, cleverly used the real life characters to give an account of the real life events embellished with a dialogue that reflects the atmosphere of Paris in that period....An Officer and A Spy has more than enough action to keep the reader turning the pages. [from the Crime Scraps review by Norman Price]

Second Violin by John Lawton

The terror and brutality of life, whether in Vienna or London, during this period is brought vividly to life. The resilience of people to rebuild after they have lost, or have had everything taken away from them whether by personal tragedy, by war or by being displaced to a foreign land, is accurately depicted. An interesting story, building on well documented facts and helping history to come alive with the aid of the stories of individuals' lives and experiences is very believable.

Alex by Pierre Lemaitre tr. Frank Wynne

Every so often a crime thriller comes along that leaves you breathless and takes you on a disturbing journey into the darkest recesses of human experience - ALEX is one such book and you are guaranteed a tale of the unexpected from start to finish. Don't expect any spoilers or dwelling on the plot from me, as I want you all to be as surprised by this twisty tale as I was, but all I will say is, you are in for more than one shock or two along the way.

An absolute gem of a crime novel that is wonderfully dark, scary, mad, bad and dangerous to know, but just far too good to miss…

Norwegian by Night by Derek B Miller

What a beautiful book! Superbly crafted and touching on a delicate subject with sensitivity and perception, NORWEGIAN BY NIGHT is a story of one man’s loss and regret and how he tries to come to terms with everything. An excellent debut novel from Derek B Miller; he is another talented new voice to keep an eye out for in the future.

Police by Jo Nesbo tr. Don Bartlett

In Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo has created one of crime fiction's most charismatic heroes and this is reinforced by his absence from the investigation team. Fans of Harry Hole and Jo Nesbo will enjoy POLICE and be thoroughly absorbed in this typically well-plotted, complicated story with its many misdirections and dead ends.

The most mentioned authors (irrespective of title) are:

4 votes:

Jo Nesbo

3 votes:

Gordon Ferris
Fred Vargas

2 votes:

Robert Harris
John Lawton
Pierre Lemaitre
Derek B Miller
Leif G W Persson

The most mentioned translators are:

4 votes:

Don Bartlett (Jo Nesbo)
Neil Smith (Mons Kallentoft, Liza Marklund, Leif G W Persson)

3 votes:

Sian Reynolds (Fred Vargas)

2 votes:

Anthea Bell (Jakob Arjouni, Jan Costin Wagner)
Frank Wynne (Pierre Lemaitre)

All the titles mentioned in the best of lists:

Jakob Arjouni – Brother Kemal tr. Anthea Bell.
Laurent Binet - HHhH tr. Sam Taylor
Simon Brett – A Decent Interval
Roberto Costantini - The Deliverance of Evil tr. N S Thompson
Arne Dahl – Bad Blood tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles
Kishwar Desai - Witness the Night
Michael Donovan - Behind Closed Doors
PR Ellis - Painted Ladies
Gordon Ferris – The Hanging Shed
Gordon Ferris - Pilgrim Soul
Robert Galbraith - The Cuckoo's Calling
Pascal Garnier - Moon in a Dead Eye tr. Emily Boyce
Elizabeth George - Just One Evil Act
Phillipe Georget - Summertime All The Cats Are Bored tr. Steven Rendall
Alan Glynn - Graveland
Robert Goddard - The Ways of the World
Robert Harris - An Officer and A Spy
Terry Hayes - I Am Pilgrim
Elizabeth Haynes - Human Remains
Keigo Higashino - Salvation of a Saint tr. Alexander O Smith with Elye J Alexander
Antonio Hill - The Good Suicides tr. Laura McGoughlin
Jonathan Holt - The Abomination
Jorn Lier Horst - Closed for Winter tr. Anne Bruce
Arnaldur Indridason - Strange Shores tr. Victoria Cribb
Steffen Jacobsen - When The Dead Awaken tr. Charlotte Barslund
Doug Johnstone - Gone Again
Mons Kallentoft – Savage Spring tr. Neil Smith
M R C Kasasian - The Mangle Street Murders
Pierre Lemaitre - Alex tr. Frank Wynne
John Lawton - Second Violin
Adrian McKinty – I Hear the Sirens in the Street
David Mark - Dark Winter
Lisa Marklund – Last Will tr. Neil Smith
Andrew Martin - The Baghdad Railway Club
Danny Miller - The Gilded Edge
Derek B Miller - Norwegian by Night
Jo Nesbo - Phantom tr. Don Bartlett
Jo Nesbo – Cockroaches tr. Don Bartlett
Jo Nesbo - Police tr. Don Bartlett
Fuminori Nakamura - The Thief tr. Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates
Hakan Nesser - The Strangler's Honeymoon tr. Laurie Thompson
Nele Neuhaus - Snow White Must Die tr. Steven T Murray
Chris Nickson - The Crooked Spire
Leif G W Persson - He Who Kills the Dragon tr. Neil Smith
Leif G.W.Persson - Linda , As in the Linda Murder tr. Neil Smith
Anne Perry - Death On Blackheath
Ian Rankin – Saints of the Shadow Bible
Roslund & Hellstrom - Two Soldiers tr. Kari Dickson
Michael Russell - The City of Strangers
Kevin Sampson - The Killing Pool
Lynn Shepherd - A Treacherous Likeness
Stav Sherez - Eleven Days
Anna Smith - Screams In The Dark
Johan Theorin - The Quarry tr. Marlaine Delargy
David Thomas - Ostland
Simon Toyne - The Tower
Antti Tuomainen – The Healer tr. Lola Rogers
Helene Tursten – The Golden Calf tr Laura A Wideburg
Valerio Varesi - The Dark Valley tr. Joseph Farrell
Fred Vargas - The Ghost Riders of Ordebec tr. Sian Reynolds
Marco Vichi - Death and the Olive Grove tr. Stephen Sartarelli
Jan Costin Wagner - Light in a Dark House tr. Anthea Bell
Marianne Wheelaghan - Food of Ghosts
Christopher J Yates - Black Chalk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of the top titles, I read two: Ghost Riders of Ordebec and Norwegian by Night.

I loved both of them, give them 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent books.