Saturday, December 24, 2016

Radio 4 - Scandi Dramas

I've just spotted these two 45 minute dramas on Radio 4, based on real-life events, set in Norway and Sweden respectively.

1. Available for 19 more days:

One Night in Lillehammer

The war on terror makes a sudden, terrifying appearance in smalltown Norway.

The shooting of a Moroccan waiter is Lillehammer's first murder in years. Detective Inge Olsen relishes the challenge but quickly finds herself out of her depth. This isn't a random racist attack or the response of a jealous husband, it's the work of the most ruthlessly efficient state security organisation in the world.

Inspired by real events that took place in the wake of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, One Night in Lillehammer constructs an intense crime story set in the short, violent Norwegian summer of 1973.

Writer: Hugh Costello

Director: Alasdair Cross.

2. Available for 22 more days:

The Last Submarine Hunter

An original mystery drama featuring documentary interviews. In October 2014, reports of a suspected Russian submarine in the Swedish archipelago sparked an international hunt. Lucas Almquist disappeared at that time.

Now, two years later, Lucas's sister Lina sets out to find him, and discover the truth about the mystery submarines. Along the way, she meets a retired naval commander and an expert in Unidentified Submerged Objects.

With thanks to Janne Westerlund, Sven Kviman, Per Andersson, Clas Svahn, Freddie Petersson, Max Bergström, Marie Wennersten, Malcolm Dixelius, Magnus Lindman and Magnus Berg.

Sound Design by Steve Bond
Written by Sebastian Baczkiewicz

Produced and Directed by Joby Waldman
Executive Producer: Jeremy Mortimer

A Somethin Else production for BBC Radio 4.

(Also see Mankell's The Troubled Man for earlier submarine shenanigans.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

A trio of free ebooks

These three ebooks (two novellas and one novel) are currently free on both UK Kindle and UK Kobo:

The 45% Hangover by Stuart MacBride: free for UK Kobo and UK Kindle

A brilliantly twisty, 80-page novella from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series. Including an extract from his new Logan novel, THE MISSING AND THE DEAD.

It’s the night of the big Referendum, and all Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae has to do is find a missing ‘No’ campaigner. Should be easy enough…

But, as usual, DCI Steel has plans of her own. As the votes are counted there’s trouble brewing in the pubs and on the streets of Aberdeen.

Logan’s picked up a promising lead, but all is not quite what it seems, and things are about to go very, very wrong…

The Secret Dead by S J Parris: free for UK Kobo and UK Kindle

A short story featuring Giordano Bruno: heretic, philosopher and spy. Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom. Even the dead have a story to tell… Naples, 1566. During a sweltering summer, eighteen-year-old Giordano Bruno takes his final vows at San Domenico Maggiore and is admitted to the Dominican Order – despite doubts over his tendency to ask difficult questions. Assisting in the infirmary, Bruno witnesses an illicit autopsy performed on the body of a young woman. Her corpse reveals a dark secret, and Bruno suspects that hers may not have been an accidental death. His investigation leads him to a powerful figure who wants to keep the truth buried – and Bruno is forced to make a choice between his future in the Order, and justice for an innocent victim and her grieving family…

The One You Love by Paul Pilkington: free for UK Kobo and UK Kindle

Days before their wedding, during their last separate nights of hard-partying singledom, Emma Holden's fiance has gone missing. Not only has Dan disappeared without a trace, his brother is found beaten and left for dead, and may not wake up from a coma. Without any evidence, suspicion for the attempted murder falls on Dan - but Emma refuses to believe his guilt. When crime scene photos get splashed across the pages of London tabloids, Emma knows that someone is following her. Watching her. It is an old, familiar feeling, though no less terrifying. A long-hidden family secret seems to unite Emma's troubled past with her dangerous present. As time runs out her trust in her family, her friends -- and Dan -- faces an ultimate test.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review: Trespass by Anthony J Quinn

Trespass by Anthony J Quinn, November 2016, 320 pages, Head of Zeus, ISBN: 1784971278

Reviewed by Lynn Harvey.
(Read more of Lynn's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Although it had been decades since he had last seen the girl, the memories of that night had never quite left him, the sound of her stressed breathing gulping at the hood, and the frail thump of her fists battering the car window as they drove her away...

Border Country, Northern Ireland, late winter.
Samuel Reid has felt a growing sense of foreboding for months. This anxiety brings with it vivid dreams which keep him sleepless. His fears become more concrete when travellers set up camp in a field bordering his farm. The site grows larger and more chaotic. It obsesses Reid along with the idea that the travellers are smuggling tobacco across the border. He contacts the local authorities but the travellers own the land and there are no grounds for their eviction. One night, a man emerges from the shadows of Reid’s farmyard. He says he is a journalist and asks Reid about a young traveller woman who had been working at some of the local farms during the mid-1970s when she disappeared. He shows Reid a photograph of her holding a baby and another of a group of young men in uniform. The uniforms are the same as the one hanging in Reid’s own wardrobe and amongst the young men in the photograph stands Reid’s own brother. Angry, Reid pushes the journalist out, spotting a traveller van at the entrance to his yard as he does so. The van flashes its lights. The journalist leaves with a vague threat and heads towards the van.
Inspector Celcius Daly is under investigation at work for his possible involvement in the disappearance of an old spy during his last investigation. The case concerned a notorious Murder Triangle of the 1970s and it left its mark on Daly for another reason – it had included the murder of his own mother. A solitary and isolated man, Daly is currently excluded still further, left swinging his heels on court duty which means standing in for detectives unable to attend proceedings. During one courthouse session his isolation is broken by a woman solicitor who asks for his help. Celcius is nonplussed to find she simply wants him to hold her client’s baby whilst they attend a hearing but he goes ahead and does so. However the next time that this same young solicitor asks Daly for his help is different. Her ten-year-old son has disappeared from her car whilst she delivered some papers to the court. Daly steps in to organise a search and collect potential witness statements. Gradually it appears as though the boy may have gone with his abductors willingly. Why? Who are they? And if he went willingly – where is he now?

In his Celcius Daly crime novels, Tyrone-born Quinn stakes out two landscapes. The first is that of the dilapidated fields, cottages and blackthorn hedges of rural Northern Ireland full of falling rain and winding tracks which disappear into the darkness of forest and bog-land. His second “landscape” is that of the human ghosts and tragedies behind certain deaths and disappearances in such isolated rural communities. TRESPASS is his fourth Daly novel and it opens with the seemingly contemporary theme of child abduction. But it carries a parallel mystery: the disappearance of a young traveller woman decades before. In investigating both mysteries, Quinn is drawn into the lives and fates of Traveller people both now and during the political disturbances of the Troubles; Daly the outsider is drawn into the lives of these other Outsiders.

In the beginning Quinn’s characteristically atmospheric writing almost steals the pace of his story as he writes about Daly himself, his cross-roads isolation, his life at work and at his run-down cottage on the shores of Lough Neagh. But I am quibbling. Because such atmospheric writing also builds suspense and menace in a way that catches me up and has me reluctant to turn the page but sure to do so. And my reluctance is not the dread of brutal violence but a dread of supernatural horror which Quinn brings to his version of Emerald Noir. Once the way of the world and its crime plot is established, Quinn speeds up the pace to such an extent that I chase on through, the straightforwardness of the ending taking me by surprise and leaving me asking questions about the characters that only another book can answer – if it does.

I have enjoyed all of Quinn’s Celcius Daly books, including TRESPASS. Raymond Chandler wrote a famous sentence about the mean streets and the investigator. Well, Daly may not walk down “mean streets” exactly but he is certainly an “unusual” man and a man of “honor”. Long may he and his Gothic setting survive.

Lynn Harvey, December 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Finding Her by Charles Den Tex and Anneloes Timmerije tr. Brian Du-Breuil

Today's review is courtesy of CrimeTime's Bob Cornwell, who last year reviewed Charles Den Tex's Mr. Miller translated by Nancy Forest-Flier.

Finding Her by Charles Den Tex and Anneloes Timmerije tr. Brian Du-Breuil, 512 pages, November 2016, World Editions, ISBN: 9462380783

Something rather different from Charles Den Tex, long-listed last year with his first book in English for the CWA’s New Blood Award (ironically, in the Netherlands, his home country, he has been published since 1995). Now, together with his wife Anneloes Timmerije, a journalist and an award-winning writer of literary fiction and historical non-fiction, they have fashioned something beyond the boundaries of the books normally reviewed on this site.

It is however an excellent book, and I would hate to see it slip unreviewed between categories, and end up neglected.

For it is first and foremost a love story, a true story (its original Dutch title translated as ‘a forgotten story of an unwavering love in wartime’) between Guus Havers, a pilot based in Java in the Dutch East Indies, and his wife Lienke. Guus is inadvertently parted from his wife in the early stages of the Japanese war in the Pacific. A highly regarded pilot, Guus has just transported to Australia a 43-man Army detachment, a group that is planned to lead a later counter-offensive. In his absence, an unexpectedly early attack on Java succeeds in taking over the island. Evacuations are attempted but Lienke fails to gain one of the coveted places. They will remain parted, knowing little or nothing of each other’s circumstances, their longing for each other most movingly portrayed, until the war ends and Guus can finally search for her properly.

But it is not simply a love story. Based mainly on Guus’s war-time diaries, it is also a dramatic record of an arena in World War II of which, like me, you may have little knowledge. In Australia the frustrations pile up for Guus: the slowness and inefficiency of the Allied response, the lack of the necessary aircraft (in particular the cherished B-25s), the rivalries amongst the pilots, the boredom. An early exception (crime writer becoming evident?), a mission back into the combat zone, with a mysterious ‘valuable’ package that goes missing. A little obvious, I thought, but then it turns out (historian also coming to the fore) to be one of three other key elements in the book, throwing light on real-life murky manoeuvrings, one a gross miscarriage of justice, in the war-time history of the area. Guus, for instance, is manipulated to spy for one side in what will turn out to be a political struggle for power in the post-occupation period. In Java meanwhile we experience, through Lienke, the subjugation of the civilian population, later the internment of Dutch and mixed marriage families, and the increasing deprivation within the camps as the war proceeds.

All this is conveyed in crystal-clear often moving prose, flawlessly translated in my view by Brian Doyle-Du Breuil.

Our authors however have reserved their greatest coup for the last part of the novel, bringing the story up to 1995. A new (unidentified) first-person narrative voice is introduced, interviewing the surviving Lienke, now known as Linda and living in California. Like Robert Wilson’s standalone novel, The Company of Strangers, (though without that book’s all-encompassing and complex spy plot) these later heart-rending chapters suggest that another subject of FINDING HER is what Wilson calls the ’big lives’ of his parents' generation (and dare I suggest, those of both Den Tex and Timmerije?).

And it comes with a stunning and poignant last line revelation. Just like a great crime novel.
And if you find any of this review intriguing, take a look at this, another eye-witness account, forceful and moving.

Bob Cornwell
December 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Website Updates: December 2016

I've updated the main files on the Euro Crime website today. Euro Crime includes both British and other European crime fiction writers (that have been published in English); non-British/European born crime writers who are strongly associated with British/European crime fiction (eg. Donna Leon), and crime writers in translation from outside of Europe.

Just a couple of reminders regarding the New Releases page:

1. The main by month/by author pages refer to when a book is published (in English) anywhere in the world however the 'by category ie historical, translated etc' is specific to the UK eg Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy series which was published in the US in the 2000s (and on) is only recently published in the UK and so some of her books appear in the 2016 Historical list.*

2. When a book is released "early" in ebook I am taking the publication date as to be when the print edition comes out (this is the rule we use for determining Petrona Award eligibility).

*I've also added the breakdowns for 2017: ie published in the UK in 2017 (ALL, Anthology, First Novel, Historical, Translated) - NB the Anthology one is currently blank.

As always, if you spot something wrong or missing, please do let me know.

Here's a summary of the usual updates:

The Author Websites page now lists 1060 sites.

In Bibliographies there are now bibliographies for 2409 authors (12077 titles of which 3035 are reviewed).

I've added new bibliographies for: Stephan Abarbanell, Ross Armstrong, Jackie Baldwin, Haylen Beck, Sam Blake, Maria Angelica Bosco, Rebecca Bradley, Steinar Bragi, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Sam Carrington, Clare Chase, E O Chirovici, Angela Clarke, Aoife Clifford, T A Cotterell, Simon Crane, Michelle Davies, Sandrone Dazieri, J P Delaney, A C Efverman, Jim Eldridge, Emily Elgar, Marc Elsberg, David Essex, Hendrik Falkenberg, Agnete Friis, Martin Cathcart Froden, Arjin Gaind, Malin Persson Giolito, Karo Hamalainen, Adam Hamdy, Mark Hardie, Sarah Hawkswood, Lucy V Hay, Chan Ho-Kei, Catherine Ryan Howard, Sanjida Kay, T E Kinsey, Joseph Knox, R J Koreto, Pol Koutsakis, Mary Lawrence, Molly MacRae, Alyssa Maxwell, Kathleen McKay, Andree Michaud, Caroline Mitchell, Anita Nair, James Nally, Graham Norton, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Chris Ould, Nikki Owen, Mary Paulson-Ellis, Steven Price, Jaime Raven, Rachel Rhys, Liselotte Roll, M B Shaw, Asle Skredderberget, Gard Sveen, Theresa Talbot, C J Tudor, Richard Marggraf Turley, Stuart Turton, Sam Wilson and Les Wood.

I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Jane Adams, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Catherine Aird, Tasha Alexander, David Ashton, Annis Bell, Matt Bendoris, Mark Billingham, Jorgen Brekke, Simon Brett, Neil Broadfoot, Frances Brody, Christopher Brookmyre, Gordon Brown, Alison Bruce, Fiona Buckley, Sheila Bugler, Michel Bussi, Andrea Camilleri, M J Carter, CJ Carver, Jane Casey, C S Challinor, Ed Chatterton, Ann Cleeves, Martina Cole, John Connolly, Sheila Connolly, Lesley Cookman, Paul Cornell, Deborah Crombie, A J Cross, Judith Cutler, Lisa Cutts, Arne Dahl, K O Dahl, Paula Daly, Augusto De Angelis, Oscar de Muriel, Julianna Deering, Hannah Dennison, P C/Paul Doherty, Eva Dolan, David Downing, Carola Dunn, Matthew Dunn, Kjell Eriksson, Charles Finch, Christopher Fowler, Pascal Garnier, Phyllis Gobbell, Andrew Grant, Alex Gray, Susanna Gregory, Mari Hannah, Cora Harrison, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Annie Hauxwell, Elizabeth Haynes, Veronica Heley, Mandasue Heller, Sarah Hilary, Matt Hilton, Anne Holt, Alex Howard, Graham Hurley, Gary Inbinder, Arnaldur Indridason, James H/James Jackson, Bill James, P D James, Hanna Jameson, Diane Janes, Doug Johnstone, Ragnar Jonasson, Will Jordan, Alan Judd, Jessie Keane, Erin Kelly, Simon Kernick, Philip Kerr, Vaseem Khan, Laurie R King, Roberta Kray, Lynda La Plante, David Lagercrantz, Stephen Leather, Adam Lebor, Leena Lehtolainen, Catherine Lloyd, Shona/S G MacLean, Susan Elia MacNeal, Adrian Magson, Barry Maitland, Karen Maitland, G M Malliet, Scott Mariani, David Mark, Edward Marston, Andrew Martin, Priscilla Masters, Peter May, Luke McCallin, Andy McDermott, Claire McGowan, Andy McNab, Deon Meyer, Mark Mills, Thomas Mogford, Susan Moody, Mandy Morton, Fiona Mountain, Amy Myers, Barbara Nadel, Jo Nesbo, Chris Nickson, Hilary Norman, Martin O'Brien, Nick Oldham, Fredrik T Olsson, James Oswald, Chris Pavone, Caro Peacock, Anne Perry, Sarah Pinborough, Sheila Quigley, Anthony J Quinn, Deanna Raybourn, Mary Reed and Eric Mayer, Kate Rhodes, Phil Rickman, Rosemary Rowe, Pauline Rowson, Michael Russell, Leigh Russell, Rob/Robert Ryan, Simon Scarrow, Gerald Seymour, William Shaw, Paige Shelton, Stav Sherez, Mel Sherratt, Jeffrey Siger, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Frank Smith, Jo Spain, Anton Svensson, Lesley Thomson, Helene Tursten, L C Tyler, Fred Vargas, Alex Walters, Sarah Ward, Ashley Weaver, Kerry Wilkinson, Jake Woodhouse, A J Wright, Felicity Young and Joakim Zander.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

International Dagger Speculation (2017)

It's time to consider the titles eligible for the 2017 CWA International Dagger.

Here's the list of translated crime novels published between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 ie the period of eligibility. There's 100* so far.

For ease of purchase/library reservation here they are listed by UK month of publication:

In addition to the list I have set up a Good Reads widget on the right-hand side of the blog. This allows the covers to be visible plus you can add them to your wish-list on Good Reads. Should you wish to, you can subscribe to this list through RSS. I've used the original cover if the English one isn't on Good Reads yet.

In the list below I've also included the country of birth and gender of the author(s) plus the translator's name (where I can find it) and the publisher.

*this total includes titles published by AmazonCrossing. I am not sure if these count as UK publications however I imagine people interested in this list will also be interested in these books.

The CWA website has the list of official submissions

April 2016

Gianrico Carofiglio - A Fine Line (Italy, M) (tr. Howard Curtis, Bitter Lemon Press)
Maurizio De Giovanni - The Bastards of Pizzofalcone (Italy, M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, Europa Editions)
Pascal Garnier - Too Close to the Edge (France, M) (tr. Emily Boyce, Gallic Books)
Simon Pasternak - Death Zones (Denmark, M) (tr. Martin Aitken, Harvill Secker)
Erik Axl Sund - The Crow Girl (Sweden, M & M) (tr. Neil Smith, Harvill Secker)

May 2016

Torkil Damhaug - Death by Water (Norway, M) (tr. Robert Ferguson, Headline)
Anne Holt - No Echo (Norway, F) (tr. Anne Bruce, Atlantic)
Tetsuya Honda - The Silent Dead (Japan, M) (tr. tbc, Titan Books)
Jari Jarvela The Girl and the Rat (Finland, M) (tr. Kristian London, AmazonCrossing)
Lars Kepler - Stalker (Sweden, M & F) (tr. Neil Smith, HarperCollins)
Volker Kutscher - Babylon Berlin (Germany, M) (tr. Niall Sellar, Sandstone)
Leena Lehtolainen - The Devil's Cubs (Finland, F) (tr. Jenni Salmi, AmazonCrossing)
Davide Longo - The Bramard Case (Italy, M) (tr. Silvester Mazzarella, MacLehose Press)
Melanie Raabe - The Trap (Germany, F) (tr. Imogen Taylor, Mantle)
Kjell Westo - The Wednesday Club (Finland, M) (tr. Neil Smith, MacLehose Press)

June 2016

Michel Bussi - Black Water Lilies (France, M) (tr.  Shaun Whiteside, W&N)
Frederic Dard - Bird in a Cage (France, M) (tr.  David Bellos, Pushkin Vertigo)
Hendrik Falkenberg - Time Heals No Wounds (Germany, M) (tr.  Patrick F Brown, AmazonCrossing)
Karin Fossum - Hellfire (Norway, F) (tr. Kari Dickson, Harvill Secker)
Hjorth-Rosenfeldt - The Man Who Wasn't There (Sweden, M) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, Century)
Martin Holmen - Clinch (Sweden, M) (tr. Henning Koch, Pushkin Press)
Mari Jungstedt - A Darker Sky (with Ruben Eliassen) (Sweden, M & F) (tr. Paul Norlen, AmazonCrossing)
Jonas Hassen Khemiri - Everything I Don't Remember (Sweden, M) (tr.  Rachel Willson-Broyles, Scribner)
Minna Lindgren - The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: Death in Sunset Grove (Finland, F) (tr.  Lola Rogers, Pan)
Liza Marklund - The Final Word (Sweden, F) (tr.  Neil Smith, Corgi)
Seicho Matsumoto - A Quiet Place (Japan, M) (Louise Heal Kawai, Bitter Lemon Press)
D A Mishani - The Man Who Wanted to Know (Israel, M) (tr. Todd Hasak-Lowy, Quercus)
Leif GW Persson - The Dying Detective (Sweden, M) (tr.  Neil Smith, Doubleday)
Gunnar Staalesen - Where Roses Never Die (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Orenda Books)
Martin Suter - Montecristo (Switzerland, M) (tr. Jamie Bulloch, No Exit Press)

July 2016

Massimo Carlotto - For All the Gold in the World (Italy, M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, Europa Editions)
Mario Giordano - Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (Germany, M) (tr. John Brownjohn, Bitter Lemon Press)
Yuri Herrera - The Transmigration of Bodies (Mexico, M) (tr. Lisa Dillman, And Other Stories)
Ragnar Jonasson - Blackout (Iceland, M) (tr. Quentin Bates, Orenda Books)
Leena Lehtolainen - Fatal Headwind (Finland, F) (tr. Owen Witesman, AmazonCrossing)
Pierre Lemaitre - Blood Wedding (France, M) (tr. Frank Wynne, MacLehose Press)
Fuminori Nakamura - The Kingdom (Japan, M) (tr. Kalau Almony, Soho Press)
Marc Raabe - Cut (Germany, M) (tr. Sharmila Cohen, Manilla (Bonnier))
Emelie Schepp - Marked for Life (Sweden, F) (tr. Rod Bradbury, MIRA)
Fred Vargas - A Climate of Fear (France, F) (tr. Sian Reynolds, Harvill Secker)

August 2016

Frederic Dard - The Wicked Go to Hell (France, M) (tr. David Coward, Pushkin Vertigo)
Maurizio De Giovanni - Darkness for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone (Italy, M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, Europa Editions)
Herman Koch - Dear Mr M (Holland, M) (tr. Sam Garrett, Picador)
Antonio Manzini - A Cold Death (apa Adam's Rib) (Italy, M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, Fourth Estate)
Zygmunt Miloszewski - Rage (Poland, M) (tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones, AmazonCrossing)
Dolores Redondo - Legacy of the Bones (Spain, F) (tr. Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garcia, HarperCollins)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - Why Did You Lie? (Iceland, F) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Hodder & Stoughton)
Gard Sveen - The Last Pilgrim (Norway, M) (tr. Steven T Murray, AmazonCrossing)

September 2016

Sebastia Alzamora - Blood Crime (Spain, M) (tr.  Martha Tennent & Maruxa Relano Tennentare,  Soho Crime)
Augusto De Angelis - The Mystery of the Three Orchids (Italy, M) (tr. Jill Foulston, Pushkin Press)
Pascal Garnier - The Eskimo Solution (France, M) (tr. Emily Boyce, Gallic Books)
Camilla Grebe - The Ice Beneath Her (Sweden, F) (tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Zaffre Publishing)
Chan Ho-Kei - The Borrowed (Hong Kong, M) (tr. Jeremy Tiang, Head of Zeus)
Hans Olav Lahlum - Chameleon People (Norway, M) (tr. Kari Dickson, Mantle)
Agnes Ravatn - The Bird Tribunal (Norway, F) (tr. Rosie Hedger, Orenda Books)

October 2016

Annis Bell - The Black Orchid (Germany, F) (tr. Edwin Miles, AmazonCrossing)
Steinar Bragi - The Ice Lands (Iceland, M) (tr. Lorenza Garcia, Macmillan)
Andrea Camilleri - A Voice in the Night (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Mantle)
Torkil Damhaug - Fireraiser (Norway, M) (tr. Robert Ferguson, Headline)
Frederic Dard - Crush (France, M) (tr. Daniel Seton, Pushkin Vertigo)
Hendrik Falkenberg - The Northern Cross (Germany, M) (tr. Patrick F Brown, AmazonCrossing)
Kati Hiekkapelto - The Exiled (Finland, F) (tr. David Hackston, Orenda Books)
Anne Holt - Beyond the Truth (Norway, F) (tr. Anne Bruce, Corvus)
Mari Jungstedt - The Fourth Victim (Sweden, F) (tr. Tiina Nunnally, Doubleday)
Mons Kallentoft - Souls of Air (Sweden, M) (tr. Neil Smith, Hodder)
Bernard Minier - Don't Turn Out the Lights (France, M) (tr. Alison Anderson, Mulholland)
Thomas Rydahl - The Hermit (Denmark, M) (tr. K E Semmel, Oneworld Publications)
Dominique Sylvain - Shadows and Sun (France, F) (tr. Nick Caistor, MacLehose Press)
Antti Tuomainen - The Mine (Finland, M) (tr. David Hackston, Orenda Books)
Carl-Johan Vallgren - The Tunnel (Sweden, M) (tr.  Rachel Willson-Broyles, Quercus)
Joakim Zander - The Brother (apa The Believer) (Sweden, M) (tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Head of Zeus)

November 2016

Maria Angelica Bosco - Death Going Down (Argentina, F) (tr. Lucy Greaves, Pushkin Vertigo)
Christoffer Carlsson - The Falling Detective (Sweden, M) (tr. Michael Gallagher, Scribe)
Kjell Eriksson - Stone Coffin (Sweden, M) (tr. Ebba Segerberg, Allison & Busby)
Liselotte Roll - Good Girls Don't Tell (Sweden, F) (tr. Ian Giles, World Editions)
Marco Vichi - Death in the Tuscan Hills (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Hodder)
Hanna Winter - Sacrifice (Germany, F) (tr. Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Manilla)

December 2016

Elmer Mendoza - The Acid Test (Mexico, M) (tr. Mark Fried, MacLehose Press)
Nele Neuhaus - I Am Your Judge (apa To Catch A Killer (UK)) (Germany, F) (tr. Steven T Murray, Pan)
Helene Tursten - Who Watcheth (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, Soho Press)

January 2017

Stefan Ahnhem - The Ninth Grave (Sweden, M) (tr. Paul Norlen, Head of Zeus)
Federico Axat - Kill the Next One (Argentina, M) (tr. David Frye, Text Publishing)
Andrea Camilleri - A Nest of Vipers (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Mantle) moved to August 2017
Anne Holt - What Dark Clouds Hide (Norway, F) (tr. Anne Bruce, Corvus)
Ragnar Jonasson - Rupture (Iceland, M) (tr. Quentin Bates, Orenda Books)
Pol Koutsakis - Athenian Blues (M, Greece) (tr. Pol Koutsakis, Bitter Lemon Press)

February 2017

Stephan Abarbanell - Displaced (Germany, M) (tr. tbc, John Murray)
Sandrone Dazieri - Kill the Father (Italy, M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, Simon & Schuster)
Marc Elsberg - Blackout (Germany, M) (tr. Marshall Yarborough, Black Swan)
Thomas Enger - Cursed (Norway, M) (tr. Kari Dickson, Orenda Books)

March 2017

Samuel Bjork - The Owl Always Hunts at Night (Norway, M) (tr. tbc, Doubleday) moved to April 2017
Frederic Dard - The Executioner Weeps (France, M) (tr. David Coward, Pushkin Vertigo)
Elisabeth Herrmann - The Cleaner (Germany, F) (tr. Bradley Schmidt, Manilla Books)
Jorn Lier Horst - When It Grows Dark (Norway, M) (tr. Anne Bruce, Sandstone Press)
Walter Lucius - Butterfly on the Storm (Holland, M) (tr. tbc, Michael Joseph)
Andree Michaud - Boundary (Canada, F) (tr.  Donald Winkler, No Exit)
Cay Rademacher - The Wolf Children (Germany, M) (tr. Peter Millar, Arcadia Books)
Emelie Schepp - Marked For Revenge (Sweden, F) (tr. tbc, HQ)
Mikel Santiago - The Last Night at Tremore Beach (Spain, M) (tr. Carlos Frias, Simon & Schuster)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - The Legacy (Iceland, F) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Hodder & Stoughton)
Erik Valeur - The Man in the Lighthouse (Denmark, M) (tr. Mark Mussari, AmazonCrossing)
Antonin Varenne - Retribution Road (France, M) (tr. Sam Taylor, MacLehose Press)

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Review: The Black Friar by S G MacLean

The Black Friar by S G MacLean, October 2016, 432 pages, Quercus, ISBN: 1782068457

Reviewed by Susan White.
(Read more of Susan's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

This is the second book in the series featuring Captain Damian Seeker, a soldier in the army of Oliver Cromwell, newly appointed the Protector of England.

One of the spies in the employ of Oliver Cromwell's secret service has been found dressed as a Black Friar and walled up - alive - in a church. Seeker is tasked with solving his murder and also finding the sensitive information he was tracking. Seeker is well known in London for his uncompromising belief in Oliver Cromwell and he is feared for his relentless searching out of Royalists and other enemies of the new State.

There is concern that someone in the department is working against the Protectorate, so Thurlow, Seeker's superior, asks him to search out the truth quietly and discretely. One of the suspects is Lady Winter, a known Royalist, who coincidently asks Seeker's help in finding a young servant girl, Charity, who has disappeared. Seeker discovers that Charity is not the only young and attractive person who has recently disappeared. He finds that both the Royalist factions and former Cromwell supporters who believe that his reforms have not gone far enough are plotting against the Protectorate and his investigations of the murdered spy and the missing young people start to have strands in common.

I really enjoyed this book. It is an interesting period of English history and one I knew only the basics about. I found that the background given about Cromwell's followers, who felt he was too tolerant and wanted to bring him down and impose a much more fervent religious belief system on the country, seemed particularly relevant today.

For anyone who enjoys reading historical crime - particularly the C J Sansom series featuring Shardlake - I am sure they will enjoy this. There is the same depth of knowledge of period through the book which gives the right level of historical background without slowing the story down.

Susan White, December 2016

Monday, December 05, 2016

Some 1960 Titles (for Past Offences)

The latest monthly challenge over at Past Offences is to read a book in December, published in 1960. Here are some British/European crime titles to choose from, first published in English in 1960, pulled from my database. This information is correct to the best of my knowledge however please do double check dates before spending any cash!:
John and Emery Bonett - No Grave for a Lady
Gwendoline Butler - Death Lives Next Door (apa Dine and Be Dead)
Agatha Christie - The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
Ian Fleming - For Your Eyes Only
Dulcie Gray - Epitaph For a Dead Actor
Alan Hunter - Gently with the Painters
Michael Innes - The New Sonia Wayward
M M Kaye - Death in the Andamans (revised 1985) (originally published as Night on the Island)
H R F Keating - Zen There Was Murder
Austin Lee - Miss Hogg and the Covent Garden Murders
Ngaio Marsh - False Scent
Ellis Peters - The Will and the Deed (apa Where There's a Will)
H Seymour - The Bristol Affair
Georges Simenon - Teddy Bear
Georges Simenon - Maigret in Society
Georges Simenon - Maigret in Court
James Tucker - Equal Partners
Margaret Yorke - Deceiving Mirror
There are more suggestions in the comments on the Past Offences page.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

New Releases - December 2016

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in December 2016 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). December and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Amphlett, Rachel - Scared to Death #1 Detective Kay Hunter
• Armstrong, Ross - The Watcher
• Baldwin, Jackie - Dead Man's Prayer #1 DI Frank Farrell, Dumfries
• Brett, Simon - Mrs Pargeter's Public Relations #8 Mrs Pargeter, Gangster's widow
• Carrington, Sam - Saving Sophie
• Challinor, C S - Judgment of Murder #9 Rex Graves, Scottish lawyer
• Cookman, Lesley - Murder on the Run #17 Libby Sarjeant, middle aged actress/investigator, Kent
• Dunn, Carola - Buried in the Country #4 Eleanor Trewyn, Port Mabyn, Cornwall
• Emerson, Kathy Lynn - Murder in a Cornish Alehouse #3 Mistress Rosamond Jaffrey, Spy, Elizabethan Era
• Glasby, Edmund - The Doppelganger Deaths
• Gobbell, Phyllis - Secrets and Shamrocks #2 Jordan Mayfair
• Heley, Veronica - False Fire #11 Bea Abbott, Sixty-something owner of The Abbott (Domestic) Agency
• Hurley, Graham - Finisterre #1 Wars Within
• Jameson, Hanna - Road Kill #3 London Underground Series
• Kinsey, T E - In the Market for Murder #2 Lady Emily Hardcastle, 1908
• Lawrence, Mary - Death at St. Vedast #3 Bianca Goddard, Henry VIII era
• MacRae, Molly - Plaid and Plagiarism #1 The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series
• Maxwell, Alyssa - A Pinch of Poison #2 Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery
• McCallin, Luke - The Ashes of Berlin #3 Captain Gregor Reinhardt, Military Intelligence Officer, 1943 Sarajevo
• Mitchell, Caroline - Witness
• Oldham, Nick - Bad Blood #22 DCI Christie
• Raven, Jaime - The Alibi
• Rogers, Bill - The Falcon Tattoo #2 National Crime Agency
• Taylor, Marsali - Ghosts of the Vikings #5 Shetland Sailing Mysteries
• Turnbull, Peter - A Cold Case #1 Maurice Mundy
• Tursten, Helene - Who Watcheth #9 Inspector Huss, Gothenburg

Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft, October 2015, 300 pages, Paperback, Bookouture, ISBN: 1910751243

Reviewed by Michelle Peckham.
(Read more of Michelle's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Leah lives sparely, in a small flat and works in the local library. She volunteers in a care home once a week, but still has too much time to fill. So, she has started talking to someone on a dating website called Julian. She clearly is trying to forget a traumatic event in her past, something perhaps she is ashamed of. Possibly something that may be to do with the short description of a car accident in the first chapter. Something nothing her work colleagues know about. And then she receives a ‘Happy Anniversary’ card. Someone somewhere knows who she is and what she’s done. Her past is catching up with her.

Slowly as the book progresses, her carefully constructed life starts to disintegrate. As well as the card, she starts to receive disturbing emails from someone called ‘reapwhatyousow’. Her colleagues at work start to mistrust her and become less friendly, but she can’t work out why. She starts to mistrust Julian, the man she met via the dating website. Could he be behind this? And it seems she only has one friend left, Ben, who appears to believe her story. Interspersed chapters go back to her teenage years, shortly after her family had moved to Derby and she started at a new school. We gradually find out who she makes new friends with, including her best friend Imogen, Corey, and Adam, a troubled lad who intensely dislikes their teacher, Miss Hollis.

This book has all the elements of a good page turner, with a slow build up of tension, a main character is someone to whom the reader is sympathetic. But there is enough doubt laid that at the same time we wonder what she really did and if she really does deserve some kind of punishment for something that happened in the past. Leah certainly seems to carry a heavy guilt about something. The slow destruction of a safe and reasonable life is believable, and there is a tense climax at the end, where she finally finds out who is behind the disintegration of her carefully constructed life. I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one!

Michelle Peckham, November 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Review: Crash Land by Doug Johnstone

Crash Land by Doug Johnstone, November 2016, 272 pages, Faber & Faber, ISBN: 057133086X

Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

The briefest glimpse of the rather eye-catching cover on the front of Doug Johnstone’s latest novel lets you know that you are in for another corking treat. Following what seems to have become the trademark Johnstone style, the story opens with a stressful situation and rapidly goes downhill from there. The ensuing roller-coaster journey that you are taken on leaves you feeling somewhat dishevelled when you are finally spat out the other end. At times the flow of the writing in this book has an almost lacklustre feel to it that I initially found to be rather disappointing, as it wasn’t the high-octane stuff that I was expecting. However, upon reflection, the main character’s own frustration at the situation is cleverly mirrored in the way these parts of the book are written; such that the reader feels as impatient as the protagonist at the way things are turning out.

As its title suggests, this book is about a plane crash. In fact, it starts with the plane crash and the infuriating, machismo-driven, fight that causes it is maddening. You feel helpless to stop the plane from crashing and are forced to live the experience, in a dream-like slow motion, with Finn – who just wants to get home, from Orkney, for Christmas and could really do without the hassle. Unlike nearly everyone else on the plane, he survives the impact but when the beautiful woman he has been defending grabs her bag and leaves the crash site you get the sinking feeling that this isn’t going to end well.

And you will be right about that.

Pretty soon Finn is helping the police with their enquiries but they get the distinct impression that he isn’t telling them the whole truth. Forbidden from leaving the island and potentially about to be charged with causing the crash, Finn goes back to his gran’s house to cool his heels. Then he receives a text message and sets out on a course of action that soon gets him even further into trouble…

Johnstone’s books never fail to disappoint. He has this uncanny knack of making the reader feel helpless, along with the main character, and leaves you watching in dismay as the unfolding events just make matters worse and worse. If you like a cracking good story that you know will definitely not have a warm and fuzzy “Happy Ever After” ending, then CRASH LAND is just the book for you!

Extremely Highly Recommended.

Amanda Gillies, November 2016.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

US Cozy Review: a triplet of reviewlets

Welcome to the latest entry in my irregular feature: US cozy review. My latest Cozy reads range from old to new(ish), with publication dates from 1991 to 2013!

In publication order:

1. All the Great Pretenders by Deborah Adams #1 Jesus Creek series (1991)

I bought this in 1996 from Uncle Edgars when I went to my first Bouchercon which was in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. A mere twenty years later I got round to reading it.

Set in the small town of Jesus Creek in Tennessee, this introductory novel revolves around the Inn and the temporary Innkeeper Kate Yancy. A young heiress has disappeared from the Inn and her family have hired a psychic, who comes to stay at the Inn. The press are there too and an announcement that the psychic knows where the girl is, doesn't bode well for the psychic. The mystery aspect is fine but it it is Kate's wry humour and the unusual inhabitants of Jesus Creek which are the stars. Once I got into it, I really enjoyed All the Great Pretenders. The next book, All the Great Winters, revolves around the library and a library volunteer - so right up my street.

If you can't get hold of print copies then the ebooks are currently very good value.

2. Death in Daytime by Eileen Davidson & Robert J Randisi #1 Soap Opera series (2008)

Whereas All the Great Pretenders was pre-internet and almost pre-personal computers, soap star Alexis Peterson has a mobile phone which she thinks can get the internet but she would rather rely on the teenage son of a friend for help. Alexis is one of the main stars of daytime soap opera The Yearning Tide however her new boss Marcy bears a grudge against her and is trying to down-size Alexis's role and is withholding scripts and suchlike. So when Marcy is killed, and Alexis finds the body, Alexis becomes the prime suspect. So naturally Alexis tries to find the real killer, putting herself in danger and annoying the cops enormously.

I love behind the (tv/film) scene settings so I was predisposed to like this one, which I did. I was mis-directed nicely and didn't guess whodunnit at all. Though the cover looks like a cozy there is some strong language at times. I've got the final book (#4) in my tbr and will be purchasing the other two, probably on ebook. [I only had this one 4 years before reading it...]

3. Gluten for Punishment by Nancy J Parra #1 Baker's Treat series (2013)

I bought this in August and read it in October which is probably a record for me to turn around a book that quickly after buying!

Gluten for Punishment is the first in a short series of three, set in Oiltop, Kansas. Toni Holmes has returned home to Oiltop where she has inherited her mother's large house and she opens up a gluten-free bakery in a town surrounded by wheat fields. The official opening of the store is marred by heckling from a wheat farmer and soon after the heckler's dead body is found outside the store. Toni has motive and opportunity and is soon a 'person of interest'. She does some sleuthing, assisted by her eccentric family and friends. This is a solid introduction to the series and I already own the other two books. I did get a bit lost with her extensive family of siblings and who was who. Though sworn off men, there are two gorgeous men vying for her attention, so it'll be interesting to see who she chooses, if either.

Gluten-intolerance runs in my mother's side of the family so I was particularly interested to read a cozy revolving around a gluten-free bakery and I did learn a few things. There are some recipes in the back, if you like to bake.

NB. There is one quite violent scene towards the end.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Anne Holt's Modus - book & tv news

BBC Four will begin showing Modus based on Anne Holt's Vik and Stubo series on 26 November at 9pm. The DVD is released 19 December.

From Anne Holt's website:
BBC Four have officially announced that MODUS will be shown at 9pm on Saturday nights from 26th November 2016. The chilling Scandi crime drama fills the popular THE BRIDGE spot, and comes from the same director, Lisa Siwe. MODUS was the most successful Scandinavian TV series on Sweden’s TV4 in 25 years, with an audience of 1.2 millions. Adapted from Anne Holt’s bestselling novel FEAR NOT, it follows psychologist Johanne Vik as she investigates a number of disturbing deaths during a snowy Swedish Christmas.
The fourth book in the series, Fear Not (2011) translated by Marlaine Delargy, has been reissued today as Modus. Euro Crime has previously reviewed Fear Not and here are extracts from the reviews:

Maxine's review: This is an excellent book - in a couple of the previous novels in this series, the author has left things hanging in the air a bit at the end. This is not the case here. FEAR NOT is a fully rounded novel that addresses the terrorist and fanatical elements that plague our contemporary society, but elects to do so in an intelligent and engaging manner rather than by indulging in melodramatics. Having said this, the book is certainly not a dull lecture; to the contrary it provides plenty of conundrums that do eventually turn out to have plausible solutions. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, not least for its contemporary relevance in terms of its treatment of hate-inspired crimes, and very much look forward to the author's next. The translation into a naturalistic style is very good.

Lynn's review:  FEAR NOT is my idea of classic Scandinavian crime-fiction, rooted in social observation, and I loved it. As Holt said in a Guardian interview concerning Scandinavian crime fiction: "We don't write whodunnit books, but why did it happen [books]". With a pair of investigators who live lives aside from crime-busting; a solid, well-constructed mix of plot, mystery, character and coincidence that drives the whole thing along; a dark edge and of course - blood on the snow - we have the perfect Scandinavian crime story. In FEAR NOT Holt examines a threat greater than that of individual crime - the workings of organised hate-crime based on politico-religious beliefs. Anne Holt's background gives her a prime footing for writing such crime fiction: working for the Oslo Police, founding her own law firm, and serving as Minister for Justice between 1996-97. In another interview shortly after the shocking killings committed by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway, Holt referred to her book FEAR NOT as a book, although written two years before the Oslo bombing and the Utoya killings, in which she tried to explore "exactly the same issue as we now have to face, the line or the connection between spoken hatred and physical hatred. I really tried in that book to point to the fact that freedom of speech is also a question about responsibility for what we say and how we act".

FEAR NOT is a "what if" book that highlights the possibility of organised hate-crime, provides discussion of how such a thing can arise, and paints a picture of its effects and consequences with detail and humanity. It has an excellent English translation by experienced translator Marlaine Delargy, and if you are looking for comparisons, I would happily place it alongside books by Mankell, Marklund, Fossum, and Indridason as top Scandinavian crime-reads.

Monday, November 14, 2016

TV News: The Coroner Series 2 on BBC One

The Coroner
starring Claire Goose returns to BBC One next Monday (21st) at 2.15pm with the first of ten episodes showing on consecutive weekdays.

Episode 1 is The Drop Zone:
Jane's fear of heights is put to the test when she and Davey investigate a skydiving accident and discover that someone has tampered with the parachute.
The Boxset DVD will be available on 12 December.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

RIP Pippa Jones 1997-2016

My beautiful but always rather serious looking Pip, aged 7 (in 2004). After several months of illness, she joins her sister Toffee (approx 18 months later).

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Review: A Dreadful Past by Peter Turnbull

A Dreadful Past by Peter Turnbull, June 2016, 176 pages, Severn House Publishers, ISBN: 0727886355

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Noel Middleton recognises a vase in the window of a small antique shop in York. The vase had been broken by him and his mother glued it back together. It had belonged to his family and twenty years ago his parents and his blind sister had been murdered and the vase was amongst items stolen at the time.

Middleton reports the facts to the police. Detective Chief Inspector George Hennessey decides to re-open the cold case. Hennessey's team is led by Detective Sergeant Somerled Yellich and includes Reg Webster, Thompson Ventnor and Carmen Pharoah. The team begin to investigate who has owned the vase since the murder and burglary. Hennessey goes to see the DI who worked on the case, now retired – Frank Jenny. They also re-interview Mrs. Anne Graham who cleaned the Middleton house once a week.

As the police team gather the evidence, it is apparent that this is not an isolated incident, but one of several and that four people were involved. The identity of two of the murderers comes as a complete surprise, but after all this time can they get the evidence to convict?

This is the twenty-fourth book in the “Hennessey and Yellich” series. The author has also written five books in a separate “Harry Vicary” series. I've not read anything by this author before, the style is unusual and it's difficult to place what year it is supposed to be. From the style I thought at first it was either pre-Second World War or early 1950s. However CCTV cameras are in evidence, so it must be fairly recent. Once you get used to the “dear reader” style it is an easy rewarding read. I would definitely recommend.

Geoff Jones, November 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Review: By Gaslight by Steven Price

By Gaslight by Steven Price, September 2016, 752 pages, Hardback, Oneworld Publications, ISBN: 178074868X

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

London, 1885. A woman’s body is discovered on Edgware Road; ten miles away, her head is dredged from the dark, muddy waters of the Thames. Famed detective William Pinkerton had one lead to the notorious thief Edward Shade, and now that lead is unfortunately dead. Determined to drag Shade out of the shadows, Pinkerton descends into the seedy underworld of Victorian London, with its gas-lit streets, opium dens, sewers and séance halls, its underworld of spies, blackmailers, cultists, petty thieves and pitiless murderers.

Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. Returning to London in search of his lost beloved, his journey brings him face-to-face with Pinkerton, and what he learns of his lover’s fate will force him to confront a past - and a grief - he thought long buried.

Epic in scope, brilliantly conceived and vividly atmospheric, "By Gaslight" is a riveting literary historical crime thriller portrait of two men on the brink. Shrouded in secrets, betrayals and deceptions, this is the story of the most unlikely of bonds: between William Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Adam Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

The identity of the woman found in various body parts in the Thames is thought to be Charlotte Reckitt and she was a lover of Edward Shade a man that Pinkerton has been hunting for many years since his father Allan Pinkerton used him as an agent in his secret service during the American Civil War.

The book alternates between the back story of the various members of the Pinkerton family and the founding of their detective agency in Chicago in the 1850s by Allan Pinkeron, who was originally born in Glasgow. It details his work during the Civil War and his recruiting of Edward Shade whom he is very close to, almost as a son. The story also alternates with the back story of Adam Foole and his confederates.

The many adventures recounted over the 750 pages of this book made the time taken to read it seem very short. The research the author must have done is highly impressive as the book is incredibly atmospheric and the details of each scene are so exact that it is wonderfully evocative of the mid-nineteenth century. The description of the thick London smog is absolutely amazing. It brought back to me memories of being a very small child in such weather conditions and the difficulty of seeing beyond a few feet in front of me as I was walked along the streets by a parent and being told to keep my scarf over my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in the sooty fog. There are scenes, vividly described in the London sewers which are also very harrowing.

The book is very long but I was totally gripped as I was led by this very talented author back and forth over the history of the very richly drawn characters whether in London, Capetown or Chicago. If I had a criticism it was just that there perhaps should have been a glossary of the different characters as I found it somewhat confusing initially until I was completely immersed in the story.

This Canadian author's earlier book Into The Darkness, was short-listed for 2012 BC Fiction Prize. He lives and works at the University Of Victoria, Canada, where he teaches poetry and fiction. I look forward to reading further books from this very talented writer.

I thought this was the one of the most atmospheric historical mystery books that I have read in years and I'm sure that this will be one of my best reads of 2016. Strongly recommended.

Terry Halligan, November 2016.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Some 1975 Titles (for Past Offences)

The latest monthly challenge over at Past Offences is to read a book in November, published in 1975. Here are some British/European crime titles to choose from, first published in English in 1975, pulled from my database. This information is correct to the best of my knowledge however please do double check dates before spending any cash!:
Catherine Aird - Slight Mourning
Peter Alding - Six Days to Death
Ted Allbeury - Palomino Blonde (aka Omega-Minus)
Ted Allbeury - The Special Collection
James Anderson - The Affair of the Blood Stained Egg Cosy
Meg Elizabeth Atkins - By the North Door
Pierre Audemars - And One for the Dead
Michael Bar-Zohar - The Spy Who Died Twice
Simon Brett - Cast, in Order of Disappearance
W J Burley - Wycliffe and the Pea-green Boat
Margaret Carr - Too Close for Comfort
Agatha Christie - Curtain
Peter Conway - Hostages to Fortune
Peter Conway - Murder in Duplicate
David Craig - The Albion Case
David Craig - A Dead Liberty
Eileen Dewhurst - Death Came Smiling
Colin Dexter - Last Bus to Woodstock
Madelaine Duke - Death of a Holy Murderer
Dick Francis - High Stakes
Nicolas Freeling - What Are the Bugles Blowing For? (apa The Bugles Blowing)
Tim Heald - Deadline
Veronica Heley - Scream for Sarah
Reginald Hill - April Shroud
Reginald Hill - Beyond the Bone (apa Urn Burial and written as Patrick Ruell)
Alan Hunter - Gently with Love
P D James - The Black Tower
H R F Keating - A Remarkable Case of Burglary
Bill Knox - Rally to Kill
Peter Lovesey - Case of Spirits
Jessica Mann - Captive Audience
Simon Myles - The Big Hit
Stella Phillips - Dear Brother, Here Departed
Jeremy Potter - Disgrace and Favour
Ruth Rendell - Shake Hands Forever
Judith Rothman - With Murder in Mind
Gerald Seymour - Harry's Game
Sjöwall & Wahlöö - The Terrorists
Janwillem Van de Wetering - Outsider in Amsterdam
Alan Williams - Gentleman Traitor
Margaret Yorke - The Small Hours of the Morning
There are more suggestions in the comments on the Past Offences page.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan, June 2016, 352 pages, Michael Joseph, ISBN: 0718183754

Reviewed by Susan White.
(Read more of Susan's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Margo Lewis is a Classics and English teacher at a small private school and also writes an agony column for the local newspaper. Her life is in turmoil since her husband of three years has left her to live with his boss and now he wants a divorce. Katie Browne, a pupil at the school, leaves home after an argument with her step-father and disappears and then Margo starts to receives letters from a Bethan Avery asking Margo to help rescue her. She claims to be held as a captive in a cellar by a man who she says will kill her. Margo takes the letters to the police and discovers that Bethan Avery is indeed a missing schoolgirl - but she went missing twenty years previously.

Margo is contacted by Dr Martin Forrester, a criminologist who is assisting the police in their investigation into the letters and advises her that a link is being made between the disappearances of Katie and Bethan and that of several other young girls over the years, and asks for her help. Working with Martin brings Margo into the public eye and some unwelcome attention. Margo has a chequered past having run away from home herself and has a history of depression and insomnia. She finds her life spiralling out of control as the search for Bethan and Katie takes over her life and her paranoia increases - is she really being followed? Will she have to sell her house, that she has worked so hard for, to pay off her husband? Who can she trust when even her best friend, Lily, doesn't seem to believe her?

This is a very assured first novel. The style and complexity of the story reminded me of Sophie Hannah, although without the complexity of that author's writing. A good entertaining read.

Susan White, November 2016

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

New Releases - November 2016

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in November 2016 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). November and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything do please leave a comment.
• Anthology - Echoes of Sherlock Holmes (ed.s Laurie R King & Leslie S Klinger)
• Anthology - Murder under the Christmas Tree (ed. Cecily Gayford)
• Bauer, Belinda - The Beautiful Dead
• Black, Saul - Lovemurder #2 Valerie Hart, Homicide Detective
• Blackhurst, Jenny - Before I Let You In
• Child, Lee - Night School #21 Jack Reacher, ex MP, USA
• Clarke, Angela - Watch Me #2 DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton
• de Jager, Anja - A Cold Case in Amsterdam Central #2 Lotte Meerman, a Cold Case Detective, Amsterdam
• Doherty, P C - A Pilgrimage to Murder #17 Brother Athelstan
• Dunn, Matthew - A Soldier's Revenge #6 Will Cochrane, Super-spy
• Ellis, Kate - A High Mortality of Doves
• Eriksson, Kjell - Stone Coffin #3 Detective Ann Lindell, Uppsala, Sweden
• Finch, Charles - The Inheritance #10 Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer
• Fortin, Sue - The Girl Who Lied
• Fraser, Anthea - Retribution #10 Rona Parish
• Gaind, Arjin - A Very Pukka Murder #1 Maharajah Mysteries
• Garrett, A D - Truth Will Out #3 DI Kate Simms, Manchester
• Griffiths, Elly - The Blood Card #3 Stephens and Mephisto, Brighton, 1950s
• Hamdy, Adam - Pendulum #1 John Wallace
• Hannah, Mari - Gallows Drop #6 Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels
• Harrison, Cora - An Unjust Judge #14
• Ireland, D E - Get Me to the Grave On Time #3 Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins
• Johnstone, Doug - Crash Land
• Kelly, Stephen - The Wages of Desire #2 Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb, World War II
• Kray, Roberta - Exposed
• Lebor, Adam - The Reykjavik Assignment #4 Yael Azoulay
• Mariani, Scott - The Devil's Kingdom #14 Ben Hope, Ex-SAS
• Marsons, Angela - Blood Lines #5 DI Kim Stone
• Mills, Mark - Where Dead Men Meet
• Morrell, David - Ruler of the Night #3 Thomas De Quincey, Victorian London
• Mountain, Fiona - The Storyteller's Daughter
• Norman, Hilary - Whirlwind
• O'Sullivan, Ronnie - Framed
• Perry, Anne - A Christmas Message
• Quinn, Anthony J - Trespass #4 Celcius Daly, Police Inspector, Northern Ireland
• Rankin, Ian - Rather Be the Devil #21 Inspector Rebus, Edinburgh
• Roll, Liselotte - Good Girls Don't Tell #1 Inspector Magnus Kalo
• Scarrow, Simon - Invictus #15 Macro and Cato, Roman soldiers
• Smith, Frank - Dead Weight #11 Detective Chief Inspector Neil Paget
• Stridsberg, Sara - The Gravity of Love
• Vichi, Marco - Death in the Tuscan Hills #5 Inspector Bordelli, Florence, 1960s
• Wilkinson, Kerry - No Place Like Home
• Wilson, Sam - Zodiac

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Crime on the Radio

There are a few crime programmes available on listen again/download via iPlayer at the moment:

1. 21 Shades of Noir: Lee Child on John D MacDonald (16 days left)
As the author of the internationally renowned Jack Reacher series, Lee Child knows how to draw his readers into a story.

And for decades he's been intrigued by the unusual life of John D MacDonald. Born in 1916, MacDonald was from a comfortable Pennsylvanian family. He went to Harvard and worked in naval intelligence during The Second World War. mustering out as a Lieutenant Colonel. It was what the British would call "a good war".

But Lee Child has always been confused by what happened next. With the pick of General Motors, IBM or maybe even The Pentagon before him - this Harvard MBA promptly spent five months, sitting at a table and hammering out pulp fiction, losing five stone in the process.

After 800,000 words and constant toil he managed to sell a story for $25 dollars. Writing under dozens of pen-names John D rode the paperback boom, crafting more than 60 novels in all and creating what Lee Child considers to be his greatest creation - the 21 novels featuring his world-weary "salvage consultant" and righter of wrongs, Travis McGee.

Lee Child considers the mystery at the heart of John D's work, and the mysterious life of one of popular fiction's most enigmatic authors.

2a. Meet James McLevy (11 days left)

How it all began - a remake of the first episode of the Victorian detective drama featuring Inspector James McLevy - which first aired on Radio 4 in 1999.

Written by David Ashton.

Starring Brian Cox and Siobhan Redmond

The death of a bank manager from a heart attack might have seemed straightforward enough - except he was found dead and naked in the Water of Leith. When it's revealed that the man was last seen trying to "save" girls in a brothel run by Jean Brash, McLevy's suspicions are aroused. Assisted by Constable Mulholland, newly arrived from Ireland, McLevy investigates.

2b. Four new episodes of McLevy (13 to 16 days left)

3. Short story by Sarah Hilary: Snip-snip (27 days left)
When ten year old Nicky finds himself aboard a boat from his homeland of Russia en route to England where a life of promised adventures and the opportunity to play football awaits, he inadvertently stumbles on a dark, sinister, and terrifying secret.

Sarah Hilary takes us into an ominous and disturbing hidden world in her latest story for Radio 4. Sarah is the author of the Marnie Rome series of crime novels, the first of which, 'Someone Else's Skin' won the 2015 Crime Novel of the Year Award.

4. There are also two Doctor Who serials available for a few more days: Protect and Survive, and Fanfare for the Common Men and not forgetting Doctor Who spin-off Class which began airing on BBC Three on Saturday.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Baker's Dozen of the Tiniest of Reviews

On my desk, I have a pile of books which I've read and not yet reviewed. Some have been there months. As I can barely remember the plots, I will just be giving very brief comments on what I felt about them. In alphabetical order:

1/2/3. M C Beaton - Agatha Raisin: There Goes the Bride/ Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body/Agatha Raisin: As the Pig Turns.
I'm still about 5 books behind in the Agatha Raisin series. These are numbers 20 to 22 in the series, which I read in effort to get up to date (and failed); there's only so many books you can read in the same series back to back. I went back to these for a comfort read, a sense of knowing what'll you'll get.
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars each.

4. Samuel Bjork - I'm Travelling Alone tr. Charlotte Barslund
I had such high hopes for this one. It was getting positive comments from other readers but for me it didn't flow. The chapters alternated between different characters and some of the chapters were deadly dull and held up the momentum of the main storyline. I like the police detectives so I will give the sequel, out in 2017, a go.
My Good Reads rating is 2 stars.

5. Andrea Camilleri - Angelica's Smile tr. Stephen Sartarelli
This is the seventeenth in the Montalbano series. For me, Montalbano's romantic entanglements with much younger women are becoming tiresome but that aside, this is another enjoyable outing.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

6/7. Lee Child - Personal/Make Me
Numbers 19 and 20 in the series. I have read about a third of the Jack Reacher books. My favourite is still Without Fail. Personal is set quite a bit in the UK so occasionally suffers from some over-explanations for non-UK readers which feels a bit clunky at times. The plot is ok and his female sidekick in this book is a little different to the usual model. I found Make Me to be quite drawn out. I did enjoy the companion book, Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me by Andy Martin - well the bits I could understand; it was a bit overly academic in parts. Read it after Make Me though!
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars each (and 4 stars for Andy Martin's book.)

8. Kati Hiekkapelto - The Defenceless tr. David Hackston
This is the second in the Anna Fekete series, which like its predecessor, The Hummingbird, was shortlisted for the Petrona Award. This is an excellent series which typifies the best of Scandinavian crime fiction with its focus on social issues.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

9. Anne Holt - Dead Joker tr. Anne Bruce.
This is the fifth in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series. First published in 1999 and now in English in 2015. Thanks to the efforts of Corvus all 8 books in this series are now available in English. This outing is quite an emotional one for Hanne (and the reader).
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars.

10. Robert Karjel - My Name is N (apa The Swede) tr. Nancy Pick & Robert Karjel
I really liked this debut which introduces Swedish Security Police Officer Ernst Grip though most of the story is not set in Sweden but in Thailand, the US or an island military base. Quite a tense read with Grip having a major secret to keep from the Americans. Looks like it'll be a year or two until the sequel unfortunately.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

11. M R C Kasasian - Death Descends on Saturn Villa
This is the third in this entertaining series starring Sidney Grice, London's only personal detective, and his young ward March Middleton. In this entry things don't go so well for March and Mr Grice has to save the day and take over narrating duties.
My Good Reads rating is 5 stars.

12. Jo Nesbo - Midnight Sun tr. Neil Smith
After the chilly Blood on Snow, this warm follow-up introduces a likeable but criminal young man who is on the run and ends up in the land of the midnight sun. Contains the usual well-constructed set pieces.
My Good Reads rating is 4 stars.

13. Kristina Ohlsson - Hostage tr. Marlaine Delargy.
My colleague Michelle has already reviewed Hostage. I too enjoy this series though I found this one a bit overlong at 500 pages.
My Good Reads rating is 3 stars.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl tr. K E Semmel

The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl translated by K E Semmel, October 2016, 480 pages, Hardback, Oneworld Publications, ISBN: 1780748892

Reviewed by Lynn Harvey.
(Read more of Lynn's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

For a long time he just wanted to be left alone. Without smiling. Without any kind of pleasure. Not even the sunshine or the starlight. He lay quietly, dispassionately observing the sky. But in the end this proved difficult. In the end the small pleasures found him.

New Year’s Eve, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.
The mountainside surrounding Erhard’s shack is completely dark and silent. It’s why Erhard Jørgensen, el ermitano, has loved living here for nearly eighteen years. Just him and the two goats, Laurel and Hardy. After more drinking Erhard decides he needs a girlfriend; a warm body, company. But he doesn’t have much to offer. In a few years she would have to empty his pot, shave him and pull off his shoes at the end of a day’s driving the taxi. Erhard thinks of Raul and Beatriz preparing for their New Year party, an invitation he refused. Beatriz’s perfume. No, he will think about the hairdresser’s daughter whom he has never met and seen only once; think of her sitting at his dinner table. Much too young. Thirty years difference. Not his type. He doesn’t know why he thinks of her so much. It must be the fault of her mother, the hairdresser. She is always talking about her, suggesting it’s time she found someone, someone like him. She even tells him where her daughter lives. Maybe he should drive over there now. Invite her out, get this over with. Erhard knows its the drink talking but he gets up and jams his legs into a pair of trousers from the clothes line. The goats run off into the darkness.

Erhard’s car hurtles down the mountain track towards the city and he swerves to avoid a goat. Was that Hardy? Surely not so far from the shack? Distracted, he doesn’t notice the oncoming car until too late. It swooshes past him, knocking his side mirror flat. He shouts at the car in Danish, rolling down his window to straighten the shattered mirror. That car looked like Bill Haji’s. Never mind, he must get to the hairdresser’s daughter.

The windows of her apartment are dark. Erhard walks to a familiar bar, orders a Rusty Nail and buys a round for the two olive farmers in the corner. At a quarter to midnight, he pays his bill and walks back to the hairdresser’s daughter’s flat. He can hear quiet sounds within the apartment and he raps on the door, catching sight of his wrinkled face in the nameplate as he does so. What has he got to offer? “I’m coming,” calls a soft voice from inside the apartment. And Erhard panics, running down the stairs and into the street, hugging the walls, fumbling his way into his car. He drives out of the city, back to his mountain, foot to the floor and only applies the brakes when his headlights pick out a giant turtle shape in the middle of the rough track. Bill Haji’s car, upside down, shattered windows, one of its doors hanging open. Erhard gets out. The sky explodes with the city’s midnight fireworks and as his eyes readjust to the darkness Erhard spots movement around the upturned car. Wild dogs, perhaps part of a pack still out there in the darkness. And he sees Haji’s body, what’s left of his face. Then a glint in the darkness, gold, a spark ignited by the firework bursts: Haji’s distinctive ring, on the ground near one of the wheels – embedded into the flesh of Haji’s severed finger. Erhard reaches for the finger. The feasting dogs growl. He goes back to his car and presses its wheezing horn, enough, momentarily, to drive the dogs away. He hurries back, lies down, stretches out and reaches for the finger whilst staring into Haji’s ruined face and eyes. Find the boy. A voice clear in his head. The whining of the dogs becomes agitated. He grabs the finger and backs off to his car. Nine plus one equals ten; his own nine fingers and Bill Haji’s one. Ten fingers. He is whole again...

The plot trigger for Erhard Jørgensen – 67 years old, Danish ex-pat, nine-fingered piano tuner, taxi driver and central figure of Thomas Rydahl’s novel THE HERMIT – is a drunken excursion with his friends, Raul and Beatriz, one stormy night, to watch the lightning down on the coast. But they find instead a crowd gathered round the spectacle of a stranded car. A police team with lights are examining its back seat and a cardboard box containing the body of a dead infant in a nest of newspaper cuttings – Danish newspaper cuttings. Soon the police are at Erhard’s door, asking for help with translating the cuttings found with the dead child. But when they quickly close the case – who wants the tragic story of a child’s death in a resort struggling to keep its tourist trade? – Erhard is driven to find answers. How did the car get onto the beach? Where and who is the mother? The hunt draws Erhard into conflict with powerful, unscrupulous men. It also begins the slow, painful process of stripping him of his Hermit status and forcing him back into some kind of relationship with the world.

Danish writer and translator Thomas Rydahl’s own inspirations are writers such as Paul Auster, Haruki Murakami and the character-strong qualities of Stephen King. Even though would-be publishers asked for more of a genre approach in his novel writing, it wasn’t his intention to write a crime novel. But one day he spotted a guitar in a cab-driver’s boot and Erhard Jørgensen was born. And in telling Erhard’s story, Rydahl found he had become “a crime writer”. So much so that in 2015 THE HERMIT became the first début novel to win a Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel. Television rights have already been sold and Rydahl has finished the second in what he hopes to be a trilogy featuring Jørgensen.

THE HERMIT reads well in this translation by K E Semmel – translator of Karin Fossum and Jussi Adler Olsen amongst others. It is a fascinating novel, rich in characters, which combines menace with empathy as it twists towards its conclusion driven by Erhard's impulsive, unpredictable character and his struggle with his own entrenched “Hermit” existence. A big book, I nevertheless loved reading it and can’t recommend it highly enough to fans of Nordic Noir searching for a warmer climate.

Lynn Harvey, October 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

TV News: Books that Made Britain

The East Anglia edition of the Books that Made Britain focuses on crime writers, D L Sayers, PD James, Henry Sutton and Nicci French.

Watch it and the other ten episodes via iPlayer.

[Of the eleven episodes, it's disappointing that only three are presented by women.]

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cover Theme - Women Silhouetted in Windows

The left-hand covers pre-date their right-hand counterparts.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

TV News: The Code is back

The second series of Australian drama, The Code, begins on BBC Four at 9pm on Saturday 22 October. It was shown on Australian tv last month.
Here's the synopsis for the first of the six episodes:
Hoping to escape the storm they unleashed previously, bruised but essentially scot-free, Jesse and Ned Banks are confronted with the terrifying possibility of being extradited to the US to face serious charges in an American court. Fortunately for the Banks brothers, Australian National Security is sitting on an explosive case they cannot crack, and Jesse might just be the man to do it.

Brilliant, mercurial Jan Roth (Anthony LaPaglia) hosts a hidden online bazaar of illicit weapons, drugs and dangerous ideas. Exchanging his hacker skills for their freedom, Jesse and Ned are drawn into Roth's dark world that could not only cost their own lives, but all that they hold dear.
The second episode follow hot on the heels of episode one, at 9.55pm the same night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CWA Dagger Winners 2016

From the official press release, the CWA Dagger Winners 2016 were announced last night:
CWA Daggers Awarded in Glittering Ceremony on Oct 11

All 10 winners of this year’s CWA Daggers were announced at a glittering black-tie occasion at the Grange City Hotel in Cooper’s Row, London on October 11.

The CWA Daggers, which are probably the awards crime writers and publishers alike most wish to win, are awarded every year in 10 categories but this was the first time in many years that all 10 were announced at the same occasion.

The Diamond Dagger, for a career’s outstanding contribution to crime fiction as nominated by CWA members, was announced earlier in the year and was awarded to chart-topper author Peter James, who received the stunning Cartier Diamond Dagger.

The other nine Dagger winners are as follows.

Goldsboro Gold – for the best crime novel of the year: Bill Beverly with Dodgers

Ian Fleming Steel – for the best crime thriller of the year; Don Winslow with The Cartel

John Creasey New Blood – for the best debut crime novel; Bill Beverly with Dodgers

Endeavour Historical – for the best historical crime novel; David Young with Stasi Child

Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction – for non-fiction crime; Andrew Hankinson with You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]

Short Story – for a short crime story published in the UK; John Connolly with On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from Nocturnes 2: Night Music

International – for crime fiction translated into English and published in the UK; Pierre Lemaître with The Great Swindle, translated by Frank Wynne

Dagger in the Library – for the author of the most enjoyed collection of work in libraries; Elly Griffiths

Debut Dagger sponsored by Orion Books – for the opening of a crime novel by a writer with no publishing contract at time of submission: Mark Brandi with Wimmera.

The after-dinner speaker was James Runcie, author of The Grantchester Mysteries and Master of Ceremonies was leading crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw, author of Brit Noir. Both entertained the assembled audience of authors, publishers, literary agents, CWA members and crime writing fans to the full!