Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Favourite Euro Crime Reads of 2016 - Mark

Here are Mark's favourite British/European/translated reads of 2016:
Mark Bailey's favourite reads of 2016

In alphabetical order by author:

The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths
Personally, I am a big fan of the Ruth Galloway novels but should warn you that this is best enjoyed if you are following the series through in order but I still do think you can pick up most of the background needed to enjoy the novel as you go along. There is the usual excellent characterisation that one expects in Elly Griffiths’ books that gives you believable albeit flawed but ultimately likeable ongoing main protagonists (Ruth Galloway, Harry Nelson and Cathbad especially in this one) along with a sufficiently twisty plot to keep you engaged and a well-researched backdrop to hang the story on.
If you have a liking for modern cozies with a hint of grit than I would strongly recommend this to you.

Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah
This gets in as a most improved series as my issues with The Monogram Murders have been partly addressed. Edward Catchpool is now a much more rounded character who is a friend to Poirot – speaking of which the fussy Poirot we know and love is back which may be due in part to the Country House milieu of this novel and the book is a bit tighter which might be due to it being shorter (I reckon it is about 6% shorter). The plot still does rely however on Poirot making some leaps of logic that are perhaps a teensy bit heroic if one is being kind. I am optimistic that similar improvements on a third Poirot book by Sophie Hannah will get it into my Top 5 purely on merit.

Rain Dogs (Sean Duffy 5) by Adrian McKinty
Technically this was published in the UK in very late 2015 but January is Sean Duffy reading time for me (number six is being read at the moment). Again this a very assured police procedural with multiple serious themes (the peace process is still in the background, economic regeneration is in the middle and a political cover up in the foreground) and great writing which is strongly literate but still keeps you engaged and turning the page.

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin
Rebus is back in his twenty-first novel appearance and is retired once again and his memories are turning to past events – one of those is a murder in the Caledonian Hotel forty years ago.
It is an utterly compelling and gripping read which I read worryingly quickly as you get engrossed in the book by both the characters and the plot lines. The ending does set up the series for more novels very nicely.

Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste
This is the fifth in the Murphy and Rossi police procedural series set in Liverpool.
They are investigating the disappearance of a politician which turns into a serial killer case with political underpinnings. This is a tight well written novel with strong well drawn characters which grabs your attention and keeps you turning the page (or clicking the Kindle).

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