findingtimetowrite

Thinking, writing, thinking about writing…

Crime Fiction Pick of July

Come and join me over at Mysteries in Paradise, led by the very able and well-read Kerrie, to see what everyone has been reading this month.  In my case, fewer books got read this month, for a very simple reason called school holidays!

Even fewer got reviewed, so let me just add a sentence or two about my thoughts for each one:

1) Bernard Minier: The Frozen Dead

A strange tale involving a decapitated  horse, a serial killer and a mental asylum in the Pyrenees. Exciting read to cool off during the hot summer months (it takes place in winter, as you might have guessed from the title).  Full review will be shortly available on Crime Fiction Lover.

2) Frédérique Molay: The 7th Woman

Gokan3) Diniz Galhos: Gōkan  (in French, no English translation available yet)

Tarantino-like crime caper set in Japan, involving an American assassin, a French professor from the Sorbonne, grumpy yakuza chasing each other and a bottle of saké belonging to (you guessed it!) Quentin Tarantino.  Dynamic, explosive and just a shade incomprehensible.

4) Denise Mina: Garnethill

How did I ever miss this series?  A fantastic narrative voice, plunging you into the gritty world of low-paid jobs, drugs and Glasgow squalour. Not as grim as it sounds: ultimately hopeful and uplifting.

5) Karin Fossum: Calling Out for You (a.k.a. The Indian Bride)

Almost unbearably sad story about settled, peaceful middle-aged Norwegian man Gunder Jomann and his Indian bride, who gets murdered as soon as she arrives in the country.  It was disturbing to see how evil deeds can arise out of nowhere, in the apparently most peaceful little town in one of the safest countries in the world.  Not your average police procedural, and one that will haunt me for weeks to come.

6) Orhan Pamuk: The Museum of Innocence – will get a review of its own for my Works in Translation Challenge.

midas7) Anne Zouroudi: The Taint of Midas

Not as cosy as you might think at first sight, given the idyllic location of the Greek islands, the authoritative presence of the investigator Hermes Diaktoros and the overall charm of the author’s writing style.  The ‘whodunit’ component was not quite compelling enough, but this is a book to savour for its characters, descriptions and telling details.  Perfect holiday read, in the best sense of the word.

8) M.C. Grant: Devil with a Gun

Another great holiday read, this time a would-be noir set in San Francisco, featuring the Russian mafia and starring Dixie Flynn, the most feisty, witty, don’t care-ish female detective (actually, a journalist) since V.I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone.  Review coming up on Crime Fiction Lover.

9) The PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories 2012

The quality of the stories is not in doubt, but I was somewhat disappointed by the uniformity of the selection.  All the stories were rather wistful and nostalgic, all a bit oblique – sometimes too much so, to the point where I felt like saying ‘So what?’.  But perhaps that’s just me being obtuse.

FossumHappy to say that half of my reads were by women authors this month, and four of them were originally written in another language.  And my Crime Pick of the Month?  It’s a tie between Denise Mina and Karin Fossum, very hard to choose,  but perhaps the Fossum book will linger in my memory longest.

 

 

Single Post Navigation

8 thoughts on “Crime Fiction Pick of July

  1. Marina Sofia – Oh, you’ve read some terrific books this month, school holidays or not. I completely agree that Garnethill and Calling Out For You are excellent books. They’re quite different, but both have terrific characters and such a sense of atmosphere. And I liked the Molay, too. I think you made a terrific choice for your top read.

    • It has been a good reading month – if lacking in quantity, it was made up for in quality. I enjoyed the Molay too and The Frozen Dead, in fact there wasn’t one that wasn’t worth reading!

  2. very cool…esp. the french one sounds really good…unfortunately my french’s not good enough to read a whole book…

  3. I’ve been meaning to try Karin Fossum, and your pick is making me move her books up my list :)

  4. Comprehensive, as ever, Marina :)

  5. I’ve just discovered Denise Mina too! At the moment I’m reading “Stalkers” by Paul Finch – a random 99p purchase o9n the Kindle, but really, really pacy and compelling. Bit grim though, but y’know I like that sort of thing! lol

  6. Julia F. on said:

    You’ve missed out on a great serial killer book/psychological thriller!! The book is called “The Gemini Factor” by author Philip Fleishman (http://www.philipfleishmanmd.com/).

    This novel focuses on two seemingly unrelated detectives pushed to their limits whilst investigating the cases of their lifetime. Gruesome identical murders in two different countries and a web of clues that these two detectives can only figure out once fate brings them together. The novel covers mind bending subjects such as the telepathic connection between twins and the relationship between random events. The serial killers have a unique and gruesome “calling card” they leave with their victims. The author’s meticulous attention to detail makes you feel like you’re there witnessing the crime scene and solving the case! highly recommend

Do share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: