Another busy month of reading, partly because of holidays and children’s illnesses, when I wasn’t able to do much else. Not so much reviewing, although some of the crime novels below will be reviewed on Crime Fiction Lover. A lot of rather dark reading, too, as befits this time of year. I have travelled all over the globe via books.
Crime fiction set in diverse locations
- Dan Fesperman: Lie in the Dark – Sarajevo under siege, who cares about a murder when people are dying every day?
- Yasmina Khadra: Qu’attendent les singes (What are monkeys waiting for?) – the impossibility of investigating murder honestly and openly in politically corrupt Algeria
- Johan Theorin: The Voices Beyond (transl. Marlaine Delargy) – vengeance and deadly rivalry on the island of Öland in Sweden
- Margie Orford: Water Music – crimes against young women and children in the beautiful surroundings of Cape Town
- Brooke Magnanti: The Turning Tide – London and the Hebrides alternate in this entertaining cross between chick-lit and political thriller
- T.R. Richmond: What She Left – suicide or murder of a young student at Southampton University?
- Angela Clarke: Follow Me – social media stalking and hashtag murdering in London
- Alison Bruce: The Promise – death of a homeless man opens up a can of worms in Cambridge
- Ian Rankin: Standing in Another Man’s Grave – Rebus is back and investigating a serial killer along the A9 heading north of Edinburgh
- Raphael Montes: Perfect Days – a crazy road trip with your kidnapper through Brazil
- Padraig Rooney: The Gilded Chalet: Off Piste in Literary Switzerland
- Andrew Solomon: The Noonday Demon – a personal account into depression, but also an investigation into how depression is perceived and handled in the US and other parts of the world
- Anne Theriault: My Heart Is an Autumn Garage – a memoir of depression and hospitalisation in Canada
- Julian Barnes: The Noise of Time – a fictional account of the life and compromises of Shostakovich in the Soviet Union
- Jenny Erpenbeck: Gehen, Ging, Gegangen (Go, Going, Gone) – understanding the challenges of being a refugee in Germany
- Christos Tsiolkas: Dead Europe – an Aussie travelling through a rapidly changing Europe which has lost its innocence
- Lauren Holmes: Barbara the Slut and Other People – young Americans trying to find a purpose to life
- Anthony Anaxagorou: The Blink that Killed the Eye – life, art and death in an impoverished British society
The three crime reads which I most enjoyed were Margie Orford, Ian Rankin and Dan Fesperman, but I would find it difficult to choose between the three of them for a Crime Fiction Pick of the Month. The best book for dipping into was The Gilded Chalet – a real coffee table book if you have any interest in literature or Switzerland. Finally, the most memorable books of the month were by Julian Barnes, Anthony Anaxagorou and Jenny Erpenbeck.