The Month That Was July 2017

You can tell it’s holiday season, as my reading has slipped into crime more often than not. Out of the 11 books I read this past month, 8 have been crime-related and only 4 of those were for reviewing purposes. Sadly, only two books were in translation, although this was not a deliberate decision. The gender ratio is somewhat better with 6 1/2 female authors (one half of Nicci French).

Crime fiction

Nicci French: Saturday Requiem – a moving entry to the series, as Frieda Klein’s compassion comes to the fore, rather than just her stubbornness and recklessness

Paula Lennon: Murder in Montego Bay  – for fans of Death in Paradise, but showing a grittier view of Jamaican island life

LV Hay: The Other Twin – life, death, gender issues and social media in Brighton

Mary Angela: Passport to Murder – cosy campus crime, review to follow soon on CFL

Robert B. Parker: Bad Business – not the best in the Spenser series, this story of adultery and business interests is nevertheless full of the trademark humour and sharp wit

Helen Cadbury: Bones in the Nest – I will be forever sorry that this series will not run for longer, as Sean Denton is such an endearing hero. In this book his POV is matched by another compelling character, the hapless Chloe, recently released from prison.

Sandrone Dazieri: Kill the Father, transl. Antony Shugaar – not for those of a squeamish disposition, since it deals with child kidnapping, yet it manages to refrain from all too graphic descriptions of that. A wowser of a thriller, with two complex and entertaining main characters, who are a delight when they interact with each other and with other members of the police in passionate Italian fashion. Review coming soon to CFL. But shame on Simon & Schuster for not naming the translator on either the cover or the title page!

Emmanuel Carrère: The Adversary, transl. Linda Coverdale – reread this in English translation for CFL, as it has recently been reissued. I hope that means that other translations of works by this author are forthcoming, as he is interesting both as a fiction and non-fiction writer. I have a personal interest in this story, of course, as I lived for five years in the area where this tragedy took place.

Other Reading:

Jane Austen: Persuasion – still my favourite Jane Austen novel, it is sweet, mature, restrained and so precise in its description of near hopelessness

Anthony Cartwright: The Cut

Naomi Alderman: The Power – great premise, enjoyable and thought-provoking read, but slightly too long and too much jumping around from one point of view to the other. The ending also felt a bit of a cop-out.

Undoubtedly, my (re)read of the month was Persuasion – there can be no competition! Meanwhile, my favourite crime read (if I take aside The Adversary, which was a reread) was probably Bones in the Nest.

Plans for August

I do want to take part in #WIT – Women in Translation Month, and have all the Japanese novellas lined up for that purpose, as well as Romanian author Ileana Vulpescu. However, I also want to catch up with #EU27Project, which I have shamefully neglected. And, of course, write and edit, which I haven’t been able to do much this past month. Let’s see how it goes!

21 thoughts on “The Month That Was July 2017”

  1. Don’t know. If I think of it I (nearly) would write the same as for S&S. The same things I like, the same I dislike. But these are 2 different books

    1. Well, that would make for a very interesting review – compare the two, say what you liked and didn’t like about them and why you think that is! I may be adoring of Jane Austen, but I’m always eager to read other points of view.

      1. I like the language in both. I dislike the love of money in both. And I’m still searching for an interesting plot in both. And I prefer S&S for the wrong reason (just prefer the actors in the cinema adaptation in S&S). But the use of language in both tops every form of critic imaginable.

  2. Glad to see you took the time for some Austen, Marina Sofia. Murder in Montego Bay sounds interesting; I haven’t read enough crime fiction that takes place in Jamaica. OOh, and a Robert B. Parker, too. You had a good reading month.

  3. I just read an article about the Emmanuel Carrère book today. What an extraordinary story. How did he keep his fake job secret for so long?

    1. Having lived in that area myself, I have to admit it’s not all that surprising. There is so much to-ing and fro-ing in that area, transient population, people working there for 2-3 years then moving away again. I find it amazing he managed to keep it from his family and closest friends, but not from the wider social group.

      1. It was his family I was thinking about – I knew he came up with a device to stop his wife calling him ‘at work’ but how did he explain a lack of income?

  4. Many thanks for fitting a review of Murder in Montego Bay into your busy schedule, Marina. Much appreciated! I am busy working on the follow up…

  5. Ooh, I remember you talking about The Adversary and your connection to it before it was translated – still makes me shiver! And happily, I seem to have been approved for it on NetGalley… 🙂

  6. Another eclectic mix for our reading pleasure! I will be reading Kill The Father shortly, and thanks for your view on The Power which I have failed to engage with despite trying to read it three times. I’ll give up now! I am now also inspired to seek out an Austen to re-read…

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