The Dark Valley: Valerio Varesi translator Joseph Farrell
This is the official CWA International Dagger Shortlist of which I have now read five out of the six. I am not going to read The Dark Valley as I don’t think it is a contender based on Maxine of Petrona’s excellent review, and my own reading of the first book in the series, River of Shadows.
Of the remaining five books I really enjoyed I Will Have Vengeance, which is also shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Historical Award, and was pleasantly surprised it was shortlisted for the International Dagger. My own personal interests in Italian opera and Italian history [and Italian food] were obviously shared by the judges.
The Potter’s Field is the best and funniest offering from Andrea Camilleri in the Montalbano series for some time, and perhaps a good outside bet.
Phantom seems to have a big following in the Eurocrime polls, but I was a little disappointed with this one. It lacked the cleverly intertwined plot of Trackers, or the atmospheric feeling and tension of Until Thy Wrath Be Past. I may well be in a minority of one on this, but I will be shocked if a brilliant book like Trackers does not get the recognition and the award it deserves. The result will be announced on the 7 July 2012, along with the Ellis Peters Historical Award. [more on that later in the month]