Archive for July 3, 2012

While other bloggers, voracious readers all, are picking their best ten reads of the half year I haven’t read enough books to attempt that task. My total is a mere 25 crime fiction books during the first half of the year. Life’s events seem to get in the way of reading, and I have a Himalayan pile of books to read for the rest of the year. 

Of my 25 books; 15 were translated, 8 by female authors, and 8 by new authors to me. Some of my old favourites disappointed me, and some of the new authors will have me looking for their next books. Maurizio De Giovanni, Lene Kaaberbol & Agnete Friis, Sergios Gakas, Kristina Ohlsson, and Gordon Ferris were new writers e who grabbed my interest. Maurizio De Giovanni’s I Will Have Vengeance has been shortlisted for the International Dagger and Ellis Peters Awards, which was especially pleasing as I wrote in my review that:

This is top quality crime fiction beautifully written by Maurizio De Giovanni, who incidentally does not claim pretensions to literature, and admires both Ed McBain and his compatriot Gianrico Carofiglio. It is unobtrusively translated by the experienced Anne Milano Appel and is a easy read. The story is packed with incidents and larger than life characters. It has a simple but gripping plot  that cleverly blends in with the operas. It is also full  of information for those who are not opera buffs, and is a commentary on the vast social divides that existed in the 1930s. As an amateur reviewer I am at liberty to say I really enjoyed this novel, especially the intriguing character of Ricciardi and the promise of romance for him in the future with the shy woman Enrica, who he watches through his window.

Among my “old friends” there were some excellent books from Asa Larsson, Aly Monroe, Andrea Camilleri, Gianrico Carofiglio, Arnaldur Indridason, Liza Marklund, Hakan Nesser, Rebecca Cantrell , Reginald Hill, and Philip Kerr. I still can’t understand why Indridason’s Outrage wasn’t on the CWA International Dagger shortlist. 

But surprisingly the most enjoyable book I have read so far in 2012 was one I was expecting to struggle with, but it greatly exceeded my expectations. 

Leif G.W. Persson’s Another Time, Another Life: The Story of a Crime has a blurb on the back cover from Dagens Arbete telling the reader that it is ‘one of the best detective novels ever written in Sweden’, and this amateur reviewer agrees with that opinion. I really enjoyed this superb crime novel and recaptured my reading ‘mojo’ polishing it off  in four days.

Read the full review here.