2018 in Books

9781408886649Very much determined last year in the reading of Maigret book series, I overlooked most of the books published in 2018 in English. In fact I’ve only read two, if my memory serves me right, Evan Dolan’s This is How It Ends and Camilleri’s The Pyramid of Mud.

It would be preposterous from my side to choose my favourite book, among them. I did enjoyed both of them and This is How it Ends is certainly among the favourite books I’ve read last year. In any case, I do have quite a number of books, on my TBR pile, published last year, to which I’m planning to give them certain preference over the next months. In no particular order:

  1. Cold Breath by Quentin Bates
  2. Friends and Traitors by John Lawton
  3. A Greater God by Brian Stoddart
  4. Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr (read this year)
  5. The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste
  6. Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
  7. Zen and the Art of Murder by Oliver Bottini
  8. Last Year’s Man by Paul D. Brazill
  9. Black Water by Cormac O’Keeffe
  10. Downfall by Margot Kinberg
  11. The Shrouded Path by Sarah Ward

Besides I have on my Wishlist, in no particular order:

  1. London Rules by Mick Herron
  2. Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee
  3. The Lost Man by Jane Harper
  4. The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio
  5. The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson
  6. Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly
  7. Gallows Courts by Martin Edwards
  8. Snap by Belinda Bauer
  9. In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin
  10. The Gravediggers’ Bread by Frederic Dard
  11. Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen
  12. Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard
  13. On the Java Ridge by Jock Serong
  14. The Shadow Killer by Arnaldur Indridason
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My Book Notes: A Deadly Thaw, 2016 (Bampton series #2) by Sarah Ward

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Faber & Faber, 2016. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 646 KB. Print Length: 384 pages. ASIN: B01GQSTMLM. ISBN: 978-0-571-32105-6.

25779.books.origjpgFirst Paragraph: Sunday, 19 September 2004
Lena felt his emotional withdrawal before the physical. He rolled away from her and reached for his phone. ‘You could’ve waited at least five minutes before checking that thing.’ She kept her voice light but could feel his irritation. He kept his face turned away from her, and, in the gloom, she could only see the curls of his too-long hair reflected in the meagre moonlight in through the window.

About the Book: Bampton, Derbyshire, in Autumn 2004 Lena Fisher is arrested for suffocating her husband, Andrew. Spring 2016, a year after Lena’s release from prison, Andrew is found dead in a disused mortuary. Who was the man Lena killed twelve years ago, and who committed the second murder? When Lena disappears, her sister, Kat, sets out to follow a trail of clues delivered by a mysterious teenage boy. Kat must uncover the truth – before there’s another death . . . A Deadly Thaw confirms Sarah Ward’s place as one of the most exciting new crime writers.

My take: A Deadly Paw is Sarah Ward’s second instalment in her police procedural series, featuring DI Sadler, DS Palmer and DC Childs. The story unfolds in 2016. Lena Grey has just been released from prison, after serving her sentence for murdering her husband in 2004. But, when a man’s body is found, shot to death, in an abandoned mortuary, police feels completely disoriented. The dead body turns out to be, beyond any doubt, that of Lena’s husband. Then, who was the original victim? Why did Lena killed him? Why did she said it was her husband? And, who has killed Lena’s husband, twelve years after his supposed death? DI Francis Sadler and his team of the Derbyshire Constabulary, are entrusted to search for answers, but Lena has disappeared without a trace and, after all these years, there are virtually no leads that can help to find out what has really happened. At the same time, Lena’s sister, Kat, has begin to receive strange gifts, whose meaning she fails to decipher.

I feel as having arrived late to the party, after looking at the long list of blogs and bloggers that have praised this novel. The fact is that it has been waiting among my pile of books to be read much too long. Finally I got a chance to read it at the end of last year and it has not disappointed me in the slightest. The plot is solidly crafted, intertwining past and present events, and combining the perspective of the narration with that of the different characters that are present in the novel, what, in my view, enriches the story in an innovative way. Besides, the events described are truly interesting and very much timely nowadays. In a nutshell, with this her second novel, Sarah Ward confirms herself as a very solid writer, to whom I wish a bright future ahead. Now, I trust not to wait that much long in reading her two last novels, that are already among my TBR pile. Highly recommended.

My rating: A (I loved it)

My review of In Bitter Chill is available here.

About the Author: Sarah Ward is the author of four crime novels In Bitter Chill, A Deadly Thaw, A Patient Fury and The Shrouded Path which are set in the Derbyshire Peak District. She is an online book reviewer whose blog, Crimepieces (www.crimepieces.com), reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world. She has also reviewed at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Crime Time, crimesquad.com and Eurocrime. Articles and short stories have appeared in the The Guardian, Sunday Express magazine, Metro, Red Online, Big Issue, Traveller and other publications. Sarah is also one of the judges for The Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel and she particularly loves reading translated crime fiction. In addition to writing and reviewing she also teaches crime fiction workshops, moderates book events and gives talks on Nordic Noir, Golden Age Crime and other aspects of the crime novels. She can be contacted about any of these areas via her contact page. Sarah Ward is represented by Kirsty McLachlan at DGA. She lives in Derbyshire. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahrward1

A Deadly Thaw has been reviewed at Crime Watch, Reactions to Reading, In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, Mrs. Peabody Investigates, Cleopatra Loves Books, Raven Crime Reads, Bitter Tea and Mystery, Crime Fiction Lover, Clothes in Books, Euro Crime, The View from the Blue House, Goodreads Alison Gray’s Review, For winter nights, and Cafe thinking among others.

Faber & Faber UK publicity page

MacMillan publishers US publicity page 

This Deadly Thaw is chilling – Q&A with Sarah Ward 

Sarah Ward – The Author Of A Deadly Thaw On Music To Write Books By

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A Deadly Thaw (Relajación mortal), de Sarah Ward

Primer párrafo: Domingo 19 de septiembre de 2004
Lena sintió su indiferencia emocional antes que la física. Se retiró de ella y alcanzó su teléfono. “Podrías haber esperado al menos cinco minutos antes de comprobar eso”. Ella mantuvo su voz suave pero pudo sentir su irritación. El mantuvo su cara apartada de ella y, en la penumbra, solo podía ver los rizos de su pelo demasiado largo reflejado en la exigua luz de la luna que entraba por la ventana.

Acerca del libro: Bampton, Derbyshire, en otoño de 2004, Lena Fisher es arrestada por asfixiar a su esposo, Andrew. Primavera de 2016, un año después de que Lena ha salido de la cárcel, Andrew es encontrado muerto en un depósito de cadáveres en desuso. ¿Quién fue el hombre al que Lena mató hace doce años y quién cometió este segundo asesinato? Cuando Lena desaparece, su hermana, Kat, se dispone a seguir un rastro de pistas que le entrega un misterioso adolescente. Kat debe descubrir la verdad, antes de que haya otra muerte. . . A Deadly Thaw confirma el lugar de Sarah Ward como una de las nuevas autoras de ficción criminal más interesantes.

Mi opinión: A Deadly Paw es la segunda entrega de Sarah Ward en su serie de procedimientos policiales, portagonizada por el DI Sadler, el DS Palmer y la DC Childs. La historia se desarrolla en el 2016. Lena Gray acaba de salir de la cárcel, tras cumplir condena por asesinar a su marido en el 2004. Pero, cuando aparece el cadáver de un hombre, muerto a tiros, en un depósito de cadáveres abandonado, la policía se encuentra completamente desorientada. El cadáver resulta ser, sin lugar a dudas, el del marido de Lena. Entonces, ¿quién fue la víctima original? ¿Por qué lo mató Lena? ¿Por qué dijo que era su marido? Y, ¿quién ha matado al marido de Lena, doce años después de su supuesta muerte? El DI Francis Sadler y su equipo de la Policía de Derbyshire están encargados de buscar respuestas, pero Lena ha desaparecido sin dejar rastro y, después de todos estos años, prácticamente no hay pistas que puedan ayudar a descubrir qué ha sucedido realmente. Al mismo tiempo, la hermana de Lena, Kat, ha comenzado a recibir extraños regalos, cuyo significado no logra descifrar.

Siento que he llegado tarde a la fiesta, después de mirar la larga lista de blogs y blogueros que han elogiado esta novela. El hecho es que ha estado esperando entre mi pila de libros por leer durante demasiado tiempo. Finalmente, tuve la oportunidad de leerlo a finales del año pasado y no me ha decepcionado en lo más mínimo. La trama está sólidamente construida, entrelazando eventos pasados y presentes, y combinando la perspectiva de la narración con la de los diferentes personajes que están presentes en la novela, lo que, en mi opinión, enriquece la historia de una manera innovadora. Además, los eventos descritos son realmente interesantes y muy oportunos hoy en día. En pocas palabras, con esta su segunda novela, Sarah Ward se confirma como una escritora muy sólida, a quien le deseo un futuro brillante por delante.  Ahora, confío en no esperar tanto tiempo en leer sus dos últimas novelas, que ya están entre mi montón de libros por leer. Muy recomendable.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Mi reseña de In Bitter Chill está disponible aquí.

Sobre el autor: Sarah Ward es autora de cuatro novelas de ficción criminal, In Bitter Chill, A Deadly Thaw, A Patient Fury y The Shrouded Path, que se desarrollan en Derbyshire, Peak District. Hace reseñas de libros online en su blog, Crimepieces (www.crimepieces.com), en donde reseña las mejores novelas de ficción criminal publicadas actualmente en todo el mundo. Ha hecho critica de libros para Los Angeles Review of Books, Crime Time, crimesquad.com y Eurocrime. También ha publicado artículos e historias cortas en The Guardian, Sunday Express magazine, Metro, Red Online, Big Issue, Traveler y otras publicaciones. Sarah también forma parte del jurado del Premio Petrona a la Mejor Novela Escandinava de ficción criminal y le gusta particularmente leer ficción criminal traducida. Además de escribir y reseñar libros, también imparte talleres de ficción criminal, modera eventos de libros y da charlas sobre la novela negra nórdica, la Edad de Oro de la ficción criminal y otros aspectos de las novelas policíacas. Se puede contactar con ella, sobre cualquiera de estas áreas, a través de su página destinada a este efecto. Sarah Ward está representada por Kirsty McLachlan en DGA. Vive en Derbyshire. Y puedes segurla en Twitter @sarahrward1.

TV–series: Trapped Season Two

a0bb760dd14910fd880082a2b44d98f7Last evening Begoña and I begun watching Trapped Season Two. Iceland Review wrote on 9 May 2018: “Viewers can expect a series like the previous one, but in many ways very different,” director Baltasar Kormákur told RÚV when discussing the next season of hit TV series Trapped (Ice. Ófærð), to premiere in Iceland this fall. While the show’s first season centered on a murder mystery in a remote Icelandic town physically isolated by a raging blizzard, the second series deals with more psychological forms of entrapment. As an Icelandic government minister enters the parliament building, she is attacked by a man who sets fire to both of them. Investigation of the incident then takes unexpected turns.

Those unexpected plot twists will touch on hot topic issues in Iceland and around the world, such as imported labour and heavy industry. “Within that comes nationalism, its goals, and the situation of people who live in the remote countryside,” says Baltasar. “I think thrillers work best when they discuss society and serious issues in an interesting way,” he remarks.

Crime novel writer Yrsa Sigurðardóttir joined the screenwriting team for Trapped’s second season. Her education as an engineer came in handy when writing about power plants in the Icelandic highlands. “She gave us insight into various issues regarding power plants and their impact on the environment,” says Baltasar.

A Couple of TV (series) Am looking forward to

MV5BMjQ3NDk4NTc1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjIyOTk0NjM@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Yesterday, Begoña and I started to see the first episode of The Little Drummer Girl, a British-American television series based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré and first aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 28 October 2018 and in the United States during November 2018. In Spain was first aired on Movistar+ on 11 January 2019.

The Wikipedia summary reads:   In Germany, the Palestinian terrorist Michel and his Swedish accomplice and girlfriend Anna Witgen kill the eight year old son of an Israeli diplomat with a pipe bomb. Senior Mossad spy Martin Kurtz is dispatched to Europe to hunt down and eliminate the Palestinian terror cell, which is led by Michel’s wily older brother Khalil. Under Kurtz’s orders, a Mossad team including Rachel kidnap Michel on the Greek-Turkish border while he is smuggling semtex in his red Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9. Meanwhile, left-wing English stage actress Charmian “Charlie” Ross and her troupe tour Greece as part of a corporate “charity job.” While Charlie and her fellow actors are visiting a beach, she takes an interest in a mysterious handsome gentleman, who is actually an undercover Mossad agent called Gadi Becker. After treating Charlie for a date at the Parthenon, Gadi introduces Charlie to his Mossad team including Martin.

pfox8fgs2i221The third season of True Detective, an American anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto, was confirmed by HBO on August 31, 2017, and premiered in Spain on the early minutes of 14 January 2019 on Movistar+. Given the inopportune of its hour, Begoña and I decided to start watching it further on.

Summary: Arkansas state police detectives Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) and Roland West (Stephen Dorff) seek to solve the mystery of a disturbing crime that took place years ago in the Ozarks.

2019, A Great Simenonian Year

statue_maigretMurielle Wenger reminds us here that this years marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Georges Simenon. However, to turn it around into a merrier celebration, simenonians and maigretphiles alike decided to join up to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Maigret’s literary birth.  

We do know how difficult is to precise the exact day of the birth of our character. Really, Simenon doesn’t invented him in a precise moment. The Chief Inspector was the result of many tests and searches of the young novelist, and chosen in a crucial point of his career, when he decided to made the transition from his popular novels, written under pseudonyms, towards those he was aspiring to write.

We know that, when Simenon begun to write Pietr le Letton, he had already written, under different pseudonyms, the four stories known today as ‘proto-Maigrets’. Moreoever, Pietr le Letton was in fact the fifth title to be published by Fayard, even though Simenon himself always stated, on a number of occasions, that this was his first Maigret. An issue that, for a number of years, has been subject to debate among Maigret scholars. Anyhow, today it’s simply accepted that Simenon wrote Pietr le Letton at Delfzijl (The Netherlands), in September 1929, aboard L’Ostrogoth. And, in serialised form, it was the subject of a pre-publication in the weekly Ric and Rac, No. 71-83 from 19 July to 11 October 1930. Read more here.

The attached photograph shows the statue of Maigret at Delfzijl. (Source: Philippe Brossard-Lotz, Le Reporter sablais)