Month: December 2011

Film Review: Inside Job (2010) by Charles H. Ferguson

The Spanish newspaper El Pais offered today the opportunity to buy Inside Job [DVD](2011). I’ve just seen it and, in my opinion, it should be included in all financial curriculum. Certainly it must be stressed that the ultimate goal of the Financial Services Industry is to serve the public interest.  The question still in the air: Have we learned anything from past mistakes?  Unfortunately it does not seem so.

Inside Job is a 2010 documentary film about the late-2000s financial crisis directed by Charles H. Ferguson. The film is described by Ferguson as being about “the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption.” In five parts, the film explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the financial crisis. Inside Job was well received by film critics who praised its pacing, research, and exposition of complex material. The film was screened at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in May and won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. (From Wikipedia)

Inside Job Official Trailer

Serie Negra: Best 2011 Crime Novels

RBA, a Spanish publisher, has elaborated the following list on his blog Serie Negra:

  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin (William Morrow, 2010). Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2011.
  • Con el agua al cuello, by Petros Markaris (Tusquets, 2011). Original title: Ληξιπρόθεσμα Δάνεια (Expiring Loans). Winner of the VII edition of Pepe Carvalho Prize.
  • Truth, by Peter Temple (Text Publishing, 2009) Winner of the 2010 Miles Franklin Literary Award.
  • No abras los ojos, by John Verdon (Roca, 2011) Shut Your Eyes Tight (Crown, 2011).
  • The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo (Harvill Secker, 2010).
  • Viskelen, by Arne Dahl (Chinese Whispers, winner of the Best Swedish Crime Novel 2011).
  • El Ejército Furioso. Fred Vargas (Siruela, 2011) Original title: L’armée furieuse (Editions Viviane Hamy, 2011).
  • Started early, took my dog, by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, 2010)
  • Niebla roja, by Patricia Cornwell (RBA, 2011) Original title: Red Mist (Putnam Adult, 2011). Winner of the Premio RBA de Novela Negra 2011.
  • A Trick of the Light, by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books, 2011).

Reseña: La voz del violin – Andrea Camilleri

This post is bilingual, scroll down to find the English language version.

Traducción de María Antonia Menini Pagès, 2000. Título original: La voce del violino, 1997. Ediciones Salamandra, 7ª edición 2009. 240  páginas. ISBN: 978-84-7888-828-3

El cuarto libro de la serie de misterio de Montalbano se publicó originalmente en Italia en 1997. A pesar de que se puede leer como un libro independiente, sería mejor hacerlo después de El ladrón de meriendas para comprender mejor el comportamiento de algunos personajes.

Una serie de errores estúpidos dan lugar a un hallazgo macabro. El cuerpo desnudo de una mujer joven se encuentra en la cama de una casa en renovación. Montalbano pronto tiene claro que fue asesinada por asfixia. Hay varios sospechosos, el marido de la víctima, un médico viejo y famoso que vive en Bolonia y no parece afectado por su muerte; un pariente de su marido, un admirador tímido que es deficiente mental y ha desaparecido de repente; su amante, un anticuario que vive también en Bolonia, y Anna, su mejor amiga, a cuyos encantos Montalbano no puede permanecer indiferente. A medida que la investigación se desarrolla Montalbano es retirado del caso por culpa de los errores cometidos cuando descubrió el cuerpo de la víctima. Pero cuando el sospechoso más evidente es asesinado accidentalmente por el nuevo grupo de policías, Montalbano y sus hombres se hacen cargo por su propia cuanta de nuevo de la investigación. Mientras tanto la relación de Montalbano con Livia no está viviendo su mejor momento.

Me encanta esta serie. En particular, en esta entrega me gustó mucho la forma como Montalbano mueve los hilos para recuperar la investigación llevándole, finalmente, a desenmascarar al asesino. Su plan maestro funciona como un reloj. Una magnífica  continuación de su libro anterior. Muy recomendable.

Golem – Memorias de lectura

Ediciones Salamandra

Review: The Voice of the Violin – Andrea Camilleri

The fourth book in Inspector Montalbano’s mystery series was originally published in Italy in 1997. Although it can be read as a standalone book, it would be better to read it after The Snack Thief to better understand the behaviour of some of the characters.

A number of stupid mistakes lead to a gruesome discovery. The naked body of a young woman lies in the bed of a house under renovation. Montalbano soon has clear that she was murdered by suffocation. There are several suspects, the victim’s husband, an old and famous doctor who lives in Bologna and does not seem affected by her death; a kinsman of her husband’s, a shy admirer who is mentally handicapped and has suddenly disappeared; her lover, an antique dealer who lives also in Bologna, and Anna, her best friend, who’s charms Montalbano could not help but enjoy. As the investigation unfolds Montalbano is removed from the case due to his mistakes when founding the victim’s body. But when the obvious suspect is accidentally killed by a different set of policemen, Montalbano and his men will take over the investigation on their own again. In the meantime Montalbano’s relationship with Livia is not living its best moment.

I really enjoy this series. Particularly in this instalment I loved the way Montalbano pulls the strings to recover his investigation that will lead him, finally, to unmask the murderer. His master plan runs like clockwork. A great sequel to his previous book. Highly recommended.

The Voice of the Violin has been reviewed by Maxine at Eurocrime, NacyO at the crime segments,

Pan Macmillan

Penguin US

2011 End of Year Book Meme

Thanks to Bernadette at Reactions to Reading, I’ve found this meme hosted by Jen’s Book Thoughts. And I could not resist the idea of ​​participating.

1. Best Book of 2011 – Voices, by Arnaldur Indriðason

2. Worst Book of 2011La venganza del silencio (The Revenge of Silence), by Alonso Cueto. Not available in English yet.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2011Muerte en Florencia (Death in Florence), by Marco Vichi. Not available in English yet.

4. Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2011Blanco nocturno (Nocturnal Target), by Ricardo Piglia. Not available in English yet.

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2011 – The Martin Beck Series by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

6. Best series you discovered in 2011 – Guido Guerrieri  series by Gianrico Carofiglio

7. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2011 – Alan Glynn and Jussi Adler-Olsen among others.

8. Most hilarious read of 2011The Voice of the Violin, by Andrea Camilleri

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011Trackers, by Deon Meyer

10. Book you most anticipated in 2011The Leopard, by Jo Nesbø

11. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2011 Dregs, by Jorn Lier Horst

12. Most memorable character in 2011 – Varg Veum the central character in Gunnar Staalesen’s series of crime novels

13. Most beautifully written book in 2011Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin.

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011Rupture, by Simon Lelic

15. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2011 to finally read?Voices, by Arnaldur Indriðason

Best Crime Fiction Reads (2011)

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise have asked for our best crime fiction reads in 2011. The books chosen need not have been published in 2011. I’ve read 64 books. The quality, in general, was outstanding. I gave the highest marks to 22 books (34.4%).

I found particularly hard to choose only ten among them. Anyway my favourites reads this year in no particular order are:

  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (Pan Macmillan, 2011). First published 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers, New York.
  • Trackers by Deon Meyer (Hodder & Stoughton, 2011). Translated from Afrikaans by K. L. Seegers. Original title Spoor, 2010. 
  • The Quarry by Johan Theorin (Doubleday, 2011). Translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. Original title: Blodläge, 2010.
  • Temporary Perfections, by Gianrico Carofiglio. (Bitter Lemon Press, 2011). Translated by Anthony Shugaar. Original title: La perfezione provvisorie.
  • Un lugar incierto (An Uncertain Place), by Fred Vargas. (Punto de lectura, 2011). Traducción de Anne-Hélène Suárez Girard, 2010. Título original: Un lieu incertain.
  • The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Vintage Books, 2010). Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. Original title: Snømannen, 2007.
  • Blanco Nocturno (Nocturnal Target), by Ricardo Piglia (Anagrama, 2010).
  • Rupture (aka A Thousand Cuts) by Simon Lelic. (Picador, 2010).
  • Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland (Quercus, 2008). First published by Text Publishing, 2006.
  • Voices by Arnaldur Indridason (Vintage paperback, 2007). Translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder. Original title: Röddin, 2003.
  • The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö (Harper Perennial,2007). Translated from the Swedish by Paul Britten Austin. Original title Det slutna rummet, 1972. Translation first published by Random House Inc. New York, 1973.

Forgive my maths, there are eleven.