2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet, E is for Escolar

While I was browsing the web, looking for a crime fiction writer in Spanish whose name must start with the letter ‘E’, an almost impossible task, I found, casually, a young writer who has just published his first novel in Spanish, Escolar, Ignacio Escolar. The book title is 31 Nigths and I could not leave the book after reading the opening lines: “In the house of the Colombian, they found two pistols, a shotgun, a butcher’s axe, a saw, some cocaine, three mobile phones almost prehistoric and 19,000 euros in seven wads of crumpled bills, hidden in a light box. But what most disturbed Velasco, the only thing that changed his pulse, was a windowless room, with all the walls, ceiling and floor lined with plastic, as used to protect furniture when painting. There was not a brush in the house. The room was clean and completely empty except for a bucket. The bucket was full of sulphuric acid“.

This is a short book (280 pages the paper version) and my review will be coming soon, stay tuned. Mainly for fans of contemporary hardboiled crime and mystery fiction. Ignacio Escolar (Burgos, 1975) is a young journalist and a political analyst, and 31 Nights is his debut novel.

Suma de Letras

The Crime Fiction Alphabet 2012 is a Community Meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. By Friday of each week participants try to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week. Click HERE to visit the contribution of other participants.

Review: The Drop by Michael Connelly

Esta entrada es bilingüe. Desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en castellano.

Orion, 2011. Kindle edition. 554 KB. ISBN: 9781409134305. ASIN: B005I4WBT6.

In addition to brief cameo appearances in three other books –The Brass Verdict (2008), The Reversal (2010) and The Fifth Witness (2011)– The Drop (2011) is the fifteen book in the series featuring LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. After a two year reassignment to Homicide Special, Harry Bosch is back in the Open-Unsolved Unit. Along with Detective David Chu (whom we met before in 9 Dragons), their task is to evaluate cold-cases for reanalysis using current technology. Bosch and Chu handle only overflow cases and special investigations. Bosch fears about not getting a new case when they are called to investigate a 1989 case.

The victim is a nine-year-old girl who was found naked, raped and strangled. The DNA taken from a small drop of blood found on her body was collected and stored. Four months ago, what remained of the blood is sent to the regional lab. The analysis matches the DNA of a sexual predator. Everything fits well except for one small detail, the suspect of the sexual assault was only eight years old at that time. If this information comes to light, all defence lawyers will question the methods used so far by the O-U Unit.

Meanwhile Harry Bosh application for an extension of his Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) has arrived. He had asked for the maximum, five years non-retroactive. They have given him four retroactive. Bosch will be retired in thirty-nine months.

But a more political investigation comes into play and the 1989 case has to be put on hold. At the exclusive hotel Chateau Marmont, a man has jumped from the balcony of his room. Bosch is summoned to investigate whether the man has committed suicide or was murdered. The man was George Irving the son of Councilman Irvin Irving who has insisted that Bosch takes over the investigation despite the two men’s history of enmity.

Once again Michael Connelly delivers a book that will delight his unconditional readers, as well as any other reader, even those arriving at his books for the first time. I’m sure that this novel confirms Connelly as one of the most entertaining crime fiction writers in the current scene. I particularly think that his novels featuring Harry Bosch are the best ones, and I found The Drop a wonderful addition to the series. I look forward to the return of Harry Bosch, in Connelly’s next novel, The Black Box, that will be released in November in the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

My rating: 5/5.

The Drop has been reviewed by Maxine Clarke at Petrona, Craig Sisterson at Crime Watch, Michael Carlson at Irresistible Targets, Bill Selnes at Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan, John Sheridan at The Mystery Bookshelf


The Drop, de Michael Connelly

Además de unos cameos en otros tres libros –El Veredicto (2008), The Reversal (2010) y The Fifth Witness (2011)– The Drop (2011) es el libro número quince de la serie protagonizada por el detective Harry Bosch del Departamento de Policía de Los Angeles. Después de haber estado destinado dos año en Homicidios Especiales, Harry Bosch regresa a la Unidad de Casos Abiertos. Junto con el detective David Chu (a quien conocimos antes en 9 Dragones) su tarea consiste en evaluar casos no resueltos utilizando la última tecnología. Bosch y Chu se encargan sólo de los casos que no pueden atender otros equipos y de investigaciones especiales. Bosch teme no conseguir un nuevo caso cuando en esto les llaman para investigar un caso de 1989.

La víctima es una niña de nueve años de edad que fue encontrada desnuda, violada y estrangulada. El ADN extraído de una pequeña gota de sangre encontrada en su cuerpo fue recogido y almacenado. Hace cuatro meses, lo que quedaba de la sangre se envió al laboratorio regional. El análisis coincide con el ADN de un depredador sexual. Todo encaja bien a excepción de un pequeño detalle, el sospechoso del asalto sexual sólo tenía ocho años de edad entonces. Si esta información sale a la luz, todos los abogados defensores cuestionarán los métodos utilizados por su departamento.

Mientras tanto, la solicitud de Harry Bosh para conseguir una extensión en su Plan Opcional de Jubilación Diferida (DROP) ha llegado. Pidió el máximo, cinco años no retroactivos. Le han dado cuatro con carácter retroactivo. Bosch estará jubilado en treinta y nueve meses.

Pero una investigación más política entra en escena y el caso de 1989 tiene que esperar. En el exclusivo hotel Chateau Marmont, un hombre ha saltado desde el balcón de su habitación. Bosch es llamado para investigar si el hombre se ha suicidado o fue asesinado. El hombre era George Irving, el hijo del concejal Irvin Irving que ha insistido en que Bosch se encargue de la investigación a pesar de la enemistad que siempre ha existido entre ellos.

Una vez más Michael Connelly entrega un libro que hará las delicias de sus incondicionales lectores, así como de cualquier otro lector, incluso de aquellos que llegan a sus libros por primera vez. Estoy seguro de que esta novela confirma a Connelly como uno de los escritores de novela negra (en su sentido más amplio) más entretenidos en la escena actual. Yo particularmente pienso que sus novelas portagonizadas por Harry Bosch son las mejores y encontré en The Drop una magnífica adición a la serie. Espero con interés el regreso de Harry Bosch, en la siguiente novela de Michael Connelly, The Black Box, que se publicará en noviembre en los EE.UU., Canadá, Reino Unido, Irlanda, Australia y Nueva Zelanda.

Mi valoración: 5/5.

Press Release

A book I’m  looking forward to with interest. Stay tuned.

A Private Venus by Giorgio Scerbanenco. translated by Howard Curtis. Published by Hersilia Press, 2 August 2012. £7.99 (paperback) 978-0-9563796-4-1- £4.99 (eBook) 978-0-9563796-7-2

Giorgio Scerbanenco is considered by many to be the father of Italian noir and has been called ‘the Italian Simenon’. He worked as a journalist and as a contributor to women’s magazines before turning to crime fiction. The most prestigious Italian literary prize for crime fiction is named after him.

Plot Summary: Milan, 1966, and in the bleak suburb of Metanopoli, a woman is found dead on the side of the road. Dr Duca Lamberti has just been released from prison, where he has spent three years for having practiced euthanasia. No longer able to work in medicine, he takes a job helping Davide, a young and depressed alcoholic. When Duca begins to delve into the young man’s past, he is drawn into a murky world of prostitution, pornography and murder. As the case unravels, Duca takes the law into his own hands. The first in this classic series featuring Duca Lamberti.

Howard Curtis has translated more than fifty books from French, Italian and Spanish, including works by Luigi Pirandello, Beppe Fenoglio, Georges Simenon and Gianrico Carofiglio. His translation of Edoardo Albinati’s Coming Back was awarded the John Florio Prize in 2004, and his translation of Pietro Grossi’s Fists was awarded the Premio Campiello Great Britain in 2010.

Hersilia Press is an independent publisher bringing you the best of Italian crime fiction.

%d bloggers like this: