Cristina Fallarás winner of the Spanish Hammett Prize at Gijon Crime Fiction Festival

Las niñas perdidas (The Lost Girls) by Spanish writer and journalist Cristina Fallarás (Zaragoza, 1968) won today the Premio Hammet a la mejor novela negra en español,the literary award given during the Semana Negra de Gijón to the best crime fiction book written in Spanish.

Book Description: There is another Barcelona: the one far removed from tourism and fashion. It is in this other, villainous city that detective and ex-journalist Victoria González moves confidently. And being heavily pregnant doesn’t make it any easier. Victoria or Vicky was born in the suburbs and has her office in the neighbourhood of El Chino, is five-months gone and has a case of two dead little girls on her hands. Dead and tortured. Her faithful friend Jesús warns her it’s not the case for her, not in her condition. The commissioner says the same, as does her instinct. But this is enough for her not to give up. (MB Agencia Literaria).

If my information is correct Cristina Fallarás is the first female writer to win the Spanish Hammett Award. Las niñas perdidas (Roca, 2011) was also the winner of the L’H Confidencial International Noir Novel Prize 2011.

The Sadness of the Samurai (Henry Holt and Co. 2012) by Victor del Arbol

A betrayal and a murder in pro-Nazi Spain spark a struggle for power that grips a family for generations in this sweeping historical thriller

Fierce, edgy, brisk, and enthralling, this brilliant novel by Victor del Árbol pushes the boundaries of the traditional historical novel and in doing so creates a work of incredible power that resonates long after the last page has been turned.

When Isabel, a Spanish aristocrat living in the pro-Nazi Spain of 1941, becomes involved in a plot to kill her Fascist husband, she finds herself betrayed by her mysterious lover. The effects of her betrayal play out in a violent struggle for power in both family and government over three generations, intertwining her story with that of a young lawyer named Maria forty years later. During the attempted Fascist coup of 1981, Maria is accused of plotting the prison escape of a man she successfully prosecuted for murder. As Maria’s and Isabel’s narratives unfold they encircle each other, creating a page-turning literary thriller firmly rooted in history. (Henry Holt and Co.)

Victor del Árbol holds a degree in history from the University of Barcelona. He has worked for Catalonia’s police force since 1992. In 2006, he won the Tiflos de Novela Award for The Weight of the Dead. The Sadness of the Samurai (original title: La tristeza del samurai) is his first novel to be translated into English.

You can find HERE a review in Spanish, and a review in English is HERE.

International Dagger Speculation (2013)

Karen, at Euro Crime, has come up with the first list, so far, of translated crime novels published between June 2012 and May 2013 i.e.: the period of eligibility for next year International Dagger Award. HERE. At first glance my interest has focused on:

  • Arnaldur Indridason – Black Skies tr. Victoria Cribb (Iceland) my review is HERE
  • Asa Larsson – The Black Path tr. Marlaine Delargy (Sweden) (First UK Publication) TBR soon.
  • Karin Fossum – In the Darkness (Norway)
  • Santiago Gamboa – Necropolis (Colombia) if I can get it in Spanish, at a reasonable price.
  • Camilla Ceder – Babylon (Sweden), though I’ve still to read first Frozen Moment 
  • Deon Meyer – Seven Days (South Africa)
  • Liza Marklund – Last Will (Sweden)
  • Zygmunt Miloszewski – A Grain of Truth (Poland)
  • Andrea Camilleri – The Age of Doubt (Italy)
  • Fred Vargas – The Ghost Riders of Ordebec (France)

I have not taken into account Leif G W Persson’s books since I have in my pipeline to read first Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s Cold the first one in his trilogy Story of a Crime (Another Time, Another Life and Falling Freely, As If In A Dream).

Any other suggestions are welcome.