The Sound of One Hand Killing by Teresa Solana

Following my previous post HERE about L’hora zen -Teresa Solana’s latest book-, I find out that it will be released by Bitter Lemon Press in February 2013 (in the UK) and in May 2013 (in the US) as The Sound of One Hand Killing translated by Peter Bush.

Two detectives, brothers Borja and Eduard, are contracted by best-selling author Teresa Solana to research the world of so-called alternative therapies. They enrol for a course at Zen Moments, an exclusive meditation centre in the ritziest part of Barcelona, only to discover the director murdered, whacked in the head with a statuette of the Buddha. The violent death of a neighbour – who happens to be a CIA agent – simultaneously drags them into an international conspiracy complicated by Borja’s attempt to smuggle a priceless Assyrian figurine, the “Lioness of Baghdad”.
In this, the third in her satirical series, Catalan ‘noir’ novelist Teresa Solana mercilessly punctures the pretensions of New Age quacks who promote pseudo-science and pseudo-spirituality. At the same time, Solana draws compassionate portraits of characters trying to live ‘ordinary’ lives in circumstances that have ceased to be normal, yet still cope with such every day issues as adultery, the menopause and simply surviving to the end of the month. (Bitter Lemon Press).

Review: The Brotherhood by Y. A. Erskine

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

Random House Australia, 2011. Kindle edition. 578 KB. ASIN: B005CMEKC0.

During a burglary in progress John White, a sergeant in the Tasmania Police Service, is stabbed by one of the thieves and dies. What seems an open and shut case soon becomes convoluted given the identity of the main suspect. Through independent chapters in snapshots mode, each one follows a different character directly involved in this tragic event. And thus, colleagues, friends, family, enemies and even the suspect himself, will offer us their own story.

I’ve always found original and attractive the narrative technique used to shape this tale. I love to hear different versions and perspectives of the same story. Therefore I have truly enjoyed reading this book. The characters are beautifully drawn and the story revolves around such interesting topics as loyalty, corruption, betrayal and prejudices that it’s well worth reading it. Highly recommended.

Yvette Erskine spent eleven years in the Tasmania Police Service. She was active in front-line policing and served as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch, CIB. She is also an historian with an honours degree in Early Modern History. The Brotherhood (2011), is her debut novel, and has just published The Betrayal (2012), her second novel. 

My rating: 4/5.

I’ll count this book for my participation in the 2012 Global Reading Challenge (Australasia / Oceania).

The Brotherhood has been reviewed by Bernadette at Fair Dinkum Crime, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, Maxine at Petrona, Sarah at Crimepieces, among others.

Random House Books Australia

Y. A. Erskine

First Tuesday interview with Y A Erskine

La hermandad de Y. A. Erskine

Durante un robo en curso, John White, un sargento del Servicio de Policía de Tasmania, es apuñalado por uno de los ladrones y muere. Lo que parece un caso sencillo pronto se convierte en complicado dada la identidad del principal sospechoso. A través de capítulos independientes, a modo de instantáneas, cada uno sigue a un personaje diferente directamente involucrado en este trágico suceso. Y así, compañeros, amigos, familiares, enemigos y hasta el mismo sospechoso, nos ofrecen su propia versión de los hechos. 

Siempre me ha parecido original y atractiva la técnica narrativa utilizada para dar forma a este relato. Me encanta escuchar diferentes versiones y perspectivas de la misma historia. Por lo tanto, realmente he disfrutado de la lectura de este libro. Los personajes están muy bien dibujados y la historia gira en torno a temas tan interesantes como la lealtad, la corrupción, la traición y los prejuicios que vale la pena leerlo. Altamente recomendado.

Yvette Erskine pasó once años en el Servicio de Policía de Tasmania. Desempeñó un papel policial activo como detective en la Rama de Investigación Criminal, CIB. Es también historiadora, licenciada en los primeros años de la Historia Moderna. La Hermandad (2011) es su primera novela y acaba de publicar La Traición (2012), su segunda novela.

Mi calificación: 4/5

Inspector Troy Novels

This post was intended as a private note but I thought it may be of interest to regular or sporadic readers of this blog

(Information taken from Wikipedia)

The novels in the Frederick Troy series share the eponymous protagonist Frederick (he doesn’t like any form of his given name, preferring to be addressed by his surname) Troy, the younger son of a Russian immigrant father who’s become a wealthy newspaper publisher and baronet. Defying class and family expectations, the independently wealthy Troy joins Scotland Yard, becoming an investigator on the “murder squad”.

The series, in published order:

  • Black Out (1995). The story begins during the last stages of the London Blitz in 1944. Troy is assigned to find out who’s murdering German scientists who’ve been secretly smuggled out of Germany and into Britain. Later, Troy tracks his suspect to Berlin in 1948, during the Berlin Blockade. Along the way, he tangles with British and American spy agencies, a Russian spy and a British femme fatale.
  • Old Flames (1996). Troy, because he speaks Russian, is assigned to guard Russian Secretary-General Nikita Khrushchev, during his 1956 visit to Britain. Along with these duties, Troy investigates the death of an ex-navy diver during a curiously botched spy mission.
  • A Little White Death (1998). The third Troy novel uses the historical events of the Profumo Affair and the Kim Philby spy scandal of the early 1960s as a jumping-off point for a fictionalised version in which Troy, now risen to Commander in Scotland Yard, discovers that an apparent suicide (of the fictional Stephen Ward-analog character) was really a murder. A second apparent suicide thickens the plot. Most of the historical characters get fictional equivalents, a few appear as themselves, and Christine Keeler becomes a pair of sisters. In the closing Historical Note, however, Lawton explains his historical inspirations and cautions that “This is not a roman à clef.” Concurrent with the scandal/spy/murder plot, Lawton interleaves some cultural history on the beginnings of ‘swinging London’. The novel’s title is a double entendre, referring both to the pills used in the second suspicious suicide and to Troy’s life-and-career-threatening battle against tuberculosis.
  • Riptide (2001). (Published in the United States (2004) as Bluffing Mr. Churchill). Lawton backtracks chronologically to the early days of World War II, before Black Out.
  • Blue Rondo (2005). (Published in the United States as Flesh Wounds). This book opens at almost exactly the same point as Black Out, and then skips ten years beyond the end of Black Out to pick up the lives of characters who are only children in the first novel. In 1959 two of them have grown up to be East End gangsters trying to move into the West End, and one has become a policeman working with Frederick Troy. There are some similarities to the historical story of the three Kray brothers, but Blue Rondo is set in a very different era and the author has, on occasion, warned against making too much of such analogy.
  • Second Violin (2007). Another “prequel” to Black Out, this time back to 1938. The main protagonist this time is Frederick Troy’s older brother Rod, working as a reporter for his father’s newspaper. Rod travels to Vienna, just in time to witness Kristallnacht. Returning to Britain, he is sent to an internment camp on the Isle of Man because of his Austrian birth and failure to pursue naturalisation. During the Battle of Britain, he is freed to become a fighter pilot. Meanwhile, brother Fred investigates the murders of several East End rabbis. The parallel stories eventually converge at the final denouement.
  • A Lily of the Field (2010). This novel tells two linked stories, differing in tone and structure, but heading to the same conclusion. The first part, “Audacity”, is set in the years 1934–46 in Europe, and has only the briefest mention of Frederick Troy. It is, essentially, the back-story to all that follows. The second part, “Austerity”, set in London in 1948, is a more familiar Inspector Troy murder investigation, that, almost inevitably, spills over into Cold War espionage.


For additional information about the author you can check The Official Site of John Lawton and  The Books of John Lawton – The “Troy” series

There is also an interesting entry at Detectives Beyond Borders by Peter Rozovsky : John Lawton on being a “crime” writer.

Norman at Crime Scraps has reviewed all the books in the series.

I have downloaded Black Out to my Kindle. Thanks for your warning, Rhian. Black Out is the start of an addictive series, so be prepared.

2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet, O is for Oliver, Maria-Antonia Oliver

The Crime Fiction Alphabet arrives this week to the letter “o”. And my O is for Oliver. Maria-Antònia Oliver was born in Manacor. Manacor in Mallorca is also the birthplace of Rafael Nadal. But I will let Maria-Antonia speak for herself. Who I Am And Why I Write by Maria Antònia Oliver.

Maria-Antònia Oliver wrote three novels, Estudi en lila, 1985 (Study in Lilac), Antipodes, 1988 (Antipodes), and  El sol que fa l’anec, 1994 (Blue roses for a dead… Lady?) featuring Lònia (short for Apollonia) Guiu, a Barcelona-based, professional private investigator who, in the views of one reviewer is ‘philosophical at times, with a finely tuned social conscience, sexually liberated, quite idiosyncratic, daring, loyal and tough’. Lònia’s investigations provide Oliver with the opportunity to examine in some depth a number of issues which have a particular relevance for women, such as attitudes to abortion and unwanted pregnancy, the damaging long-term psychological effects of rape, and the exploitation of females by the sex industry. Her books are witty and well-written, and these feminist themes form an integral part of the action, rather than being a mere afterthought.(Crime Scenes: Detective Narratives in European Culture Since 1945, by Anne Mullen, Emer O’Beirne).

You can read more about Lònia Guiu HERE.

Seal Press introduced Lònia Guiu to English speaking readers as part of their Internationally Women’s Crime Series.

In Study in lilac [Estudi en lila]. Seattle: The Seal Press, 1987; Londres: Pandora, 1989. (Trad. Kathleen McNerney),  Private investigator Lonia Guiu has two problems on her hands: Sebastiana, a pregnant young rape victim whom Lonia has taken in off the streets; and Ms. Gaudi, a mysterious antique dealer who is trying to locate three men she claims defrauded her. Lonia’s search for the three men takes her from private, opulent estates to the seedy docks of Barcelona, and leads to a shocking discovery.

Antipodes [Antípodes]. Seattle: The Seal Press, 1989. (Trad. Kathleen McNerney).  Read an Extract.

In Blue roses for a dead… Lady? [El sol que fa l’ànec]. New Orleans: University Press of the South, 1998. (Trad. Kathleen McNerney)  A desperate mother searches for her daughter, Júlia. Lònia takes on the job of looking for her in Mallorca, her last known whereabouts. No one there knows anything. But Lònia suspects that her informers are lying. A Castilian song with its deformed version in Catalan provides a clue, and little by little she unwraps the skeins, but she pays a price: a destroyed car, a sprained ankle, a finger in a cast, a couple of beatings…Lots of action and lots of emotion.

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. ClickHERE to visit the contribution of other fellow bloggers.

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