The Game’s Afoot Top Five Crime Books


This is a difficult exercise, we can always unfairly forget some book. Besides it’s just a matter of personal taste. Anyway here I go, in no particular order, The Game’s Afoot top 5 crime books are:

Another Time, Another Life translated by Paul Norlen, originally published in 2003 as En annan tid, ett annat liv by Leif GW Persson

The Fire Engine that Disappeared translated by Martin Lexell and Manuel Abella, Spanish title: El coche de bomberos que desapareció, originally published in 1969 as Brandbilen som försvann by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Laidlaw by William McIlvanney, originally published in 1977

The Song Dog by James McClure, originally published in 1991

Trackers translated by K. L. Seegers, originally published in 2010 as Spoor by Deon Meyer

18 thoughts on “The Game’s Afoot Top Five Crime Books

  1. Brave of you to come up with a list Jose Ignacio, I can never quite seem to manage to get it down to this sort of number. I’ve only read 2 of the 5 on your list (Another Time and Trackers) and agree with you that both are excellent…so I should probably read the other three as well.

  2. kathy d.

    Very interesting list. I do feel a pull to read Another Time, Another Life.
    The only book I’ve read listed here is the Sjowall/Wahloo, and I’d be hard pressed to
    come up with a favorite.
    I’m surprised nothing by Fred Vargas is here or is she not a favorite writer?

  3. I love reading other people’s top 5s and top 10s, but always hold back from making my own. I must try. The only one of these I have read is Laidlaw. I must try some more of yours.

  4. Jose Ignacio: Sigh! Of the 5 I have read only Trackers which I thought an excellent book.

    I am interested in your methodology. Did you go through a list of books or rely on memory?

    It must be the lawyer in me but I am also intrigued that the list does not include any Golden Age or earlier crime fiction. Were those books in contention?

    I am glad to get your thoughts on the Top 5. I think I will continue to restrict myself to an annual best of selection.

    1. Thanks for your comment Bill. I probably should have said that I choose among the books I read and review since I started blogging. I re-read my reviews in some cases, but I rely mainly on my memory. Besides, I had clear which authors I did not want to leave out on no account. Some were hard to leave out.

  5. Jose Ignacio, I would love to come up with a list of the top 20 or 50 mysteries. I don’t think I could narrow it down to five. But I have a similar problem as discussed above, it is hard to go back further than what I have read since I was blogging. Maybe I will try it just as an exercise. All of the authors you list here are ones I have read recently and liked a lot (Meyer and Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö), or ones I want to read to sample their books.

    1. Tracy, I presume my list was meant to tell readers about my personal preferences. As I said in a previous comment I’ve included only those books I read since I began my blog. For one reason or another, these are the books that have had a special significance for me from different viewpoints, including their literary values.

      1. I agree, my list would just be my favorites. Still would have a hard time narrowing them down. It would take me forever.

  6. Keishon

    I keep forgetting about Laidlaw. Will make sure to read it this year. That James McClure book looks interesting. Thanks for sharing your top five list, Jose Ignacio. I don’t think I could do such a list until I’m about ready to quit reading mysteries.

  7. Pingback: The Öland Quartet | The Game's Afoot

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