An end-of-year reading list


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  1. The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, by Martin Edwards, British Library 2017. Book Description: This book, written by award-winning crime writer and president of the Detection Club, Martin Edwards, serves as a companion to the British Library’s internationally acclaimed series of Crime Classics. Long-forgotten stories republished in the series have won a devoted new readership, with several titles entering the bestseller charts and sales outstripping those of highly acclaimed contemporary thrillers.
  2. Wolves in the Dark, by Gunnar Staalesen (Translated by Don Bartlett), Orenda Books, 2017. Book Description: Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet.
  3. Rupture, by Ragnar Jónasson (Translated by Quentin Bates), Orenda Books, 2017. Book Description: 1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all… In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.
  4. Tell No Tales, by Eva Dolan, Vintage, 2016. Book Description: Two men are kicked to death in brutal attacks. Caught on CCTV, the murderer hides his face – but raises a Nazi salute. In a town riddled with racial tension, Detectives Zigic and Ferreira from the Hate Crimes Unit are under pressure to find the killer. But when a car ploughs into a bus stop early one morning, the Detectives have another case on their hands, and soon the media are hounding them for answers. Riots break out, the leader of right-wing party steps into the spotlight, and Zigic and Ferreira must act fast – before more violence erupts.
  5. A Fine Line, by Gianrico Carofiglio (Translated by Howard Curtis), Bitter Lemon Press, 2016. Book Description: When Judge Larocca becomes the subject of corruption allegations, counsel for the defence Guido Guerrieri goes against his better instincts and takes the case. Helped by Annapaola Doria, a motorbike-riding bisexual private detective who keeps a baseball bat to hand for sticky situations, he investigates the judge’s alleged links to the mafia. Annapaola makes sure that the truth is discovered, perhaps not always in the most orthodox way. This is a suspenseful legal thriller but also a commentary on judicial ethics in Italy and, in the character of Judge Larocca, a penetrating meditation on human nature.
  6. Fever, by Deon Meyer (Translated by K.L. Seefers), Hodder & Stoughton, 2017. Book Description: Nico Storm and his father drive across a desolate South Africa, constantly alert for feral dogs, motorcycle gangs, nuclear contamination. They are among the few survivors of a virus that has killed most of the world’s population. Young as he is, Nico realises that his superb marksmanship and cool head mean he is destined to be his father’s protector. But Willem Storm, though not a fighter, is a man with a vision. He is searching for a place that can become a refuge, a beacon of light and hope in a dark and hopeless world, a community that survivors will rebuild from the ruins. And so Amanzi is born. Fever is the epic, searing story of a group of people determined to carve a city out of chaos.
  7. Prussian Blue, by Philip Kerr, Quercus, 2017. Book Description: It’s 1956 and Bernie Gunther is on the run. Ordered by Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, to murder Bernie’s former lover by thallium poisoning, he finds his conscience is stronger than his desire not to be murdered in turn. Now he must stay one step ahead of Mielke’s retribution.nThe man Mielke has sent to hunt him is an ex-Kripo colleague, and as Bernie pushes towards Germany he recalls their last case together. In 1939, Bernie was summoned by Reinhard Heydrich to the Berghof: Hitler’s mountain home in Obersalzberg. A low-level German bureaucrat had been murdered, and the Reichstag deputy Martin Bormann, in charge of overseeing renovations to the Berghof, wants the case solved quickly. If the Fuhrer were ever to find out that his own house had been the scene of a recent murder – the consequences wouldn’t bear thinking about.nAnd so begins perhaps the strangest of Bernie Gunther’s adventures, for although several countries and seventeen years separate the murder at the Berghof from his current predicament, Bernie will find there is some unfinished business awaiting him in Germany.
  8. Paradime, by Alan Glynn, Faber & Faber, 2016. Book Description: After a stint as a private contractor in Afghanistan, Danny Lynch is back in New York. But nothing’s easy. Work is hard to find and his girlfriend owes more than $30,000 in student loans. Danny is also haunted by something he witnessed at the base – a fact that could ultimately destroy him. Then he spots Teddy Trager, tech visionary and billionaire. These two men couldn’t be more different – except for one thing: in appearance, they’re identical.mDanny becomes obsessed with Trager, and before long this member of the ninety-nine per cent is passing undetected into the gilded realm of the one per cent. But what does Danny find there? Who does he become? And is there a route home?
  9. The City in Darkness, by Michael Russell, Constable, 2016. Book Description: Christmas 1939. In Europe the Phoney War hides carnage to come. In Ireland Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie keeps tabs on Irishmen joining the British Forces. It’s unpleasant work, but when an IRA raid on a military arsenal sends Garda Special Branch in search of guns and explosives, Stefan is soon convinced his boss, Superintendent Terry Gregory, is working for the IRA. At home for Christmas, Stefan is abruptly called to Laragh, an isolated mountain town. A postman has disappeared, believed killed, and Laragh’s Guards are hiding something. Stefan is the nearest Special Branch detective, yet is he only there because Gregory wants him out of the way? Laragh is close to the lake where Stefan’s wife Maeve drowned years earlier, and when events expose a connection between the missing postman and her death, Stefan realises it wasn’t an accident, but murder. And it will be a difficult, dangerous journey where Stefan has to finally confront the ghosts of the past not only in the mountains of Wicklow, but in Spain in the aftermath of its bloody Civil War, before he can return to Dublin to find the truth.
  10. The King of Fools, by Frédéric Dard (Translated by Louise Lalaurie), Pushkin Vertigo, 2017. Book Description: Jean-Marie can’t believe his luck when he has a passionate triste with a beautiful young Englishwoman, Marjory, who is holidaying in the Côte d’Azur. However, when he discovers his lover is married he is crestfallen, and when she returns to her home in rainy Edinburgh he is heartbroken. He takes a fateful decision: to follow her. He arrives in Scotland. but soon the jealous husband appears, and a deadly encounter is only the beginning of a nightmarish, disorienting drama.
  11. Herejes, by Leonardo Padura (Tusquets, 2013). English title Heretics. Book Description: In 1939, the Saint Louis sails from Hamburg into Havana’s port with hundreds of Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi regime. From the docks, nine-year-old Daniel Kaminsky watches as the passengers, including his mother, father, and sister, become embroiled in a fiasco of Cuban corruption. But the Kaminskys have a treasure that they hope will save them: a small Rembrandt portrait of Christ. Yet six days later the vessel is forced to leave the harbour with the family, bound for the horrors of Europe. The Kaminskys, along with their priceless heirloom, disappear. Nearly seven decades later, the Rembrandt reappears in an auction house in London, prompting Daniel’s son to travel to Cuba to track down the story of his family’s lost masterpiece. He hires the down-on-his-luck private detective Mario Conde, and together they navigate a web of deception and violence in the morally complex city of Havana. In Heretics, Leonardo Padura takes us from the tenements and beaches of Cuba to Rembrandt’s gloomy studio in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, telling the story of people forced to choose between the tenets of their faith and the realities of the world, between their personal desires and the demands of their times. A grand detective story and a moving historical drama, Padura’s novel is as compelling, mysterious, and enduring as the painting at its centre.

Hope I have tempt you with some of the books on my list. Stay tuned.

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