This night’s fine temptations

I’ve accumulated a backlog of links to enticingly written reviews. Without further ado, here they are:

Cross by Ken Bruen, reviewed at Revish by "Max" (no relation). "The writing in Cross is lean and finely honed. His observations on the Irish and the Church are trenchant and often wryly amusing as always. I recommend everything Ken Bruen writes. However, I have to caution you, if you like crimes solved neatly and happy endings, the Jack Taylor stories might not be for you. If you do have a tolerance for despair and seeing a man about a step away from the abyss and like a finely crafted story then you can’t get better than these."

Jar City (movie), based on the book by Arnaldur Indridason, reviewed at International Noir Fiction. "Whether you already know the Arnaldur Indridason novels or not, the film of Jar City (or Myrin, which means "marsh" or "mire") will be rewarding and moving–plus creepy and at times disgusting."

International Noir Fiction also reviews This Night’s Foul Work (book version) by Fred Vargas. "Vargas’s books float in an alternate universe of imagination, a world that shares certain points with ours (including, in this case, natural history, a rivalry between 17th century poets, French regional rivalries, ghosts, reliquaries, and medieval magic), but it’s a world in which "cloud shovelers," as her chief detective Adamsberg describes himself, are more able to cope than the realists or positivists." And for a hat trick from this blog, see here for a view of Lorraine Connection by noir author Dominique Manotti.

A review of the excellent Little Criminals by Gene Kerrigan, by Colman Keane, guesting at Crime Always Pays (mine host: Declan Burke). "The story unfolds at pace and the author’s skilful storytelling had me hooked. I’ve rarely read a book that has me turning the pages to reach the conclusion swiftly, whilst at the same time regretting the approach of the last page."

Material Witness on T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton: "A new novel from Sue Grafton feels like a visit from an old, dear friend. The sort you see perhaps every two or three years, but can pick up an easy, comfortable conversation with as if you last said goodbye to them just the night before."

Bibliophile reviews The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, another one of Petrona’s favourites, "undeniably a brilliantly told story, or perhaps I should say collection of stories."

The Good Liar by Laura Caldwell is reviewed by Debra Hamel at the Book Blog. "The Good Liar is a really good read. The plot is tight. The prose is transparent and the chapters short. Caldwell doesn’t leave us hanging at the end of every chapter quite as successfully as, say, Ken Follett does: it is possible to put the book down, that is, but you won’t want to if you don’t have to."

Here’s Dovegreyreader scribbles on Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith: "With all the deceit and counter-deceit, the plot twists and turns with alacrity but there was an incredible moment of sudden dawning realisation for this reader about two thirds of the way through the book. So stunned was I that after a bit of hyperventilating and a bit of back-tracking I was now desperate to see how this was all going to play out."

Martin Edwards writes about Light Reading by Aliya Whiteley: "it is among the most original novels I’ve read in a long time. Because it’s both ambitious and quirky, it almost inevitably has one or two flaws, but overall I’d count it as a real success."

Judith Kaye at Revish reviews The First Patient by Michael Palmer, which "should come with a warning label, because it grabs you and refuses to let go. If you’re familiar with Michael Palmer’s unique writing voice, then you already know to clear time for this fast-paced medical thriller."

Finishing up with a few more general posts: Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine from Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise; Material Witness on The Scandinavian Invasion; Crime Down Under interviews Adrian Hyland, author of the wonderful Diamond Dove; and Bibliophile on Tony Hillerman.