Waterstone’s latest crime fiction email is out, which includes the offer of proof copies of the following books: The Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp; The Cleaner by Brett Battles; Ritual by Mo Hayder; The Frightened Man by Ken Cameron; and Innocent Blood by Elizabeth Corley. If you want to review any of them, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your postal address. Although I’d love to read the Hayder, I don’t want to read any of the others (so far as I know). Last time Waterstone’s offered three proof copies, of which I wanted to read two but not the third. I asked in my email only to send either of the two I wanted but not to bother if they only had the third left, as I would not read it. So they sent the third. You have been warned.
Also in the same email, Waterstones is promoting an unabridged audio version of 7th Heaven for £14.99 (a "Women’s Murder Club" title), which they say will not be available as a CD. Me, I wonder how you could abridge a James Patterson book in any event.
Other promotions this month include are A Quiet Belief in Angels by R J Ellroy (this is cheap everywhere as it is a current Richard and Judy selection); Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose; Broken Skin by Stuart MacBride; Unseen by Mari Jungstedt (which I’ve just read and is very good indeed); Cold in Hand by John Harvey, the new Resnik novel, which I’m looking forward to. The Woods by Harlan Coben is out in paperback later this month, another one I’m looking out for. All Waterstone’s current offers are here; based on past experience, I recommend a price check against Amazon before committing yourself to a purchase.
David Orr of the US National Book Critics Circle has kindly explained to me (here) why Aragorn was not chosen as one of the new directors. David points out that he was disqualified because of a late candidate statement. Must have been too busy chasing those orcs.
Saturday is the day for doing essential domestic duties as there is little other time for such matters at Petrona Towers. While enduring a day of washing, ironing, searching for turquoise sequins in the shops (buying a few books in the process*, I’m nobody’s fool), changing beds, wrapping up birthday present, reading through homework, etc, my mind was wandering over various topics, one of which was how much I have enjoyed the crime-fiction books I’ve read this year, and how much I owe to a band of crime-fiction-friendly bloggers who have reviewed and recommended many of these titles. So without further ado, I would like to thank: Norm of Crime Scraps (particularly for the Martin Beck series and Andrea Camilleri); Karen of Euro Crime (not just for excellent recommendations, but also actual copies of the books); Glenn of International Crime Fiction (for Gene Kerrigan and others); Peter of Detectives Beyond Borders (Diamond Dove and others); CrimeFicReader of It’s a Crime! (Joanna Hines and others); Declan of Crime Always Pays (for The Big O by Declan Burke 😉 and several books via his fiendishly difficult competitions); and Sarah of Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind (for Daniel Woodrell and Asa Larsson). I have also picked up some good titles via our otherwise sadly quiet crime fiction reading group at Revish (Red Leaves by Thomas Cook, for example). I expect I haven’t remembered everyone, but thank you all and especially the bloggers I have mentioned, who by writing such stimulating perspectives on a range of novels and authors, have widened my horizons considerably.
*Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak; York notes on The Spire by William Golding and on poetry by Carol Ann Duffy, and because the preceding titles came to more than £10, the £11.99 edition of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni at the special price of £3.99 — Malcolm is reading The Kite Runner at the moment, and enjoying it, so I thought he might like this. I did not buy Alastair Campbell’s diaries, despite a request for it. This was partly because when I picked up the book my body literally curdled at the prospect of actually having it in the house in a "matter over mind" moment. When I then saw that the price is £25, I simply could not throw so much good money at it as opposed to, say, a home for retired booksellers, so instead have suggested to the potential reader that she either borrows it from the library or from her teacher (as has been offered). I suppose I could make a attempted clever point about a world in which "an extract" (I quote the blurb on the front cover) of A. Campbell’s diaries is priced at more than three times Dr Zhivago, but I won’t.