The Coffin Trail, The Return and more

This week’s reviews on Euro Crime were delayed a bit , and then even more, by the fact that I went offline early last night. So, a day late, my latest efforts are my takes on The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards, the first in a police-procedural series set in the wonderful Lake District, and very well worth reading (the author’s blog has the lovely title Do You Write Under Your Own Name?); and the readable but slightly disappointing The Return by Hakan Nesser, the follow-up to Borkmann’s Point (Karen of Euro Crime’s review of The Return is here, if you want another perspective).

Some serious temptations in the rest of the week’s reviews. Karen, again, thoroughly enjoys What Was Lost, by Catherine O’Flynn, the winner of the 2007 Costa first novel award. Karen writes: "It’s a long while since I’ve read a book so well regarded by the literary critics, as, after all, I mostly read crime fiction, a genre unloved by the mainstream award givers. WHAT WAS LOST has perhaps sneaked under the judges’ radar as the mystery is pushed to the background for the major section of the novel and is mostly the catalyst for the other elements: the social commentary and the romance. It is a compelling novel and extremely readable." The book is definitely on my list: even though I am always well disposed towards books by people called Catherine, I’d read this one in any case.

Euro Crime and everyone’s Italian expert, Norman Price, has done it again — his review of Death’s Dark Abyss by Massimo Carlotto has provided me with yet another author I simply must read. From the review: "This story of two men linked by a terrible crime is a disturbing read and it is meant to be as it faces up to the problems of victim support, and the lack of rehabilitation facilities in the prison system. Carlotto himself served years in jail for a crime he did not commit and must be an expert on the failures and idiosyncrasies of the Italian judicial system."

The final review in the Euro Crime week is Geoff Jones’s take on "simple and clean-cut" Peter Conway’s Deserving Death.