Irresistible reads, irresistibly described

Aliya Whiteley’s Light Reading is reviewed here by CrimeFicReader on It’s a Crime, "the new millennium’s British "Thelma and Louise";" and here by Karen Meek on Euro Crime, "an absorbing read, laced with black humour and full of twists, and the creepy feel of Allcombe and its malevolent teenagers lingers in the brain long after the book is finished." Ian Hocking (This Writing Life) provides some background about the author herself and the Macmillan New Writing imprint under whose auspices her book is published.

Sarah Weinman has drawn attention to the European, particularly Scandinavian, character of the LA Times’s book prize finalists in the mystery category. Karen at Euro Crime has picked up on the list and provides links to reviews of four of the five shortlisted titles at Euro Crime. I think I’d have to go for Calling out for You, by Karin Fossum — or maybe Ice Moon by Jan Costin Wagner. But it is close, very close.

Another Karen, Karen Chisholm of Aust Crime, here writes a thoughtful essay: "In crime fiction, the crime is not always the point". She writes that "Crime writers are often acute observers of society around them.  They aren’t always obsessed with the grime and the gore and the nastiness of society and often, more frequently these days it seems, they mix the traditional crime format … with an underlying message." Examples provided at the link.

Declan Burke gets in an early review of Brian McGilloway’s eagerly awaited second book, Gallows Lane, sequel to Borderlands, in which, according to Declan’s perceptive review, "the personal is the political in the narrative arc that takes Devlin from passive observer to active player in the rogues gallery of compromised public officials…".

Norman Price of Crime Scraps reviews The Cat Trap by K. T. McCaffrey, "a complex, exciting story set among the beautiful people of Dublin. Well the women are beautiful; the only thing attractive about most of the male characters is their wealth." Sounds fun.

Martin Edwards writes on his blog "Do you write under your own name?" about the pleasures of writing his third Lake District novel, The Arsenic Labyrinth, just out in paperback in the UK.

Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise shares with us her thoughts on Simon Brett as part of her "favourite authors" series, complete with her ratings of his books.

Stratton’s War by Laura Wilson (eagle-eyed commenter on Petrona’s last post) is reviewed by Material Witness: "full marks to Wilson for seamlessly weaving together so many strands and make a much stronger fabric for their presence…..The crushing weight of worry about the immediate future – invasion, defeat, annihilation? – permeates the entire story. The hardships are war are also brought home hard for our pampered generation: the shortages of essential foodstuffs, the heartache of child evacuation, the desperation of life lived under the permanent shadow of threat of imminent death."  I’ve very much enjoyed this author’s previous books, so will certainly be reading this "wonderfully gripping, atmospheric triumph of a novel."