Until its Over by Nicci French: "well up to the usual standard – there are lots of nice touches and observations of London life which those who live there will recognise and enjoy. If you haven’t read French before, this title would be a good introduction to the author….. Astrid is an attractive heroine with whom one can readily identify, and the pace of the plot guarantees that you won’t want to put this book down until you have finished it."
A Small Weeping by Alex Gray: "Although I enjoyed this book, I felt that the police procedural aspects were quite weak on occasion. Lorimer is an interesting character, but he seems to spend most of his time with the profiler, rather than his police colleagues, in trying to solve the case – in the process, missing quite a few promising avenues….. the book is not helped by the expectations placed on it by the jacket blurb comparing Lorimer to Inspector Rebus (because they are both Scottish, one presumes): this series needs time to mature before these kinds of comparison can be made."
An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson: "Nicola Upson cleverly merges fact with fiction throughout AN EXPERT IN MURDER……Yet although clever, I find this juxtaposition of real and imaginary unsatisfactory, as I am constantly aware in the back of my mind that "Josephine Tey" is a fiction, but that some of what happens in the book was "real". Some aspects of the book are very sad and poignant, but I think they would have been even stronger in a wholly fictional construction, rather than in this half-fiction/half-fact way of taking a person’s life and some known events, then adding imaginary melodrama, characters, actions and feelings. The whole is, for me, a curate’s egg. Nevertheless, the evocation of London’s theatreland and the snapshot of life in Britain at that time seems to be very well-researched and conveyed."
Cold in Hand by John Harvey: "a very sad book, written by an author at the peak of his powers. Understated yet powerful, it is superb – this is going to be one of the very best novels I read this year."
There are other new reviews at Euro Crime, listed here (updated each Sunday). Particularly good ones in this batch are Karen Meek on Marek Krajewski’s Death in Breslau, and as previously mentioned but worth mentioning again, Norman Price on A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr. Don’t just take my word for it, though, do check out Euro Crime’s great mix of books, news, reviews and all things Euro crime fiction.