By public vote, the winner of the "Richard & Judy best summer read of 2008" is No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay. The results were gathered from viewer reaction on the Richard & Judy Channel 4 show. "Utterly riveting. It will grab you on page one and won't let you go until the final, stunning conclusion", says Tess Gerritsen. My review of this book is here. Although I enjoyed it, I did have a few caveats, in particular the fact that the solution depended on someone not looking at something properly, which in context was highly unlikely. The book is certainly an exciting, easy read, though: perfect for a summer holiday.
In other crime-fiction news, The Times today runs an article by Barry Forshaw about Stieg Larsson, author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, who died before the book (the first of a trilogy) was translated into English, by Reg Keeland. The article hints that the early death of the author may have been related to his fearless journalism, before revealing that this actually was not the case. The second book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire, is out in January 2009. You can see the cover and read a mini-extract at Euro Crime. (The commenters agree that the picture of the woman on the cover displays a highly unlikely "model-standard grooming".)
If you are a fan of Stieg Larsson and are finding it hard to wait until January, there are many other excellent Swedish (and other Scandinavian) crime novels that will keep you going until then. If you are keen on the investigative journalism theme, I would recommend in particular my adored Liza Marklund's Paradise, which covers very similar themes to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or Mari Jungstedt's Unseen and Unspoken. Asa Larsson (no relation to Stieg)'s debut Sun Storm is along similar lines although featuring a lawyer rather than a journalist. There are so many fantastic Swedish (and other Scandinavian) novels being published at the moment that the reader is truly spoilt. Johan Theorin's debut Echoes from the Dead (translated by Marlaine Delargy, who also translates Asa Larsson) is being much talked about, and I've recently been indulging in Helene Tursten's three books so far translated into English (the first one also translated by Reg Keeland, using the name Steven T Murray).
If you've read everything published in translation from Scandinavia😉, Karen has just put together an Amazon list for 2009, which I am sure will lengthen as more titles are announced.