On the run-up to CrimeFest, the crime-fiction festival in Bristol starting on Thursday 14 May and continuing until Sunday, several of the books reviewed at Euro Crime today are by authors who will be at the meeting. Two of these reviews are by me; I highly recommend both titles.
Red Bones by Ann Cleeves is the third of her Shetland novels. It is best enjoyed if you have read the previous two (Raven Black and White Nights), but it isn't essential. I wrote: "Much of the appeal of this book lies in the wonderfully conveyed sense of place, the convincingly sympathetic portrayal of a way of life, and astute characterisation. But as well as these elements, there is a good solid mystery plot…" Ann will be moderating an exciting session at CrimeFest called Foreign Correspondent: Books in translation, featuring (as well as Ann herself) a world-class panel of Don Bartlett, Ros Schwartz, Reg Keelend (Steven T Murray) and Tiina Nunnally.
The Mind's Eye by Hakan Nesser is the first in the van Veeteren series. A quote from my review: "The plot is simple yet powerful; elemental themes are involved; there is lots of droll humour and neat touches; the solution is satisfying; and one is left hoping for more." I've read these books out of order by default, and think I would have enjoyed the later ones more had I read this one first. Never mind, the author has a very dry and wicked sense of humour; Laurie Thompson (also translator of several of Henning Mankell's books) has done an excellent job of translating not only the text but also the jokes. Hakan Nesser is a featured author at CrimeFest; one of the highlights of the programme for me will be his interview by Ann Cleeves.
See the Euro Crime home page for the rest of this week's new reviews, including books by CrimeFest authors Caro Ramsay, Andrew Martin and S. J. Bolton.