I am inevitably doomed to failure in my task to read the books eligible for this year's International Dagger award in time for the announcement of the short list at this year's Crime Fest. However, here is an update on how I am doing.
In my previous summary post on this topic, written on 1 December last year, I reported that I had read nine of the 61 eligible titles (eligible according to the Euro Crime database). My reviews of eight of those novels have been published (links are in the previous post) and a ninth is in press.
Of the remainder, I thought at the time of that post that this set of books looked like ones I might enjoy reading next:
Tonino Benacquista – Badfellas (France)
Leif Davidsen – The Woman from Bratislava (Denmark)
Anne Holt – Death in Oslo (Norway)
Tove Jansson – The True Deceiver (Norway)
Camilla Lackberg – The Stone Cutter (Sweden)
Henning Mankell The Man from Beijing (Sweden)
Deon Meyer – Thirteen Hours (South Africa)
Jo Nesbo – The Snowman (Norway)
I can report that I've now read three of these: Death in Oslo (review linked above); The Snowman (review submitted to Euro Crime) and The Woman from Bratislava (I have just finished that one today, it's a long book. I'll be drafting my review later and will also submit that to Euro Crime.)
I have acquired, thanks to the kindness of Karen and the publishers, The Stone Cutter and Thirteen Hours, so I think I shall be reading them next. I also have copies of some other eligible titles that are not on my second-wave list: Claudia Pineiro – Thursday Night Widows, Frank Schatzing – Death and the Devil, and Eugenio Fuentes – At Close Quarters, so they will be assigned higher priority than hitherto. The Man from Beijing and Badfellas are now published, so I can get hold of those. I wonder if I can get even that far before Crime Fest and the shortlist announcement?
And of the titles I've read, which is my front-runner? So hard to say, as the standard is extremely high. So far, in my mind, it's between The Snowman by Jo Nesbo and The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin, but I expect that will change. (Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason is my favourite from the titles I've read so far for personal reasons, but these Nesbo and Theorin titles are, objectively, better crime novels as they have a broader canvas.)