Great excitement at Petrona Towers as the postman has been busy in this past week – I think my recent meeting with Karen must have had something to do with it! In rapid succession I have received Tell Tale by Sam Hayes; Hit by Tara Moss, the impossibly attractive Australian author who has been signed up for the new imprint MaxCrime ; and Complicit by Nicci French, the pen name of the excellent writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. All marvellous temptations, and I am totally unsure which to read first (all suggestions gratefully received!).
I also see to my mock-horror that Robert Crais's new novel, The First Rule, is (apparently impossibly but true) £5.84 on Amazon for the hardback – irresistible. (Ian McEwan's Solar, eagerly awaited by me, is now down to £8.54 on Amazon, a better deal than the £9.50 being offered elsewhere.) I have not quite bought these two books yet, but am teetering on the brink.
Despite all these temptations, the book I have just started reading on the train home tonight, and am enjoying tremendously (I am up to page 55) is The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell. I am very much enjoying this novel which so far has a cast of interesting 50- and 60-somethings! The translation is by the marvellous Laurie Thompson, who as ever produces a naturalistic account, so in tune with the material.
Here is a brief extract from p. 37, from the thoughts of Judge Birgitta Roslin:
Staffan Roslin had been a year ahead of her at Lund, where they both studied law. Their first meeting was at a party given by mutual friends. Immediately Birgitta knew he was the man for her, swept off her feet by his eyes, his height, his large hands, his inability to stop blushing.
But, after completing his studies, Staffan did not take to the law. he decided to retrain as a railway conductor, and one morning he appeared in the living room dressed in a blue-and-red uniform and announced that at 12.19, he would be responsible for departure 212 from Malmo to Alesta, and then on to Vaxjo and Kalmar.
He became a much happier person.