My Euro Crime book reviews for March

ARSWhite TMfBeijing TLTonguepb TLTSeconds TSCutter I did not read/review as many books in March as I did in February, because I didn't have a week off work in March. However, I did manage to consume quite a few, all of which I enjoyed though it has to be said, some more than others. Reviews published at Euro Crime (not all of books I actually read in March!) are:

A Room Swept White by Sophie Hannah. "In her new novel, Sophie Hannah addresses the complex and delicate issue of women who are accused, and sometimes convicted, of killing their own babies despite claiming that the deaths are natural. This subject is a very upsetting one, yet the author handles it with care and insight, weaving many perspectives into a vivid tapestry."Read on at Euro Crime.

The Last Ten Seconds by Simon Kernick, "an action-packed thriller which leaves no opportunity for reflection as the pages zoom past. The book opens as Sean Egan, the narrator, lies shot and seriously wounded in a room surrounded by dead men – the police burst in and more shots are fired, but we know no more than that. The action then shifts to 37 hours previously …."

The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg, translated by Steven T. Murray. "The third of Camilla Lackberg's series set in the small seaside town of Fjallbacka, Sweden, is every bit as good as the previous two novels."

The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell, translated by Laurie Thompson,…."an ambitious approach and one which, with the aid of the as-ever superb translator, Laurie Thompson, the author pulls off superbly in a rounded novel that embraces themes of global insecurity and concern."

The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson. .."the author has a fresh, assured voice and writes superbly and with a great sense of pace. One of the many reasons I liked this book is that it is a well-written story that depends for its punches on plot, atmosphere, tension and character, rather than on gadgetry, cliche or action sequences."

My prize among these for "novel of the month" has to go to The Man From Beijing, which shall probably feature on my "best of the year" list. I highly recommend it, though it is quite long and because of its large range of themes and geography (it isn't "just" a crime novel), it isn't a pacy, exciting thriller such as the Simon Kernick novel I reviewed this month. One of the many pluses of The Man From Beijing is the three main women characters: the judge, the police inspector, and the senior civil servant from China. The Lying Tongue, however, is a great read and is much shorter: if you haven't read it yet you have a treat in store in the style of Patricia Highsmith but, possibly, even better.

At Petrona during March, my reviews were limited to authors with names that fall near the end of the alphabet: Snow Angels by James Thompson and The Eye of Jade by Diane Wei Liang. Although these promising debut novels are set in Finland and China, respectively, they were first written in the English language. I highly recommend them both.

5 thoughts on “My Euro Crime book reviews for March

  1. I can see I will have to put Mankell and Sophie Hannah on my list (in spite of the shortcomings of Hannah´s novel I am very curious. Especially as I am also trying to write something about ´cot death´).

  2. They arrived today, thank you very much, and I laughed when I realized that you had sent it off before I wrote my comment. You must know me quite well by now. I have read several excellent British novels recently, many of them thanks to you, and the Andrew Wilson one looks absolutely wonderful.

  3. Hi Maxine, did you happen to notice whether the desert was stated to be “west” of the Sierra Nevada in California? I read part of the book for Knopf and noticed some odd conceptions of geography from Henning, the non-Californian… I wonder whether Laurie caught that.

  4. I’ll have to check that out, Steve – being an English person the anomaly would not have leapt out at me as it would you! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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