Following on from my last post on this topic Euro Crime reviews for March, here is a round up of the books I have reviewed at Euro Crime during April. I will also log the books I have reviewed here at Petrona during April and award a "book of the month". First, the Euro Crime reviews, in reverse chronological order, with a quote from each:
Dark Matter by Juli Zeh, translator Christine Lo. " I did enjoy this clever novel – not least because of the excellent translation of the confident prose describing an obfuscating, convoluted set of circumstances and different types of parallel events. I particularly liked the way the translator deals with the wordplay that forms one of the crucial plot elements."
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, translator Don Bartlett. "There is no doubt in my mind that THE SNOWMAN is the best so far of Jo Nesbo's series about Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo police."
Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer, translator K. J. Seegers. "Thirteen hours in the life of South African police Detective Inspector Benny Griessel make Jack Bauer's exploits look like child's play."
The Rising by Brian McGilloway. "Brian McGilloway is on top form with his fourth Benedict Devlin novel, THE RISING. After the broad canvas of the previous instalment (BLEED A RIVER DEEP), THE RISING returns to the classic police procedural – with a believable and satisfyingly convoluted plot that will demand your full attention, with clues and misdirection aplenty."
A Thousand Cuts [Rupture] by Simon Lelic. "The book is a short masterpiece, and one that everyone should read to experience what it can really be like when institutionalised bullying, violence and protectionism are allowed to continue unchecked. Chillingly realistic, this novel is a Lord of the Flies for a new generation."
At Close Quarters by Eugenio Fuentes, translator Martin Schifino. "I found this a wonderful book, both in its confident telling of the story with no need for over-complicated, violent solutions, and in the author's fantastic ability to write from the perspective of the teenager, the old man or woman, the widow or divorcee, the soldier, the businessman or the maid. And in the telling, the country and its people come alive before your eyes."
61 Hours by Lee Child. "Lee Child is an internationally bestselling author and not without reason. His novels are written in an easy style that slip down with little effort. Reacher is an attractive character and his byplay with both women in this book is engaging….I was impressed by the descriptions of what it feels like to live in an environment where it is so bitterly cold all the time."
The Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri, translator Stephen Sartarelli. "I loved THE WINGS OF THE SPHINX and the all-too-brief journey it took me on, into Sicilian life and the strong integrity of Montalbano as he surveys his wrecked country with knowningness yet refusal to accept the status quo in his insistence on standing up for principle and truth."
At Petrona during April, I posted reviews of: A Certain Malice by Felicity Young; Still Midnight by Denise Mina; Affairs of State by Dominique Manotti, translated by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz; B-Very Flat by Margot Kinberg; Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer by Luigi Guicciaradi, translated by Iain Halliday; The Last Fix by K. O. Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett; Poisonville by Massimo Carlotto and Marco Videtta, translated by Antony Shugaar; and Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista, translated by Emily Read.
Which is my book of the month from that selection? Well, I have put myself up against a wall and threatened to shoot myself, but I cannot come up with one! Most of these books are so good that I just can't choose between them. All the titles I reviewed for Euro Crime this month are superb reads apart from the one by Lee Child which, although pleasant enough, just doesn't match up. And the same applies to the titles I reviewed here at Petrona – the only one I noticeably did not enjoy as much as the others is the one by Denise Mina, but it isn't by any means a poor book.
So – no book of the month, sorry!