My May Euro Crime and Petrona reviews

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TWfBratislava  I've read a lot of books during May, most of which I have enjoyed very much. In keeping with my (relatively) new monthly feature (see March and April), here is a round up of my Euro Crime reviews for May, with a link to and quote from each:

My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, "the second in the Thora Gudmunsdottir series, is a superbly plotted, Agatha Christie-style novel set mainly in a health-spa hotel on the Snaefellsnes peninsula of Iceland." Thora is a really great character, one of the true originals of crime fiction and one I urge you to meet.

The Pull of the Moon by Diane Janes, a debut novel about a group of students who spend the summer in a house together, and where tensions as well as temperatures reach boiling point. "I enjoyed reading THE PULL OF THE MOON very much. I also liked the settings of Birmingham, Hereford and the surrounding countryside, which are relatively under-used in English crime fiction."

Che Committed Suicide by Petros Markaris, "a long book which has many fascinating details and touches, with great characterisations and sense of place (Athens and environs). At the same time, it has a crazy crime plot. I find it hard to reconcile these two aspects. I definitely enjoyed it very much, though, and would agree with Andrea Camilleri's superbly laconic cover blurb: "I like Petros Markaris a lot". "

The Woman from Bratislava by Leif Davidsen, "a long but rewarding book, both exciting and serious".

Complicit by Nicci French, "Nicci French always delivers a solid, tense, quality read, and COMPLICIT is no exception."

Quite a varied bunch: two English, one Greek, one Danish and one Icelandic. I'm not going to attempt to choose a book of the month from that lot! 

At Petrona during May, I was on a bit of a reading roll (partly due to not being able to attend Crime Fest), so there are quite a few reviews, all of which can be accessed from my 2010 annual listing: Water-blue Eyes by Domingo Villar; The Dinner Club by Saskia Noort; Twisted Wing by Ruth Newman; The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist; Money to Burn by James Grippano, The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths; The First Rule by Robert Crais; Caught by Harlan Coben; The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark; The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard; and Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay. (Phew!)

Another varied bunch geographically, with four USA, two English and one each of Danish, Spanish, Dutch, Canadian and Swedish. Again, practically impossible to choose a book of the month as the standard is so high and varied. However, I would say that of all these books the one I most enjoyed reading was Water-blue Eyes by Domingo Villar, which was such a delightful surprise to read, as a crime novel with a strong sense of character, place and history. I loved it. (But I also loved lots of the others!)


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8 thoughts on “My May Euro Crime and Petrona reviews

  1. Maxine – You’ve read some excellent books!! I can’t wait to read My Sould to Take. I enjoyed the first of her books so much, so I look forward to the second one. I also want to read the Nicci French one, too…

  2. Yes, I enjoyed My Soul to Take. Now I want to read all of the books in your top post, a few of which were in my TBR pile; now I’ll add others to that. Maxine–you must be a speedreading champ. So glad to see your comments as now there are more juicy reads ahead–and the international flavor is perfect for summer. Who doesn’t want to be in Spain, Iceland, Denmark, Greece, or rural England for the summer?
    I found a lovely spot in which to read in my city, and the perfect bench where one only sees grass, trees, birds and butterflies. So I took Garry Disher there yesterday and am going back as soon as I locate the source of iced tea near there.
    I got Hypothermia yesterday from the book Depository and await The Janus Stone; bye to friends for awhile. Books take priority.

  3. phewwww…I am safe…haven’t added any new ones to my wishlist from this post. But only because I have already added them from your previous posts and reviews either here or at Euro Crime. I am listening to Caught right now and enjoying it…there are some really touching moments that I have been pleasantly surprised by.

  4. Caught was fun. I gave my weekend to read it, couldn’t put it down. Coben knows how to write a can’t-put-down thriller.

  5. Thanks for the comments. Kathy, that sounds like a great reading location – and Hypothermia just the ticket when all the summer heat and sunshine Europe gets too much! I have not yet read a Garry Disher but Bernadette and others have recommended him so I have one of his in my pile to read. Glad Caught is going/went down well.
    Yes, if books and friends are one and the same, one can acquire many😉

  6. Although it’s worlds away from my writing, I predict a summer of people reading crime fiction to try to distract themselves from the bleakness of the BP oil spill!

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