New fiction from the International Thriller Writers

I have been so taken with translated fiction over the past months that I realise it is a while since I wrote a post about the International Thriller Writers selections. The June newsletter from the organisation has reminded me of this fact. The ITW highlight 47 new (in the USA) titles for June, including two debuts. A few of my choices for consideration for my "to read" shelves:

I'm almost at the point of no return with Karin Slaughter, but am mildly interested in her latest, Broken. "Detective Lena Adams is thrown into a mess of trouble when a suspected suicide turns into a bloody murder. Sara Linton, back in town for the first time in almost four years, sees an opportunity to finally put away the woman she holds responsible for ruining her life. She calls in Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Will Trent to investigate the investigators. He thinks he's solved part of the case, but then another body is found and yet again Grant County's idyllic small town world is turned upside down." If the Sara/Lena plot moves faster (or even at all) and there are fewer (i.e. no)  gruesomely imaginative ways of torturing women, I'm game. There is a Q&A with the author as well as a few more details about the latest novel.

A new-to-me author and book is Ashes to Water by Irene Ziegler, who writes: "While it stands alone, Ashes to Water continues the story of Annie Bartlett who grows up in my collection of linked short stories, Rules of the Lake, both set in Florida. In Ashes to Water, my first novel, Annie returns to her small home town to bury her father, who has been murdered. His girlfriend, accused of the crime, is in jail awaiting trial. Annie finds reasons to fight for the woman's innocence even though a not-guilty verdict would have a devastating effect on her erratic and unwell sister, Leigh." Sounds interesting, and if we were still playing crime-fiction alphabet, the author would be useful for this reason also.

Then there is Rebecca Cantrell's A Night of Long Knives, which takes place a few years after her award-winning debut novel (and first of the Hannah Vogel series), A Trace of Smoke, also dealing with the "tragic and very real history of Nazi Germany" (strange description!). The author describes the background of the novel and answers some questions.

The best bit of the June ITW update, to my mind, is Mike Nicol's focus on South African crime fiction, including Deon Meyer, Margie Orford, Richard Kunzmann and Andrew Brown. A couple of new names for me to try out there, when I've finished working my way through Deon Meyer's complete output.

There are lots of other new titles in the June ITW list, from the romantic and supernatural, through serial-killer, to the historical and science-fiction oriented. Take your pick. I haven't read any of them, though one or two titles have already been published in other regions of the world outside the USA.


6 thoughts on “New fiction from the International Thriller Writers

  1. Maxine – There you go again, getting me interested in books I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. No wonder my TBR list is as huge as it is. I’m not normally a thriller-lover, although I read them. But some of these do sound quite good.

  2. Thanks for this update Maxine. I am reading A Night of Long Knives at the moment, and am enjoying it after a hesitant beginning. Rebecca Cantrell had the problem that the real life events and characters were far more bizarre than anything any author could dream up.
    Having just watched the South African second, or third string rugby team, beat Wales in Cardiff I do think South African crime fiction could be the next big thing lead by the bloggers of course.

  3. Interesting. I will not read any Karin Slaughter books; the violence against women went way overboard, went way past my limits. I read two and that was it.
    Irene Ziegler’s book look interesting and so do a few on South Africa. Don’t think I can read Rebecca Cantrell. I avoid WW II books about the Holocaust. It is so horrible to even remember it, why take my time of pleasure to revisit that, which haunts me and so many people already? I need escapism, not to confront the horrors of the Holocaust.

  4. I completely agree about Karin Slaughter, the last two were both so slow as to be static, and horribly inventive about torture and kidnap of women. I keep hoping that she’ll return to her old form, but probably you are right Kathy and I should give up on her as I presume she thinks she’s hit a winning formula with these horrific descriptions.
    As for WW2, I tend to agree. I don’t read historical fiction very much if at all now, though did read a lot when I was in my teens. Growing up where/when I did, my entire childhood was dominated by the war – so many books and films were about it. I kind of feel I’ve “done that number”. I do enjoy reading my daughter’s history essays on this topic (and others), though, as I come across aspects I didn’t know about.
    Glad I did not watch that rugby match, Norman. For some reason, when I think rugby my Welsh quarter always comes to the fore. It comes from so many years of Wales being “the” rugby supremos, I suppose – as it is their national sport.

  5. I still don’t understand who likes gratuitous violence against women (or anyone), but particularly women as publishers often want book covers to show any type of horrendous violence against women, even if the victim in the book is not a woman.
    I don’t particularly like historical fiction but there are exceptions: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant was a pleasure to read, City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley, which takes place in 1940 in San Francisco, which is a lot of fun with a great, jaded, gutsy woman private eye, the book by Sarah Waters which took place in WWII England (can’t remember the title). I want to read “The Postmistress.” And I may make other exceptions if particular books stand out, and definitely will check out any recommended here or at Eurocrime, but probably not the Holocaust. (My grandfather’s whole city in Poland was erased of Jewish people, and so many friends lost family members, so I just avoid this topic and I grew up with it heavily.)

  6. Thanks for these recommendations, Kathy. I’ve read other novels by Sarah Dunant (who began writing crime fiction but has since moved on) and Sarah Waters but not these particular titles. I read a lot of books about Nazism, WW2 etc as a young woman (eg of the ilk of The Mortal Storm by Phyllis Bottome , Kurt Vonnegut, Nigel Balchin, and many others). I also like Marge Piercy’s varied novels and enjoyed her Gone To Soldiers, which has an American perspective including of the post-war liberation of the concentration camps. She’s recently taken to writing older historical fiction, also.

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