My June Euro Crime and Petrona reviews

TPTree June was another good reading month for me, both in terms of quantity and (mostly) of quality. Books I reviewed for Euro Crime this month were:

The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly. "Very strongly reminiscent of Barbara Vine's A FATAL INVERSION, the main events of THE POISON TREE are set in a rambling old house in Highgate during the summer of 1997, when Tony Blair became Prime Minister of Britain for the first time, and, at summer's end, when Princess Diana died." Read on..

The Killer's Art by Mari Jungstedt, translated from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally."The fourth, and in my opinion the best, Gotland novel by Mari Jungstedt takes place in a cold and dark February as the owner of a successful art gallery secretly congratulates himself while putting the final touches to his plan to start a new life, away from his stale marriage and routine existence on this small island off the coast of Stockholm. Before these plans can come to fruition, there will be one last exhibition at the gallery, to showcase a young, previously undiscovered Lithuanian artist. Of course, this being a crime novel, things go terribly wrong." Read on..

Dead Like You by Peter James.The sixth in the DS Roy Grace series follows the themes established in previous novels, but is written to enable new readers to start the series here without needing to read the previous titles. Grace is a senior officer in the Brighton and Hove CID, with special responsibility for cold cases. In the past five books (summed up briefly for new readers) he has not had much opportunity to fulfil this role given the numerous contemporary cases he's solved over the past year (an amazingly varied year!). Now, Grace looks through some of these neglected old cases as the year approaches its end, determined to make inroads. Read on...

Of these three, my favourite by a long way was The Killer's Art. I also liked The Poison Tree, but was not so keen on Dead Like You. (Is this author going the Patterson/Cornwell route?)

At Petrona, I reviewed quite a few novels (click on title to read review): 

The Past is a Foreign Country by Gianrico Carofiglio (Italian, translator Howard Curtis) *

The Demon of Dakar by Kjell Eriksson (Swedish, translator Ebba Segerberg) *

In the Wind by Barbara Fister *

The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner 

This Body of Death by Elizabeth George 

The Last Child by John Hart *

Far Cry by John Harvey *

Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland *

Almost Blue by Carlo Lucarelli (Italian, translator Oonagh Strasky) *

The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland 

All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe (Japanese, translator not named, given as a company) *

No-one Loves a Policeman by Guillermo Orsi (Spanish [Argentinian], translator Nick Caistor) *

The Complaints by Ian Rankin *

The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell *

These novels
are so varied in theme and range that it is impossible (as usual!) to pick out a book of the month from among them. I've marked the ones that I enjoyed the most of these with an asterisk, but I'd find it very hard to pick a clear winner. Perhaps Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland, if I really had to recommend only one of these, but you would be missing out on some excellent reading if you read only that one title from this list!

7 thoughts on “My June Euro Crime and Petrona reviews

  1. Maxine – As always, I so much appreciate your summing-up of your reviews. So convenient as I go looking for new things to read : ).

  2. It is so good to have you back online. FriendFeed is not quite the same without you. I know I could have done more to comment myself, but for once I am on a writing bout and try my best to live up to some of my *own* ambitions.
    I think you recommended the German writer Jan Costin Wagner recently? I found one of his books in the library today. They also had books by John Hart and John Harvey, but with 70 books on my TBR, I don´t feel quite as tempted to choose English books in Danish translation.

  3. I have The Killer’s Art on my TBR and after your strong recommendation it will be next up and number six on my Scandinavian reading challenge.

  4. I, too, thought The Killer’s Art was the best of the Jungstedts so far translated into English, and for many of the same reasons you did, Maxine. I was very impressed by Tiina Nunnally’s translation which, to my ears, was very close to the original – the dialogue and the descriptions were fluent and readable but also sounded as if they were being articulated by a Swede. I suspect this is a considerable achievement for a translator, and it gave the book an extra resonance and sense of place.
    When I had finished it I spent an enjoyable evening googling the artists mentioned, who are mostly real but unfamiliar to non-Scandinavians.

  5. I have read the poison tree. And it was really nice. I mean the story flows are really nice. I have read it in one sitting as it was magnetic.

  6. That’s fascinating, Philip, I did not know that the artists are real. I will have to look them up also, as I thought the “art” elements were so well done in this novel.

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