Best crime fiction so far in 2010 – what’s yours?

Best_reads 2010How can I resist Kerrie of Mystery in Paradise's question? She asks people to give the 5 to 10 best books they have read in the first six months of the year. In the comments to Kerrie's post, luminaries such as Laura Root (whose reviews are always excellent and whose views are always worthy of respect), Jose Ignacio Escribano, Vanda Symon, BooksPlease, Kay and others, post their selections – which, of course, identify all the more books for the groaning shelves!

So, what would I choose for my 5-10 books of the first half of the year?

Truth by Peter Temple

Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland

Water-Blue Eyes by Domingo Villar

Winterland by Alan Glynn (review t/c)

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Rupture (A Thousand Cuts) by Simon Lelic

I read lots of other excellent novels in the first and second quarters of 2010, but I think the ones I have identified in this post are a little bit special, for one reason or another.

13 thoughts on “Best crime fiction so far in 2010 – what’s yours?

  1. Nice list Maxine. WATER-BLUE EYES is one I’ve never heard of. My list is:
    GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO VEGAS – Chris Ewan
    WATCHING THE WHEELS COME OFF – Mike Hodges
    LOSS – Tony Black
    THE LOST SISTER – Russel McLean
    BANK OF THE BLACK SHEEP – Robert Lewis
    REQUIEMS FOR THE DEPARTED – edited by Gerard Brennan and Mike Stone
    SANCTUARY – Ken Bruen

  2. Maxine – Excellent list : ). Thanks for sharing your “picks.” And I know exactly what you mean about “groaning shelves.” I shudder to think of how long my TBR list has gotten… Still, these are prime choices, and for a great read, I’ll make room : ).

  3. Maxine–Interesting List–My top 6 this year in no particular order are—
    The Man from Beijing–Henning Mankell
    The Loss Adjuster–Aifric Campbell
    A Game of Sorrows—Shona Maclean
    The Snowman –Jo Nesbo
    Dark Matter—Juli Zeh
    Bad Intentions –Karin Fossum

  4. Maxine—Oh dear—In my previous list –I forgot
    Thirteen Hours–Deon Meyer
    Never mind the groaning shelves—It’s the growing
    number of books on the floor that concerns me.

  5. How very splendid to see two Aussie authors in your list! I admit I am anxious for my copy of GUNSHOT ROAD to arrive – should be here by the end of the week. I ummed and aaahed about putting THE CROSSING PLACES in my list too as I loved Ruth so much. Isn’t it wonderful to be spoiled for choices?

  6. I would say “The Crossing Places,” “The Man from Beijing,” “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest,” “The Demon of Dakar,” were among the best I’ve read so far this year.
    Am now reading “Hypothermia” and can’t wait to get “Truth” from the library and “Gunshot Road.”

  7. It’s quite interesting (to me, anyway) that, although on average I have enjoyed translated fiction much more than non-translated, this particular half-year I have only one translated novel on this list! It speaks for the quality of the other books. The Crossing Places is not a great crime novel as-such, but I liked the character of Ruth so much, she really stands out from other books as you say Bernadette (Emily Tempest is another vivid character, from Gunshot Road).
    Thanks, everyone, for your lists – Simon and Donnna, you’ve given me quite a few I haven’t tried yet, thanks – but are either on my shelf or my list! Kathy – I’ve very much enjoyed all those novels you mention – some of which I didn’t read in this time-period – or Hypothermia for sure would have been there, and maybe one or two of your others….

  8. Am finishing up “Hypothermia,” which is definitely a good read. So it’s always a struggle to find a good book to follow a good book. Have “Truth” on hold at the library and just put “Gunshot Road” on hold and will do that with “The Darkest Room,” when there is room on my reserve list. And am waiting for “The Janus Stone” to appear from the Book Depository (also love Ruth’s character). And will again print out everyone’s suggestions.

  9. Wow, that Indridason was sad! Good, but so gloomy. Need an upbeat book. May not be able to read any Nordic noir for now, may have to switch entirely. Are any of these recommendations upbeat or so exciting it’ll be fun? Need to get out of Scandinavian moodiness for awhile, although I will read “The Darkest Room” soon, but I need a doom-and-gloom break. Am reading Monkeewrench’s new book but it’s so light that I feel like I’m going through the “bends” after Indridason’s gloom.

  10. Kathy – I suggest you wait a bit before reading The Darkest Room or Truth! Both quite gloomy/sad. The Crossing Places would be a good antidote, if you can get that in the US, or Water Blue Eyes, of these. Or maybe just have a “guilty pleasure” read (as Bernadette calls it), eg the latest Harlan Coben (Play Dead – actually a reissue of an old one but it has got good reviews).

  11. Thanks. I read “The Crossing Places,” (loved it) and am waiting for “The Janus Stone,” from Book Depository. Started latest Monkeewrench, it’s light, hard to get into; feel like I’m going through the “bends” going the Nordic doom-and-gloom and switching to light humor. Coben is a good idea.

  12. I’d vote for Brett Battles’ 3 books if I hadn’t read them last year — the closest thing I’ve found to Stieg Larsson’s pacing. None of the few 2010 books I’ve read have impressed me, so I’ve been delving into my John D. MacDonald paperbacks and found “Linda” from 1956 — so far above the crime fiction I’ve been translating this year, and it’s only a novella! Also really liked Lee Child’s “Nothing to Lose” from a couple of years ago. And from the not yet published pile, my vote goes to “Misterioso” by Arne Dahl. For a great dose of non-doom-and-gloom, read the parody of a script from “24” in Dave Barry’s newest, “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead”.

  13. This quasi-compendium is excellent, the only addition I would proffer is Curtis J Hopfenbeck and his novel “The Liquid City”! It is the most compelling story telling that has been written in a decade. The revival of the ‘funny, tough, intellectual’ is most certainly guaranteed. For those who loved McDonald’s ‘McGee’ and Parker’s ‘Spenser’, Curtis J Hopfenbeck will be the next literary icon to carry that mantel and to perhaps take it to the next level. I’ve never read humor and drama so seamlessly and perfectly portrayed. Few writers truly have the gift of prose, but Hopfenbeck puts pen to paper so effortlessly that we are suddenly reminded of the art behind the brilliance, and the masterpieces painted only in words! Hopfenbeck is truly a literary master, and will one day be ranked among the immortal greats.

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