I reviewed two books at Euro Crime in July. One of these is a promising debut, Cambridge Blue by Alison Bruce. "Here is the Cambridge of coffee shops and pubs by the river – a river, however, that in the first chapter is the recipient of a dead body. Whether or how this body is related to the events that are subsequently told is something that readers can only guess, as next we meet Alice and Richard Moran, the sibling owners of a plastic surgery clinic, their assistant Laura Spence and her friend Victoria, who is a receptionist at the neighbouring dentist's surgery. There are unsettling dynamics between these individuals and their other acquaintances, who are presented as if in brief glimpses – Laura seems to be Richard's lover, but how volatile is their relationship, and what is Alice's seemingly strange role? Tensions simmer, ultimately with fatal results." Read on here.
My other Euro Crime review was of a book that is very much headed for one of my best reads this year: Winterland by Alan Glynn. The novel has been so well-received, collecting so many brilliant reviews, that I've been a bit wary of embarking on it. I needn't have worried, the novel is excellent. My review is here. I do think it is a pity that the cover words and the blurb spoil part of the plot, but that's life in the world of publishing.
Thanks to Karen's continued efforts to improve the already superb resource that is Euro Crime, you can now see all my reviews for the site listed on one web page. Thank you, Karen.
My reviews at Petrona during July were:
Vodka Doesn't Freeze by Leah Giarratano (Australia)
Afterlight by Alex Scarrow (England)
The Twelve by Stuart Neville (Ireland)
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (USA)
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (USA)
Shadow Family by Miyuki Miyabe (Japan)
Entanglement by Zygmunt Miloszewski (Poland)
Blue Heaven by C J Box (USA)
My book of the month award goes, without a doubt, to Winterland. Honourable mentions to Entanglement, Afterlight and Blue Heaven – all four of them very different books which I highly recommend.
Maxine – Thanks, as always, for this “round-up.” It is really so helpful to have your reviews so easily available when I’m deciding what to do about my own reading : ). Actually, since I read your review of Winterland I’ve been wanting to read that one; I’m glad it’s going to be one of your tops for the year; it seems like an excellent book.
Yes, thanks. I found “Winterland” at the library and reserved it. And I’m ordering “Vodka Doesn’t Freeze,” and I have a big list of translated fiction to read, allegedly over August, which is nearly half over. And now I’m into the opus that is the movie of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which is very good, so I had to stop reading for awhile. I’m caught in a dilemma about “Cambridge Blue,” in that my goal is to read global fiction as it’s just terrific to branch out, but then there are tempting U.S.-based books all of the time.
You’re busy, as ever, Kathy! I don’t think Cambridge Blue was that great, actually, though it shows promise. Perhaps the author will mature a bit in subsequent books (I’ve got the next one, Siren, to read so I’ll soon find out).
Okay, so Cambridge Blues won’t go on the TBOrdered list. And, yes, “Innocent” by Turow is ponderous when I wanted a quick page-turning read but it’s very interesting.
I really wanted to read Sjowall/Wahloo and Camilleri in August but it’s not turning out that way and the library reserve system is slow. (Book Depository is quicker.)
TGWTDT is an excellent movie, though the violence against women is very graphic and very horrible, more so than in a book, of course. as it’s all visual. One cheers for the superb Noomi Rapace as Lizbeth Salander, who is the hero of the movie. Don’t know how the U.S. could remake this movie nor who could possibly fill Rapace’s shoes. I bet women everywhere are rooting for her.