My last Euro Crime review of August is of an excellent debut novel, Witness the Night by Kirshwar Desai. I highly recommend it, and thank Karen for suggesting it to me. From my review: "The main character is a great invention, and I hope she'll return. She deals with the prejudiced and patriarchal society in which she lives with humour, resolve and determination, simply refusing to bow down or accept that other people's rules apply to her. In addition, the story of Durga's and Sharda's history is truly appalling, and one that can only make the reader's blood boil. This is an excellent, no-holds-barred and moving account, with a clear moral tone that adds resonance to the whole." (Read more here!)
I also reviewed another very strong book, Cop Killer by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, the penultimate of the 10-book Martin Beck series of police procedurals, which are modern classics. This particular title is translated by Thomas Teal. I wrote: "Although the book can be read as a stand-alone, it is worth reading the series in order to appreciate the ironies and full effect of many of these encounters or tales. I continue to be extremely impressed with this very readable and insightful set of novels. I am torn between eagerness to read the next in the series, and a desire to wait – because I know that the next one is the last."
Another enjoyable (in a very bleak way) Swedish novel is The Inspector and Silence by Hakan Nesser, written about 20 years later (translated by one of my favourites, Laurie Thompson). It is fifth in the series of ten, and very much up to the high standard of the series, with the grimly funny, irreverent Chief Inspector van Veeteren on his usual form as he investigates a reported disappearance that nobody will talk about.
Hit by Tara Moss did not impress me as much as these three titles by a long way, but looking on the positive side I said it "is written in an engaging, attractive style, though at over 550 pages the novel is far too long for its content. It verges too much towards romantic fiction, describing events without really conveying them on an emotional level, for my taste. It's a light, escapist read that passes the time pleasantly enough without being in any sense profound."
I should also mention here Where The Shadows Lie by Michael Ridpath, which I reviewed for Euro Crime in July but forgot to include in my July round-up post. It is a fast-moving, breezy and solid thriller, with a different perspective on Iceland to that more familiar to me from the work of Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Well worth checking out.
I posted a large number of reviews at Petrona during the second part of August, largely because of my holiday earlier in the month which gave me chance to read a lot more than usual. I won't bore readers by listing them all individually, but they can easily be found in Petrona's August archive, or you can find links to them in Petrona's cumulative annual book review listing page. I have not yet posted a review of my very favourite of these holiday books, because I've submitted it to Euro Crime along with one or two others that will appear over the next few weeks. There were some good, solid novels among the books I read in August and wrote about here at this blog, so I hope you enjoy my reviews.
All my reviews written and posted so far this year are collected here (as a list of links).