New UK fiction for December

Holt "Cold comfort" is the Bookseller's (3 September, p 25) headline about new fiction titles to be published in the UK in December. And boy, are they right! Either something is really wrong with the publishing industry or publishers are failing to submit titles to the magazine for the monthly listing. Or perhaps the Bookseller's explanation is correct: "December offers the slimmest pickings of the year, as everyone concentrates on selling titles published in the previous three months", ie on the run-up to Christmas, which is when by far the most books are sold in the UK, as they are a very popular choice of gift even in this era of Amazon, Book Depository and e-readers.

Be that as it may, there is only one title in the category "crime and thriller" – but it is (I am betting) a good one! 1222 by Anne Holt (Corvus, £12.99). The author is former Norwegian minister for justice and is a bestselling crime writer. I've enjoyed her three novels that have so far been translated into English (Punishment, The Final Murder, Death in Oslo - see also reviews of all three novels by Dorte). 1222 is Anne Holt's first title for Corvus and is first to be published in her series about police inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen, paralysed from the waist down. (Hanne appears in some of the previous books, but not as the central character.) Here, she is a passenger on a train en route from Oslo to Bergen when it derails in a storm. The passengers are evacuated to a hotel, but then one is found dead – the ensuing mystery sounds intriguing….. I am definitely going to read this novel between now and its publication date because the publisher has kindly sent me a proof copy, so watch out for my review at Euro Crime. You won't find this out from the Bookseller, but the translator on this occasion is Marlaine Delargy. 

The only other novel listed for December that could remotely be of interest to keen crime-fiction readers is Broken Fences by Camilla Noli (Orion, £9.99), a second novel "from the darker shores of maternal love". This one is about Clair, who will do anything to protect her children from any perceived threat, real or imagined. "And what she does has her teetering on the edge of madness." Hmmm. Oh yes, and there is a thriller by Tom Clancy due out in December (Michael Joseph, £20!), Dead or Alive, about Jack Ryan, this time on the trail of a sadistic terrorist called "the Emir". Uncle!!!

The Corvus catalogue (PDF).

3 thoughts on “New UK fiction for December

  1. Maxine – Thanks for the preview. I have to say, I agree with your assessment of what December is scheduled to bring… Well, fortunately, my TBR list is so long that I’ll probably hardly notice it…;-)

  2. Like Margot I am quite chuffed that there’s another light month ahead as my physical TBR pile has hit the point where it no longer fits in to its designated bookcase and there are still pre-orders I placed months ago pouring into the house. It has been suggested that my enthusiasm at last week’s demo of Sony e-readers might have had a lot more to do with being able to hide my TBR than with a sudden fascination for e-reading (though I will be interested in hearing about your experiences with the Kindle).
    I will be reading 1222 though – just one won’t hurt right?

  3. Good to hear about 1222. I read a book by Anne Holt about a couple–he, a policeman, she a profiler. Though murders were gruesome (is this a Nordic trait?), story and characters were interesting. The TBR list is humongous, keep it with me, keep adding to it. Book Depository and Amazon are going to be lucky recipients of this development.

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