November reading and reviews

I read only ten books in November; in fact not even that as, unusually for me, I did not finish three of them. I wrote reviews of those I did finish, as well as having a few other reviews coming out at Euro Crime. First, the Euro Crime books I reviewed:

The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney, about which I wrote: “I highly recommend this book to anyone, not just those who enjoy crime fiction but to those who like a well-written story containing rounded characters, genuine emotion, and providing insights into a vanishing way of life that is unknown to most of us. It is at least as good a novel as the author’s impressive debut, THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES, and in many ways, even better.”

Trust No One by Alex Walters, featuring “a welcome addition to the current trend for strong, independent female protagonists.”

The Unlucky Lottery by Hakan Nesser, translated by Laurie Thompson, complete with “trademark bleak humour that permeates the book throughout, as the hard-pressed police team attempts to hold cold reality at bay.”

The Terrorists, the last Martin Beck novel by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. “The last of the ten books in the classic Martin Beck series was first published in 1975. Today, in 2011, it is as fresh and intelligent as it must have been when first written. Even though the plot is about international terrorism, a topic prone to the latest gadgetry, the book does not seem dated because what is important about it is the plot, characters and ideas that the authors wish to convey.”

At Petrona, I reviewed:

The Drop by Michael Connelly

Lethal Investments by K. O. Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett

I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

The Hand that Trembles by Kjell Eriksson, translated by Ebba Segerberg

White Sky, Black Ice by Stan Jones

Lying Dead by Aline Templeton

Nairobi Heat by Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Scandinavian Crime Fiction, eds Nestingen and Arvas (non-fiction)

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

The geographical spread is not as great as I would have liked, with 4 from the USA (one of these was mainly Kenyan in setting, the others were set in LA, New York and Alaska), 3 from Sweden, 2 each from England and Scotland, 1 from Norway, and 1 “Scandinavian mix”.

My book of the month? There are some strong contenders here, but it is fairly easy to choose The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney, which I enjoyed very much indeed. Runners up are The Drop by Michael Connelly, The Terrorists by Sjowall & Wahloo, and The Hand that Trembles by Kjell Eriksson.

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