Give books for Christmas, wrote Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise last November, and who am I to disagree? Giving crime fiction for Christmas, though, seems slightly counter-seasonal. I am never quite sure how the generalist recipient (as opposed to a dyed-in-the-wool addict) really feels when presented with a dark tome.
As in my post on this subject from last year, therefore, I’ve divided up my (global, natch!) recommendations for gifts, or simply for reading for pleasure, into two categories, as below.
Presents for crime-fiction addicts:
Mixed Blood by Roger Smith (South Africa)
Nairobi Heat by Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Kenya, Uganda, USA)
Dregs by Jorn Lier Horst (Norway)
Misterioso by Arne Dahl (Sweden)
Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Denmark)
I chose the above titles because they are not by standard, well-known authors in the genre, but are distinctive (and not nth in a series).
Presents for “generalists” or those new to the genre:
Villain by Shuichi Yoshida (Japan)
Witness by Cath Staincliffe (England)
Purge by Sofi Oksanen (Estonia/Russia)
Headhunters by Jo Nesbo (Norway)
I chose these titles because they all tell a very good story, as well as involving a “crime”. Some of them might not strictly be considered as “crime fiction” but I think any of them would encourage a novice to try a few more in the genre, and any of them would encourage those against “crime fiction” to agree that it isn’t all stupid.