I am going to have to make my list a top 20, I am afraid, as I find it impossible to choose a “best” from the books I reviewed last year. Of these books, 9 are translated. Thirteen are by men, seven by women. There is a fairly good geographical spread: USA (5), Sweden (3), South Africa (2), Norway (2) and one each for Iceland, England, Estonia, Italy, Ireland, Argentina, Japan and Denmark. The list is in no particular order: each title is linked to my review at Petrona or Euro Crime.
The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
The Quarry by Johan Theorin, translated by Marlaine Delargy
Till Thy Wrath be Past by Asa Larsson, translated by Laurie Thompson
Dregs by Jorn Lier Horst, translated by Anne Bruce
Trackers by Deon Meyer, translated by Laura Seegers
Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen, translated by Lisa Hartford.
Mixed Blood by Roger Smith
Outrage by Arnaldur Indridason, translated by Anna Yates
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Intuition by Allegra Goodman
The Drop by Michael Connelly
The Rage by Gene Kerrigan
All Yours by Claudia Pineiro, translated by Miranda France
Any Human Face by Charles Lambert
Villain by Shuichi Yoshida, translated by Philip Gabriel
Burned by Thomas Enger, translated by Charlotte Barslund
Open Season et seq. by C. J. Box
Frozen Moment by Camilla Ceder, translated by Marlaine Delargy
Purge by Sofi Oskanen, translated by Lola Rogers
So hard was it to winnow the list to 20 that I’d also like to mention some other books I very much enjoyed this year: Witness by Cath Staincliff, Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes, Ashes by Sergio Gakas (tr Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife), Headhunters by Jo Nesbo (tr Don Bartlett), The Hand that Trembles by Kjell Eriksson (tr Ebba Segerberg), Misterioso by Arne Dahl (tr Tiina Nunnally), Death on a Galician Shore by Domingo Villar (tr Sonia Soto), Why Don’t You Come for Me? by Diane Janes, Prime Cut by Alan Carter, The Caller by Karin Fossum (tr Charlotte Barslund), The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell (tr Laurie Thompson), The Last Lie by Stephen White. Even with all these added, there are some that I am sad to omit from this post!
My favourite reads of European books in 2011 are listed at Euro Crime, together with the choices of the other Euro Crime reviewers. The aggregated favourite books, authors and translators are collected by Karen in this Euro Crime blog post.
All the books I reviewed in 2011, ranked from 1-5 stars. Of these 128, 49 are by women (single authors), one is by two women and four are by a man/woman duo. Forty-six in total are translated.