February reading report

In February I reviewed 4 books for Euro Crime and 11 at Petrona. The geographical spread was fairly broad, but only one title is translated, so I must rectify that when possible: England 5 (1 set in Holland; 1 non-fiction); Wales 1; Ireland 2; Scotland 2; Japan 1; Australia 1; Canada 1 (set in USA); USA 2. The gender balance between authors is 7 female: 8 male.

Several of these books were highly rewarding, but it isn’t too difficult to award my book of the month for February to THE BROTHERHOOD by Y A ERSKINE. Set in Tasmania, the novel is a police procedural with a 360-degree perspective, set over the course of one day, with hard-hitting social comment and shifting in mood from straightforward to dark, darker and darkest. Great stuff.

Highly commended in a very strong crop are two novels by Peter May (The Blackhouse and The Lewis Man), a series set in the Outer Hebrides conveying a wonderful sense of “place” as well as telling stories of past misdeeds hidden by traditions and codes of conduct ; and Bloodland by Alan Glynn, an exciting, original global thriller. A shade behind these novels are V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton, Kinsey Milhone’s latest outing is into the murky world of organised shoplifting; The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty, a police investigation into a crime committed in the chaos of 1981 Belfast; and Dead Scared by S J Bolton, about mysterious suicides in the groves of academe, with a gothic and suspenseful touch. However, I’d recommend any of the books in the list, particularly those that score 3 or more out of 5. Click on the titles below for my reviews.

Euro Crime:

The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves 3

Death in a Cold Climate: a guide to Scandinavian crime fiction by Barry Forshaw 3 (non-fiction)

Good People by Ewart Hutton 3

The Sick Rose* by Erin Kelly 3.5

Petrona:

The Accident by Linwood Barclay 3

Dead Scared by S J Bolton 3.5

Long Gone by Alafair Burke 2

The Brotherhood by Y A Erskine 4

Bloodland by Alan Glynn 4

V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton 3.5

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, translated by Alexander O Smith with Elye Alexander 2

The Blackhouse by Peter May 4

The Lewis Man by Peter May 4

The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty 3.5

Needlepoint by Jenny Roberts 3

For more February reading choices from book bloggers, see the round-up post at Mysteries in Paradise.

*US title, The Dark Rose, which makes no sense given the author’s explanation of “the sick rose” during the novel.