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.
Death in a Cold Climate: a guide to Scandinavian crime fiction by Barry Forshaw 3 (non-fiction)
For more February reading choices from book bloggers, see the round-up post at Mysteries in Paradise.