In April, while the country endured continuous heavy rain as illustrated, I reviewed 16 books: three for Euro Crime; two for Bookgeeks and eleven here at Petrona. Only four of these are translated books, to my shame. Six are from England; one is set in England but written (originally) in German; three are from the USA; and one each is from Italy, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Ireland and Australia. Of the 16, six are by authors who are new to me. And of the 16, seven are by women and nine by men. I think four of the total are debuts.
Which of these to nominate for my book of the month? My favourites according to the ranking scale are Hour of the Wolf, The Mistake, Phantom, Broken Harbour, The Potter’s Field and Defending Jacob. It is very hard to choose a winner out of these very different and highly enjoyable novels, so if you have time and haven’t read them all, I recommend that you do! Defending Jacob and The Mistake show grippingly the personal costs involved when the law tramples over apparently happy families. Broken Harbour is an excellent police procedural set in Ireland, depicting the desperation of a ruined economy. Phantom is the usual edge-of-the seat ride for former Oslo detective Harry Hole. The Potter’s Field is one of the strongest entries in the marvellous Sicilian series about Inspector Montalbano, and Hour of the Wolf is again, one of the best books in the classic Scandinavian series featuring the irritable yet very funny retired Inspector Van Veeteren and his erstwhile colleagues. Both of these final two books are darker than some of their predecessors. I am sorry, but I just can’t choose one “best read” from these! And many of the rest of my April reading were good, solid and engaging crime novels.
April’s reading list, with links to my reviews:
Hour of the Wolf by Hakan Nesser, tr Laurie Thompson (Sweden) 4/5
The Other Child by Charlotte Link, tr Stefan Tobler (Germany, UK setting) 3/5
The Potter’s Field by Andrea Camilleri, tr Stephen Sartarelli (Italy) 4/5
Force of Nature by C J Box (USA) 3.5/5
Lifeblood by N J Cooper (England) 3/5
Broken Harbour by Tana French (Ireland) 4/5
Kind of Cruel by Sophie Hannah (England) 3/5
Revenge of the Tide by Elizabeth Haynes (England) 2/5
The Loyal Servant by Eva Hudson (England) 2.5/5
The Mistake by Wendy James (Australia) 4/5
White Heat by M J McGrath (Canada – Ellesmere Island/high Arctic) 2.5/5
Phantom by Jo Nesbo, tr Don Bartlett (Norway) 4/5
Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp (England) 3/5
A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez (England) 3/5
As usual, check out Mysteries in Paradise for other bloggers’ “book of the month” selections.