More than 850 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘crime novel’

The “best Norwegian crime novel” is set in Minnesota

The Land of Dreams (Minnesota Trilogy #1), by Vidar Sundstøl @@@@ (4 out of 5) Some 4.6 million Norwegian-Americans live in the United States, about half of them in the Upper Midwest. Nearly 900,000 can be found in Minnesota alone. These numbers compare with the total of 5.3 million people who live in Norway proper…. Read More ›

My 56 favorite authors of mysteries and thrillers

OK, I admit that number 56 is a little over the top. Well, maybe a bit more than a little. How could I have 56 different “favorite” authors, much less in a single genre? Well, a little arithmetic tells the tale. Since January 2010, nearly six and a half years ago, I’ve been reading an… Read More ›

Something’s rotten in Denmark

A review of The Boy in the Suitcase (Nina Borg #1), by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis @@@@@ (5 out of 5) I’ve been wondering something about all this Nordic crime fiction that keeps creeping onto bestseller lists around the world. Since Scandinavia has one of the lowest rates of crime of anywhere in the… Read More ›

From Ian Rankin: a new novel featuring John Rebus, Malcolm Fox, and the city of Edinburgh

A review of Even Dogs in the Wild (John Rebus #20), by Ian Rankin @@@@ (4 out of 5) What can a writer do when the star of his long-running series ages into retirement? Henning Mankell took a cue from nature to solve that problem: Kurt Wallender fell prey to Alzheimer’s disease and proceeded to… Read More ›

Gruesome murder and engaging cops in Minneapolis

A review of The Bitter Season (Kovac and Liska #5), by Tami Hoag @@@@ (4 out of 5) In The Bitter Season — the biting cold days in the run-up to Thanksgiving in Minneapolis — the news is dominated by the gruesome home invasion murder of a university professor and his wealthy wife. The homicide… Read More ›

Three sisters, a marriage, and a gruesome crime

A review of Pretty Girls: A Novel, by Karin Slaughter @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Pretty Girls is the story of three sisters, a marriage, and a gruesome crime. The characters are pretty. The story isn’t. The fulcrum of this tale is the long-ago disappearance of nineteen-year-old Julia Carroll, the oldest of three beautiful blonde sisters…. Read More ›

Murder in Sicily? What else is new?

A review of The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano #1), by Andrea Camilleri @@@ (3 out of 5) There’s little of that celebrated Italian charm in The Shape of Water, the first in Andrea Camilleri’s widely-read series of crime novels featuring Inspector Salvo Montalbano. The book is set in the town of Vigata in Sicily,… Read More ›

Definitely one of the 100 best mysteries of all time

A review of The Fools in Town are On Our Side, by Ross Thomas @@@@@ (5 out of 5) For extended periods over the past several decades, I’ve been reading mysteries by the carload. I thought that by now I’d be reasonably familiar with the best writers in the genre. Somehow, I missed Ross Thomas,… Read More ›

A classic novel of guilt and corruption

A review of True Confessions: A Novel, by John Gregory Dunne @@@@@ (5 out of 5) True Confessions, first published in 1977, is widely regarded as a classic American novel. Set in Los Angeles in 1948 and based on the notorious, never-solved Black Dahlia murder case, the story plumbs the depths of guilt and corruption… Read More ›

Joseph Finder’s latest crime novel

A review of The Fixer: A Novel, by Joseph Finder @@@ (3 out of 5) For years I’ve been a big fan of Joseph Finder’s work. He has written a slew of excellent crime novels over the years. (Buried Secrets and Paranoia were two of my favorites.) But The Fixer doesn’t measure up — it’s good, but… Read More ›