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British Crime Writers' Assoc
2016
The Truth and Other Lies:
Book Jacket   Sascha Arango
2016
The Great Swindle
Book Jacket   Pierre Lemaitre
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781623659035 Winner of the Prix Goncourt, Lemaitre's assured, somber exploration of post-WWI French society opens shortly before the 1918 armistice. Lt. Henri d'Aulnay-Pradelle murders two of his soldiers to provoke a French attack on German territory, then unsuccessfully tries to eliminate the two witnesses, Albert Maillard and Édouard Péricourt. After the armistice , Albert works menial jobs to pay for morphine for Édouard, whose jaw was blown off when he saved Albert from Pradelle. Pradelle, meanwhile, makes his fortune reburying French soldiers in proper cemeteries. Édouard decides to exploit his country's desire to honor fallen soldiers by contracting to build memorials and then absconding with the down payments. Lemaitre (Alex) captures the venal capitalism of the postwar period, in which Pradelle's company buries German bodies as French soldiers and saws off corpses' feet to fit into cheap coffins; meanwhile, politicians speak of honoring the dead, but soldiers like Édouard and Albert live in poverty. Despite his unscrupulous scheme, Édouard proves impossible to dislike. His determination to play a great trick on the society that betrayed him is infectious, and readers cannot help rooting for his plans as they reach their dark, bizarrely joyous fruition. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. The battlefields of World War I give birth to two different, but related, schemes to swindle grieving French families out of their money. It's November 1918, and word is that an armistice is nigh: French soldiers on the battlefield are keenly aware that they may be going home. Thus it's with great dismay that Albert Maillard finds himself back in the fight following the shooting of two soldiers, "an old man and a kid," who were sent on a reconnaissance mission by Lt. Henri d'Aulney-Pradelle. When Albert comes across their bodies in the ensuing battle, he realizes the officer shot his own men in the back to restart the fighting, but before he can tell anyone, he finds himself buried alive after d'Aulney-Pradelle pushes him into a shell crater that then collapses on him. That's when he meets fellow soldier Edouard Pericourt, who digs him out and resuscitates him and who is then wounded himself when he catches a piece of shrapnel in the face. The shrapnel wound is terribleit "ripped away his lower jaw; below his nose is a gaping void"but Edouard, the artistic son of a rich man, refuses to allow any type of reconstructive surgery. He lets his family think he's dead so they won't have to see him with his terrible injury. Albert keeps him alive and, when he's released from the hospital, stays with him out of a sense of duty. Together, the two men concoct a scam to support themselves by selling war memorials they don't intend to build, while d'Aulney-Pradelle, who has married Edouard's sister, Madeleine, becomes involved in another scam to rebury French soldiers in undersized coffins. Lemaitre's tale is carefully researched, and most of the story's value lies in its historical authenticity. The book is much too long and often repetitive, and the character of Edouard is both bizarre and unsympathetic: Lemaitre never establishes a reason why he would refuse further medical intervention. The battlefield and hospital scenes convey Lemaitre's mastery of imagery, but his charactersEdouard in particularfail to arouse much empathy in readers. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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2016
Icarus
 Deon Meyer
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780802124005 In South African author Meyer's excellent fifth novel featuring Benny Griessel of Cape Town's Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (after 2014's Cobra), Benny has been sober for more than 20 months, but he soon falls off the wagon after hearing tragic news about a colleague. Vollie Fish, who had caught two serial killers in four years, fatally shot his wife and two daughters and then himself, an apparent victim of his own demons. Meanwhile, someone has strangled Ernst Richter, called the Alibi Man for his website, which provides alibis, complete with phony documentation, for a price. Richter's death alone would be enough to unsettle those who use his services, but in addition someone has created a Twitter account that threatens to list all his clients in 18 hours. Meyer heightens the suspense with scenes of a defense attorney's conversations with an enigmatic client. The richness of the characters, especially the multifaceted Benny, elevates this above most contemporary police procedurals. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780802124005 South African crime novelist Meyer delivers another expertly crafted thriller that feels exceptionally timely, given its focus on the high-tech and wine industries. Ernst Richter, the head of the Internet service MyAlibi, which provides forged documentation to cover up the whereabouts of cheating spouses, has been killed. Meanwhile, Captain Benny Griessel is badly shaken when he's called to the scene of a multiple homicide; a former colleague has killed his entire family. Suddenly, Benny, who has been sober for four years, succumbs to his need for a drink. His colleague, Vaughn Cupido, who has been put in charge of the high-profile Richter case, needs Benny on his game, but Benny is of the mind that he can control his demons, born of the chaos of his profession, much better when he's had a few. As he drifts ever further from sobriety, his beautiful partner, a former alcoholic herself, feels that Benny's presence is a danger to her own sobriety. As Benny's elite investigative unit struggles to close the case, Benny must decide whether he's willing to lose his job and his partner for the love of drink.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2015 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Sex, lies, and a lot of alcohol are the key elements in Meyer's (Cobra, 2014, etc.) latest thriller featuring Detective Captain Benny Griessel of the leading South African investigative team known as the Hawks. Griessel himself is incapacitated for most of the story: after two years as a recovering alcoholic, he's been shaken by a murder/suicide involving a colleague and has fallen off the wagon. While Griessel struggles to keep his life from falling apart, Ernst Richter, owner of the notorious website Alibi, turns up strangled. True to its name, Alibi promises airtight excuses for clients cheating on their spouses, but it seems that Richter hasn't honored his promise to keep his clients' identities secret. In a parallel storyline, Cape Town winemaker Francois de Toit outlines his troubled family history during a government investigation, a story that includes growing up with a psychopathic brother. De Toit has his own secret: he's become involved in a fraud scheme, in which his bottles of South African wine are sold internationally as high-priced Chateau Lafite Rothschild. The connection between these two stories won't become clear until Griessel can get his head out of the Jack Daniels. Complicating matters further, investigators in each of the cases find themselves falling in love with the possible suspects they're interviewing. Unlike previous Griessel volumes, this one makes only passing references to the political and racial climate of post-apartheid South Africa. But the surprising plot twists and the wealth of juicy subplots make this a standout entry in a superior series. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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  Book Jacket
2016
The Murderer in Ruins
 Cay Rademacher
  Book Jacket
 
2016
Six Four:
Book Jacket   Hideo Yokoyama
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A bestselling Japanese crime novelist makes his American debut with a pensive but overlong whodunit that sheds light on power relations in his native country.It's 1989, the final year of Emperor Hirohito's reign, a time of portent, and a young girl has gone missing. A kidnapper calls, the police flail about, and parents and child never reunite. Time goes by, and now, in 2003, Yoshinobu Mikami is still thinking about the case, for, in a plot convenience that demands ample suspension of disbelief, his own daughter has gone missing. As Yokoyama's grim tale opens, Mikami and his wife are in the morgue, hoping against hope that the teenager lying on the table is not their daughter. "This wasn't their first time," writes Yokoyama, "in the last three months they had already viewed two bodies of Ayumi's age." Mikami is able to take a synoptic view because he had been an investigator in the earlier case, and now, reviewing the files, he sees something he had not noticed before. It's not really his place to be poking around, though, since he has been transferred to the press relations office of the police department, a job that he fears is a subtle, politically motivated demotion and a move that has soured any enthusiasm he had for being a cop. The jaded investigator is an old trope in crime fiction, but Yokoyama steals a page from Stieg Larsson by using the mystery to probe the ways the powers that be work in an apparently orderly society that masks a great undercurrent of evil and wrongdoing, much of it committed by the powerful and well-connected. So it is in this story, which takes leisurely twists into the well-kept offices of Japan's elite while providing a kind of informal sociological treatise on crime and punishment in Japanese society, to say nothing of an inside view of the police and their testy relationship with the media. Elaborate but worth the effort. Think Jo Nesb by way of Haruki Murakami, and with a most satisfying payoff. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374265519 In 1989, a Tokyo schoolgirl is kidnapped, but the negotiations are botched, leaving the kidnapper at large and the victim dead. Fourteen years later, Det. Yoshinobu Mikami, who had been involved in the initial investigation and who is now working in media relations, is pulled back into the cold case, labeled "Six Four," when the top brass plan a photo op around the crime. In tracing the tragic events, Mikami talks to suspects, and even the victim's family, slowly realizing that police politics, the personal tragedy of his own missing daughter, and the old 64 case are connected. Uncovering the truth and delivering justice is hard fought. Verdict A best seller in Japan, Yokoyama's English-language debut is a complex procedural that takes time to get into high gear as it follows its detective sifting through the evidence while mired in his department's bureaucratic intricacies and office politics. [See Prepub Alert, 8/16/16.]-Ron Samul, New London, CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781427288721 This work, the first available-in-English-translation novel from Japanese phenomenon Yokoyama, requires serious commitments of time and attention. The exquisitely plotted story pivots around detective-turned-press director Mikuma, who was previously involved in investigating the 1989 kidnapping and murder of a seven-year-old girl. Referred to as the titular "Six Four"-1989 is Showa 64/Heisei 1 in the Japanese calendar-the unsolved case's 14th anniversary is about to become a major press event, and Mikuma must convince the girl's mourning father to receive the head of the National Police Agency. Meanwhile, -Mikuma is dealing with his own anguish-his runaway teenage daughter remains missing-and his heightened desperation drives his own unofficial investigation into Six Four until closure (for some) becomes possible. With his crisp British accent, narrator Richard Burnip reads with requisite detachment, never prematurely giving anything away, but his emotive adjustments are immediate whenever parental attachment trumps professional neutrality. VERDICT International thrill-seekers (with patience) will find Yokoyama's English debut essential listening. ["A complex procedural that takes time to get into high gear": Xpress Reviews 1/20/17 review of the Farrar hc.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780374265519 This is Yokoyama's sixth novel, the first to be published in English. Yokoyama, the James Ellroy of Tokyo, is known for an exhaustive and relentless work ethic. He once brought on a heart attack by working nonstop for 72 hours. This intense drive is reflected in his extremely detailed style and carefully wrought characters. Six Four succeeds on several levels: as a police procedural, an incisive character study, and a cold-case mystery. However, this takes almost 600 pages to accomplish. A seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl was kidnapped in 1989, the kidnapper never identified, the girl never found. For years the police felt the disgrace of their botched investigation of case Six Four. Eager for promotion, Superintendent Yoshinobu Mikami has taken on a press-director position, although his heart is still in criminal investigation. When he uncovers an anomaly in the crime reports, he digs deeper, and it doesn't take long for him to realize that some doors are locked up tight for good reason. Recommended for libraries with a devoted international mystery following.--Murphy, Jane Copyright 2016 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780374265519 Japanese author Yokoyama makes his U.S. debut with a massive and complex police procedural set in 2003 in one of Japan's prefectures. Supt. Yoshinobu Mikami, who has been transferred from criminal investigations to media relations at Prefecture D Police Headquarters, must contend with unhappy members of the press who feel that the police are too selective in what they choose to share. The multilayered plot involves the unsolved kidnapping and murder of a seven-year-old girl 14 years before, physical confrontations between reporters and police, and the discordant relationships among various elements of the police force. Meanwhile, Mikami agonizes over his teenage daughter, Ayumi, who has been missing for weeks. American readers may have trouble following the bewildering conflicts and alliances, but they should gain a better understanding of a very different culture. This is a novel that requires and rewards close attention. The ending is oddly satisfying, though none of the underlying issues are truly resolved. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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2015
Free Falling As If in a Dream:
Book Jacket   Leif GW Persson
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780307377470 Persson concludes his trilogy (Another Time, Another Life; Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End) about the assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme on February 28, 1986, a case that was never solved but now is, though only as fiction. It is a meticulous reconstruction of the investigation of a highly sensitive case, long since past but now reopened. More than any other series of police procedurals today, Persson's exceptional novels show how cops actually pursue a difficult investigation, the thousands of steps and missteps that occur en route. The detectives are competent and human, with interesting quirks; their boss Lars Martin Johannsson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is a veritable bloodhound once he gets a notion in his head. In the process of narrating this fascinating tale, Persson makes telling comments about the pernicious influence of the police presence in Sweden and paints an uproariously funny portrait of a very bad cop-venal, xenophobic, work-averse, and a liar-who attempts to force his way into the case with disastrous consequences. (For himself, of course.) Verdict Readers who enjoy Scandinavian crime fiction will love Persson's climactic volume in a series that may be the best around. [Interestingly, the late Swedish journalist and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo author Stieg Larsson may have cracked the case; according to the Guardian (bit.ly/1fLJ3Sg), a Swedish newspaper recently reported that Larsson left 15 boxes of papers for the police supporting his claim that South African security forces were involved in the crime.-Ed.]-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Stark whodunit with a sharp political edge, examining the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden. Though the equivalent, in Swedish memory, of the assassination of JFK, Palme's killing has served mostly as backdrop in that country's superbly well-developed mystery fiction milieu. Persson (Another Time, Another Life, 2012, etc.), a criminologist in real life, places the killing at the forefront of this latest story, in which a CSI type named Lars Martin Johansson (familiar from other of Persson's procedurals) moves to center stage as, years after the fact, he opens the cold file. "I'm only the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, but I'm also an orderly person and extremely allergic to unsolved cases." Surrounded by a body of flatfoot cops and smart investigators, he finds his orderly tendencies thwarted by extremely messy trails of evidence, from subtly conflicting testimonies ("the perpetrator had...half run,' trotted,' lumbered,' or jogged' down Tunnelgatan in the direction of the stairs up to Malmskillnadsgatan") to leads that bring in a bewildering range of conspiratorial actors (one of them with a quite unmentionable name). Persson's tale is too long by a quarter, with plenty of longueurs that seem to put the case in real time, but it has plenty of virtues, not least in showing how police work is actually done and in how quirky interpersonal dynamics can affect every detail of a crime investigation. To say nothing of calling the whole lone gunman scenario into question. "It's a small country," Johansson grumbles. "Much too small." Yet there's plenty of room for mayhem. A worthy addition to the vast Swedish library devoted to such unpleasant things.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780307377470 The concluding volume of Persson's Swedish political trilogy (after 2012's Another Time, Another Life) exhaustively explores the antecedents and aftermath of Prime Minister Olof Palme's murder in 1986. In 2007, Lars Martin Johansson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, reopens the unsolved case under the guise of developing a way to handle the massive amount of material-roughly a million pages-related to the assassination. Johansson, the man "who can see around corners," assembles four high-ranking officers and charges them with examining the evidence with fresh eyes. Word spreads quickly, rumors and tips fly, and the ad hoc squad immerses itself in the convoluted and sordid history of an investigation botched from the beginning. Strong characterization, a solid grasp of investigatory complexities, and an appreciation of the elusive, chimerical nature of "truth" make this a fine example of a conspiracy thriller. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780307377470 Swedish crime fiction had a solid fan base in North America even before Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy hit the shelves, but since then the onslaught of new authors has become a tidal wave. Persson's trilogy of crime novels featuring Lars Martin Johansson (introduced in the author's first novel, 1978's The Pig Party) was originally published from 2002 through 2007 but didn't start appearing in English translation until 2010. Here, in the concluding volume, Lars Martin is now the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He remains obsessed with the still-unsolved 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, and now he has taken the highly unusual and politically unwise step of reopening the investigation. How much of his own life and career (not to mention sanity) is he willing to sacrifice to find, more than two decades later, Palme's killer? A gripping novel and a fitting conclusion to a trilogy that, in many ways, is nearly as powerful as Larsson's blockbusters.--Pitt, David Copyright 2014 Booklist
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2015
Camille:
 Pierre Lemaitre
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781623654399 The final book in the Commandant Camille Verhoeven trilogy finds the diminutive French policeman moving on with his life, four years after tragic events detailed in Irčne (2014). He is now dating Anne Forestier, a woman who has the misfortune of being the only person alive who saw the face of a violent jewelry-store robber. Surviving a beating that might have left her dead, Anne is a loose end that the robber can't leave untied, and Verhoeven is equally determined not to watch another woman in his life die. Failing to disclose that he has a personal relationship with the victim is only one of the rules he breaks while tracking Anne's attacker. But while trying to protect Anne, Verhoeven uncovers several inconsistencies in both the details of her attack and in what she has told him about herself. Who is the real target here? Verhoeven remains a laser-focused detective who is relentless in doing whatever it takes to impose just a sliver of justice in a consistently unjust world. A bittersweet conclusion to this ferociously intense series.--Keefe, Karen Copyright 2015 Booklist
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  Book Jacket
2015
Cobra
 Deon Meyer
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780802123244 Meyers assured fourth Bennie Greissel thriller (after 2012s Seven Days) takes the Cape Town homicide detective to South African wine country, where the British citizen Paul Morris has been kidnapped. At the guesthouse where Morris was staying, his two bodyguards lie dead, each of them shot in the head. Near the bodies are shell casings, each etched with the head of a cobra. Back in Cape Town, the amiable cutpurse Tyrone Kleinbooi, whos devoted to putting his sister through medical school, becomes a target of the same cobra killers after picking the wrong pocket. Suspense builds as the action shifts between Greissels and Tyrones increasingly life-threatening exploits. On a lighter note, Afrikaans expressions season the story (a glossary is included), and there are practical lessons in the art of pickpocketing. The novels only flaw is the abrupt ending, which leaves at least one characters fate unresolved. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780802123244 South African crime novelist Meyer combines intricate plotting, a compelling cast, and timely themes in this fourth novel featuring Captain Benny Griessel as the lead. A brilliant mathematician has been kidnapped at a guesthouse in South Africa's wine country, and his bodyguards have been assassinated; the only clues are bullet casings at the scene that sport the head of a cobra. The mathematician has invented an algorithm that can detect the fraudulent movement of large amounts of cash, and now someone may be pressuring him to change that algorithm. Possible culprits include corrupt politicians, drug cartels, and financial institutions. Recovering alcoholic Benny, who has only recently become familiar with cell phones, needs all of his wits about him to understand the implications of cybercrimes, and he is seriously distracted by his beautiful new roommate, an accomplished jazz singer. Meanwhile, a young pickpocket has targeted the wrong mark and soon finds himself in danger. As the two cases converge, Benny and his elite investigative unit, the Hawks, must also play politics while trying to track the kidnappers. Meyer has added another provocative novel to his impressive oeuvre.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A chase-themed thriller set in the tense political climate of post-apartheid South Africa.Detective Benny Griessel of Cape Town's elite Hawks is called in when renowned mathematician David Adair is kidnapped from a remote hideaway, his bodyguards shot dead. The crime is traced to the international assassin team known as Cobra, which is after a memory card containing information that could expose major worldwide financial corruption. Meanwhile, Tyrone Kleinbooi, a small-time pickpocket who steals to support his sister, inadvertently winds up with the card when he robs Adair's assistant and lover, Lillian Alvarez. Already running from the law, Tyrone witnesses a further shooting and now finds himself a Cobra target as well. Griessel's team spends the book's second half pursuing Tyrone, whose life would clearly be easier if he'd turn himself in. There's also a major implausibility when Tyrone's sister is shot point-blank by Cobras and survives with minor injuries. As the chase intensifies, recovering alcoholic Griessel struggles to stay sober and hold onto a new relationship. The story ends with a blast of violence that throws a sudden twist on a tidy ending and sets the stage for the next installment. As always, Meyer (Seven Days, 2012, etc.) writes with a strong sense of character and an eye on post-apartheid politics, though the plotting here is slower and less compelling than previous books in the Griessel series. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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  Book Jacket
 
2015
Arab Jazz
Book Jacket   Karim Miske
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781681446141 When Ahmed Taroundat, a troubled young man, discovers the murder of his neighbor Laura Vignole, the carefully sheltered life he has built for himself over the years crumbles. Ahmed lives in the 19th -Arrondissement of Paris, where the children of Jehovah's -Witnesses, Orthodox Jews, and fundamentalist Muslims can be friends. It's a hip neighborhood featuring great food and charming bars. However, as detectives Rachel Kupferstein and Jean Hamelot investigate Laura's gruesome death, the charm of the community becomes a façade for bad behavior and a frightening new drug. VERDICT Miské's first novel, which won the -English Pen Award, redefines noir at its darkest. As the bodies pile up and the number of suspects increases, Ahmed and the French police face a daunting task. Is anyone innocent in the arrondissement? Is anyone sane? How can the flow of this terrifying drug be stemmed? Miské's ability to keep his readers on the edge of their seats and the way he handles an intricate plot without a misstep has created an amazing page-turner.-Andrea Kempf, formerly with Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781681446141 Ahmed Taroudant, the hero of Miské's marvelous debut, is a dreamer, mystery reader, and occasional marijuana smoker. He also holds the house key to his upstairs neighbor Laura Vignola's apartment in Paris's 19th arrondissement, which should make him the prime suspect when she's murdered. Intellectual police lieutenants Rachel Kupferstein and Jean Hamelot readily dismiss him as a suspect, though, sensing his inherent gentleness. Ahmed willingly assists Rachel and Jean as well as pursuing his own lines of investigation. The three start to see connections to neighborhood Hasidic Jews and Salafist Muslims as well as Laura's own estranged Jehovah's Witness family. The crime may also be linked to a powerful new drug that has hit the streets and the potentially crooked cops who work an adjacent arrondissement. Separately and together, Miské's leads sip coffee, have cordial chats, and muse their way toward the solution. Memories, erotic fantasies, and assorted reveries drift through the pages, but Rachel and Jean are no less rigorous in their investigation than more traditional detectives. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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2015
The Invisible Guardian: A Novel
Book Jacket   Dolores Redondo
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781501102134 Spanish author Redondo's assured first novel takes Insp. Amaia Salazar from Pamplona to Elizondo, in Basque country, where she grew up, to head a team investigating a serial killer. The killer strangles his young female victims, carefully arranges their hands and hair, and places a txantxigorri, a traditional cake of the region, on their torsos. Having been in Elizondo only 48 hours in the five years since her marriage, and already troubled by the horrors she has seen in her work, Amaia finds that returning to Elizondo has resurrected terrifying, long-repressed memories. She's further handicapped by an insubordinate colleague, Insp. Fermin Montes, who resents her being in charge. Despite deep skepticism, Amaia is forced to consider whether a basajaun, a small, human-like creature believed by the locals to live in the woods, may have been responsible for the murders rather than a ritual killer. Already an international bestseller, this engrossing psychological thriller will impress American readers as well. Agent: Anna Soler-Pont, Pontas Agency (Spain). (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781501102134 An international best seller and short listed for the CWA International Dagger Awards, -Redondo's exciting first installment in the Baztán trilogy brings readers deep into Basque country in northern Spain. The novel opens with a suspected serial homicide case forcing Insp. Amaia Salazar to return to her hometown. The suspect is killing young women in a particularly bizarre fashion and leaving them posed in such a way that locals begin to tell tales of the mythological creature the basajaun, the invisible guardian, protector of the innocent. Working across superstition, tradition, and mythology, Amaia bumps up against her family's surprising connections to the victims as well as the deeply buried past determined to haunt her. Political complications mar the case, and Amaia isn't sure whom she can trust; her nightmares steadily increase as the body count picks up. VERDICT The Basque backdrop gives this thriller an especially intriguing layer of depth; the superstitions and mythologies passed down from the days of the Spanish Inquisition penetrate the mystery to such an extent that the reader is easily transported. The tenuously balanced level of sustained uncertainty is magnificently realized. The next two books in the series should be highly anticipated. [See Prepub Alert, 10/6/15.]-Julie Kane, Washingrton & Lee Lib., Lexington, VA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781501102134 Published in her native Spain in 2013, this is the first of Redondo's Baztan Trilogy to be released in the U.S. A new case takes Inspector Amaia Salazar back to her childhood village of Elizondo in the Basque Pyrenees. Girls are being murdered and staged by the river for animals to feast on. Locals swear it's the work of a basajaun a bigfoot-like creature rumored to haunt the woods. Amaia's investigation is complicated by her family's connections to the crimes. Her brother-in-law knew one of the victims a little too well; her eldest sister's bakery makes pastries similar to the ones found near the victims; and her aunt sees relationships she's afraid to name in her tarot cards. At the core of Amaia's unease are her memories of the last time she saw evil in Elizondo the last time she looked her mother in the eye. Redondo's books have sold more than 300,000 copies in Spain and have been translated into 32 languages.--Keefe, Karen Copyright 2015 Booklist
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2015
Into a Raging Blaze
 Andreas Norman
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. An oddly named but engaging spy thriller translated from the Swedish.Carina Dymek is a young, midlevel civil servant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm with the job of analyzing European Union security policies. After a meeting in Brussels, a stranger introduces himself as Jean and persuades her to accept a USB memory stick. On it, he explains, is secret information about a proposed European Intelligence Service that would create a European spy organization without the knowledge of elected public officials. Why give it to her? "You have a conscience," he explains, asking her to read the proposal and leak its contents to the right people. Soon her troubles begin. Her bosses quickly learn that she has the memory stick. They interrogate her about it, but she doesn't give it up, and they suspend her from her duties. She must locate the mysterious Jean to help clear her name, but that seems impossible. Meanwhile, Bente Jensen of the Swedish Security Service is investigating Carina and her Egyptian boyfriend, Jamal, who authorities believe are up to no good. Are they planning a major terrorist attack? Bente doesn't think so, but her colleagues do. They intercept an email with an Arabic poem that says, "Their fire will loom before you, kindling desire into a raging blaze." That sounds like a metaphor for an act of terror, and soon the chase is on to arrest Carina and Jamal. While the novel's title comes from that quote, it misleads the reader about what the book delivers. Still, there is tension and excitement, with a plot that builds steadily. Bente and Carina are strong and sympathetic women whose interests coincide when a conspiracy unfolds. Bente delivers the best line: "If you're going to lie then you have to do so truthfully." There's plenty to like in this plausible and well-written tale. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781623658021 Starred Review. At a meeting abroad, Carina Dymek, a Swedish civil servant, is approached by a stranger who gives her a USB memory stick containing a secret, very disturbing European Union Commission report. When Carina sends the report on to her boss, she finds herself suddenly suspended from her job. The authorities don't believe her when she tells how she got the document. In no time at all, Carina and her Egyptian Swedish lover are the objects of a full-strength antiterrorism operation. Enter a Swedish spy catcher who goes along with the hunt at first but gradually becomes suspicious. SAPO agent Bente Jensen suspects Sweden's partners in espionage, Britain's MI6 and America's CIA, are gaming her government. For their own reasons, the agencies don't want anyone to find out about this document. How can Carina derail the juggernaut they have unleashed? VERDICT Norman, a former diplomat in Sweden's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has written a first-rate debut thriller that asks: Who watches the watchers if they don't choose to be seen? The narrative starts slow but doesn't take long to build up speed. From then on, watch out!-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781623658021 Norman, a former diplomat in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brings his expertise to his intermittently compelling first novel, a spy thriller. At a routine conference in Brussels, an E.U. Commission staffer leaks information to Carina Dymek, a midlevel Swedish bureaucrat, about a plan to create the European Intelligence Service, a kind of CIA for Europe. Carinas choice to tell her boss of this plan lands her in a world of trouble, which is compounded by the possible connection of her boyfriend, Jamal Badawi, an Egyptian-born Swedish citizen, to the Muslim Brotherhood. Swedish intelligence, in the person of the tenacious Bente Jensen, is charged with discovering exactly what Carina and Jamal are up to-including the possibility that theyre involved in an imminent terrorist attack. Repetitive and often polemical detail may put off some readers (the author clearly thinks the EIS is a bad idea), but the action and tradecraft are good, and the book generates some real momentum. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781623658021 *Starred Review* At a European Union committee meeting, Swedish diplomat Carina Dymek passionately condemns racist undertones in border-security proposals, capturing the attention of a mysterious EU representative who praises her conscience and secretively slips her a USB drive. The drive's contents are unsettling and dangerous: top-secret EU proposals to create a common espionage unit without knowledge of representative countries' elected officials. Carina dutifully passes it along to her superiors and her boyfriend, Jamal Badawi, an attorney at the Ministry of Justice. Within hours, she's plunged into a maelstrom of high-stakes espionage, fleeing from Säpo, the Swedish security service, with the document. Bente Jensen, head of Sweden's covert counterespionage unit, evaluates MI6 intelligence that Carina is a terrorist, recruited by Jamal on orders from his uncle, who is linked to a violent faction of the Muslim Brotherhood. Bente is skeptical about the allegations, and she carefully sidesteps the official mission and investigates Carina's role, racing to discover what's really behind MI6's allegations before either of them is killed. Norman weaves EU politics, the dark reality of diplomacy, and modern espionage techniques together with a classic thriller story, creating a detailed, thoughtful exploration of ethics and sacrifices in the era of the War on Terror and WikiLeaks. Fully dimensional characters humanize this thriller, and readers will be intrigued by the European perspective on international power, which blurs the role of the U.S. as the good guy.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2014 Booklist
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  Book Jacket
2015
Strange Shores: An Inspector Erlendur Novel
 Arnaldur Indridason
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250000408 A chance meeting on the moors with a garrulous old farmer rekindles Insp. Erlendur Sveinsson's interest in a decades-old missing-person case in Indridason's moody novel featuring the Reykjavik policeman, the ninth to be published in the U.S. (after 2013's Black Skies). A young woman named Matthildur appears to have vanished while trying to cross the Hraevarskord Pass during a sudden whiteout, similar to one that swallowed up Erlendur's younger brother, Bergur, when they were boys. Erlendur finds a surprising number of leads and even evidence at this late date, increasingly suggesting that Matthildur was murdered. But the brooding loner can't help circling back to his brother while he camps out in the ruins of their family's home, especially as the frigid nights transport him into an almost hallucinatory state. Solid procedural combines with Icelandic ghost story for a chilling tale of the extremes to which people can be pushed in an unforgiving place. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250000408 While on leave in Iceland's remote eastern fjords, Erlander is drawn into a complex missing person's cold case that occurred in conditions strikingly similar to his brother's disappearance years ago. The dour Erlander's resolute detection skills and unusual crime-solving methodology are fully engaged as he confronts eerie mysteries and ghosts from the past. VERDICT This chilling psychological thriller from an award-winning author is a treat for series fans but also works well on its own. (LJ 6/15/14) © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250000408 Inspector Erlendur is solo in this ninth series installment. The two Erlendur trademarks, his fascination with people disappearing in the Icelandic moors (primed by his brother Bergur's disappearance during a blizzard when Bergur was eight and Erlendur ten) and unsolved cold cases, are in full force. Camping out in the dilapidated remains of his childhood home, Erlendur has un-settling dreams of Bergur's disappearance. He is reminded by a local hunter of a young woman who, after purportedly setting off through the mountains to visit her sister in January 1942, disappeared when a blinding snowstorm materialized. Erlendur's curiosity gets the better of him, and he begins questioning the woman's few remaining relatives and longtime local residents, dredging up memories that to most of those involved are better left buried. But Erlendur is nothing if not persistent. VERDICT Having been absent in Indridason's previous two mysteries (Outrage; Black Skies), Erlendur's return will thrill fans. His doggedness and unconventional methods are in rare form. While series veterans get more insight on Bergur's disappearance, no knowledge of the backstory is required for full enjoyment of this satisfying mystery.-Edward Goldberg, Syosset P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. An Icelandic police detective probes a decades-old disappearance that resonates with a haunting incident from his own past. Inspector Erlendur ventures to Urdarklettur, near the remote fjords of his country, to investigate the probable murder of Matthildur, a young woman whose disappearance several decades earlier was at first clouded by a contemporary tragedy involving some British sailors. While Erlendur's bona fides are genuine, his timing and intent seem murky. Is this case official or personal? Indeed, he was remarkably absent from Indridason's previous series entry (Black Skies, 2013, etc.). Painful flashbacks to Erlendur's childhood fill in details about the disappearance of his brother Bergur in the middle of a blizzard, a tragedy that has continued to haunt him. The villagers think Matthildur was murdered by her husband, Jakob, who was never arrested. Erlendur's main source of information is Ezra, an elderly farmer who was close to both husband and wife. When Jakob and a companion were drowned during a gale not long after Matthildur's disappearance, almost nobody shed a tear. Ezra reveals layer upon layer of the real story to his new confidant Erlendur, beginning with Jakob's affair with Matthildur's sister Ingunn and her subsequent pregnancy. Remains will be unearthed and many more developments in the mystery peeled away like the layers of an onion. Perhaps more important, Erlendur also reaches a kind of peace concerning his brother. Not the tangled whodunit some readers might expect, but a beautifully written psychological thriller with a compelling Everyman at its core. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781250000408 *Starred Review* Erlendur, the doleful Reykjavik police inspector (Outrage, 2012), has taken leave from his job to return to Iceland's remote Eastern Fjords. He is camping very rough in the collapsing remains of the farmhouse his family abandoned after his younger brother, Bergur, disappeared in a savage blizzard that Erlendur barely survived. Walking the moors, Erlendur meets an old man named Boas who took part in the search for Bergur, and the voluble Boas tells him of another disappearance. A woman named Matthildur set out for her mother's house in 1942 and disappeared in another blizzard. Erlendur begins to visit surviving people who knew Matthildur, and he ultimately stitches together a tale of lies, betrayals, and murder. But all the while, it is Bergur's disappearance and Erlendur's guilt that obsesses him. His interviews with people who knew Matthildur, all in their eighties and nineties, recall the voices of Norse sagas: pithy, concise, and very matter-of-fact about everything, including their own impending deaths. These encounters are brilliantly written, and the Matthildur case is wonderfully convoluted. The dour detective courts hypothermia each night in the farmhouse, has ethereal encounters with an augur from his youth, and finds some respite from his lifelong grief. Strange Shores reads as if it could be the last entry in the Erlendur cycle. If so, it's a superb end to a haunting series.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist
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  Book Jacket
 
2015
Irene:
Book Jacket   Pierre Lemaitre
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781623658007 *Starred Review* The newest Camille Verhoeven title to be published in the U.S. is actually the first in the dark and complex French series. Verhoeven is a commandant in Paris' Brigade Criminelle. He compensates for his small stature (four-feet, eleven-inches tall) with an enormous intellect (although he is short of temper, too). He is only able to let his guard down at home, where his pregnant wife, Irčne, is expecting their first child. But a grisly case is keeping him at the office most nights a serial killer the press is calling the Novelist is re-creating some of the most brutal crime scenes from classic mysteries. Verhoeven's team is tearing apart a recent murder-scene tableau and looking into cold cases to find similarities to well-known crime novels. Verhoeven is able to establish communication with the killer by appealing to his literary leanings. These letters reveal the scope of the killings and hint at what the killer is plotting as his masterpiece. Alex (2013), Lemaitre's first novel to be translated into English, won the CWA International Dagger Award for best crime novel of 2013. Verhoeven is a one-of-a-kind detective, and Lemaitre does an excellent job surrounding him with characters who demand their share of the limelight. Not for the faint of heart, this gritty thriller will appeal to fans of Chelsea Cain, for the grisly details, and Fred Vargas, for the French setting and iconoclastic sleuth.--Keefe, Karen Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Though this isn't the first of Lemaitre's books to be translated into Englishthat would be Alex (2013)this was the first he wrote, and it introduces his unique and unforgettable police investigator, Commandant Camille Verhven. Verhven, the diminutive (4 foot 11 inch) head of the Paris homicide squad, has a terrible crime on his hands: Two women were found gruesomely murdered, one of their heads nailed to a wall, their fingers severed and arranged, their bodies gutted and splattered with blood and feces, the words "I AM BACK" written in blood. Verhven and his teamwhich includes his friend and sidekick, the wealthy and aristocratic Louisare stymied by the case. Although the dead women were found in an apartment in an otherwise abandoned industrial district, the man who rented out the apartment, Cottet, says that his tenant, Jean Haynal, disappeared after he took the place, and he remembers little, if anything, about the man. After the two women are identified as prostitutes velyne and Josiane and their investigation reaches a dead end, the team discovers a link to another disturbing killing, this time in Tremblay. In that case, the young woman's death reminds Verhven of something he's read, and soon he's putting the evidence into a context that is disturbing in its unpredictability. Making Verhven's job even more difficult is that information keeps leaking to the press, infuriating his superiors at a time when he can least afford to be distracted: He's about to become a first-time father with his beloved wife, Irne, who is more than ready to have her baby. Lemaitre's measured, intelligent approach to a police investigation rings of authenticity, and he manages to make even the mundane activities interesting. But the real genius of this novel are the twists Lemaitre incorporates into the storyline, lifting it above the genre and into a different category entirely. A book that no matter how fast the reader connects the dots still produces a bombshell that's both brilliant and diabolical. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781623658007 Lemaitre's chilling first novel, the second to appear in the U.S. featuring Commandant Camille Verhoeven after 2013's Alex, finds the Parisian policeman enjoying the professional and personal contentment he never knew was possible. He and his squad are a well-oiled machine, but more importantly, he is happily married to Irčne, who is pregnant with their first child. But a murder of unfathomable brutality, followed by another, puts Camille's career on the line. The murderer, nicknamed the Novelist by the press, appears to be reenacting scenes from crime novels. As the killings escalate, scrutiny of Camille by Philippe Buisson de Chevesne, a journalist with a personal vendetta against him, adds to his woes. Lemaitre slowly reveals the cracks in Camille's police team while dismantling the detective's life at home. The plot is unfailingly intriguing, though some readers may wish Lemaitre had lavished less grisly detail on the crime scenes. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781623658007 Starred Review. French literary sensation Lemaitre earned comparisons to Stieg Larsson (and a 2013 CWA International Dagger Award) with Alex, a gruesome and twisty mashup of police procedural, thriller, and psychological horror. Its newly translated predecessor might be even better. (Though Alex is Lemaitre's first book translated into English, Irene originally introduced his protagonist, diminutive investigator Camille Verhoeven of the brigade criminelle of Paris.) The hook is irresistible: Verhoeven's on the trail of a serial killer who stages grisly murder scenes that pay homage to famous books. Dubbed "The Novelist," the killer decapitates prostitutes a la American Psycho, butchers a woman in the style of The Black Dahlia, and dumps a body along a river in echoes of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo's Roseanna. But Lemaitre's own crime story is hardly predictable, as he pushes the pulse-quickening plot toward an ingenious-and shocking-finale. VERDICT Know any Euronoir readers who can stomach ultraviolence? This is the book for them. Just be aware that the "Camille Verhoeven" trilogy works best in chronological order, as some of the dark surprises here are spoiled by its previously released sequel.-Annabelle Mortensen, Skokie P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2014
Siege: A Novel
Book Jacket   Arturo Perez-Reverte
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781400069682 The best-selling author of The Club Dumas and the Captain Alatriste series returns with this colorful tale of antiheroes, class boundaries, and love and war played out on the chessboard that is the Spanish port city of Cádiz in 1811. The town is besieged on the outside by Napoleon's army and torn from within by the political conflict between the royalists loyal to the captured King Fernando VII and constitutionalists at work in the parliament. Meanwhile, the city fills with the disenfranchised, the poor and wounded, and refugees of all classes, while smugglers and spies make profits and a killer walks its war-torn streets. The ever-present and dangerous police commissioner Rogelio Tizón relentlessly pursues a murderer who barbarously tortures his victims to death. No woman is safe from the killer, and no man is safe from Tizón. Verdict Pérez-Reverte expertly details a suspenseful game between two expert players set against the dramatic backdrop of a city under siege. The author's many fans won't be disappointed. [See Prepub Alert, 5/12/14.]-Michelle Martinez, Sam Houston State Univ. Lib., Huntsville, TX (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Pirates; serial killings; steamy, unrequited love: Prez-Reverte (Pirates of the Levant, 2010, etc.) imbues the sensational with significance. It's 1811, and as Napoleon's army relentlessly shells the port of Cdiz, Spain, the city finds itself the target of a much more sinister presence. A shadowy figure is brutally murdering young women, and as amoral policeman Rogelio Tizn stalks this prey, he begins to realize that the murders and the French bombs are somehow intertwined. At the same time, the handsome Lolita Palma, upstanding owner of a shipping company, agrees to do business with corsair Pp Lobo and soon finds herself drawn to his rough charms. And a mysterious taxidermist sends a secret carrier pigeon to a French captain, adding one more pin to his map of bombs. As Napoleon's war rages on, the world finds itself in a vortex of change, with science competing against faith and tradition to help create a new world order. Prez-Reverte begins with several different strands of story and weaves them into a rather impressive web. The level of detail is meticulous but also beautiful; his descriptions of the town and people of Cdiz capture colors, smells and personalities, making the page come to life, and he balances these sensory passages with dense observations about history, metaphysics, science and human nature. Whether the brutality of the murderer, and in fact of the war, is a result of "the imagination [running] out of control" or "atmospheric conditions" doesn't ultimately matter to the story. Prez-Reverte presents a chessboard on which the epic battle of science and fate becomes the story. In the end, it's about "the dark chasms of the human mind," a timeless theme if ever there was one. A genre-bending literary thriller worth the time. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781400069682 Pérez-Reverte writes two kinds of novels: richly detailed historical thrillers (The Nautical Chart, 2001) and swashbuckling adventures (Pirates of the Levant, 2010). Lately, he has been sticking to the latter, but here he combines both forms in a complex, history-drenched tale of the siege of Cádiz by the French in the early nineteenth century. The action takes place in 1812, with the port of Cádiz, nicely protected by water, remaining unconquered as Napoleon's forces sweep across Spain. Pérez-Reverte tracks multiple characters on both French and Spanish sides, focusing on two stories: the attempts of ruthless police commissioner Rogelio Tizón to find a serial killer, who is preying on young women, and the travails of businesswoman Lolita Palma to manage her dead father's shipping business in the face of the French blockade and bombing of the city. With grave misgivings, Palma agrees to fund a Spanish corsair (pirate ship) to raid French ships along the coast, and so she comes in contact with Pépé Lobo, the ship's captain, to whom she is immediately attracted. There may be a little too much going on here the density of both the prose and the story lines can seem almost suffocating at times but there is no denying the author's ability to build character, evoke landscape, and communicate the crush of history on individual lives. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Pérez-Reverte, an international best-seller and a favorite among booksellers and librarians, has not had a new book since 2010 and will attract plenty of attention with this one.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2014 Booklist
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2014
Forty Days Without Shadow: An Arctic Thriller
 Olivier Truc
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781455547593 As much a fascinating anthropological study and travelog as a compelling police procedural, this debut crime novel immerses the reader in the barren lifestyle of the Sami reindeer herders in northern Lapland. A valuable Sami drum, which was headed to a major UN exhibition, is stolen from a local museum. At the same time one of the herders is murdered. Investigating are two members of the Reindeer Police, Nina Nansen from the south of Norway, and her more experienced Sami partner, Klemet Nango. The pair see a connection between the killing and the stolen drum, but the crime could stem from a border dispute among herders. VERDICT Short-listed for the Crime Writers' Association International Dagger 2014, this atmospheric thriller leaves a lasting impression with its depiction of an ancient culture under pressure from the modern world. Aficionados of the genre who enjoy intriguing settings in their mysteries and fans of Tony Hillerman, James Lee Burke, and Henning Mankell will delight in discovering this young French writer. Frances Thorsen, Chronicles of Crime Bookshop, Victoria, BC (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781455547586 Originally published in French, and retaining the flavor of that language in an English translation, this is a lyrical, exotic mystery set in a remote Norwegian village. There's been a theft at a museum. Klemet Nango, a veteran local police detective, teams up with a new recruit, Nina Nansen, a woman who's just come to the village, to find out who stole the missing artifact. When a man is murdered, Klemet and Nina immediately think the crimes are connected; they quickly find that, for such a small place, the village seems to have an overabundance of suspects and motives. The novel combines a compelling mystery and equally compelling characters. Nina functions as a sort of stand-in for the reader: as she learns about this raw and remote setting, so do we. Readers who like Nordic noir should really enjoy this one.--Pitt, David Copyright 2015 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781455547593 In French journalist Truc's gripping debut, which has been shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger award, two Norwegian police officers who cover reindeer-related crime, Klemet Nango and Nina Nansen, have to deal with a routine complaint that animals from one herder's stock have crossed the road and mingled with another herd. Shortly after the officers' visit, someone fatally stabs the first herder, Mattis Labba, and also severs and removes his ears. Klemet speculates that Mattis may have been killed in revenge for a theft, since reindeer thieves often cut off the marked ears of the animals they steal to prevent identification. The killing coincides with the theft of a valuable Sami drum from a local museum. Fascinating details, including the rift between the snowmobile lobby and the reindeer herders, enhance the fast-moving plot. Truc brings an obscure part of the world to vivid life. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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  Book Jacket
2014
Plan D
 Simon Urban
  Book Jacket
 
2014
Dog Will Have His Day
Book Jacket   Fred Vargas
2014
The Ghost Riders of Ordebec
Book Jacket   Fred Vargas
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Commissaire Adamsberg ventures out of his Parisian jurisdiction to investigate a crime as offbeat as he is. During a heat wave, veteran police inspector Adamsberg (An Uncertain Place, 2011, etc.) uses his considerable deductive powers to nail an eerily calm widower for the murder of his wife, her body still cooling in the home they shared. Back at the station house, he's barely had a chance to rest on his laurels when a tiny but compelling woman arrives from Normandy to implore him for help. The widow Madame Vendermont, from the village of Ordebec, begins somewhat evasively reporting the disappearance of her neighbor Michel Herbier, who's vanished along with one of his favorite shotguns. He was "seized," the woman volunteers, by the infamous mounted quartet of Vargas' title. She knows this because of the legends and because her daughter Lina has seen it. Adamsberg is intrigued as much by the singular storyteller as her story, and after learning more of the lore surrounding this "Furious Army" from his tippling assistant, Danglard, he decides to investigate, with Danglard as wingman. The police pair from the city and the Ordebec oddballs, who give new meaning to the phrase "local color," seem equally bemused by one another. A series of bloody murders follows, linked to local fear of the riders. Adamsberg's brilliance and outsider's perspective prove invaluable in untangling the intricate puzzle, whose components include village history, sugar cubes and a running boar. Lively dialogue, well-defined characters and a sophisticated sense of humor add up to delightfully intelligent entertainment.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780143123125 Commissaire Adamsberg is a quirky Parisian chief of police with a team of dedicated colleagues, each with unique skills and idiosyncrasies. In this seventh series entry (after An Uncertain Place), Adamsberg leaves a pending case to go to the Norman town of Ordebec where recent events recall the Norman legend of Hellequin's Horde of Ghost Riders. Searching for answers and fighting for justice on two fronts, the commissaire employs unorthodox methods to ensure that truth, not politics, prevails. Making new acquaintances in town, including the Comte d'Ordebec, Adamsberg relies upon these new allies as well as his own team to settle matters far more complex than initially presented. VERDICT Although this novel can stand alone, readers might appreciate gaining insight and growing attached to the characters if they become part of the team from the start. Personality traits are best appreciated by intimates, and picking up the seventh book in the series felt a little like an outsider transferring into the department. Vargas is a three-time CWA International Dagger Award winner and her tale of this quirky-but-qualified band of misfits makes for a page-turning summer read.-Laura Cifelli, Fort Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780143123125 As shown in Vargas's exquisite seventh Commissaire Adamsberg mystery (after 2011's An Uncertain Place), only Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crimes Unit can compare with the Paris policeman's eccentric colleagues in the Serious Crime Squad, who include a narcoleptic, a walking encyclopedia, and a naturalist. Valentine Vendermot, a widow who lives in the Normandy town of Ordebec, seeks out Adamsberg to report the disappearance of neighbor Michel Herbier, an unpleasant retiree who likes to hunt pregnant animals. Vendermot is concerned because one night her grown-up daughter, Lina, saw the legendary Ghost Riders of the title carrying Herbier and three others, two of whom Lina recognized. This vision, according to Vendermot, foretells disaster. Although the case is out of his jurisdiction, Adamsberg follows his instincts to Normandy, where he ends up investigating multiple murders. Vargas's combination of humor and fair-play plotting, reminiscent of John Dickson Carr, has never been better. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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2014 (Fiction)
Alex
 Pierre Lemaitre
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781623650001 During the reign of Louis XVI, a cage was designed to inflict maximum torture. It was built so that the person in it could barely move his or her limbs. Muscles would atrophy, totally crippling the inhabitant. In this horror-film-like French suspense story, this type of cage has been updated and suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse filled with rats. After a young woman is forced into a van off a Paris street, police know their time is very limited to find the victim before she's murdered. Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven, whose own wife was kidnapped and killed, is forced into taking on the case, which moves, quickly, from kidnap to hostage drama. The details concerning the woman in the cage are reminiscent of Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum in their mounting despair. What the police uncover about the young woman sets them off in another, equally disturbing direction. Verhoeven's knowledge of kidnapping how it's a special crime, marked by a great deal of planning and with a demanding time line is fascinating. Filled with many twists and turns of plot, along with a huge surprise.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. In this unpredictable, oddly delectable French thriller, an attractive young Parisian woman is abducted, chained in a crate and brutalized by an avenger--a crime that doesn't begin to hint at the gruesome killings to follow. The spoiler alert applies big-time to this book, the fourth of Lemaitre's novels featuring Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven and the first to be translated into English. The surprises, early and late, reboot the unusual narrative and redefine the case at hand. The quick-tempered, Danny DeVitoshort Camille is already feeling a bit shaky, having just returned to the force after four years. He suffered a breakdown following his wife Irene's murder--a crime for which his smooth, elegantly dressed sidekick, Louis, feels responsible. Though solving this new case ultimately helps Camille deal with his personal loss, he is dogged by his decision to return to work after Irene's death. But his guilt fades with each burst of intuition he has about the killings; the stranger the case becomes, the more he is drawn into it. A serial killer, deviant sexual behavior and hungry rats figure in the story. An eloquent thriller with a denouement that raises eyebrows as it speeds the pulse.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781623650001 At the outset of French author Lemaitre's impressive American debut, the first in a trilogy, attractive 30-year-old Alex Prevost is shopping for wigs in a Paris shop when she spots a man waiting on the street who's clearly been following her. Perhaps he's just an admirer who wants to meet her, she thinks. That night, after dining alone at a restaurant, Alex is accosted on the sidewalk by a man who, after discarding the wig he initially grabbed and seizing her by her real hair, throws her into a white van. Soon Alex finds herself trapped inside a wooden crate suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse. Meanwhile, Commandant Camille Verhoeven throws himself into the kidnapping investigation as a way to deal with his grief over his wife's death, but he and his detectives have few clues to aid them in identifying Alex's abductor. An irritant to his superiors but respected by his subordinates, Verhoeven uses his diminutive stature to unsettle witnesses and suspects while surprising them with his intelligence and wit. Some unexpected plot twists will keep readers turning the pages. 150,000-copy first printing. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781623650001 A Paris detective with a past and a hostage with a history will shape each other in this sinister crime thriller.ĹPolice commandant Camille Verhoeven is a skilled detective struggling to cope with the brutal kidnapping and murder of his wife and unborn son. Alex Prevost is a beautiful young woman snatched off the street mere blocks from her apartment. She is next seen in a series of gruesome photographs-naked, filthy, and trapped in a wooden cage hung six feet above the ground in an abandoned warehouse. As Camille and his team race against the clock to rescue Alex, events occur that lead them to question whether she is truly a damsel in distress. This kicks off a series of plot twists that propel the reader toward an unsettling conclusion. Brutal, dark, and gory, this crime thriller, a best seller in Europe, will keep readers turning the pages until well past bedtime-with all the lights on, of course. VERDICT Celebrated French mystery author Lemaitre makes his U.S. debut with this tense work of detective fiction that is intended to be the first volume in a trilogy but functions equally well as a stand-alone novel. Fans of John Connolly, John Lutz, and Kevin O'Brien are apt to enjoy Lemaitre's graphic prose and contemporary noir style. The diminutive and complex Camille, standing at just under five feet, is a memorable sleuth, but for readers searching for a strong female protagonist, Alex Prevost remains a puzzle at novel's end. [Previewed in "A World of New Titles: Editors' Picks, LJ 7/13.-Ed.]-Liv Hanson, Chicago (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2014
The Missing File: A Novel
 D. A. Mishani
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780062195371 Israeli author Mishani's excellent debut features police inspector Avraham Avraham, a mildly depressive type who lives in the rundown city of Holon. He has spent most of his time on investigations that require little thinking so when a woman reports her 16-year-old son's disappearance, the detective tells her to wait, since most runaways come home on their own. But the boy doesn't return. As the case progresses, it becomes progressively cloudier. Mishani tells his tale from the dual perspectives of Avraham and a neighbor whose preoccupation with the missing boy seems suspicious. An unanticipated admission leads to an unexpected conclusion, but there are surprises to the very end of this well-crafted book. VERDICT Avraham isn't at all like Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret but there's a commonality between Simenon's thrillers and this book, having to do with the dominance of place and atmosphere and the feeling detectives aren't supermen, just ordinary men doing their best at a nearly impossible job. Mystery lovers, especially fans of the late Israeli crime writer Batya Gur, will enjoy this work.-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780062195371 Inspector Avraham Avi Avraham is a veteran cop in Holon, a quiet suburb of Tel Aviv. Experience tells him that crime in Holon is pretty simple: no serial killers, and murder and rape are rare. So, when a distraught mother reports that her 16-year-old son didn't return from school, Avi assures her that the boy will turn up. But he doesn't, and Avi, a man filled with self-doubt and perhaps numbed by his town's lack of unusual crime, agonizes as the investigation lurches on. A primary source of his discomfort is a high-school teacher who had previously tutored the missing boy and proceeds to insert himself into the investigation in a way that seems inexplicable. The sense of place here is fascinating (Tel Aviv's suburbs seem both familiar and exotic), and the focus on Avi's state of mind, which is plumbed continuously, brings psychological depth. Procedural details are intriguing, too, suggesting that policing, at least in Holon, is a more humane enterprise than in the U.S. Armchair-traveler crime aficionados will welcome Mishani's debut and look forward to Avi's return.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A missing person case provides an unexpected challenge for a suburban Tel Aviv police inspector. Aside from terrorism, there's very little crime in Israel. That, explains Inspector Avraham Avraham, is why so few detective novels are written in Hebrew. So when Hannah Sharabi comes to the station to report that her son Ofer left their apartment in Holon for school that morning and never returned, Avraham assures her that the 16-year-old probably left on his own and will eventually return. But Ofer doesn't turn up, and after a day, Avraham is forced to open an investigation. Much to his chagrin, young hotshot Eyal Shrapstein is assigned to help him. Shrapstein undermines Avraham's fragile authority almost as much as his older colleague Eliyahu Ma'alul supports him. Avraham's superior, Ilana Lis, is also supportive, but as the investigation stalls, her patience wears thin. Should Avraham focus more on Ofer's father, a seaman who was headed to Trieste when his son disappeared? On neighbor Ze'ev Avni, a teacher whose poor sense of boundaries may have pushed Ofer toward the edge? On one of the anonymous phone calls that make Shrapstein's ears twitch? Even a weeklong business trip to Brussels can't shake the Sharabi case from the mind of Avraham, who struggles to separate the truth from a tangle of evasions, misperceptions and outright lies. Mishani gives his unfortunately named sleuth a compelling debut in a complex case aimed straight at the reader's heart.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780062195371 At the beginning of literary scholar Mishani's outstanding first novel, Insp. Avraham Avraham of the Holon police tells a complainant that there are "no detective novels in Hebrew" because crimes in Israel are straightforward, with no real mystery. Subsequent events show that a crime committed in Israel can offer plenty of mystery. When Hannah Sharabi expresses anxiety about her 16-year-old son, Ofer, who's failed to return home from school, Avraham dismisses her concerns of foul play. As time passes and Ofer doesn't reappear, Avraham feels increasingly guilty. Officials soon launch an investigation, which becomes the obsessive focus of a neighbor of the Sharabi family, Ze'ev Avni, who tutored the high school boy. Avni can't stop involving himself in the case in bizarre and self-sabotaging ways. Mishani, the editor of international fiction and crime literature at Keter Books in Israel, puts his expertise in the genre to good use in combining the procedural and the puzzle with artful misdirection. Agent: Marc Koralnik, the Liepman Agency (Switz.). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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