Everyone is listing their top reads of the year and my top FIVE most enjoyable books will appear in due course on Euro Crime. I must take the opportunity once again to thank Karen for her wonderful resource.
So this list of books is the ones that did not quite make it to the very top group. All of them would have been worthy of top status but I had to keep my choices down to five. So here are my number 6 to number 11 of the year in no particular order.
A wonderful juxtaposition of horror, humour, and academic research made this a fine debut novel. The book was made special by the relationship between Thora, an attractive Icelandic lawyer, and German ex policeman Matthew Reich as they investigate a particularly brutal murder.
The problems of an immigrant community are discussed in this story of the death of young Thai-Icelandic boy. Erlendur, Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg are once again a top investigative team but I did not think this was quite as outstanding as The Draining Lake and here or Voices. The Polish crime writer and university lecturer takes us back into the past of his beautiful but frightening city of Breslau [now Wroclau] and introduces us to another offbeat detective Eberhard Mock. Weimar and Nazi Germany have been fertile ground for crime fiction novels and this is up there with the best. My interview with Marek Krajewski can be read here and here. The Eberhard Mock series is one to look out for in 2009 and 2010 as the rest of the quartet of books are published.
I feel a bit awkward not including this in my top five because it was a superb read and the description of Kristallnacht and the internment of aliens on the Isle Of Man are brilliant. Lawton calls his books 'a social and political history of my time'
which means that they are just that little bit different and better than the average crime thriller.
The next book chronologically in the Troy series; in another year the Lawtons would have been automatic top five choices as they were extremely enjoyable and well constructed novels full of memorable characters.
A really fast moving thriller set in Brazil with an intriguing team of police investigators.
The Booklist review of this novel made comments such as 'Gage's talents include captivating characters and realistic plots' and finished by saying that Chief Inspector Mario 'Silva just may be South America's Kurt Wallander.'
I would not go that far yet but Buried Strangers is a smooth easy read and this is another series to watch for in the future.
You will have to wait for my best of the best choices which like the books above are a very personal choice.