11] CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION
This is the category in which I would really like to cheat and say read anything by Fred Vargas, Andrea Camilleri, or Jo Nesbo, but I have to make a choice. I have chosen Nemesis by Jo Nesbo which I think is slightly superior to The Redeemer because he doesn't hide as much from the reader, and it is more of a police procedural than a thriller.
Harry Hole investigates a murder committed during the course of a bank robbery, and makes an unfortunate choice of female companion for dinner. Nesbo shows his trademark skill in handling the many complex strands of the story and bringing them together in a satisfactory conclusion, but it is the fantastic start of this novel with the bank robbery that marks it out as outstanding crime fiction.
The masked man whispered in Stine's ear as he turned the machine gun on Helge, who took two unsteady steps backwards.
Stine cleared her throat: "He says open the ATM and put the money in the black holdall."
In a daze, Helge stared at the gun pointing at him.
"You've got twenty-five seconds before he shoots. Not you. Me"
Helge's mouth opened and closed as though he wanted to say something.
"Now , Helge, "Stine said.
12] THE WILD CARD CATEGORY
I have chosen Excursion To Tindari by Andrea Camilleri because it is more multi dimensional than many of the Montalbano mysteries and also it contains some of Camilleri's best lines.
He opened the fridge and let out a sheer whinny of delight.
The eyes on these fish were bright and sparkly, as though they were still swimming in the water.
"Grill me four bass."
Did one simply write on a sheet of paper something like: 'I, the undersigned Salvo Montalbano, hereby declare myself to be in existence"...
Montalbano investigates the murder of a young Don Juan outside his apartment building and the apparently unrelated disappearance of an elderly couple on their excursion to Tindari. This was one of the televised episodes of Montalbano shown on BBC4 a few weeks ago which I enjoyed so much.
I hope BBC4 show more of these excellent productions.
There I have made my dozen choices and all the books I think have as their main feature great characters, although if I started choosing again I would possibly choose twelve different books. ;o)