Seven books. Two French, two Italian, one Spanish, one Swedish, and one Argentinean. Seven very different books that could be classified as; one dramatic historical mystery [still reading that one], one political thriller, one crime thriller, one horror/black humour eccentric police procedural, and three police procedurals whose authors give the reader varying levels of literary style, and different emphasis into the character of the main investigator.
How do each of these books compare with some of the crime fiction of the past few years?
Do they have the exciting plots, cynicism, dark humour, distrust of superiors, political intrigue, brooding atmosphere, social commentary, unusual protagonists, or authors with that special curiosity factor that have recently helped so much to market books?
Do they have an easy reading level, or has style taken precedence over substance?
Is there too much violence, or not enough action?
Is there a satisfactory ending?
The shortlist this year doesn't have a book by Johan Theorin, Arnaldur Indridason, Jo Nesbo or even Stieg Larsson, and as a result does not look as strong as in the previous two years.
But which book should win? [to be continued]