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Euro Crime's Top 2009 reads

2009's Euro Crime contributors: Pat Austin, Paul Blackburn, Amanda Brown, Maxine Clarke, Amanda Gillies, Terry Halligan, Geoff Jones, Karen Meek, Michelle Peckham, Norman Price, Laura Root and Rik Shepherd reveal their top European crime reads of that year (links are to the reviewer's own review of that title). NB. Unless stated, the top 5s are arranged alphabetically, rather than ranked 1 to 5.

A summary of the lists in terms of favourite titles, authors and translators can be found here on the blog.

Pat Austin

  • Ann Cleeves - White Nights
  • Ariana Franklin - The Death Maze
  • Elly Griffiths - Crossing Places
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Played With Fire (translator Reg Keeland)
  • Ian Rankin - The Complaints

    Paul Blackburn

  • 1) Tony Black - Gutted
  • 2) Stuart MacBride - Halfhead
  • 3) Belinda Bauer - Blacklands
  • 4) Ian Rankin - The Complaints
  • 5) Lin Anderson - Final Cut

    Amanda Brown

  • Cassandra Clark - Red Velvet Turnshoe
  • Ariana Franklin - Relics of the Dead
  • Simon Hall - The Judgement Book
  • Mari Jungstedt - Unspoken (translator by Tiina Nunnally)
  • CJ Sansom - Revelation

    Maxine Clarke

    a)English Language Origin:
  • Mystery: Ann Cleeves- The Crow Trap
    Scientific rivalries and local feuds underlie Vera Stanhope's first case.
  • Legal crime: M J Hall - The Coroner
    Woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown determines to obtain justice for an abused boy.

    b)Translated into English:
  • Thriller: Karin Alvtegen - Missing (translator Anna Paterson)
    Intensely exciting story of a young woman fugitive racing to prove her innocence.
  • Series novel: Andrea Camilleri - The Paper Moon (translator Stephen Sartarelli)
    Vengeful tragedy overshadows the Sicilian sun in a typically eccentric Montalbano investigation.
  • Psychological: Petra Hammesfahr - The Sinner (translator Mike Martin)
    Journey to the depths of one woman's mind as repressed memories uncover motives and crimes.
  • Detection: Arnaldur Indridason - Hypothermia (translator Victoria Cribb)
    Apparent suicide of young historian has resonance in past deaths and disappearances.
  • Suspense: Saskia Noort - Back to the Coast (translator Laura Vroomen)
    Rock musician finds her life turned upside down by malevolent stalker.
  • Private Eye: Gunnar Staalesen - The Consorts of Death (translator Don Bartlett)
    The 14th in a series is as fresh as new in compelling story of effects of social deprivation.

    Amanda Gillies

  • 1) Allan Guthrie - Slammer
  • 2) David Peace - 1974
  • 3) Leigh Russell - Cut Short
  • 4) Glenn Cooper - Library of the Dead
  • 5) Sarah Rayne - Ghost Song

    Terry Halligan

    a)English Language Origin:
  • Rafe McGregor - The Architect Of Murder
  • Robert Masello - Blood And Ice
  • Terence Strong - Stalking Horse
  • Paul Sussman - The Hidden Oasis
  • Jacqueline Winspear - Among The Mad

    b)Translated into English:
  • Karin Fossum - Calling Out For You (translator by Charlotte Barslund)
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (translator Reg Keeland)
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Played With Fire (translator Reg Keeland)
  • Jo Nesbo - Nemesis (translator Don Bartlett)
  • Maj Sjowell & Per Wahloo - The Locked Room (translated by ??)

    Geoff Jones

  • 1) Lynda La Plante - Silent Scream
  • 2) John Harvey - Cold in Hand
  • 3) Karen Campbell - The Twilight Time
  • 4) Kate Atkinson - When will there be good news?
  • 5) Jo Nesbo - The Redeemer (translator Don Bartlett)

    Bubbling under: Found Wanting by Robert Goddard, Dead Tomorrow by Peter James and The Mesmerist's Apprentice by L M Jackson.

    Karen Meek

  • Andrea Camilleri - August Heat (translator Stephen Sartarelli)
  • Arnaldur Indridason - Silence of the Grave (audio) (translator Bernard Scudder)
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Played with Fire (translator Reg Keeland)
  • Alexander McCall Smith - Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (audio)
  • Jon Stock - Dead Spy Running (audio)

    Michelle Peckham

  • Karen Alvtegen - Shadow (translator McKinley Burnett)
    A complex, moving book about an abandoned boy.
  • Andrea Camilleri - The Paper Moon (translator Stephen Sartarelli)
  • Arnaldur Indridason - Hypothermia (translator Victoria Cribb)
    A deep, intriguing book, which features the complex detective Erlendur, and his search to discover the truth behind old crimes.
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (translator Reg Keeland)
    An engrossing book, in which the heroine, Lisbeth, finally discovers the truth about her past.
  • Teresa Solana - A Not So Perfect Crime (translator Peter Bush)
    Wonderful, light and charming account of two mismatched amateur detectives set in Barcelona.

    Norman Price

    a)English Language Origin:
  • Rebecca Cantrell - A Trace of Smoke
    An evocative picture of Weimar Germany in 1931 as the Nazis become ever more powerful. Hannah Vogel, a crime reporter, tries to discover who murdered her brother, and in the process finds herself looking after Anton, an endearing 5 year old.
  • Philip Kerr - If The Dead Rise Not
    Another brilliant episode in the Bernie Gunther saga with part of the book set in Berlin 1934, and part in Cuba in 1954.
  • John Lawton - Blackout
    The search for a serial killer in wartime London with some interesting plot twists, and character studies.
  • John Lawton - Old Flames

    b)Translated into English:
  • Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest (translator Reg Keeland)
    A gripping conclusion to the Millennium trilogy that brought us Lisbeth Salander, and had such promise for future novels that it exacerbated the tragedy of Stieg Larsson's early death.
  • Hakan Nesser - The Return (translator Laurie Thompson)
    An indictment of the failure of liberal justice systems and the popular media woven into a crime story featuring a pragmatic and amusing detective, Van Veeteren, and his team. I could have chosen any of the four Van Veeteren books I read this year, but this one had the best twist.
  • Johan Theorin - The Darkest Room (translator Marlaine Delargy)
    As good as his first book, and a brilliant blend of myth and crime fiction set on the island of Oland. A superbly constructed novel that won both Best Swedish crime novel of 2008 and the Nordic Glass Key.
  • Marek Krajewski - End of The World in Breslau (translator Danusia Stok)
    The outrageously brutal detective Eberhard Mock and the sheer decadence of the setting in Weimar Germany make this not to be missed series one of the quirkiest and eccentric in crime fiction.
  • Jo Nesbo - The Redeemer (translator Don Bartlett)
    Harry Hole stars in another complex thriller that while not quite as good as the previous three is still a page turner full of surprises.

    Special mention for a book that is probably literature and not actually "crime fiction" although of course the Nazis were the biggest criminals in history:

  • Hans Fallada - Alone in Berlin (translator Michael Hofmann)
    A masterpiece written in 1947, that painted a chilling portrait of how ordinary people lived under the Nazi dictatorship.

    Laura Root

  • Karin Alvtegen - Shadow (translated by McKinley Burnett)
  • Leif Davidsen - Women from Bratislava (translator Barbara J Haveland)
  • Hans Fallada - Alone in Berlin (translator Michael Hofmann)
  • Stuart Neville - Twelve
  • Simone van der Vlught - The Reunion (translator Michele Hutchison)

    Rik Shepherd

  • Ann Featherstone - Walking in Pimlico
  • Shona MacLean - The Redemption of Alexander Seaton
  • Roz Southey - Broken Harmony
  • Helene Tursten - The Torso (translator Katarina E Tucker)
  • Edgar Wallace - The Mind of Mr J G Reeder

    January 2010

    last updated 31/01/2010 15:55