Crime Fiction

Discussion in 'Other Literature' started by Diziet Sma, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Well, now you set me off...
    There are many but the following are a few of my favourite. If you have read them, then I will suggest some others. And please, add yours. I'm always interested in finding unknown talent.

    From North to South:
    • Martin Beck Police Mystery. If you have enjoyed Henning Mankell, then it is a pity you haven’t read M. S. Jöwall-P. Wahlöö yet. This couple was the creator of the Scandinavian crime novel movement back in the 60s. They are the so-called Mankell’s Godparents. Their inspector Beck books are a classic and a joy to read.
    • Harry Hole Series by the Norwegian author J. Nesbø. He is not my cup of tea but Nesbø is highly popular and readers love him. I would skip the first couple of books as his narrative improves considerably since his beginnings. The middle books are the best in my opinion, such as The Redbreast or The Snowman. I find his last books in the series rather gimmicky, almost too MacGyverish if I can use that adjective.
    • Irish author Tanna French with her Dublin Murder Squad Series. Very clever stories with surprising plots and very well paced. I particularly like Faithful Place but the level is pretty much consistent throughout the series.
    • Commissaire Adamsberg and Three Evangelist series both by Fred Vargas. She is a French historian, archaeologist, and a writer. Her books are set mainly in France but often Adamsberg needs to travel abroad. It gives you a wonderful feel for the French ambiance contrasted with the Adamsberg’s bizarre, Pyrenean personality.
    • Commissario Montalbano by A. Camilleri. I adore these books. They are light and cleverly plotted but what I love the most is the wonderful characterisation and portray of the Sicilian lifestyle. They are unintentionally funny too. The first book, The Shape of Water, is good but not one of his best, you can skip it and go directly to The Terra-Cotta Dog.

    I have read all these series ignoring the publication order and I haven’t had a problem with it. I like choosing depending on my mood. However, some readers insist on sticking to the established order, as there are obviously some overlapping characters that grow with each book. However, skipping it wouldn’t hinder the enjoyment of the reading. It is entirely up to you and to your preferences.

    Now, I'm being picky but there is a distinction between Crime and Noir novels, which is relevant on continental Europe authors although not in the U.K.
    Crime as a subgenre would deal with a case that needs solving and a policeman/detective doing all the investigation and legwork. The main focus is purely on the investigation. Jöwall & Wahlöö belong to this group.

    Noir, on the other hand, would refer to a case but with a much greater emphasis on the social background. Characters are fully fleshed with all their personal, professional interactions, weaknesses and vices.
    I enjoy both, it is a question again of what you feel like reading at a particular moment.
     
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  2. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Looks like this is a good list to start with! I am going to head to Amazon now. :)

    My favorite European crime series has got to be the Maigret series by Simenon. These are all required reading for pipesmokers in the USA.
     
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  3. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Last night I couldn't force myself to read Sandman Slim (rather meh so far) and with all this talk of crime fiction, I began rereading Roseanna, Martin Beck Police Mystery#1. Even better than I remembered it.
     
  4. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    Robert Galbraith (J K Rowling) Cormoran Strike series

    Also, Belfast Noir is a big subgenre these days. Look for the likes of Adrian McKinty and Steve Cavanagh. AndColin Bateman. Who is magnificent. Divorcing Jack is fab.
     
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  5. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    My favorite series is the Longmire series by Craig Johnson, although his latest few books have been lacking. But The Cold Dish is wonderful.
     
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  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you, Jo! I’m not a fan of Harry Potter, I only read the first couple of books. How is J R Rowling as a non-YA author?
    I have bookmarked McKinty and in particular Divorcing Jack.

    I have picked his name up several times but I haven’t go around to read anything by him yet. I will soon!

    By the way, I have just remembered this tittle Pop. 1280 by J Thompson. A superb book. Noir and bleak as they come.
     
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  7. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I was placing an Amazon order when I read this. Pop 1280 is now on the way! Thanks!
     
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  8. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    J. Thompson is a very talented author. He doesn’t write your cheerful, uplifting kind of stories but dwells into human depravation by introducing an array of characters who show a very corruptible, perverted, dark face. If you enjoy Pop. 1280, then you are for a treat, as there are over a dozen books to indulge yourself. I also love The Grifters and The Killer Inside Me.
     
  9. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Have you read the Leaphorn and Chee series by Hillerman?
     
  10. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    No, I haven't. I have just looked it up. It looks good! Would you recommend any particular books out of the 21 of this series?

    More into the Scandi Crime novel: Lars Kepler is also good. Her The Fire Witness and The Nightmare are very entertaining.
     
  11. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I like the Western US setting for mysteries. They are all good but I think his most famous are these three: Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, and Coyote Waits.
     
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  12. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    I found her writing to be so much better in Galbraith's books and the main characters are very likeable. Honestly, she's like a different writer - in a good way!

    McKinty sets his books in my home town where he grew up - but the locals don't recognise the place he presents at all!
     
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  13. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

  14. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

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  15. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

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  16. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I'm rereading and have almost finished The Snack Thief (Inspector Montalbano, #3) by A. Camilleri. These books are very entertaining, hilarious and politically incorrect. I adore Salvo.
     
  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have begun re-reading The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck Police Mystery #3) by Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö. I read this series a loooong time ago, so no harm in refreshing my poor memory with this great book.
     

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