Monday, January 27, 2014 -
I've asked the recent contributors to Euro Crime to choose their favourite European reads of 2013 and a total of 72 titles have been submitted. The following favourites come from the lists submitted by: Mark Bailey, Amanda Gillies, Raven Crime (aka JF), Terry Halligan, Lynn Harvey, Geoff Jones, Michelle Peckham, Norman Price, Laura Root, Sarah Ward, Susan White and myself. The breakdown by reviewer, with additional recommendations and any additional comments they have made, can be found here. Quotes are taken from the Euro Crime reviews, unless stated otherwise.
MoreThe most mentioned titles are:
ost Riders of Ordebec by Fred Vargas tr. Sian ReynoldsVargas has a genius for weaving a strand of the supernatural into her crime stories without breaking faith with the credibility of her plot. In previous novels, she's had readers almost believing in vampires, werewolves and ghosts, before extracting a commonsensical explanation at the last moment.
THE GHOST RIDERS OF ORDEBEC  is no exception, with its evocation of a terrible legend with the power to drive ordinary people to commit murder. Yet there is never any doubt that this legend is being manipulated by a killer who's very much alive. With a surfeit of suspects, can dreamy and distracted Jean-Baptiste sort the clues from the red herrings? You'll be turning the pages to find out, but also because Vargas has created a compelling world of characters that is simply irresistible.
Pilgrim Soul by Gordon Ferris
...an interesting brevity to the style of writing, and particularly the dialogue that is somewhat reminiscent of the Chandler novels (and the main hero, Philip Marlowe). I quickly became immersed in this book, and very much enjoyed it, so much so that I've already started to read the earlier books in the series. An intelligent, thought provoking story that I thoroughly recommend.
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
An Officer and A Spy is a very fine novel full of great characters, plot and atmosphere. Robert Harris has got inside the personality of his protagonist, Georges Picquart, cleverly used the real life characters to give an account of the real life events embellished with a dialogue that reflects the atmosphere of Paris in that period....An Officer and A Spy has more than enough action to keep the reader turning the pages. [from the Crime Scraps review by Norman Price]