On the radar – This week’s book report has a continental feel to it, and a trio of Scandinavian crime fiction releases, and something very interesting set in France. Plus, for lovers of classic crime fiction, a whole series of James M Cain novels has been made available as eBooks. Each offers murder, intrigue and suspense, so read on and make note of the release dates and watch for our reviews in due course…
Norwegian by Night by Derek B Miller
Miller is the director and founding partner of The Policy Lab, an international policy design institute which specialises in finding ways to improve strategic engagement with local communities. Sounds like a grand social scheme, but we’re more interested in Norwegian by Night, his crime fiction debut. In it, 82-year-old Sheldon Horowitz is an ex-marine who, recently widowed, and has moved to Oslo to live with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her husband, Lars. Haunted by ghosts from his past, Sheldon is struggling to come to terms with the tragedies that have occurred throughout his life. Then he witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment block and, having rescued her six-year-old son, the pair find themselves on the run with a gang of Balkan killers and Norwegian police hot on their heels. Is Sheldon’s military training enough to keep the pair alive? Norwegian by Night is published by Faber & Faber and is out now on Kindle.
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The Ghost Riders of Ordebec by Fred Vargas
Fred Vargas is the pen name of French historian and archaeologist, Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau. The Ghost Riders of Ordebec is the seventh outing for Commissaire Adamsberg, who finds himself dealing with a case steeped in medieval superstition. A panic stricken woman has been standing outside police headquarters for an hour refusing to speak to anyone other than Adamsberg. Her daughter has had a vision of ghostly horsemen hunting down the most infamous criminals in Normandy. When a particularly nasty criminal disappears, local police are dismissive of the villagers’ superstitions and although it’s out of Adamsberg’s jurisdiction, he agrees to investigate. The Ghost Riders of Ordebec is published by Harvill Secker and is due out on 7 March.
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The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg
Camilla Lackberg’s writing has received favourable comparisons to the likes of Steig Larsson and Jo Nesbø, and her Erica Falck series have put her up there among those international bestselling Scandinavian authors. The Lost Boy is the seventh book in the series and sees Erica and husband Patrik Hedström investigating the murder of the local council’s finance director. At the time of his death, Mats Severin was heading up a regeneration project worth millions, but as Patrik and his team dig deeper into Severin’s life they find many unanswered questions. Why did Mats move back to Fjällbacka and is it just a coincidence that his childhood sweetheart Nathalie is living on the nearby island of Gråskär with her five-year-old son? Gråskär is thought to be haunted, and where the dead have something to tell the living, but what dark secrets is it hiding? The Lost Boy is published by HarperCollins and is out on 14 March.
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The Weeping Girl by Håkan Nesser
Van Veeteren’s protégé Eva Moreno finds herself faced with her most perplexing case yet. Winnie Maas was murdered years earlier and her teacher Arnold Maager was convicted for her killing. It was a case that left the local community reeling. Now, 18 years later Winnie’s daughter Mikaela has learnt the truth about her father and has travelled to the institution where he’s been held since the trial. Inexplicably, Mikaela disappears and not long after, so too does her father. Then a body is found. Eva is on holiday in the area and soon finds herself drawn into the investigation by the local police. It doesn’t take long for her to realise that the solution to this mystery involves unravelling what happened in the past. Published by Mantel, The Weeping Girl is out on 25 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon
New James M Cain ebooks
Finally, to many the American author James M Cain is a crime fiction legend and one of the fathers of noir. Two of his novels in particular stand out with readers – Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice – and have been made into films. If you want to delve a little deeper into this author’s work, Mysterious Press has release a dozen of his later novels as ebooks, including The Moth, Past All Dishonor, The Magician’s Wife, Sinful Woman, Root of His Evil, Galatea, Mignon, Jealous Woman, Rainbow’s End, The Institute, Cloud Nine and The Enchanted Isle. While not all would be classed as crime fiction the set offers a fantastic insight into the author and his times – mid-20th century America.
The Moth on Amazon