crime-thriller

2014 CWA Award Winners

CWA logoThe winners in the various categories of the 2014 CWA (Crime Writers' Association) Dagger Awards have (nearly) all been revealed following the recent announcement of the winners in the final categories. Most of the category winners were announced in July, with the Gold, Steel and John Creasey Awards revealed in late October. The winner of the Dagger in the Library Award is. I understand, to be announced in November.
And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, the winners in two categories do share the same title!

I can now reveal (nearly) all of the category winners (each title links to the book's library catalogue entry):

Crime Fiction of a Truly International Flavour

Crime sceneMy crime fiction reads have taken me to many lands and long may that continue. In my previous blog post I visited Italy, Iceland, Sweden, South Africa and Botswana. In this latest compilation of crime reads I revisit Italy and South Africa, while also venturing to the USA, Sweden, Norway and France.

IreneStarting with France and moving in a clockwise-direction, we first encounter Pierre Lemaitre, whose book 'Alex' I have covered previously and thought very highly of. Now it is time to mention 'Irene' 4.5 stars, the prequel to 'Alex', yet which followed it in translation. But reading 'Alex' first, as I did, can prove a bit unfortunate for obvious reasons, so I do recommend you stick to the proper order if you haven't yet read either. And read you must, for I can't recommend this author highly enough. He writes so well, and he is excellent on plot, characterization, atmosphere and tension building. But there is a word of caution: his portrayal of violence is not for the meek, and may put off some. So while you would be forgiven for moving quickly on at some points, you should not let it detract from your pursuit of otherwise top quality crime writing, which both 'Alex' and 'Irene' are. It would be good to know though that an author of Lemaitre's obvious talent could produce just as capable a work without the need for such graphic depictions of violence.

Crime Catch-Up!

book jacketsI've fallen so far behind with my book reviews (being amply complimentary to myself in calling them such!) that I had to revisit the archives in order to discover when I last posted and about what. In fact it was back in late May, and in my defence I declare that work and life has been too 'involving' and not afforded me the time to indulge myself in the pleasurable pursuit of putting on paper (metaphorically speaking) my thoughts on the books I read and then sharing those here on the library blog.

While I have read quite a few crime novels over the past couple of months, I will restrict my mention here to five of those, in so doing jumping from southern Europe to northern Europe and finally to the southern portion of the African continent.

What's in a Title?

p>Mercy aka The Keeper of Lost CausesThe Keeper of Lost Causes aka MercyWhat's in a title, you may ask? Well, clarity you hope, but might I suggest instead, confusion and sometimes too time wasted. Whatever am I talking about, you might wonder. Let me ask - how often have you went looking for a book, only to discover that the title you seek is not the title that resides on the library bookshelf or the bookseller's for that matter? How often have you started to read a book only to soon get a feeling you've read it before? What I am getting at is the confusion that can abound because of the habit of publishers of releasing the same book under different titles. Sometimes it's a case that titles differ depending on the market (e.g. UK v US) but also too the title can change in the same market with the release of a new or paperback edition. And if that isn't confusing enough, book covers change too!

A case in point is a favourite author of mine, Denmark's Jussi Adler-Olsen, writer of the Department Q crime series, which to date consists of five titles in Danish, four of which have so far been translated into English and all of which have different UK and US titles:

It's Almost a Crime!

I can see in the dark, Therapy, Daddy's Girl, CockroachesAs I approach the end of a book my thoughts turn to what I'll read next, but I never really worry on that score as I have a ready-made (long) list of titles to read and it is usually a case of which one of two or three titles ready to hand I pick up first. And for certain that list never gets any shorter as fresh discoveries are made and soon to be published titles are announced. So happy days! I'd nearly go so far as to say that it's almost a crime not to have a book to hand or to have had the pleasure of one recently.

And that pleasure for me goes on, so let me share with you here some of my recent crime fiction reads, all in the hope that I might lead you to a book or three that help keep you from committing that aforementioned crime of omission!

2013: My (Crime Fiction) Year in Review

2013 5-star readsUpon reading a blog post recently where book reviewers highlighted their favourite crime fiction reads of 2013, I got curious as to how my year just gone had fared in similar respect. So I took a look back over my 2013, what I had read, what I had thought of the various authors and their books, and in so doing see what overall impression I was left with, and what books made it to the top of my list.

Right: The Top 4 of 2013 (see below for more details)

I should preface what is to follow by stating that most, but not all, of the books I read tend to be either recently published or, if in translation, recently translated. After reading a book I give it a star rating, 5 being the maximum number of stars. Anything that gets 3.5 stars or more I can well recommend, 3 stars is borderline, while anything less disappointed. The star system of course is not a precise measure, but can be used as a rough rule of thumb. But enough of that!

Playing Catch Up with Some Crime Reads

It's been some time since I last posted about crime fiction, November it was, in fact I last reviewed my own reads on the 7th November. So time to catch up, not another moment to be lost! I have in fact been reading away, and here I am going to mention five books I read before Christmas, and unusual enough for me, it is my second time to read one of these. That book is 'Echo Park' by American Michael Connelly, while I will also mention two books by Sweden's Hakan Nesser and a book each by Italians Andrea Camilleri and Maurizio De Giovanni. 

Echo ParkThough I missed Michael Connelly's visit to Dublin in late November, I thought it a good time to revisit his Harry Bosch series, it being some time, years even, since I had last read him. My choice was 'Echo Park' 3 stars, for no particular reason other than it being ready to hand. 'Echo Park' was first published in 2006 and is the 12th in the series featuring Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch. In it a convicted killer is ready to admit to a killing thirteen years previously as part of a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty, a case Harry was involved in but which remained unsolved. Harry over the years had revisited the case time after time to see if any further progress could be made, but never to any avail, despite his resolute belief in the guilt of one particular suspect. And now this new development suggests that his long time chief suspect was innocent all along.

The Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year is... The Doll's House!

The Doll's HouseThe Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year is... 'The Doll's House' by Louise Phillips!

The winning books in each category of the Irish Book Awards were announced tonight.

This Dublin-based psychological thriller, published in August 2013, is the second novel from Phillips. It features criminal psychologist Kate Pearson and DI O’Connor.

Louise Phillips' debut novel, 'Red Ribbons', was shortlisted for the 2012 Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year Award.

Crime and the City: Crime and History

Crime nad the City logoCrime is serious business in Dublin and we love to read about it. From novels about detectives to accounts of serial killers, from gangster biographies to analysis of social issues, we have an appetite for all of it. During October the Central Library hosted 'Crime in the City: Crime and History', a series of talks and readings looking at the broad issue of crime in Dublin through the ages. This series of events brought together writers of fiction, historians, researchers and bloggers to inform, entertain and promote discussion. 

So if you are a lover of crime fiction, historical fiction or just interested in the history of Dublin, you are sure to enjoy listening back to these fascinating talks and readings. 

If you can't get enough crime don't forget the Irish Crime Fiction Festival is on soon! Michael Russell and Kevin McCarthy will join Conor Brady, Stuart Neville and Eoin McNamee to discuss historical crime fiction on Saturday 23rd November 10-11.15am. 

The Irish Crime Fiction Festival: A Virtual Who's Who of Irish Crime Authors

//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TrinityHof.JPGA festival devoted to Irish crime fiction, featuring some seventeen or so of the most exciting Irish and Irish-American crime novelists, takes place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd November in Trinity College, Dublin. The festival concludes with the highlight event, best-selling American author Michael Connelly being interviewed by Irish crime writer John Connolly. The event marks the occasion of the Irish launch of his newest novel, 'The Gods of Guilt'. I for one have my ticket booked and I hope to get to attend most of the sessions during the festival.

Irish crime authors appearing are (with links to library catalogue entries):

Conor Brady. Probably best known as the former editor of The Irish Times and also a former member of the Garda Síochána (Police) Ombudsman Commission. Author of, amongst other works, two crime novels - 'A June of Ordinary Murders' and the just released 'The Eloquence of the Dead' (October 2013, not yet in stock).

Feedback