Genre roundup – the best new crime thrillers
Do you want your mystery novel to disturb you deeply, shamelessly discussing the most difficult problems? Or are you looking for seductive, non-threatening entertainment that uses crime in a more comforting way? If the latter, you’re probably one of the thousands who made TV personality Richard Osman rich with his hit streak Thursday Murder Club.
The new entry The bullet that missed (Viking £20, 432 pages) once again falls squarely into the category that many authors regard as a rather degrading ‘cozy crime’, but that’s not the worst of it.
Osman’s aging amateur investigators investigate two murders a decade apart, but the stakes become considerably higher when one of the group, ex-MI5 agent Elizabeth, learns of a mysterious figure called “The Viking” that she could be in a “kill or be”. situation of death”. With ex-KGBs and money launderers in the mix, it all comes with the sharp wit we associate with Osman; her admirers won’t mind that the real world doesn’t get much attention here.
John Connolly’s masterful thrillers may not appeal to all tastes, but there’s a sizable audience for the Irish writer’s literary literature bouillabaisse that stir both the detective and the supernatural. The Furies (Hodder & Stoughton £20, 480 pages) is the 20th in the Charlie “Bird” Parker series, and the epigraph reminding us that the Furies are the revenge goddesses of the underworld until the gruesome finale some 400 pages later, Connolly’s grip is inexorable. Since the first romance with Parker, Every death Thing (1999), the Balzacian scope of the writer has expanded satisfactorily.
His new book is actually two for the price of one: in “The Sisters Strange,” the ruthless Raum Buker returns to Portland, Maine, and a fateful encounter with the title’s mysterious siblings. And, in ‘The Furies’, Parker protects two women in danger as Portland shuts down due to a global pandemic – but the women may turn out to be the last people to need the battle-weary detective’s care. .
Those combating supernatural elements in detective fiction should know that Connolly incorporates such things as seamlessly and persuasively as ever, and the violent scenarios he paints are written in often poetic prose.
In the 19th century, Israeli literature had a laudable goal of reviving the Hebrew language; DA Mishani’s entertaining crime novels have less lofty aims, though they too are written in Hebrew (the translation is by Jessica Cohen) but, as Conviction (Riverrun £18.99, 320 pages), Mishani can make compelling remarks about Israeli society.
His eccentric detective, Avraham Avraham, comes from a family of Sephardic Jews in an unglamorous suburb. In this fourth installment of the series, a Swiss tourist disappears from a seaside hotel in Tel Aviv, but is the missing man the Mossad agent his daughter claims he is? Inspector Avraham finds himself persona non grata with Israel’s most influential figures – including some men who technically don’t exist. A rich and quirky vision of Israeli society, refracted by Mishani through his unorthodox detective.
1989 (Little, Brown £20, 432 pages), by Britain’s reigning queen of crime Val McDermid, is a sequel to her change of pace 1979the memorable debut of a quintet of books set in a Glasgow tabloid.
That book’s bloodthirsty reporter, Allie Burns, became editor, with the AIDS crisis, the Pan Am bombing and the Cold War all vying for the front pages – not to mention… a brutal murder. It’s every bit as accomplished as its predecessor, with the same keen sense of an increasingly distant era.
Vaseem Khan’s frictionless rise to pole position in historical crime is cemented by The Lost Man of Bombay (Hodder & Stoughton £16.99, 384 pages). In 1950s Mumbai, the frozen corpse of an Anglo-Saxon man is discovered in the foothills of the Himalayas; he is quickly dubbed “The Ice Man” by the media.
India’s first female police inspector, Persis Wadia, is joined by Archie Blackfinch of the Metropolitan Police in the task of uncovering an intricate plot. Lots to savor here, including the image of a troubled colonial India, a country reclaiming its post-Raj identity.
In the heat of Australian Garry Disher The way it is now (Viper £14.99, 384 pages), the coastal town of Swanage is awash in violence, rape and misogyny. Two decades ago, the mother of cynical copper Charlie Deravin disappeared, widely suspected of having been murdered. Charlie has been inclined to accept that his estranged father may have been guilty, but his return home will soon lead to shocking revelations.
Disher’s image of antipodal male attitudes has a very feminist slant, though his arguments are advanced at a leisurely pace. Nonetheless, the characterization is just as intensely realized as one would expect from this award-winning writer.
Barry Forshaw is the author of ‘Simon: The Man, the Books, the Films’
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