I’ve been spending a lot of evenings/weekends reading recently, partly because of the constant snow and cold weather, and have got through quite a few books. I’ve always been a fan of crime novels, and have read three really good ones lately.
The Echo Man – Richard Montanari
I got one of his books out of the library a while back, a series with a male detective, and really didn’t like it much. The main character wasn’t very likeable, and I felt there was an undercurrent of misogyny going through the whole book which may have come from the character or the writer, I was unsure. But then I tried a different series, where he has two detectives working together, Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne. It was so much better – more readable, the characters were interesting and likeable, and the plot was brilliant. I won’t give it away, but I really like crime novels where the crimes/murders are part of a complex plan done for a reason by the killer, and where the motives go back into the past. This had both, and once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. I’ll definitely be reading more of this series in the future.
Camilla Lackberg – The Hidden Child and The Drowning
I’ve been a fan of Camilla Lackberg ever since I read The Ice Princess, the first in this series. I really like my Scandinavian crime novels and hers are brilliant – well written plots that draw you in slowly, and her main characters are actually generally well-adjusted, decent people, unlike the cliched alcoholic detective. I read The Hidden Child which was really gripping – the plot goes back to the second world war, and Norway being occupied by the Germans, and how this has impacted on various characters in the modern day setting. I also really liked how the mystery was related to the main character’s own family, and what happened to her mother, as this has always been hinted at in previous books but never explained until now.
The Drowning was also excellent – I really enjoy how Camilla Lackberg’s books have a narrative in the present, and an interlinking narrative in the past, and as the novel progresses you find out how they interlink. I did guess the ending, but only a chapter or two before the reveal, so I got to feel smug but not that it was really obvious. If you’re into crime, I highly recommend Camilla Lackberg’s books.
What are your favourite crime novels? Which writers would you recommend?