Having been asked to recommend a Jo Nesbo book for Christmas, I thought I might just do a random post listing a selection of stocking fillers - you couldn't give or receive a nicer present than a book that is not just a good read, but is indeed a GREAT read!
In no particular order (that would be too hard!), the one thing all these titles have in common is that I gave them all 5-stars . The links are mostly to relevant blog posts here where you might get more information and even further ideas.
Finland's Sofi Oksanen's star novel 'Purge' is a gripping, well written story of love, survival, sexual violence, secrets, treachery and of course crime. 'Borkmann's Point' by Sweden's Håkan Nesser is one of a number in the Chief Inspector Van Veeteren series. 'The Redbreast' by Norway's Jo Nesbo is just one of a number of excellent novels by an author whose fame is growing by the moment, and this particular title ought to be the first in the series that you read. 'Death at La Fenice' is the first in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series by American-born writer, but honorary Venetian, Donna Leon, with Venice being the wonderful setting for this marvellous series where food and location are such important elements.
'Don't Look Back' (links to catalogue), the first in the Inspector Sejer mystery (in translation, that is), is only one in a number of great reads from Norwegian author Karin Fossum. Andrea Camilleri, the Sicilian writer and creator of Inspector Salvo Montalbano, has to be one of my favourites, if not THE favourite. All of his crime novels have been a joy to read, so full also of humour, the Sicilian landscape, Sicilian society and food! Most of his titles have rated 5 stars for me, if I must mention one , let me do so at random - 'Voice of the Violin' - since the reading order is not really that important.
Then of course there is Sweden's Steig Larsson; who has not heard of him! His three crime novels have almost achieved cult status, and of course must be read in the correct order, so start with 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. You will not be disappointed. But when it comes to Swedish crime writers, even Larsson likely still concedes first place to that other great novelist, Henning Mankell, creater of the wonderful Wallander series. Reading order is kind of important here too, but you won't suffer too much if read out of order. Can I cheat a bit here and give the series 5 stars? The first in the series, should you want to stick with the correst order, is 'Faceless Killers', which is set in 1990.
'Silence of the Grave' by Iceland's Arnaldur Indriðason is one of a number in the Inspector Erlendur series, set in and around Reykjavik, and my favourite. Going from the cold of Iceland to the heat of Italy again, you might want to pick up Michael Dibdin's 'Medusa', one of several in the Aurelio Zen series. Dibdin is a British-born crime writer who lived and taught in Italy for a time. You may recall a number of his books having been turned to film and appearing on TV.
Well, enjoy your Christmas and try too to enjoy a GREAT crime read while you're at it!