Australia has long produced some great mystery writers: Peter Temple, writing the Jack Irish series about a lawyer and gambler turned PI, as well as a number of standalone crime novels; Kerry Greenwood’s post-World War I series featuring private detective Phryne Fisher, to name just two. But in just the last year, authors from Down Under have delivered two new excellent mystery series.
The Dry by Jane Harper
Federal Agent Aaron Falk left his tiny hometown of Kiewarra 20 years ago after the suspicious death of a friend. Now he gets word that another friend from that time, Luke, and Luke’s family have all been killed. Luke’s dad sends Aaron a letter that simply says “Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.” And so he returns home to try to figure out what happened, and to try and come to terms with the death of his friend two decades before. This has a great cast of characters, two interesting mysteries split across 20 years, and Harper writes so realistically of the drought-stricken Outback that you can practically feel the hot wind coming off the sheep farms.
Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
A year ago, Sydney detective Ted Conkaffey pulled over on the side of a rural road to adjust his fishing equipment; a girl at the bus stop nearby went missing at nearly the same time, and was found days later assaulted and left for dead. Ted was accused but not convicted of the crime, released from jail with no job, no family or friends, and no prospects. He fled north, to the steamy, swampy, crocodile-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake. At loose ends, struggling for money, his lawyer connects him with private investigator Amanda Pharrell, herself convicted of murder when she was a teenager. Ted and Amanda make uneasy partners, but jump in together on the case of a very successful local author who has gone missing. Fox weaves together an interesting current mystery (is murder-by-crocodile possible?), while also teasing aspects of Amanda and Ted’s pasts in a way that will leave you impatient for the sequel.
~ posted by Andrea G.
Did you hear the announcement earlier this year, that the National Book Foundation will be adding a new award for the first time in 36 years, honoring works in translation? With that news, it’s a good time to continue highlighting some interesting international fiction published in 2017-18, this time from East Asia – Japan, Korea and China.
Continue reading “Intriguing East Asian Fiction”
As part of our intermittent, ongoing series rounding up interesting international fiction, let’s take a tour of European fiction published this fall in the US.
The Dying Game by Asa Avdic (Sweden)
In this psychological thriller set on a remote Swedish island, Anna is supposed to fake her death and then spy on the reactions of her fellow travelmates. The situation really gets deadly when they discover a real killer on the island with them.
The Safe House by Christophe Boltanski (France)
For generations, the tight-knit Boltanski family has lived together hunkered down in their shabby nobleman’s mansion. The novel explores a different room and family member each chapter. Continue reading “Intriguing European Fiction Nov 2017”
Only about three percent of all books published in the United States are works in translation, and many of those books don’t necessarily garner a lot of mainstream press. As part of our ongoing series highlighting intriguing international fiction, here is a glimpse of some recent, interesting novels from Latin American authors.
Continue reading “Intriguing Latin American Fiction”
Sitting down to write about international fiction can be overwhelming simply because there is so much good stuff available, and any entry will inevitably leave so much out. Consider this a glimpse of interesting novels coming from outside our borders – in this case, coming from authors in countries throughout Africa.
Nigeria’s literary scene is booming. Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett is satire in which a young Nigerian man wakes up white – except for his ass – and sets off into Lagos to go job hunting. Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John is a coming-of-age novel set in Northern Nigeria, as Dantala grows up surrounded by extremism and violence yet finds his way forward through faith. And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile is set on the Nigerian coast in 1995. A teenage boy goes missing, his disappearance ripping through his family as his younger brother searches for him and instead finds family secrets. Continue reading “Intriguing African Fiction, 2016”