If You Like Tana French

We librarians hear a lot about readers’ favorite writers, and some names come up over and over again. One of these is Irish mystery writer Tana French, whose gritty Dublin Murder Squad series provides the perfect blend of police procedure and intricate psychological suspense. Only trouble is, she doesn’t write them fast enough. No worries: here are some other terrific titles – many by less well known writers – that are sure to please.

The Dark Lake, by Sarah Bailey. When her former classmate is found murdered, Det. Sgt. Gemma Woodstock uncovers puzzling mysteries in the victim’s life, from her abrupt departure from a dream teaching job to her run-down existence in spite of wealthy family ties.

Lost You, by Haylen Beck. After a closing elevator door separates them, a single mother on vacation with her son discovers he has been abducted by another woman who claims she is his mother!

One Small Sacrifice, by Hilary Davidson. An apparent suicide. A mysterious disappearance. Did one man get away with murder—twice? It is Det. Sheryn Sterling job to find out. A riveting police procedural with a strong female detective and an intriguing antagonist. Continue reading “If You Like Tana French”

The Third Policeman

The Irish may be said to possess the gift of gab, but the truth is they’re none too shabby with the pen, either. Most readers have at least a passing familiarity with the usual suspects-Joyce, Yeats, Wilde-but may not be aware of the lesser known author Flann O’Brien. O’Brien (a pseudonym of cover-of-flann-obriens-the-third-policemanBrian O’Nolan) wrote, among other things, a novel entitled The Third Policeman. Tongue-in-cheek, somewhat nonsensical, and completely engrossing, The Third Policeman relates the tale of an ill-fated murder committed by a nameless protagonist and the subsequent journey he embarks on in an effort to retrieve his victim’s wealth. Our ‘hero’ rambles along, sharing observations of his own and of his idol, the philosopher de Selby, who’s theories run the gamut from housing (he objects to a life constrained by a roof and four walls and recommends getting rid of either the former or the latter) to nighttime (darkness is caused by a staining of the atmosphere by ash from volcanic eruptions too fine to be seen by the naked eye). When he encounters a two dimensional police station and its eccentric inhabitants things really start to get strange.The plot is somewhat incidental, however, as the real magic of the book lies in the language. Rather than describe it, I feel it’s better to let O’Brien speak for himself and so here follow some select quotes Continue reading “The Third Policeman”