Killer readsJILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
There's nothing like a good juicy murder or two to while away the hours of a cold evening. Here's a selection of what's on offer for the bloodthirsty reader.
By Jo Nesbo (Harvill Secker, RRP $38)
In the latest instalment in the Harry Hole series, the ex-detective has returned to Oslo after spending three years in Hong Kong.
He asks his old boss if he can investigate a murder but permission is denied as the case is closed: the victim, a young junkie, was shot dead by a fellow addict.
However, he visits the alleged killer in jail and from there he strikes out on his own, discovering a trail of violence and disappearances that have gone unnoticed by the police.
In his quest to find the real killer of Gusto, the young drug addict, he ends up with an endless parade of suspects and moves through the seedy side of Oslo.
In typical Jo Nesbo fashion, the story is tricky, treacherous and poor old Harry ends up having a pretty rough time of it.
This is the ninth book in the Harry Hole series, the seventh to be translated into English, and with each book I'm becoming more and more of a fan.
I don't know why we are seeing this trend for awesome crime novels from Scandinavian writers but I'm not complaining – although, I am a bit over seeing "the next Stieg Larsson" slapped across covers and reviews because Jo Nesbo and so many of the others are good enough to stand on their own merits.
If you haven't discovered the joys of Jo Nesbo's twisted mind, you don't know what you are missing. I recommend reading all seven of the books in order.
However, if you don't have time to do that, read Phantom because it might well get you hooked.
By Jo Nesbo (Harvill Secker, RRP $38)
If you are looking for a one-off Jo Nesbo novel to kick off your addiction, Headhunters is a good place to start.
Released late last year, this is the story of Roger Brown, a short man with great hair and even better instincts.
Roger is a headhunter for a top recruitment agency. He has a beautiful wife, a beautiful house, money, a flash car, fancy suits and did I mention the hair?
He also has a double life: in his spare time he likes to steal valuable works of art.
When he sees the chance to get rich beyond even his wildest dreams, thanks to the man his beautiful wife introduces him to as a potential candidate for a position with Roger's biggest client, it all comes crashing down in a violent mess.
This is an easy read and also a little disturbing (especially the part about the fake dog bite on a dead body). Perfect.
By Patricia Cornwell (Little, Brown, RRP $28)
While the Harry Hole series is getting better and better, I feel Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series is about ready for retirement.
The front cover was suitably moody, the back cover was full of tense descriptions and drama about a "gripping, thrilling tour-de-force" and I had enjoyed the earlier books I'd read in the series.
Sadly, I can't say the same for Red Mist.
This time around, Kay arranges to meet an inmate at a high-security prison.
The inmate is a convicted sex offender and the mother of the rather nasty killer Dawn Kincaid, who earlier in the series attacked our heroine and very nearly killed her.
I struggled to read this book because the plot was thin and fairly implausible and to say the characters were two-dimensional would be an overly flattering description.
I persevered, forcing myself to read to the end but was left feeling disappointed.
Life's too short for books that don't deliver.
The Killing Room
By Richard Montanari (William Heinemann, RRP $35)
I stumbled across the dark mind of author Richard Montanari via The Skin Gods, his fifth novel. Since then I've enjoyed the next five, with each one a little more disturbing than the last.
In the latest Byrne and Balzano novel, The Killing Room, the detectives are called to a gruesome crime scene, where an abandoned church has become a killing room.
What at first appears to be a single, random act of ultimate violence quickly shows itself to be so much more as a second body is found, then a third.
This is classic Montanari, full of creepiness and nastiness that will make your spine tingle and the hairs on the back of you neck stand up.
It's also a compelling read and in places, quite poetic – in a grisly, blood-thirsty kind of way.
Recommended reading on a stormy night.
By Camilla Lackberg (HarperCollins, RRP $35)
In the latest Camilla Lackberg novel to feature detective Patrik Hedstrom, author Christian Thydell is the recipient of threats after he begins writing a novel.
One message, hidden inside a bunch of flowers, proves too much and leads to him collapsing at the launch party for his book.
While Hedstrom's wife, Erica Falck, investigates what is going on with Thydell, her husband is more interested in the disappearance of Thydell's friends four months earlier.
Eventually a body is found and it becomes a murder investigation and it also becomes obvious that Thydell and his friends are being targeted.
Clues buried within Thydell's novel, The Mermaid, hint at a dark secret from the past and it appears that someone will do anything to keep that secret buried.
This is a book that grabs you from the very first page and keeps a firm grip to the final word.
Post a comment