Crime's grand tour: European detective fiction | Books | The GuardianO ne of the functions of fiction is to serve as a kind of tourism, either showing us places, situations and people that we might not otherwise reach or scrolling through snapshots of events or sensations that we remember. Crime stories rarely serve the latter purpose — most admirers of homicide novels will, thankfully, never become or even know a murder victim — but are a perfect illustration of the former. Throughout its history, crime literature has operated as a sort of imaginative travel agency, taking customers across borders and introducing them to unknown cultures. Since then, the genre has regularly been a ticket for a Grand Tour. Agatha Christie, an enthusiastic globe-trotter through her wealth and marriage to an archaeologist, sent Hercule Poirot on the Orient Express, Nile cruises and aeroplane journeys, depicting trips that the majority of her audience was unlikely ever to experience for real. Later in the 20th century, readers, listeners and viewers of detective tales learned about France from Simenon's Maigret and the Netherlands through Nicolas Freeling's Commissaris Van der Valk , who achieved the rare double of topping both the TV ratings lists in the ITV series starring Barry Foster and the pop charts, with the Simon Park Orchestra's recording of the theme tune, "Eye Level". Cop novels are a useful tool for such a survey because the police procedural turns on detail.
The 100 best crime novels and thrillers since 1945
In this ripped from the headlines tale of SEAL adventures and a plot to trick the Israelis and Americans into launching a first strike against Iran, Bond's refusal to demonize the Iranian characters gives them a solid, real-life feel that cranks up both the tension and the believability. In the 19th entry in what may be the most consistently satisfying series in contemporary American crime fiction, New Iberia, La. Incarcerated serial killer Gretchen Lowell says she has some useful tips for Det. Archie Sheridan in the case of two Portland, Ore. But can Archie take Gretchen at her word?
The first in the brilliant Department Q series, featuring an idiosyncratic team of cold-case detectives in Copenhagen. The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren The award-winning story of a petty criminal and drummer in s Chicago, left addicted to morphine by treatment for war injuries. Get The International Pack for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access. Already a member? Log in.
Like the inhabitants of Lake Wobegon, every single one of my friends is exceptional, and I assume the same applies to your crowd. Which means that all our exceptional friends are expecting exceptional books for Christmas. Lucky for us, some favorite authors came through with genre-stretchers this year. Keep in mind that the author is herself a member of Parliament — and be prepared for plenty of political animus. Warshawski novel. The way Paretsky tells it — with fist raised in moral outrage — the anger is still fresh because the pain never goes away. Crimes of social injustice commonly fuel the action in mysteries by international authors.
Top 10 best-selling crime novels of last five years on Kobo revealed
Mystery Month is in full swing here at Booklist , with all of the interviews, webinars, and blog posts about mystery fiction you could possibly want. And now, all of the book recommendations you need. Put on your best trench coat, grab a spot in your favorite shadowy alley, and dive in. The Ancient Rain , by Domenic Stansberry. What makes Stansberry stand out from the crowd is the genuine noir sensibility he brings to his work, that overwhelming feeling that things will, even must, go wrong.