MysteryPeople Pick of the Month: THE TRESPASSER by Tana French

Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz

9780670026333Tana French, the queen of psychological crime fiction, has just released another stellar installment of her world-renowned Dublin Police Squad series, The Trespasser. We liked it so much, we picked it for our October Pick of the Month, although this honor couldn’t possibly get more attention for what is one of the most anticipated releases in the mystery world.

French continues her particular brand of psychological thriller in her latest. The inscrutable Antoinette Conway, who we met in The Secret Place as the partner of protagonist Stephen Moran, now appears in the starring role, making her French’s first female protagonist since The Likeness. Disliked by her squad but supported by her partner, Detective Antoinette Conway’s experience working in Murder is at the start of the novel a mixed bag.

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If you like Tana French…

Post by Molly

Tana French worked as an actress before she began writing her Dublin Murder Squad series, and the psychological insight she brings to her novels reflects her previous career. French started off her life in crime fiction with the brilliant Edgar-award winning debut, In The Woods, and this year, she published her fifth novel in the loosely connected series, The Secret Place. Each of French’s crime novels features a different detective in the Dublin police force working on a case designed to erode the boundaries between personal and professional life. Here are a few recommendations for the fan of Tana French…


secret history1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for her novel The Goldfinch, and many have been revisiting her earlier novels in light of her recent accolades. In Tartt’s debut novel, particularly suggested for those who enjoyed Tana French’s The Likeness, six classics students at a small, insular private college in the northeast murder one of their own group and suffer a slow and steady psychological breakdown from that point on.

smillas sense of snow2. Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

Peter Hoeg wrote Smilla’s Sense of Snow in the early 90s, sparking a revival of international interest in Scandinavian detective fiction, and yet today what I consider the greatest crime novel to ever come out of the Nordic nations has been eclipsed by Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy and those authors that have followed since. Smilla’s Sense of Snow is an icy, beautiful novel. A glaciologist, torn between her indigenous Greenlander identity and her life in Copenhagen, goes on a quest to solve the murder of a child and explores her own identity and that of her nation’s while doing so.

case histories3. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

If you like Tana French, then you like psychological insight, buried crimes, and complex investigations, all of which are present in Kate Atkinson’s brilliant crime novel Case Histories, where all characters are complicit and none are to be blamed. Kate Atkinson has written many novels, all distinct and only some shelved in the mystery section, but each work Atkinson crafts has that perfect combination of psychology, literary prose, and deeply humanistic characters.


Copies of the above listed books can be found on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.

 

Molly’s Top Ten International Crime Novels of 2014

Post by Molly

I have always loved international crime fiction – something about crimes on other shores sparks the imagination in a way that a news bulletin from across town can’t quite mimic. 2014 has been a fantastic year for international crime fiction, with great new releases from all my favorite crime fiction publishers. I celebrated International Crime Fiction Month (known to the layman as June) at the store by launching a new blog series profiling mysteries set across the globe, and now it’s time to pick my top ten international crime fiction novels of 2014.


williammcilvanneylaidlaw1. Laidlaw, by William McIlvanney – This reissue from Europa Editions’ World Noir Imprint takes place in a dismal 1970s Edinburgh, as a dour detective races to find a murder suspect before vigilantes get there first. Scotland’s miserable weather and, in this novel, even more miserable denizens are a perfect fit for noir.

 


in the morning2. In The Morning I’ll Be Gone, by Adrian McKinty – McKinty finished up his Belfast-set Troubles Trilogy earlier this year with an explosive conclusion. Detective Sean Duffy, catholic policeman, punk aficionado, and all-around smartass, is hired by MI5 to track down an old schoolmate-turned-terrorist in what turns into a fascinating retelling of the closest Margaret Thatcher ever got to being assassinated.

 


last winter we parted3. Last Winter, We Parted, by Fuminori Nakamura – Not all Japanese detective novels are poetic explorations of alienation in modern society, but this novel certainly is. Last Winter We Parted follows a young journalist’s interviews with a photographer convicted of burning two of his models alive in a quixotic attempt to capture their essence. As the journalist becomes closer to the photographer and his sister, he begins to lose his own self.


ghostmonth4. Ghost Month, by Ed LinGhost Month is Ed Lin’s first novel set abroad; his previous novels, set in New York City, have centered around the Chinese and Taiwanese-American community, and now Lin has voyaged to Taiwan itself. Ghost Month, takes place in the vibrant Night Market of Taipei, following a Joy Division-obsessed dropout as he tries to discover who killed his ex-girlfriend.

 


minotaurshead5. The Minotaur’s Head, by Marek Krajewski – Set in Poland and Prussia on the eve of the Second World War, The Minotaur’s Head follows two detectives; one a straight laced family man, the other a drunken aesthete of the Belle Époque; as they try to solve a crime that quickly entangles them in larger politics. Marek Krajewski, perhaps because he is Polish, and clearly because he is a good writer, has a perfect handle on the the dialogue and sensibilities of the time period.


the secret place6. The Secret Place, by Tana French – In each of French’s novels, a different character from the Dublin Murder Squad becomes the protagonist for an intense psychological exploration into human nature and crime. French’s latest installment of the series stars Detective Stephen Moran, previously introduced in Faithful Place, who teams up with a colleague’s teenage daughter to investigate a murder at an elite private school.

 


final silence7. The Final Silence, by Stuart NevilleThe Final Silence, Neville’s latest installment in his DI Jack Lennon series, has the detective at a low point in his life when an ex-girlfriend comes knocking to tell him she found something rather disturbing in her dead uncle’s spare bedroom. Neville crafts a thrilling narrative that, like much of his work, also serves as a meditative reminder of Belfast’s haunting past.

 


murder at cape three points8. Murder at Cape Three Points, by Kwei Quartey – This is the third installment of Ghanaian-American Kwei Quartey’s Detective Darko Dawson series. In Murder at Cape Three Points, Ghanaian Detective Dawson is called in to solve the seemingly ritualistic murder of an affluent couple found dead near an oil rig. His investigation is quickly stymied in his efforts by corruption, bureaucracy, and nefarious oil companies, and he must use intuition and unorthodox means to solve the crime.


mad and the bad9. The Mad and the Bad, by Jean-Patrick Manchette – After reading Manchette’s novel The Mad and The Bad, recently reissued by New York Review of Books, I have yet another reason to love the folks at NYRB. The Mad and The Bad is a crazed romp through 1970s France. A spoiled heir to a fortune is kidnapped by an ulcer-ridden hit-man. The child’s nanny, only recently released from a mental institution, must try to keep him safe despite her increasingly fragile grasp on reality.


10. Singapore Noiredited by singapore noirCheryl Lu Tan – this impeccable collection of stories set in the glitzy high rises and seedy underbelly of Singapore is one of Akashic’s finest releases to date. You’ll get a vast array of characters from one of the worlds most diverse cities, including mafiosos, maids, and murderers of all kinds, and plenty of proof that Singapore can be as murderous a city-state as Rome ever was.

 


Copies of each book are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.