Archive for the ‘Sleuths Series’ Category
Arnaldur Indridason’s most recent novel available in English, STRANGE SHORES, is the most thoughtful, subtle and sympathetic portrait of Reykjavik Police Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson I have read. The author shines an intimate searching light on the seasoned, somewhat curmudgeon, Erlendur, and a tragedy in his past that “convinced [him] there and then that he would never be a happy man.” On vacation in the village of his childhood, situated in a remote part of the eastern region of Iceland, Erlendur cannot escape the long lost or suppressed memories of two disappearances that of his young brother in one of the sudden vicious storms and of a young woman in another.
Suspects abound and deceit, lies and corruption are the order of the day from everyone – criminals and cops – in Police, an enthralling follow-up to Jo Nesbo’s previous Harry Hole novel, Phantom. POLICE actually takes up where PHANTOM leaves off. And my question, for over a year, while waiting in angst for this book to be published is…”Is Harry Hole still alive?” Obviously he is…or this book would not have been written. But still…there was some doubt.
Leighton Gage, who spent a great deal of his time in Brazil, used his extensive knowledge of the country’s political, economic, and social climate to create an outstanding series of police procedurals. His latest, The Ways of Evil Men, published posthumously, opens with a heartbreaking scene. Anati, a member of the Awana tribe who live in the rainforest, goes hunting with his eight-year-old son, Raoni. When the two return to their village they discover that all thirty-nine members of their tribe are dead. Who killed these men, women, and children? Jade Calmon, an employee of the federal government’s National Indian Foundation, will not stop asking questions until she learns the truth. Since the local law enforcement authorities have no love for the Awana, Jade is forced to pull strings in order to bring in the big guns: Mario Silva, Chief Inspector of the Brazilian Federal Police, Arnaldo Nunes, Silva’s partner, and a support team that includes other agents and an assistant medical examiner.
Each chapter heading in Martin Cruz Smith’s brilliant novel, Tatiana, is printed on a slant, providing fair warning that not everything in this story is “on the level.” The author manipulates us by withholding facts and feeding us misinformation. Why does Smith lead us astray? He may be informing the uninitiated that his hero, Arkady Kyrilovich Renko, Senior Investigator for Very Important Cases, lives in a society that is off-kilter, warped, and perverse. To survive in today’s Russia, Renko, and others like him, must always be on their guard. Arkady’s cynical colleague, Detective Sergeant Victor Orlov, is tired of wasting his time trying to get the goods on influential miscreants. He insists, “The point is, you can’t win. We’re just playing it out.” He would rather spend his days passed out in his apartment after drinking himself into a stupor.
Although Duffy Dombroski was getting heat from his supervisor to go to a required training program so that he could perform better at his social worker job, Duffy jumped at the chance to go to Las Vegas as a sparring partner for Boris Rusakov, the Russian heavyweight champion. Duffy even somehow finds a way to bring his dog Al on the plane and he convinces all his friends but his trainer Smitty to go with him. Duffy doesnâ€™t care that his doctor is worried about his head injuries; Duffy just wants the chance to go to Vegas. Once heâ€™s in Vegas though, things donâ€™t go the way he hoped and he ends up in some unanticipated situations. Tom Schreck provides an entertaining book with lots of adventures, including some difficult and often touching moments with humor and entertaining moments, primarily provided by his basset hound Al and Duffyâ€™s bar friends.
I first read this 1997 novel (the sixth in Henning Mankell’s Inspector Wallander series) in 2004, and saw the television adaptation starring Kenneth Branagh last year. So the general outline was familiar; I even knew who the murderer was going to be. All the same, I read the book this time with just as much enjoyment as on the first occasion, and with even more appreciation of detail of its texture.