A WEEK IN DECEMBER by Sebastian Faulks

Sebastian Faulks is nothing if not ambitious. In his latest book, a sweeping and piercing satire about contemporary London, Mr. Faulks takes on everything from the financial meltdown and the profusion of silly book awards to shockingly offensive reality TV, cyber porn, London football, and, for good measure, Islamic radicalism. The good news is, for the most part, he succeeds admirably.

July 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Humorous, Satire, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

ZULU by Caryl Ferey

Europa Editions, a New York based publisher founded in 2005, first came to my attention a few years ago through one of their noir titles. I really enjoy Europa’s Italian crime novels written by Massimo Carlotto, Jean Claude Izzo, and Carlo Lucarelli. There’s a predictable level of quality here that makes me return to Europa and peruse their titles regularly. My attitude towards publishers is similar to my attitude towards film directors–experience has taught me that some directors and some publishers consistently produce work that I’m interested in.

And this brings me to ZULU, from French crime writer, Caryl Ferey, a novel in Europa’s World Noir series.

May 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Africa, Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

THE THIRD RAIL by Michael Harvey

The Windy City is the setting for Michael Harvey’s fast-paced thriller, THE THIRD RAIL. Private investigator Michael Kelly is part of a task force that includes a detective named Vince Rodriguez and a no-nonsense FBI agent, Katherine Lawson. Their goal is to find a sadistic sniper who shot several passengers riding Chicago’s public transit system.

April 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Midwest

SOLAR by Ian McEwan

Reading SOLAR, Ian McEwan’s entertaining and clever new novel, reminded me of an appearance by Al Gore on the Daily Show. Jon Stewart, it seemed, had grown increasingly tired of all the talk and dire warnings about global warming. He asked Gore if the former vice president was at all concerned that the urgency with which the warnings were declared, took some of the attention away from the solutions. In other words, was there a disconnect between the message and the solutions, which seemed so abstract? Stewart wanted tangible solutions—something we could all sink our teeth into.

March 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

UNION ATLANTIC by Adam Haslett

After reading UNION ATLANTIC, one fact becomes increasingly obvious: Adam Haslett is one heck of a talented writer. But what might not be that obvious is that he is also prescient. His gripping novel essentially revolves around a large fictional bank (Union Atlantic)’s spectacular failure. Get this: Haslett completed it the week that a real-life bank, Lehman Brothers, collapsed.

Haslett has said that while writing UNION ATLANTIC, he worried that no one would know what the Federal Reserve was, or “if they did they wouldn’t want to read about it in a novel.” He needn’t have worried. After all, life—in this case sadly—imitates art.

February 9, 2010 · Judi Clark · 9 Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Debut Novel, NE & New York, y Award Winning Author

POISONVILLE by Massimo Carlotto

Set in the industrialized northeast region of Italy, Poisonville begins with the brutal murder of lawyer Giovanni Barovier, fiancée of Francesco Visentin, another lawyer and son of the area’s second richest family.

October 17, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: italy, Mystery/Suspense, Noir