MISTERIOSO by Arne Dahl

MISTERIOSO by Arne Dahl is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization. On the surface, it is a mystery but so much of the novel lies below the surface, getting into the characters’ minds and thoughts as they live their lives and work at trying to catch a serial killer.

The title of the book comes from a piece of music composed by Thelonius Monk, a famous American jazz pianist and composer, now deceased. There is a serial killer on the loose in Sweden who is killing very rich and powerful men. The killer waits for his prey in the victim’s living room listening to Monk’s Misterioso on the stereo and when the victim arrives he is shot in the head two times. The killer views the music as “a pantomime, a peculiar dance of death.” The Swedish police put together what they call an A-Team to find this killer.

July 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, Sweden, Translated, World Lit

THE GOLDEN MEAN by Annabel Lyon

The best books are not necessarily those with dazzling prose or mind-numbing theories. The best books are those that steal up on you, and lead you gently into a world made real, not by an abundance of detail, but by honestly rendered characters that, from the very first page, so completely captivate that before you know it, you’ve read half the book and there are but a few hours until dawn. That is, the best books understand the allure – our insatisfiable longing to compare and contrast our minds with others – of interesting characters. Annabel Lyon’s THE GOLDEN MEAN is such a book, and her accomplishment – the surprising irresistibility of her story – is all the more incredible when you consider that she’s chosen to focus on rather prosaic moments in a great man’s life.

September 7, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History