Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Grey Doll's Criminal Reading Travels: Egypt, Italy and Ireland
(As opposed to reading when I travel. I don't really go anywhere except in my imagination, see.)
So I thought I'd point you to some of the books I have read recently... and to their reviews over on the Euro Crime site.
I enjoy the books of British Sudanese writer Parker Bilal. "The Burning Gates" is his latest novel featuring Cairo-based Sudanese exile and private eye, Makana. And it does not disappoint. Makana hits the privileged world of art collectors and Cairo society but soon ends up in a stew of murder, stolen art works, war criminals and mercenaries. What I love about Bilal's Makana is his wit, his cautious humanity, his rich and varied pool of friends and acquaintances... and his sheer survivor instinct. Makana is a man who does not wear his heart on his sleeve but it bleeds all the same. Read a full review of Parker Bilal's "The Burning Gates" here.
I have also travelled to Italy for Conor Fitzgerald's "Bitter Remedy". This is the fifth in his series featuring Commissario Alec Blume of the Rome police. Blume has found himself out of his personal depth and enrols on a natural remedies course which maroons him in the Italian countryside, increasingly ill, but nevertheless drawn into the search for a missing Romanian girl. Alec Blume is a quirky protagonist... who requires some patience to understand... as most of his workmates and his long suffering partner would testify. But there is subtle wit to be found in his neurotic dealings. Read the full review here.
Finally I visit Northern Ireland and the second Celcius Daly novel of Anthony Quinn. "Border Angels" takes us into the territory of sex-trafficking, rural brothels in ruined farmhouses and shipping containers. Daly is on the trail of a trafficked woman after the death of a pimp. The trail takes us, amongst other places, to a ruined half-finished housing development and a developer's vanity-project mansion, giving us a squint at Ireland after the crash. Quinn's settings are some distance from the gritty streets of Belfast but his eery, rural landscapes of mists and thorn hedges are unforgettable. The full review is here.
And I'm staying in Northern Ireland for a while with Stuart Neville's sixth novel, due out in June - "Those We Left Behind". It's a brilliant, chilling story. I'll let you know more later.