There's been a few discussions here recently about favourite books, most memorable books and so on, but I'm reading City of Spies by Simon Levack at the moment and I was struck last night by the sense of being in the Aztec's world.

Peter Temple's The Broken Shore is the quintessential Australian sense of place and people book, but, again Adrian Hyland's Diamond Dove has such a strong sense of a realistic Australian outback about it. Peter Corris writes a fabulous very Sydney-feeling series as does Shane Maloney about Melbourne.

So my question is, what books have you read recently that have a really strong sense of the place that they are from?

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Loren D. Estleman's Sinister Heights. It's all Detroit, and reminds me I have no real desire to go there. :)
On behalf of the people who live here, that's probably a good decision.
I don't know why, but I find it hard to get a sense of place from most books. The one recent novel I can think of that was more about sense of place than satisfying story (to me at least), is Nick Stone's MISTER CLARINET.

It really evoked Haiti for me, and made me want to know more about the place (or more likely, less). But the story, well ... meh.
Oh thank you thank you thank you - I thought I was the only one in the world with that reaction to Mister Clarinet - thought it was okay but, well meh.
He heh. It did seem to get a lot of great reviews, but the PI story was totally tacked on. And the name, Max Mingus? Sheesh.
I read Mr Clarinet this month; I didn't think the PI story was too bad, but the denouement was wholly implausible, and there was too much glorification of vigilante killing. But the setting was great, it really interested me in Haiti. Andrea - don't be daunted by the size, it's a fairly quick read.
I've just finished the first Andrea Camilleri book, "The Shape of Water" which has a strong sense of local place (Sicily). I find "placeism" to be one of the most attractive aspects of reading a good book.
He does, doesn't he. Have you seen the tv series based on the Camilleri books? Inspector Montalbano.
Lovely series of books, and lots of local colour, including the food :). Uriah of Crime Scraps is a completely Camilleri freak. Never seen the TV series - possibly it's only shown in the US.
I bought the first DVD in the series the other day - I just love those adaptations - of course the idea that entire areas of Italy are that deserted is funny - but they are visually spectacular and the guy that plays Montalbano is superbly grumpy isn't he
I agree with you wholeheartedly about Simon Levack Karen. I've only read his first one but got a very strong sense of place. In one of William Kent Krueger's books the sense of place (and weather) was so strong that it made me chilly in the middle of summer. Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavik is a great place - not one I'd like to go to, but wonderfully written! Paul Johnston's Edinburgh in the 2020s in his Quint Dalrymple series is very cleverly done and is totally believable. Joe Lansdale's standalones - especially the historical ones - are really evocative, as are the locations in Daniel Woodrell's books.
Interesting, I just blogged on this very subject. After a strong plot
and great characters, a sense of place is what I'm most looking for in
a novel.

I just finished Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen. He
always does a great job of capturing the feeling of Florida. Some
others that come to mind from my recent reading would be the death row
setting in Stephen King's The Green Mile, or the NYC of The Devil Wears
Prada, as well as Anne Rice's New Orleans in The Witching Hour.

Yes, I've been reading a lot of backlist stuff lately.


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