Right now I'm reading John McFetridge's Everyone Knows This is Nowhere. What I've read so far has been sensational, for a few reasons:
1. The writing is great - sparse, with no breaks in the plot for descriptive passages, yet you feel like you're immersed in the world and are walking beside the characters. (You can even taste their coffee.)
2. The characters are real. He doesn't tell you a thing about them; you feel them by how they move and talk. It's like meeting people in real life, but you only have to see their interesting parts.
3. He makes me miss Toronto. I never miss Toronto, but even through writing about dead bodies and drug addicts, he gets the pulse of the city I'm from and makes it feel alive.
4. The plot. It's both sensational and natural - it feels both real and thrilling. I always want to read the next page.
Sorry this response is long. When I come across a book I love, it's hard to shut up about what's great about it.
Im going to recommend Robert Wilson's A Small Death In Lisbon. I was totally absorbed and fascinated from start to finish. I give this four stars.
From Publishers Weekly:
"The real star of this gripping and beautifully written mysteryDwhich won the British Crime Writers' Golden Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel last yearDis Portugal, whose history and people come to life on every page. Wilson tells two stories: the investigation into the brutal sex murder of a 15-year-girl in 1998, and the tangled, bloody saga of a financial enterprise that begins with the Nazis in 1941."
It has been years since a crime novel blew me away. It seems that the more I read the more I demand from them. That said I recently enjoyed The Way Home by George Pelecanos. A compelling tale, the first half of which brims with the kind of characterization you’d expect from one the writers of The Wire, whilst the second half is a gripping page turner.