An open discussion on what everyone is currently reading. Make recommendations to others, discuss what is new, hot, bestsellers, anything and everything related to books and the authors.

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Martin Cruz Smith, THREE STATIONS, an Arkady Renko novel.  All of his books in the series are good, even if they don't perhaps quite reach GORKY PARK.  We are now in the new Russia.  Think capitalism mixed with violence and greed.  The authorities still bumble and give Arkady a hard time.  Perhaps setting and characters occasionally are a tad over the top (evil dwarves and luxury fairs with nubile dancers and circus acrobatics), but it was a smooth read start to finish. Particularly good was the story of the stolen baby that sucks the reader into the action.

Recent reading:
Qiu Xiaolong - DEATH OF A RED HEROINE - I really enjoyed this. In addition to a likable detective, the glimpse into life in today's China and numerous quotations from Chinese poetry added much interest. He's written about six books, so they are now on my list.

Jon Loomis - FIRE SEASON - Jon, you can't write fast enough for me. Great sensibilities.

Alan Furst - DARK STAR - This one has a Jewish journalist from the Soviet Union in France and Germany just before the start of WWII. Always riveting is how you see history through an interesting character's eyes.


Steve Hamilton - A COLD DAY IN PARADISE - Good storytelling. In the first person. Tone is similar to Archer Mayor's.

Currently reading Quentin Bates' COLD COMFORT, the second of his Officer Gunnhildur series -
a middle-aged, somewhat overweight, down-to-earth police detective. The woman is very smooth at
interviewing suspects.

Next up is Mark Billingham's latest, THE DEMANDS. Love that Thorne.

I read a lot of international mysteries/police procedurals and have noticed a strange thing.
In most countries, when the police come to call, the person visited (even if a bad guy) offers
refreshments. This never happens in the US, Russia, or South Africa. I don't know exactly what to make of this observation. Any ideas?

Quentin Bates?  New to me.  Must keep him in mind.  It sounds Icelandic.?

Iceland is correct.

Peter Robinson, BAD BOY.   Well, Robinson is pretty good, but he does preach a bit. This novel startled me because the British gun laws are incredibly strict, so that possession of a fire arm by a young woman in her parents' house which is brought to police attention by her worried mother caused a violent police raid that killed her father and led into a shocking tale of violence as it spun out of control.  The preaching comes in when Banks, the protagonist, deals with his own daughter who certainly had responsibility for some of the events. 

 I was surprised by the British gun laws highlighted in Bad Boy as well. Banks is such a good character I missed him in the first half of the story--although his daughter's ordeal kept me reading.

Banks earlier had the same tone when his son wanted to be a rock musician.

Makes you wonder how old Robinson's children are...

Started Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley today.

Currently working my way through The Crime Factory's Hard Case Crime short story collection (noir / local authors). Very good and available on Amazon... :)

Next up The Sacrificial Man by Ruth Dugdall which I'm really looking forward to I must admit

Currently re-reading the Da-da-de-da-da Code by Robert Rankin while waiting for my ordered copy of the Last Temptation by Val McDermid to come through. The I'll order the next in line to the tony Hill series and grab another Ranking novel. 

I've just finished reading Zoe Sharp's First Drop, it was really good.

My next read is Emily Kimelman's second book Death in the Dark. Her first was a fantastic mystery, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Sean Chercover's collection of short stories EIGHT LIES (ABOUT THE TRUTH). Enjoying them quite a bit.


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