Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stuff These

Imagine the looks on the faces of your nearest and/or dearest crime-fiction lovers as they open their holiday stockings and find not a new BlackBerry Storm, but instead one of these fine mysteries or thrillers. They’re unlikely ever to forget you.

The Bard and Brutality
Interred With Their Bones, by Jennifer Lee Carrell. A much-praised best-seller in hardcover in the United States and Britain, Carrell’s beautifully crafted debut thriller examines links between the identity of Shakespeare and a modern murder.

You Bet Your Life
Las Vegas Noir, edited by Jarret Keene and Todd James Pierce. The fact that one of my favorite modern crime writers, Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest (2000) and Cottonwood (2004), has a great story in this new anthology from Akashic Books adds even more weight to a worthy project.

A Double Dose
Dirty Sweet and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, by John McFetridge. If you’ve read Toronto Noir, you know that that Canadian city can be just as nasty as Chicago or Detroit. McFetridge proved that as well with his 2006 novel, Dirty Sweet, about a female real-estate broker who gets involved up to her escrow with mobsters, killers, and other dangerous types. McFetridge’s latest book, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (2008), is equally gripping and well-crafted.

Two Guys from Ireland--Only One Named Declan
Little Criminals, by Gene Kerrigan. In my opinion, Kerrigan is the best crime writer to come out of Ireland in recent memory, as much because of his beautifully written portrait of the blazing economy of the new Ireland as for his vivid sketches of criminals and cops stumbling over each other.

The Price of Blood, by Declan Hughes. A missing-persons case draws private eye Ed Loy into the shady--and deadly--underworld of horse racing in this third Dublin thriller by playwright Hughes.

The Hired Gun
Ripley’s Game, by Patricia Highsmith. Just mention “Ripley” and most people think of Matt Damon or Alain Delon. But I prefer the very talented John Malkovich, who played the conniving killer in the film of this gorgeous new quality paperback.


Chris said...

Thanks for the list! Very helpful.

How did you like the Malkovich version of Ripley?

bish8 said...

Great choices!