The New Crime Fiction – The New York Times

The series’ promising sign is that each part can be single, and readers can start with any book. It’s too early to say if this will hold up to the Joanna Mo Island Crimes cycle, only two books are strong, but Shadow Lily (Penguin Books, 418 pages, sheet, $16.99) It is a strict police measure that invited me to the sparsely populated Baltic island of Öland, where the nights are pitch-black and villages “sometimes consist of no more than a few houses”. Like the first book in the series “The Night Singer”, it was brilliantly translated from Swedish by Alice Menzies.

Back in Öland after the weekend, Jenny Alstrom discovers that her husband, Thomas, and her 14-month-old son are missing. She tells the investigators in charge of the case, Hannah Dunker and Eric Lindgren, “I just wanted to be on my own for a few days. Things have been so intense since Hugo was born…I have barely slept through the night for over a year.” What at first glance looks like a marriage feud soon turns into a complex: Thomas becomes involved in a local smuggling ring, and it turns out he has a bitter adult daughter Jenny who she never knew.

Hanna’s history – her father was a convicted murderer – fades through flashbacks of the missing father and son. And when the horrible, twisted truth is finally revealed, it comes as a surprise.

Rita Todachin, the complex and thorny main character introduced in the opening act of Ramona Emerson’s haunting series, shutter (Soho Crime, 300 pages, $25.95), has a secret Why is her work as a forensic photographer for the Albuquerque Police Department so well, detailed, and so weird? She has a channel of communication with the dead, who appear to her and tell her things that no one else will know about their violent lives and deaths. Sometimes Rita’s crime scene photos are so good that they help investigators solve cases.

Opening her mind to ghosts takes a toll on Rita. They appear without warning, “waiting in line, staring at the neon sign outside myself,” she says. The constant presence of spirits leads to isolation and depression; Sometimes she is ostracized by her own Navajo community. Her latest subject in photography, a presumed suicide whose remaining ghost angrily insists she didn’t take her life, forces Rita to investigate beyond professional boundaries.

No matter where they are, and no matter what they do, ghosts will never leave them: “I felt a chill of their misery seep into my bones. They will bleed from me to dry.”


Chuck Hogan is writing crime novels again, and that’s something to cheer about. His last solo effort “Devils in Exile” appeared in 2010; Since then, he has written several screenplays, co-authored the vampire trilogy with Guillermo del Toro, and worked on the television adaptation of said trilogy. GANGLAND (Grand Central, 352 pages, $28) It is largely in line with Hogan’s previous directing. It is now also my favorite of his novels.

The novel is set in the 1970s about real-life Chicago mob Tony Acardo, who becomes furious after the burglary of his suburban mansion, and the unsolved murder of Sam Giancana. These two puzzles revolve around the fictional character Nikki Passero, a loyal Accardo soldier who has forged his life based on secrets. Passero finds himself in a growing dilemma as Acardo demands that the culprits of the robbery be tracked down before the cops.

Hogan paints a masterful picture of men in turmoil, forged and broken loyalties, and a test of loyalty. “Gangland” is also, like the best mob books and movies, an exploration of masculinity at its most toxic and harmful.


Few crime novels have baffled me as much Deal Drops (Melville House, 280 pages, $27.99)where Larry Beinhart (of Wag the Dog fame) has brought back the special eye of Tony Casella, who was last seen in the 1991 movie Foreign Currency. Beinhart himself is a supporting character in the new novel, stimulating some action — action that, it has to be said, , Does not make sense.

Here’s my attempt to sum up the plot: Casilla – who lives alone in the Catskill Mountains, and his family is dead or alienated – meets a woman on a train who asks him to help her find someone to kill her husband. Her financial backer, an expert in “litigation finance” who will pay for the murder in exchange for some of the deceased husband’s assets, steps in to settle the deal. It’s the kind of ball-busting feminist stereotype that some writers like to evoke (arrogant and edgy, with a hot pink and black Glock stuffed into her handbag). The husband ends up dead, but it’s not a murder, not exactly, and then there’s more suspicious deaths and international travel and mumbling about the Deep State.

Benhart, who once wrote a non-fiction book on how to write puzzles, can still deliver knife-edged sentences, but they never really break through this mess. When I finally got to the last page, exhausted, I wondered: Why would I bring Casella back? Why does this book exist?

I don’t have a clue.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: