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crime/suspense fiction

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Death and the Olive Grove by Marco Vichi

Little girls keep showing up dead--with bite marks on their bellies--in 1960s-era Florence, and world-weary 50-something Inspector Bordelli is tasked with finding their killer.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo has so many people raving about how awesome these books are; I had to give one a try.  This mystery is certainly entertaining but I am currently at page 485 and I am still waiting to get to the plot. It is a book I definitely could put down (though I know many who raced through it). The sexual violence can be a bit hard to suffer through. I am disciplining myself to finish it.

Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr

The most intense Anna Pigeon novel to date (and this is number 18!), this thriller starts when our favorite National Park Service Ranger's short weekend camping trip with friends turns into a fight for survival against kidnappers. As with all Nevada Barr mysteries, the Minnesota wilderness is as much a character as any of the people.

The Phantom by Joe Nesbo

Flawed, alcoholic super ex-cop Harry Hole returns to Norway to take on his most personal challenge: Oleg, the boy he helped raise, has been arrested for murder. The detective’s investigations of Oslo’s seedy drug culture drives him to terrifying discoveries about himself and the implications of choices he has made in the past. Nesbo continues to serve up juicy plot twists and fascinating character development.

Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

As Canada and the USA move dangerously close to war, the entire planet stands poised on the brink of an environmental catastrophe caused by global warming and the energy crisis. And only Dirk Pitt and all the fascinating characters of the National Underwater Marine Agency (NUMA) can save the day! As with all Pitt novels (20 and counting), Cussler begins his story with an actual past historic event--here it’s a 19th century attempt by two doomed sailing ships to traverse the Northwest Passage--and connects it to a present-day thrill ride.

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Copenhagen’s Department Q, led by detective Carl Morck, specializes in very cold cases: this one is 20 years cold with a confessed perpetrator already doing time in prison. The crime: the brutal murder of two teenage siblings in a summer cottage. The suspects: rich and successful members of Denmark’s elite who met in private school and formed a secret rampaging gang inspired by the movie “A Clockwork Orange”. This Nordic crime series has it all—interesting characters, twisty suspense, and plenty of quirky humor.

The Extinction Club by Jeffrey Moore

This funny, dark, literary crime novel, marketed as a "neo-noir thriller" is loads of fun. The protaginst, Nile Nightingale, is on the run and hiding out in Quebec's remote Laurentian mountains when he witnesses a bloody christmas package dropped into a frozen bog. Inside the package he discovers a teenage animal rights activist who he gradually nurses back to health while poachers and corrupt accomplices circle.

A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Another entry in the crowded Nordic noir field—but this one actually has some humor (black humor, anyway). Detective Carl Morck is in charge of the cold case department in Copenhagen. In the midst of coping with various bureaucratic office crises, he receives a years-old message in a bottle (written in blood)—passed along by Scottish colleagues after being found along their coastline—that appears to be from a boy in life-threatening danger somewhere on the Danish coast.

Robert Barnard: Master of the Cozy

Robert Barnard's U.S. debut novel, A Little Local Murder, set the pattern for the many popular mysteries to follow: wryly funny and ingeniously plotted social satires disguised as English cozies (i.e.

Blue Monday by Nicci French

The main protagonist of this new psychological suspense series is therapist Frieda Klein, an unlikely and reluctant advisor to the police detective investigating the abduction of a five-year-old boy. The plot unfolds apace, linking the crime to an unsolved 20-year-old child abduction case, and to a current patient of Frieda’s with strange dreams that seem to coincide with details of both abductions. This is a really satisfying read with a directly related sequel called Tuesday’s Gone. Do not, repeat do not, read the second one first, or it will spoil the story.

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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