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Archive for June, 2010

This month has seen the US release of the final book in Stieg Larrson’s blockbuster Millenium Triology, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. The thrillers have captivated readers the world over with its criminal intrigue and dynamic characters, most notably the computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. But unless a manuscript for a fourth book is miraculously found in a drawer somewhere, Stieg Larrson’s death in 2004 means we have to let go and find something else to read.

Books to Fill the Void

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankel
It was a senselessly violent crime: on a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse an elderly farmer is bludgeoned to death, and his wife is left to die with a noose around her neck. And as if this didn’t present enough problems for the Ystad police Inspector Kurt Wallander, the dying woman’s last word is foreign, leaving the police the one tangible clue they have–and in the process, the match that could inflame Sweden’s already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments.

The Leather MaidenLeather Maiden by Joe R. Lansdale
After a scandalous affair costs him his job in Houston, Cason Statler—Gulf War veteran and Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist—returns home to the small east Texas town of Camp Rapture. Cason is a wreck. He drinks too much, he’s stalking his ex-girlfriend, and he’s wallowing in envy of his successful older brother. To get back on his feet, he takes a job at the local paper, and when he stumbles across his predecessor’s notes on a cold case murder file, he thinks he’s found the thing that’ll keep him out of trouble. No such luck. The further he digs into the case, the more certain he is that the unsolved crime is connected to a series of eerie, inexplicable events that have recently occurred in town. And he knows his suspicions are right on when he finds himself dragged into a deadly game of blackmail and murder that clearly has evil as its only goal.

The RedbreastThe Redbreast by Jo Nesbø
Detective Harry Hole embarrassed the force, and for his sins he’s been reassigned to mundane surveillance tasks. But while monitoring neo-Nazi activities in Oslo, Hole is inadvertently drawn into a mystery with deep roots in Norway’s dark past—when members of the nation’s government willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany. More than sixty years later, this black mark won’t wash away, and disgraced old soldiers who once survived a brutal Russian winter are being murdered, one by one. Now, with only a stained and guilty conscience to guide him, an angry, alcoholic, error-prone policeman must make his way safely past the traps and mirrors of a twisted criminal mind. For a hideous conspiracy is rapidly taking shape around Hole—and Norway’s darkest hour may still be to come.

In The Woods by Tana French
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled shoes, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox – his partner and closest friend – find themselves investigating a case with chilling links to that long-ago disappearance. Now, with only snippets of buried memories to guide him, Rob has the chance to unravel both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

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