Rapid Reviews: who says crime doesn’t pay?


Looks like the weather’s closing in again so, what better time than to get on down to one of our local libraries and haul away a feast of books.   Just heard on Radio New Zealand that paper books are coming back into fashion – beating e books – something to do with avoiding the screens and computers we use during our working and educational days now – but keep on reading us online to find our where to get your best next book fix….

Strange Bird 2013 and Killer Island 2014 both by Anna Jansson Stockholm Text Sweden Pandemic and corporate greed – computed based surveillance and death – once would have been thought futuristic – not now. Detailed multi-threaded narratives harder to read than some other Scandi noir authors. A Swedish female detective – almost formulaic now – estranged spouse, trying to balance the demands of high pressure work, child care and parental responsibilities. I’d still tick these as good reads. Part of Stockholm Text’s Scandanavian Crime Series www.stockholmtext.com

The Richmond Conspiracy Andrew Grimes Text Publishing Melbourne Australia 2012  This book fascinated me right from Page 1. Post WWI Melbourne – names and places while socially changed remain and I can see in my mind’s eye as I read this well-written, understated narrative.   Reality has confirmed many of the threads of corruption and corrupt association and that makes the story more absorbing.   James Maclaine one of the war damaged participants is a character in a quintessentially Australian landscape – the bitter humour and pragmatism.. Why do I call it understated? It covers a wide range of social issues, ironically many still contemporary issues of abuse, poverty, relationship failure, death and revenge in what I call a quiet way – the opposite of many word intense, minutia descriptive words. This was the first of a series – start here and now. Gold star stuff.

Dead Men’s Bones James OswaldPenguin 2014   Another tale that unfortunately is more true than the fiction it’s supposed to be. War veterans, perverts of the powerful-class kind. A cop with a less than usual relationship. Working colleagues of the idiosyncratic type. What more could a crime reader want?   I was slightly cynical about the supernatural elements – but then who am I to scoff. Not Rankin but a good Edinburgh-based read.


Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

And take a look at Hobson’s Choices – Scandi noir in Scandinavia’s Killer Coast….http://artbop.co.nz/scandanavias-killer-coast-hobsons-choice/


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