Summer did arrive in the Peak District for around a week. It’s now beaten a hasty retreat and I’m left with long dandelion-infested grass and a soggy vegetable patch. All is not lost if you like reading, however. I’ve read some great books recently, a mixture of crime and other genres and they’d be perfect books for your summer holidays wherever you’re lucky enough to go away or if, like me, you’re staying put.
Here are my summer reading recommendations.
Making It Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes is a selection of newspaper articles, blog posts and previously unpublished material that contain the essence of Keyes’s effervesce. She has a joyful outlook on life and whether she’s talking about Strictly Come Dancing, boots that make her look like Bono or therapies she has tried, it’s all done with a lightness of touch and very good writing. It’s a book both to dip into and to read from cover to cover.
Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher is set in late Twenties Berlin and we see the city in all its seedy splendour. We’re immersed in drug dealing, prostitution and gun-running through the work of the Vice Squad and, in particular, DI Gereon Rath. It’s soon to be made into a TV series and it’s the evocation of a fascinating period that stands out in this novel translated by Niall Sellar.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a modern take on a locked room mystery. Lo Blackwood is on cruise ship as part of a trip arranged for travel journalists. She witnesses a body being thrown overboard but records show the room was unoccupied. Lo is trapped at sea with a murderer responsible for a crime no-one believes has been committed. The book is satisfyingly claustrophobic and moves and a cracking pace.
Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary is the third book in her excellent series featuring DI Marnie Rome. The novel opens with a teenage girl causing a fatal car crash and then disappearing. Rome and her partner, Noah, investigate a complex case with a frightening nemesis. As we’ve come to expect from Hilary, the book is very well written with a strong cast of supporting characters.
The Saddest Sound by Deborah Delano is that rare beast, a genuinely original crime novel. The presence of a misogynist serial killer in a northern town is seen through the eyes of radfem characters including a feminist academic and lesbian prostitutes. Never stereotypes, Delano uses her characters to highlight violence against woman and feminist reactions to it,