I’ve recently bought a Kindle Paperwhite to replace the first generation kindle that has lain unused in my desk drawer for years. To be honest, the new version isn’t much different to the old except for the touch screen and the light that I can use to read in bed. It has, however, prompted me to read some authors whose books were either easier to find on kindle or had been sitting on my e-reader for a while.
First up was Kevin Wignall whose A Death in Sweden I’d heard great things about. It has a cracking opening chapter: a bus crash where one of the victims, Jaques Fillon, is proved never to have existed despite living in plain sight a small rural community in northern Sweden. A former CIA hitman, Dan Henricks, is asked to uncover Fillon’s real identity. However, former colleagues are being assassinated and Henricks is both hunter and hunted. I have a penchant for well-written spy thrillers and this one definitely fits the bill. Wignall doesn’t fall into the Brits in Scandinavia trap. Descriptions of the landscape serve to push along the narrative not hinder it with needless prose and I enjoyed the taut narrative.
Margot Kinberg is one of the most popular US crime fiction bloggers and her website, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, is the best around. I reviewed one of earlier books, Publish or Perish, a few years ago and I was delighted to see that she had a new novel out. Past Tense once more takes place at Tilton University where former detective turned professor, Joel Williams, investigates the discovery of bones on a construction site. Kinberg’s books are examples of how American mysteries don’t have to fit in the ‘noir’ or ‘cosy’ category. Past Tense is an excellent tale with a disturbing crime at its core and a perfect winter read.
Christina Philippou is a debut author whose book, Lost in Static, has an interesting premise. There are four different versions of one story. Who is telling the truth? Philppou has an strong writing style. To differentiate the characters she switches from first person to third and from present tense to past. The subject matter is hard-hitting and like Doug Johnstone’s recent novel, I enjoyed the protagonists being younger than you normally read. Phlippou is a talented writer who has a promising career ahead.
‘Cosy’ is a term that comes with a variety of connotations but they can be great fun to read. Alan MA Friedman (the nom de plume of a writing duo) describe their debut novel, The Sorrowful Woman, as ‘Tartan Blanc’. Julia Flowers is an Oriental antique specialist who investigates the death of a former diplomat. The tone of the book is light-hearted and humorous and there’s good balance between the professional detective, Inspector Bland and Julia, the enthusiastic amateur. There’s a strong Scottish sense of place to the setting and The Sorrowful Woman is an enjoyable start to what I’m sure will be a great new series.
Can you recommend any e-books for my next kindle reads?