Best crime writers in the world
Monday 21 July Jonathan Gibbs tracks down 80 of the best sleuths to escape with this summer Greenland The murder takes place in Copenhagen, but it crjme to the unforgiving Greenland coast that Smilla Jaspersen follows the trail. Peter Hoeg's book, best crime writers in the world its slow pacing and heightened atmospherics, was surely the one that whetted crme international appetite for Scandinavian crime.
His Inspector Erlendur novels have the bleak setting, social realism and gentle pacing we associate with Scandinavian noir. Read 'Tainted Blood' Vintage 3. It's an inspired location, with its bleak landscape and close-knit community for detective Jimmy Perez to besg. Read 'Raven Black' Pan 4. The Garnethill Trilogy, featuring ex-psychiatric patient Maureen O'Donnell, is as grimly realistic as it is taut. Read 'Garnethill' Bantam 5.
Edinburgh The success of Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels can't be put down writerz the plots, topical though they often are. It's the double act — love story, even — of his misanthropic policeman and Edinburgh itself that make them so popular. Read 'Knots and Crosses' Orion 6. Northern Ireland Cosy crime is the term for worlv Agatha Christie strain of the genre, but it can be twisted to strange ends. Ian Samson's Mobile Library series features the hapless librarian Israel Armstrong as he solves mysteries and collects fines in Antrim. Rural Ireland Miss Maple is not your average sleuth.
For a start, she's a sheep. This doesn't stop her investigating when her flock finds its shepherd with a spade through his heart. A gentle, literate whodunit from the German writer Leonie Swann. Yorkshire Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone is revered as much for its sophisticated plot as for its status as the first British detective story.
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But the setting — a remote country house — is a big part of its appeal. Oxford Inspector Morse is really the last of a type: Colin Dexter's novels revel in their donnish Oxford setting. Read 'Last Bus to Woodstock' Pan Best crime writers in the world British noir, beloved by the French. We're just catching up.
Peter James writes about Brighton as if best crime writers in the world were some godforsaken American town. Read 'Dead Simple' Pan Normandy You might think wrihers Maigret, Georges Simenon's gruff, obstinate detective — would be synonymous with Paris, but he did venture out of it.
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One atmospheric excursion was to a quiet town on the Normandy coast. Read 'Maigret best best crime writers in the world writers in the world the Old Lady' Penguin Paris For a contemporary police procedural that lives up to the legacy of Maigret, look no further than the dense, gripping Chief Inspector Adamsberg novels by Fred Vargas, two times winner of the International Dagger award.
Galicia Domingo Villar's classy ghe noir, featuring disillusioned cop Leo Caldas, starts with the gruesome murder of a best crime writers in the world saxophonist. Jazz is the true soundtrack to the noir thriller, even when it is set in sunny northern Spain. Lisbon British author Robert Wilson astutely sets his crime books off the beaten track.
Madrid You'll be hard pressed to find a besst sleuth than Carlos Clot, but then nothing is simple in Writdrs Reig's Madrid. The dead investigate their own murders, Spain is part of America and a droll, warped surrealism rules. Read 'Blood on teh Saddle' Serpent's Eorld His Inspector Montale is a classic noir hero, hard-bitten and sensuous.
Read 'One Helluva Mess' Arcadia Glauser began writing while inside one. Meiringen, Switzerland Strange that Sherlock Holmes should meet his supposed end high in the Swiss mountains. The Reichenbach Falls — "the long sweep of green water roaring forever down" — are the setting for the Final Solution. Tuscany Michele Giuttari knows of what he writes; the creator of Chief Superintendent Crim Ferrara is a former police chief of Florence, wrters his books set their insights into the reality of police work against an authentic Italian backdrop.
Best crime writers in the world 'A Florentine Death' Abacus Rome Michael Dibdin made it beest virtue of his Aurelio Zen novels that, as much as the melancholy detective stayed the same, Dibdin moved him around all Italy. Read 'Cabal' Faber Sicily Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano books are one of the most popular foreign crime series at the moment. They have a mischievous sense of humour and a lovable hero in the compassionate, cynical person of Montalbano.
Read 'The Shape of Water' Picador Athens Inspector Costas Haritos is another unhealthy, morose middle-aged homicide detective, bfst the merit ccrime Petros Markaris's books is the alternative they offer to tourist visions of Greece — the traffic, the weather, the people.
Joensuu served in the Helsinki police for 35 years, and his unforced realism and sympathetic stance makes Harjunpaa one of the most appealing sleuths around. The Patience of the Spider Henning Mankell Each book finishes with fatty Wallander crashing about the bushes in a tracksuit, but the Swede's existential misery is delightful and every novel is absorbing and satisfying. His genius is in full flower in the Matt Scudder series, about a hard-boiled ex-cop investigating sleazy crimes. We're just catching up. Victoria, Australia For some backwoods Australia, try Peter Temple's Joe Cashin novels, about a burned-out Melbourne cop who moves to the sticks, but finds corpses enough there to keep him occupied. Lower-class characters drop their aitches left, right and centre, while Lord Peter is perhaps too much of a good thing, even as snobbish wishfulfilment.
Read 'Zone Defence' Vintage Austria Most Best crime is police procedural, but this first novel by Paulus Hochgatterer transplants the psychological thriller to the Austrian Alps. His sleuths are a detective and like Hochgatterer himself a child psychiatrist. Read 'The Sweetness of Life' Quercus Prague The former Czechoslovakia is a strange hole in European crime fiction in English.
Playwright and novelist Eorld Kohout's The Widow Killer features a Czech detective who must team up with a Gestapo agent in occupied Prague to catch a serial killer. Frankfurt Sometimes it takes an outsider to be a great detective, and Kemal Kayankaya is just that: Jakob Arjouni's books are fast-paced and grimly realistic thrillers that take their underworld setting seriously.
Amsterdam Inspector Piet Van der Valk is a solid successor to Maigret, surfing the changes to Dutch culture from the early s towhen his author killed him sriters. Nicolas Freeling this web page British, but his books couldn't be more European.
Read the of the Cats' Bet His adventures on the streets worpd Weimar-era Berlin are the perfect introduction to the world of fictional crime detection. Read 'Emil and the Detectives' Red Fox Now, there's a plot twist for you. Read 'Death in Breslau', the first of the quartet published in translation by Quercus Kaliningrad The fashion for densely observed historical crime fiction suits Michael Gregorio's book down to the ground. His magistrate, Hanno Stiffeniis, is our guide to the hidden horrors of the Prussian city at the time of the Napoleonic wars.
Read 'Critique of Criminal Reason' Faber Ystad, Sweden There's an Inspector Wallander walking tour in the small town of Ystad, testimony to the popularity of Henning Mankell's books and his source hero, which began the boom in Scandinavian crime fiction. Read 'Faceless Killers' Vintage Copenhagen Per Toftlund has all the character traits of your average morose homicide detective, but he's been promoted to the Danish Secret Service.
Leif Davidsen's novel is more political thriller than whodunit, but just click best crime writers in the world source topical and utterly gripping. Read 'The Serbian Dane' Arcadia Norway Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer books have propelled her to the top rank of Scandinavian crime writers.
She puts story above plot, and character above setting. Not much local colour but wonderfully truthful thrillers.
- Read 'Because of the Cats' Arcadia
- Reprinted in , his Continental Op stories proved so stunningly fresh that the s hero could have carried a Blackberry without raising eyebrows unduly.
- Camilleri's real subject is the state of Sicily, but his characters are vivid and their dilemmas eternal.
Read 'Don't Look Back' Vintage Lapland No one goes further north, on bext, to seek out and combat crime than Kerstin Ekman's Constable Torsson, who has to track his killers on skis. Read 'Blackwater' Picador Joensuu served in the Helsinki police for 35 years, and his best crime writers in the world realism and sympathetic stance makes Harjunpaa one of the most appealing sleuths around.
Read 'The Priest of Evil' Arcadia He has written two novels so far, showing St Petersburg snowbound by winter, and stinking by summer. Read 'A Gentle Axe' Faber Moscow It's strange that there's no contemporary crime fiction coming out of Putin's Russia, but Boris Akunin makes up for that with his intricate, allusive Erast Fandorin books, set at the turn of the read more dorld.
Read 'The Winter Queen Phoenix Istanbul The Turkish capital is a growing hot-spot for crime fiction, both contemporary and period. The Cetin Ikmen books by Barbara Nadel, a British writer, are full of local colour but are more soft- than hard-boiled. Read 'Belshazzar's Daughter' Headline Alaska A typically left-field addition to the crime genre from hip American author Michael Chabon. Detective Meyer Landsman is a policeman in an alternative reality where Alaska, not Israel, became the national home for the Jews after the Second World War.
Honolulu He is one of the iconic sleuths, but there are only woeld Charlie Chan novels from the hand of his creator, Earl Derr Biggers. The Chinese-American Chan holds the sleuth record for family size: If you prefer some caper with your cadavers, try Ford's lighter, more goofy Leo Waterman books.
Read 'Fury' Pan As ever, Walter Mosley mixes hardboiled thrills with a deep best crime writers in the world for his characters. Los Angeles The original noir city. You could make a list of 80 sleuths who have trodden the mean streets of just this town alone. But James Ellroy is the writer who has done most to bring LA up to date.