Tag Archives: Crime Fiction

Spring is coming, and so is a new JJ stoner adventure

Well, spring might be round the corner, and still a bit shy, but the latest JJ stoner story by Frank Westworth is already out and worth reading.

If it’s not your first visit to my blog, you might know that I wrote about JJ Stoner before, and you can choose between shorter stories and some damn good full-length books (the “Killing Sisters” series).

I have to be honest.
I seldom “met” a main character (here: JJ Stoner) whom I love and loath at the same time. You’re kept on your toes all the time, and can never be sure who’s who, who’s ally, friend or enemy. And everytime friendly, likeable characters are introduced, you start fearing for their lives.

True, it takes a while to get used to Frank’s way of writing, of moving to and fro through time, flashbacks, now and then, but once you do, you’ll enjoy it enormously. You could start reading any of the short stories, they work quite well as standalones. If you want to start reading the books, I recommend starting with “A last act of Charity” because otherwise you’d be too confused. And believe me, you will be confused anyway. But in a nice, exciting way.

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I still don’t own an ebook reader. The review copy of “Six strings” has kindly been made available to me by Murder, Mayhem and more.)

So, now that you’re done reading this short blog post, go and get the story, and I hope you’ll like it as much as I do!

 

 

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Blog tour: Thin Ice by Quentin Bates

I’ve been a fan of Quentin Bates and his Icelandic crime hero, officer Gunnhildur (Gunna), for a long time. It wasn’t quite love at first sight, considering that I read the somewhat clumsy German translations of “Frozen Out” and “Cold Comfort” first, but I’ve grown to like Gunna and all the others a lot. And I must say that it’s well worth reading the English originals!

So, of course I read all the other books that followed, and because I’m a paper person when it comes to books, I was thrilled that “Thin Ice”, the latest Gunnhildur story, is available not just as an e-book, but as a classic paperback.

You can get the book at any book store, and if you can, please go and buy local. 🙂

Like all of Quentin’s books, Thin Ice combines the best of both worlds, Iceland and Britain. Quentin is an outsider, not living in Iceland at the moment, and an insider at the same time, having family in Iceland, speaking the language, having lived there and being busy translating Icelandic crime stories by other remarkable writers.

The story is very Icelandic, you almost hear someone muttering “Þetta reddast” on every second page, you have the typical weather quirks, you have country people and city people (contrary to popular belief, not every Icelander is an outdoor enthusiast), you have the country side, you have unexpected twists and turns… and it also has a certain “Britishness” about it, most notably in Quentin’s choice of words and phrases.

I love how the story unfolds. Who is victim? Who is villain? Where does the money go? Who is together with whom and why and how long? It’s a bit like driving along a fjord and finding something new after each turn in the winding road. Whenever you think, oh, yes, this is where the story goes, something new happens. You’ll have pleasant surprises until the very end. And I’ve seldom read crime fiction where I felt so much sympathy for the “bad” guys, or at least one of them. Same for the “innocent” people, they’re very human and not always likeable and sometimes I thought, why on earth did the crooks have to kidnap just these two, couldn’t they have taken someone else. But I’m glad Quentin spun his yarn the way he did. It makes Thin Ice a very good read indeed!

If you’re looking for a high number of dead bodies, Thin Ice is not for you. If you’re looking for a diverse story that could have happened in real life and interesting characters and a setting in one of the most picturesque and fascinating places in the world, then Thin Ice is for you. Even if you haven’t read all the other books, Thin Ice is for you. You can easily jump in since you don’t have to know Gunna since she was little to enjoy the story.

I would like to thank Linda MacFadyen who did a great job in organising the blog tour and making sure everyone received their review copy on time. And I hope that Quentin will find the time to write more Gunnhildur stories – and maybe one day there will be another publisher making the books available in German.

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