9 September 2010 2 Comments

Overturning detective fiction: everyone’s guilty in my novels

The “Golden Age” of the detective story was the 1920s and 1930s. It was a turbulent period. In Britain, the General Strike. In the U.S., the Depression. Civil war in Spain, and in Germany the rise of the Nazis. Red scares everywhere, fascists too. But the detective story was a solace to those who lived […]

2 August 2009 0 Comments

The Snow Queen of Crime: Monica Kristensen’s Writing Life

On a recent trip to Oslo, I lunched with my publisher there Hakan Haket and an astonishingly fascinating local crime writer named Monica Kristensen. Extraordinarily charismatic, she has a trove of stories unlike anything one tends to come across in typical book chats. A Norwegian with a doctorate in glaciology from Cambridge University, Monica has […]

18 June 2009 0 Comments

Thriller Bugbear #69: Plot-Point Techno Madness!

Much as I love Nordic crime fiction, the Europewide megaseller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson made me want to throw knives like the Swedish chef on The Muppet Show. Why? Two reasons. First, the minor reason. Written by a (tragically deceased) Swedish journalist, the book is entirely in the style of […]

18 May 2009 0 Comments

May Allah bless such reviewers

America, the National Catholic weekly, includes a great review of The Samaritan’s Secret, the third of my Palestinian crime novels, this week. “Rees masterfully concocts another claustrophobic tale from the occupied territories that takes us deep into the Palestinian experience even as it entertains,” writes Claire Schaeffer-Duffy. She also calls my detective Omar Yussef “endearingly […]

20 April 2009 0 Comments

Krimis, polars, gialli: What crime novels are called around the world

Sometimes people talk about crime novels as though they were all the same. The sheer number of different names for variants of the crime novel proves that isn’t true. Police procedural. Mystery novel. Thriller. Cosy. Exotic detective. Supernatural. I used to think there was little real difference, but then my UK publisher told me he […]

10 April 2009 0 Comments

This is the life, Part 3: Denmark

Where better to send a bunch of crime writers and their fans than a prison? The Horsens Crime Festival in Jutland, the part of Denmark linked to mainland Europe, did just that last month. Horsens prison was in use until three years ago. By the end it was a fairly humane place – this is […]

9 April 2009 0 Comments

Review: the mystery of the new Mankell

Italian Shoes by Henning MankellUS: New Press. April 1, 2009. Isbn: 1595584366 In his 26th novel, Sweden’s top crime writer has eschewed the genre that has seen him sell 30 million books. Even so, fans of his Inspector Wallander novels will find much of what they love about the Skåne detective in the narrator of […]