Tesarsch’s first novel, The Philanthropist, has just been published and it’s really really good. John Banville has called it ‘a very fine piece of work’and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with him. This is the story of Charles Bradshaw, an overweight tycoon who has a heart attack and then reviews his life, possessions and relationships. And the decisions he wants to take dont sit well with his family. It’s beautifully written, a joy to read.
I hadn’t read Steinhauer before so picked up his new book, The Nearest Exit, with interest. He’s been pushed as the next Le Carre, and when authors are labelled with someone else’s name, I usually feel very dubious. However, this one is fairly accurate. He has Le Carre’s style with spies and double agents and the book is really well written. It’s about a small group within the CIA who aren’t responsible to anyone except the CIA, and then one man develops a conscience. The story comes complete with interwoven story lines so I spent a very happy weekend reading it. The book is due next month.
Some books pack such a punch! Anna Quindlen’s books always do and her new one, Every Last One, is on my best books of the year list. Mary Beth Latham lives a happy surburban life with her 17 year old daughter, two 14 year old boys and her lovely husband. Perhaps things are not as they seem, as one of the boys starts having problems and her daughter is trying to break off with a long term college boyfriend who will not leave her or the family alone. Then New Year’s Eve comes and with it an unbelievable act of violence and Mary Beth is forced to confront what she feared most. A brilliant book.
Now here is a ripper! I started it last night and it became a long night reading, of double lives, of drug running through Europe. There’s an ex criminal working undercover in a Polish drug ring as an informer as the Poles want to expand their reach into the Swedish prison system. I’m not quite half way through, and the story has me absolutely hooked. It’s won the Swedish Crime Novel of the Year 2009 and is one of the most exciting books I’ve read in a while.
I’m an Alan Furst fan and his new book is typical Furst. He writes WWII thrillers with the main character always an honest, moral detective. This book is set in 1940, in Salonika in northern Greece. Costa Zannis is a detective who handles ‘special’ cases, cases which are sensitive for various political reasons. He’s called up when Italy invades Albania and then Greece. Although the Italians are pushed back, people realise that Hitler will not let this pass and retribution will come. Now Zannis becomes involved in helping wealthy Jews escape from Germany down a route into Turkey and it’s a nail biting time as he races against German invasion.