It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

Books for Christmas – Ann Cleeves


To kick off we have the Christmas pick of Ann Cleeves author of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award winning Raven Black, the first novel in her Shetland Quartet:

"My choice would be VOICES by Arnaldur Indridason.  I love translated fiction for the glimpse it provides into another culture’s preoccupations and prejudices: it gives the experience of travel without the carbon footprint.  Gold Dagger winner Indridason is an Icelander and VOICES is set in a Reykjavic hotel.  It’s the run up to Chistmas, cold and dark, with flurries of snow, so the book is a very appropriate stocking filler.

VoicesThe hotel handyman is found murdered in the small room where he lives.  It seems the man had a certain celebrity in his childhood – he was a well known boy soprano – and that his unusual past had returned to haunt him.  VOICES depicts the tight, enclosed world of the hotel.  Erlandur, Indridason’s series detective actually moves in for a period, and this only adds to the claustrophobic feel of the novel.  It’s hard to believe that in the world outside families are preparing for the Christmas celebrations – we only catch sight of them through windows or in the hotel bar.  The conceit of the enclosed community is a classic crime fiction device, but here it has a completely contemporary feel.

For any crime fan who likes her mysteries quiet, domestic, intense, this is essential reading."

For the book click here.  For more from Ann, click here.
Update 17/11: Ann tells me she’s just found out that Raven Black has been shortlisted for the Martin Beck award – the Swedish award for best translated crime – and she finds herself up against Indridason…

2 comments on “Books for Christmas – Ann Cleeves

  1. Maxine
    November 16, 2007

    Good choice, and I very much like this summary of the book. I have loved all of this author’s books. I think the next one after Voices, The Draining Lake, is even better. It is so nice to read an author who is very good to start with, but improves with each outing.

  2. kimbofo
    November 16, 2007

    I am currently half way through this book, and I am so reluctant to put it down. Excellent choice!

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This entry was posted on November 16, 2007 by in Books for Christmas 2007.
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