It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

Books for Christmas – John Baker

Stocking_2 And filling up that stocking even more, we now have John Baker, author of the Sam Turner and Stone Lewis novels:

"The best crime novel I’ve read this year is, undoubtedly, Ann Cleeves’ Dagger Award winning Raven Black.

Ravenblack My review of the novel is here.

I read very few crime novels as a general rule and always look for, and expect, more than simple tension or a tight plot.  I need good and convincing characterization and a landscape and dialogue to which I can relate.

Ann Cleeves’ novel has all this.  Set in Shetland, in the far north, it has the advantage of a small but far flung community, riddled with superstition and rumour and reminded me, above all else, of the novels of Tony Hillerman.

Additionally, Raven Black offered the insights and cogitations of a man at a real crossroads in his life, and it was this, equally as much as the cleverly built-in suspense, that kept me turning the pages hungrily for as long as it took to get from the beginnings to the finale of the novel.

I read the book in January and now, writing these words in mid October, the landscape and main protagonists are as clearly with me as they were when I first read it.  There are few contemporary novels for which I could make that claim." 

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2007 by in Books for Christmas 2007.
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