It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

Books for Christmas – Andrew Taylor

Stocking Andrew Taylor, author of the wonderful Lydmouth series, The American Boy, the Roth Trilogy and many more sees the need for a wide and deep stocking this Christmas:

"I believe in having a large Christmas stocking and hence there will be room for not one but three crime novels, perhaps bound together in a single omnibus volume of varied criminal delights. Here are three very different books I have enjoyed this year – and to some extent the choice is arbitrary, because I could have chosen many more. But this particular selection certainly illustrates the extraordinary versatility of the genre.
Tokyo I’ll begin with the grimmest of the three. On one level, Tokyo Year Zero (Faber, £16.99) by David Peace is a murder mystery: on another it is a grimly effective exploration of Tokyo a year after the end of World War II. Peace creates – or recreates? – a nightmarish vision of a society in disintegration, both physically and morally. Not for the squeamish, but this is a book that travels deep into its very own heart of darkness.
Dexter Next comes a book that isn’t exactly cheerful but does have a sophisticated sense of humour. A different sort of darkness from David Peace’s is investigated in Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter in the Dark (Orion, £9.99), whose central character is a Miami crime scene investigator and part-time psychopathic killer. With ingredients like that, the novel should be both nauseating and derivative, but it’s neither. It is dark, original, and often very funny – like the Dexter series as a whole.

Nf Finally, in Losing You (Michael Joseph, £12.99), Nicci French gives a brilliant demonstration of how simple a very good thriller can be: a teenage girl goes missing on the Essex coast; in a single day, her mother tries with increasing desperation to track her down, and in the process finds out more about her daughter than she ever suspected. It’s a textbook example of how to generate tension – Hitchcock would have loved it. A book to chill the heart of every parent."

3 comments on “Books for Christmas – Andrew Taylor

  1. Anne Brooke
    December 2, 2007

    Ooh, a new Nicci French – must have missed that one. Must add to list!

  2. GFS3
    December 18, 2007

    There’s no way I’m picking up the new Dexter novel if it resembles the disappointing debut novel “Darkly Dreaming Dexter.” Ugh!
    Here’s 10 reasons to avoid it:

  3. crimeficreader
    December 19, 2007

    Well it is possible that the novel at hand here is better than the one you’ve read? Not read either myself yet, although I have one in the TBR pile. Not sure which one. I must investigate!

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This entry was posted on December 2, 2007 by in Books for Christmas 2007.
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