Saturday, May 23, 2009

Behind the Times

As usual, I'm behind the times when it comes to reading books - especially high profile books. But these two live up to the hype.

Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 - a tale of a Soviet policemen trying to solve a series of child murders in Stalinist Russia. The genius of the book isn't merely in its evocation of that time, but in the fact that we meet a protagonist as he is growing disillusioned with the very system that he represents - as he is trying to catch a murderer who the state refuses to admit exists.

Timothy Hallinan's A Nail Through the Heart - recommended to me by numerous people with good taste - is a brilliant mystery set in Bangkok. The setting lives and breathes, the characterization is spectacular, and the dialogue is so good you practically hear it out loud. Plus it manages to be noir - wry and cool - without overreaching. Hallinan is a stunning talent.


le0pard13 said...

I'd heard about Child 44, but A Nail Through the Heart sounds really good. And, after looking it up at Amazon, even more so. Thanks for the recommendations, Gregg.

Jen Forbus said...

Child 44 is still on my TBR list, but Hallinan I know well! The Fourth Watcher, Poke Raferty book #2, is fabulous, and I just got Breathing Water, book #3 due out in August, from Tim in the mail. It's next up on the list! Can't wait!!!