The past year was a good one for new Mystery and Crime novels. Here are the best ones reviewed by this Blog, including two titles by the same author:
Police by Jo Nesbo - Latest in the series to feature Oslo police detective Harry Hole. A serial killer is targeting cops in grisly murders. Harry and his team hunt the killer, but there's a shocker in store as a key character is cut down. A top notch crime thriller by the best writer in the genre.
The Bat by Jo Nesbo - First novel in the Harry Hole series, first published in the U.S. this year. Here we see a younger Harry early in his career as he is sent to Australia to assist in a murder case. We also learn that Harry's last name is pronounced "Hoo-leh" in Norwegian. Nice to have that cleared up. The novel is a can't-miss treat for fans of this outstanding crime series.
Light of the World by James Lee Burke - This one has Louisiana cop Dave Robicheaux on a trip to Montana and facing a volatile mix of dangerous characters. This toxic brew inevitably explodes into an almost Biblical battle and serves as a meditation about ultimate evil within the human character. The novel is one the author's strongest in this fine, long running series.
Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin - The author brings back his formerly retired iconic character, Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh, Scotland police. Here Rebus looks into the disappearances of a series of women along the same stretch of empty country highway. The cranky Rebus is back with his trademark cynicism and rude demeanor. A dark, gripping crime read.
The Double by George Pelecanos - Spero Lucas returns as a tough Iraq War veteran working as a recovery specialist in Washington D.C. He recovers lost or stolen property for clients. He's hired to get back a stolen painting, but comes up against a vicious sociopath in his way. Hard boiled crime fiction written in tight, stripped down style.