I’m having a little rush of reading German crime thrillers at the moment, although I’m not sure why. For many Germans, Swedish crime is the way to go, with literally dozens of translated books coming out each year from names many English-speaking readers will not recognize. Not that anyone is likely to know many of the German authors either, for most Günter Grass is about as far as they go. And it’s not the first time that I’ve had this sort of rush; perhaps it’s just the time of year. More books are coming out at the moment as they nights grow longer and colder and, of course, there is the festive season in the offing, so all the good books come out early to get a head-start on the rubbish designed for festive stockings.
One of the great things about German crime is that the killer is often so well hidden, it is impossible to work out what happened until the last few pages. I’ve read so many crime thrillers in English where the solution has been clear right from the start – so, no mystery, no suspense – that this makes a welcome change. One which especially pleased me, and had the reader holding on right to the very end for several revelations, was Das Gute Kind by Helge Thielking, another Schwarzer Mann by Daniel Holbe.
Photo Source: Anna Maria Weronika – Creative Commons
Yesterday evening I had the chance to meet two authors presenting their newest work in Verden. Liliane Skalecki and Biggi Rist have their third crime thriller out now, and the fourth on the way. Set in Bremen – as is Das Gute Kind – Mordsgrimm looks to be one of the more complicated thrillers of recent times. I haven’t started it yet, there are other books on my table and I do try to follow in the order that I buy them, but I do know that there are two crimes involved – whether they are related or not remains to be seen – and a lot of jumping around in time, as the authors go back and forth with their story, clues and plot.
My first author reading, but very interesting. The two women read from the work and managed to give a very good impression of the depth of their interest as well as holding the audience in thrall throughout the evening. I was expecting lots of sales talk and tables piled high with examples for people to purchase, but it was all very decent, low-key and relaxed. A few questions at the end, especially over how two women who do not live in the same city can write a book together, and well worth the time spent. Definitely going to try to find a few more author readings in the future.
- Viktoria Michaelis.