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Modern Day Crime Writers


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Great post Grammath.

 

I'll start. By saying something. Can't stand Ellroy's style. Choppy sentences. Too choppy.

 

But Carl Hiassen is always on top form, though he can get a little samey. In the same Florida jokey-crime mode is ???? (nope, can picture him and like CH he's a Florida columnist too, but I can't think of his name and his book's in storage) Janet Evanovich I like but I tend to look out for her at the library rather than spend my hard-earned. And yes, Elmore Leonard is one of the greatest. One of his latest I read is Tishimingo Blues, and it is superb. Almost Pete Dexter quality.

 

I think Michael Crichton has been overtaken by technology, but his early works are great. Way ahead of their time.

 

Never did like Walter Mosley (he's the only writer published by the best crime publisher - Mask Noir - that I bought and couldn't finish). I didn't even know he was black. Sara Peretsky was OK and the film with Kathleen Turner a faithful adaptation, and the Kinkster is still the best NY writer. Though he's getting a little samey too.

 

Hammett? I've had The Dain Curse on my TBR pile for so long it's been put into a box! Chandler is great, I read the whole lot when I lived in SF, and must get them out again.

 

From the UK: loving another Timlin fan. What a crock those TV adapdations were with Clive Owen. The books are still great, truly marvellous London pulp crime. Just how we like it. I'm afraid I'd have to give Brookmyre another "samey" medal too. His first few were the best in comic-crime but now (read his latest a month back and can't even remember the title) he seemed out of date, like his favourite political targets had left him and he was shooting into the wind.

 

Be interested to hear about David Peace. If he's the one with date titles (1973, etc.) then I've picked up some of his in the bookshop and started reading but they've never grabbed me enough.

 

The one author missing from this thread is George Pelecanos. He's the current master, and though he's designated as a "crime" writer that doesn't do him justice.

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Thanks for the praise, Chris.

 

I'm afraid we'll have to disagree on the relative merits of Messrs. Ellroy and Pelecanos. I tried "King Suckerman" and, er, felt like a sucker, man, that I'd fallen for the hype. After 100 pages, I was still waiting for it to start. Its one of the very few crime books I've abandoned through lack of interest.

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I like Sayers and Christie and Hallingam, although not so modern. Closer to us I like Mc Bain and Ranking and Cornwell and PD James. I like to get involved with the characters and start to think about Rebus or Carella as real people. For example I like Inspector Alan Banks but do not remember who is the author!

I can recommend an italian called Camilleri, who writes about Inspector Montalbano, a sicilian policeman. I do not know how they translated the sicilian dialect but the ambiance is very much on the spot. In fact sicilians do not like it at all and think it is too patronising!! (see thread about the N.1 Ladies Detective Agency)

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For example I like Inspector Alan Banks but do not remember who is the author!

 

I'm sure I've mentioned this elsewhere on the site, but I'm going to mention it again because I want to :)

 

Stop You're Killing Me is a fabulous website for this sort of imformation. It lists hundreds if not thousands of mystery/thriller books by Author or principal character with book release dates

 

Here's the link for Inspector Alan Banks:

Stop You're Killing Me

 

I use the website mostly for checking series information, but it is also great for quizzes! :D

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King Suckerman is fairy atypical of Pelecanos, which is a pity because I loved it; I love everything else by him too though. You should persevere, Grammath, there is a hell a lot of good reading ahead of you, if you give him a chance.

 

I have just discovered David Housewright and I can tell you, this man can write, I would recommend him to anyone.

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Hi! Im new to this and reading through all of your posts I have figured out I have never heard of any of these authors. My favorite mystery authors are Sharon Sala and Tess Gerriten have any of you heard of them? They have great books. Sharon Sala is mostly romantic suspense and Tess Gerristen is a medical suspense writer I totally recomend these two authors.

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hi all, this is my first post:)

 

i go on vast binges of this genre, i loved the first series of cornwell, but feel she lost the plot a bit more recently. i also enjoy kathy reichs, tess gerritsen, (her new books, the sinner and body double are out here now, anyone read them?), james patterson, (this was also after a slow start, think i picked the wrong book first!), jeffery deaver and val mcDermid.

 

however, my favourite by far, is harlan coben. has anyone else read him?

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Tricia - I agree that the earlier 'Scarpetta' stories were better than the current crop. Do you think it's a case of overcooking a good idea? It will be interesting to see if the same happens with Kathy Reichs and Tempe Brennan!

 

I particularly enjoy Deaver and Patterson as well. Haven't read any Harlan Coben, what is his style? I might try one of his novels, what would be a good one to start with?

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coben has written a series with the character myron bolitor, as dpleith mentioned, he isthe sports agent, that series starts with "deal breaker".

 

he has also written some stand alone books which i found meatier and darker. in my opinion, gone for good, is the best of these so far.

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k8e, I read a Peter robinson purely because it was set in Yorkshire close to where I used to live. It was the one with the son in the Navy, and it was pretty good. I borrowed it from the library and have to say I haven't read any more of his: Good enough to borrow, not good enough to buy was my feeling.

 

Given up on Rankin I'm afraid. Never really liked him, and the more I read the more formulaic I found him (him being both the author and the character).

 

Have tried Coben but not his sports agent character. Worth another look I think.

 

Most important news: there's a new George Pelecanos out!

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I've read nearly all Michael Connelly, even heard him speak, in a signing here in New York. If you like Micahel Connelly you may like Linda Fairstein who was chief sex crimes prosecutor in Manhattan for 20+ years and is a good friend of Patricia Cornwell. She is reitred and writing full time. Someone uneven,

but the top hardboiled crime writer is George P. Pelecanos. If you like Ian Rankin, a fellow Scott is Denise Mina who in my opinion will really go places.

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Thanks for the Fairstein recommendation Bill1088.

 

As for Pelecanos, after all the rave reviews on BGO I bought "Hard Revolution" recently, will finish it tonight. It's a prequel to other novels about Derek Strange a DC based black cop. It charts him from 12 years old to 20+ in the days of deeply unpleasant racial tensions. Some very unpleasant characters of white and black skin. He certainly brings that very much alive.

 

So of Pelecanos' stuff I've read it first, but it probably would be of more interest to those who already know of the character. A bit too much detail about the location, the streets, the music of the time. I love music but the references to obscure (to me) soul musicians of the time litter almost every page (I jest not) and that is a bit wearing.

 

Still, I'm enjoying a different style and will certainly read more of his, I just suspect I haven't started on the best one.

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Still, I'm enjoying a different style and will certainly read more of his, I just suspect I haven't started on the best one.

 

I like the Nick Stefanos Trilogy. I think it starts with Down By the River Where the Dead Men Go. There's also Nick's Trip and A Firing Offense.

 

His standalone novel ShoeDog is pretty good too.

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Just thought I'd pitch in here and mention my current favourite - Henning Mankell. I've read two "Sidetracked" and "Firewall" and am about to embark on a marathon read of his back catalogue.

 

Also, can I recommend Arnaldur Indridason from Iceland. "Jar City" is a terrific read - completely different from anything else I've read. The twist being on the first page ..... The second novel to be translated comes out in May and I've preordered it on Amazon.

 

What about Michael Dibdin? I love the unlovable Italian, Zen. "Blood Rain", the 7th in the series was truly staggering. I feel the series has gone downhill since then. It won't stop me reading the next one, though.

 

And while we're in Italy, how about some Donna Leon? I read each as it is published, though I must admit I haven't enjoyed any as much as the first in the series "Death at the Fenice".

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Have just started reading 'Aberystwyth, Mon Amour' by Malcolm Pryce and have managed to leave it at work. Was really enjoying it up to that point though. Depressing and yet amusing at the same time.

 

I've just finished this. Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

 

Another vote for Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich here too.

 

And PJ Tracy - utterly gripping.

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Have just started reading 'Aberystwyth, Mon Amour' by Malcolm Pryce and have managed to leave it at work. Was really enjoying it up to that point though.

 

I started reading this earlier in the year. I thought it looked great when I bought it, and when I started to read it, it looked really promising. But I simply didn't connect with it. The idea was excellent, and it should have been really funny. But it wasn't. And I didn't like the characters. I didn't even finish it in the end, which is unlike me.

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