Jump to content

Modern Day Crime Writers


Recommended Posts

Just started 'Lifeless' by Mark Billingham. It is really good. It is the fifth one so far. The others are 'Scaredy cat', 'Sleepyhead', 'Lazybones' and 'The Burning Girl'. I only found him recently but I think he is an excellent writer and British as well. Not that I have anything against American writers, see my previous posts but I sometimes find they use language I have never heard of etc. I would definitely recommend him though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 80
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

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.

 

Having gone back to it, I have to agree. It was a bit far fetched at the start which I liked as it seemed quirky. Then, as I said, I left it at work and ended up reading it in half hour spurts. It got very silly in the middle and I was tempted to give up but it was still the only thing in my drawer I had left to read. It did get better towards the end but was still a disappointment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Am halfway through the second PJ Tracy book Live Bait and it is great. I found it hard to get into because there seems to be a lot of different characters in the beginning but now I've got into it I can't put it down.

 

I started with this one, and read the first one afterwards and, to be honest, I wish I'd done it the right way round. That said, I completely loved both of them. New one out soon, I believe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Re: Aberystwyth Mon Amour

 

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.

 

 

I read this a couple of months ago. I expected it be really good (Amazon recommended it to me because of my love of Jasper Fforde) and all the reviews compared them too. I was so disappointed - felt like I had completely wasted my time with it. As you say the idea was excellent, and the setting could have been so atmopheric (as anyone who knows aber at all) but both completely lost the plot somewhere between the idea and the writing!

 

I pity Jasper for the comparisons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jasper Fforde is not strictly crime - more crime/fantasy/comedy/literary humour. His first series features heroine Thursday Next, a literary detective from Swindon. The first title is "The Eyre Affair", where Thursday has to get into Jane Eyre to save the book. His new series features the "Nursery Crimes Division" of the police in Reading. The first (and so far only) novel in this series is called "The Big Over Easy". The main charater is DS Jack Spratt and is supported by his sidekick Mary Mary. They go off to solve the death of Humpty Dumpty - did he fall or was he pushed?

 

"The Eyre Affair" was Fforde's first published novel and you can see his style develop and change through the 4 Thursday Next novels. In "The Big Over Easy" his style is much more confident. One of these would be a good place to start - you don't need to read the series in order, but I think it helps.

 

Hope you enjoy if you decide to try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have now finished the four Tess Gerritsen books featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles. Where should I go now?

 

I read "One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich, but don't feel hugely inspired to read more of that (I think she gets relegated to my list of "thats ok, it'll kill a couple of hours when there is nothing else on my TBR pile" alongside Rankin, and Pratchett).

 

Plenty of people have said in passing about other medical crime authors, but I can't remember their names.

 

Any suggestions welcome.....!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Rescued Replies

 

Brian17 17th September 2006, 09:03 AM

These are probably my top picks in the crime genre.

 

James Lee Burke (Simply the finest writer the genre's EVER seen)

George Pelecanos (A little too hip, but an incredible writer)

James Ellroy (Nobody has ever done 50's LA like him and never will)

James Crumley

Ian Rankin (Scotland's answer to sin)

Joseph Wambuagh (Early)

Ross Thomas (first few books)

Lawrence Block (on a couple Scudder novels, but that's all)

Kent Anderson (only written one cop novel, but it's a classic)

Robert Crais (Occasionally)

Michael Connelley (Getting there, but not quite yet. He's getting better)

 

Grammath 18th September 2006, 12:47 PM

Welcome to BGO, Brian17, nice to have another crime aficionado onboard. I can't confess to have read everybody on your list, but I'd certainly second your votes for the three Jameses, Lee Burke, Ellroy and Crumley, and Rankin too.

 

Crumley's Milo Milogradovitch is one of those investigators whom I'm astonished ever manages to solve anything given his astonishing capacity for alcohol, even by PI standards.

 

pollyblue 19th September 2006, 11:22 PM

James Ellroy

Has anyone read any of his?

 

The Black Dahlia is a cracker and has recently been made into a film which im frightened to go and see in case its not as good as the book.

 

Also just finished reading Killer on the Road which is told from the point of view of a serial killer which is different.

 

I also quite like Michael Connolly and Karin Slaughter, have all her books. However I think that Kathy Reichs goes into too much technical detail and it spoils the stories she writes.

Hazel 20th September 2006, 10:19 AM

Originally Posted by pollyblue

Has anyone read any of his?

 

The Black Dahlia is a cracker and has recently been made into a film which im frightened to go and see in case its not as good as the book.

I have read most of James Ellroy's books. My favourite is My Dark Places which is actually a non-fiction book which recounts his time investigating his mother's murder. He thought previously that she may have have a victim of the same man that killed Elizabeth Short, but he and a PI discover that that wasn't the case. It's a brilliant book.

 

Other good Ellroy books are L.A Confidential, which was made into an excellent film, and The Big Nowhere.

 

You shouldn't be too scared of the Black Dahlia film - I have heard it sticks quite close to the book though isn't as dark or good as L.A Confidential.

 

Royal Rother 20th September 2006, 12:16 PM

I know I've said elsewhere that having tried Ellroy I found him to be one of the few authors I just couldn't get on with. He seems to provoke those reactions from what I can gather, i.e. love or loathe.

 

Adrian 20th September 2006, 12:35 PM

I had my say about Ellroy in post #8 in book to film thread. I've not tried anything else by him since.

 

Even so, Brian17's list is really quite good. Some I don't like (Ellroy and Lawrence Block) some are on my all time favourites list, and some I'd just quibble about the ranking (there's no way James Lee Burke is better than Pelecanos).

 

Hazel 20th September 2006, 01:02 PM

Originally Posted by Adrian

I had my say about Ellroy in post #8 in book to film thread. I've not tried anything else by him since.

You really should try My Dark Places - it isn't written in the same style as his novels at all and is immensely readable. It's a fascinating story and the background to his life is a great read. It's a truly brilliant piece of writing. That said, I am biased as I love Ellroy.

 

Grammath 20th September 2006, 01:05 PM

Originally Posted by pollyblue

Has anyone read any of his?

 

The Black Dahlia is a cracker and has recently been made into a film which im frightened to go and see in case its not as good as the book.

 

Also just finished reading Killer on the Road which is told from the point of view of a serial killer which is different.

Welcome to BGO, pollyblue. I'm very much in the pro-Ellroy camp. I admire him for taking the genre to more or less its logical extreme. I do feel slightly grubby after entering his relentlessly dark world, though, but then, from a literary standpoint, I like that sort of thing.

 

I have "Destination: Morgue!" out of the library at the moment, a recent collection of his pieces for American GQ and some short stories. Seems to be a bit of a holding operation while his publishers wait for him to deliver "Police Gazette", the final instalment of the trilogy that began with "American Tabloid", which supposedly is his take on Watergate. Now that is one book I am really looking forward to.

 

I haven't seen "The Black Dahlia" movie yet, but it will almost certainly be the next thing I go to see at the flicks.

 

Brian17 23rd September 2006, 08:35 PM

Originally Posted by Adrian

I had my say about Ellroy in post #8 in book to film thread. I've not tried anything else by him since.

 

Even so, Brian17's list is really quite good. Some I don't like (Ellroy and Lawrence Block) some are on my all time favourites list, and some I'd just quibble about the ranking (there's no way James Lee Burke is better than Pelecanos).

Although we won't agree on the Burke/Pelecanos issue, it took me awhile to adapt to Ellroys' prose. I read his first three books and absolutely hated them. A friend suggested him and pressed me to read more. Once I ''got'' his style I found him brilliant.

Thanks everyone for your replies and opinions. I've been busy lately and just got back here. I look forward to interacting with all of you. It's pretty cool to get opinions from another country/culture and I certainly look forward to that among other things.

 

Flingo 24th September 2006, 11:32 AM

Originally Posted by pollyblue

However I think that Kathy Reichs goes into too much technical detail and it spoils the stories she writes.

I've just read the first book about Temperance Brennan by Kathy Reichs, and I think it will be the last I read. I generally quite like the technical detail, and I liked the plot - but I found that Deja Dead could have done with some serious editing. I got to page 350 and felt the plot had only really done enough to warrant 200 pages of reading.

tagesmann 29th September 2006, 08:35 AM

My favourite is Michael Dibden who writes about an Italian policeman called Aurelio Zen. The style is a little different to the classic detective novel, brilliantly written with a real anti-hero.

pollyblue 4th October 2006, 11:29 PM

I do feel slightly grubby after entering his relentlessly dark world, though, but then, from a literary standpoint, I like that sort of thing.

 

I love dark and gritty fiction. Has anyone here read any JT Leroy? Regardless of the fact that the author is actually a 40 something woman that lives in New York, the books do have a definite authenticity about them. I love dark books and hate lazy writing.

 

Apologies if I reply to the wrong thread.... Im new to all this and normally have my head in a book....

chuntzy 8th January 2007, 07:31 PM

Originally Posted by Lizzy Siddal

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".

 

If you see this Lizzy S. I just want to say that IMO you've named some really good ones. My first Henning Mankell was last year and since then I've been hooked. With Indridason I must have chosen one that was slightly disappointing (Silence of the grave) but will try again. And, yes, you can't go wrong with Dibden. I've only read one Donna Leon and it was so-so but I'll try the one you suggest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cont.

 

 

Lizzy Siddal 8th January 2007, 11:25 PM

Why thank you Chuntzy!

 

When I read "Silence of the Grave" about 18 months ago, I was impressed but not overly so. Yet it's one that comes back to mind time and time again. I think his treatment of domestic abuse in that novel is actually quite powerful.

 

"Jar City" renamed "Tainted Blood" is still the best Indridason in my opinion.

 

"Voices" was released last year and I found it a bit mediocre.

 

However, I did read the best crime novel I have ever read last year. "Red Leaves" by Thomas H Cook. Absolutely astounding.

 

Adrian 9th January 2007, 04:35 AM

Originally Posted by Lizzy Siddal

However, I did read the best crime novel I have ever read last year. "Red Leaves" by Thomas H Cook. Absolutely astounding.

I've heard that book praised a lot here. I'll have to look out for it.

 

SlowRain 9th January 2007, 05:59 AM

I like Martin Cruz Smith, specifically Gorky Park and Rose, but his others are pretty decent as well. He offers an intriguing plot along with a well described setting with lots of commentary on social issues. His novels are also very well researched and often introduce the reader to something that they would normally otherwise not have known about: a ship in the Bering Sea, Chernobyl, a 19th century coal mine. I think he could do better on characterization (Gorky Park probably being his strongest in that regard), but he's still very enjoyable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Try The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge. Not sure what JP did on this one other than lend his name. Not seen anything else by Peter De Jonge, but this one was good enough for me to keep hold of. Otherwise I only end up reading JP when there's nowt else about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I really like John Connolly. His books are a mix of crime/horror/paranormal but not to the extent that they destroy the crime element. In some of the books the paranromal/horror element is very muted while in others it plays a very strong role.

 

His central character "Charlie Parker" is a private investigator who associates with highly undesirable characters. The way these characters are written however makes them very human and you find yourself drawn into their world and liking them, despite what you know of their past and present activities. He has also written some standalones that I really like.

 

I like these books because they are different and very effectively mix genres. They have the elements of all modern crime writers with just the right amount of Stephen King type horror thrown in for good measure :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

I've been carefully reading through this thread looking for Christmas present inspiration! I think I've settled on a Christopher Brookmyre ... but which one? Can anyone advise me? I'm looking for something for a 20-year-old, and I'm fairly sure he'll like Brookmyre. I'm just not sure which one to choose. Thanks! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Radders.

 

Also on the Mayo show was James Lee Burke. What a thoroughly nice man. I have only read 1 of his before (and enjoyed it) so have also placed Tin Roof Blowdown and 2 or 3 of his 3 book omnibuses on the Wish List as well.

 

Incidentally, when compiling the Wish List I also referred to some of the threads on here and added Henning Mankell and Harlan Coben as a result of recommendations.

 

Others I have read 1 of, and thoroughly enjoyed, who also featured are Nick Billingham and Greg Iles.

 

I think I ended up with about 30 books on the list, 8 of which are for 3 book omnibuses so I am hoping my TBR pile will be well stocked come Boxing Day!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...