Saturday 31 January 2009

Saturday Selection - Taylor, Cleeves, Kelly and co.

I’ve mentioned Andrew Taylor’s marvellous Bleeding Heart Square more than once in this blog, and on Thursday the Penguin paperback edition appeared. The story is set in the 1930s, and is a really good read. The paperback includes an afterword by Andrew which I found very interesting – to my mind, the trend for including supplementary material in books is certainly a Good Thing.

I’ve just received from Macmillan a proof copy of Ann Cleeves’ Red Bones, the third entry in her Shetland series – it’s been described as the Shetland Quartet, but who knows? Maybe the success of the books will prompt Ann to keep the series going, along with her novels featuring Vera Stanhope.

To be published this week, again by Penguin (and I think as a paperback original) is the latest novel by Jim Kelly. It’s called Death Wore White, and represents a departure from his previous books; I haven’t read him previously, but a number of friends whose judgement I respect enjoy his work. This is an ‘impossible crime’ story – according to the publicity, the killer ‘struck without being seen, and without leaving a single footprint in the snow’. I look forward very much to sampling this one.

A couple of weeks ago, Bantam brought out Breaking Point by John Macken. This one features a forensic scientist who was once fired by the CID. Here he is involved in a case where the GeneCrime police unit ‘is frantically trying to stop a seemingly invisible killer who strikes in the middle of the day on busy Tube lines.’ I was on a panel with John Macken (the name’s a pseudonym) at Crimefest in Bristol last year, and his books are developing a following.

Soon to appear in paperback is the intriguingly titled The Risk of Infidelity Index by Christopher Moore, published by Atlantic. Moore is a Canadian who has published nine novels, but this is the first to appear in the UK. It’s set in Bangkok and features a private eye called Vincent Calvino.

The end of February sees the appearance of The Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey (Quercus). Harvey (no relation to John) is an American television writer, and his novel features ‘a tough-talking Irish cop turned private investigator’, Michael Kelly. Kelly investigates ‘a web of corruption and intrigue’ in Chicago. A very good critic, Marcel Berlins, has applauded Harvey’s writing, so I shall be interested to have a look at it.

Finally, a book from the writer and director of the film ‘I’ve Loved You So Long’ – Brodeck’s Report by Philippe Claudel. It’s translated from the French by John Cullen, who has himself been short-listed for several awards, and is published by Maclehose Press (a division of Quercus.) It’s described as ‘an immensely powerful chronicle of a community’s fear and loathing of what is strange, unknown, and from the Outside’.


Juliet said...

For an interesting angle on the cover design of Bleeding Heart Square, see

Martin Edwards said...

Fascinating. And difficult to understand why publishers do this, especially with best-selling authors when finance is not (one would naively assume) too much of an issue.