‘Eyes Open. Hit First. Transfer Quick. Cease When He’s Lifeless.’
Good climate they’re having in SNOWDRIFT (Soho Crime, 372 pp., $27.95). Helene Tursten’s new police procedural, ably translated by Marlaine Delargy, opens with a blizzard that dumps 18 inches of snow on Gothenburg, Sweden, the house of Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom of the Violent Crimes Unit. Fourteen years in the past, a childhood pal, Lollo, vanished — apparently kidnapped from a nightclub by the three Stavic brothers, all infamous gangsters. Now two of the Stavics have been murdered, as soon as once more elevating the query of what occurred to Lollo.
Tursten’s descriptions of the chilly are bone-cracking. “Dense snow smoke whirled throughout the panorama. … The total power of the wind hit her instantly, making her bend ahead. The sharp snowflakes struck her face like tiny needles.” Her characters could be simply as chilly, beginning with Embla. Other than being a aggressive boxer, she’s an avid hunter who clothes and eats her catch. (Dinners run to wild boar cutlets, smoked moose coronary heart and bunny casserole.) However as Lollo’s outdated case heats up, Embla’s customary coolness offers approach to nightmares, anxiousness and extra: “She felt as if she had a burning cannonball in her abdomen.”
There’s a great old style thriller on the coronary heart of MURDER IN OLD BOMBAY (Minotaur, 389 pp., $26.99), however Nev March has packed a lot, rather more into her novel, which is about in India in 1892, through the Raj. The rich Framji household is sort of content material dwelling in Bombay below British rule. (“Regulation and order, you already know.”) However the regulation fails them when Adi Framji’s younger spouse and his beloved sister fall from the college clock tower and the court docket preposterously declares their deaths a double suicide. Adi finds a champion in Capt. Jim Agnihotri, an Anglo-Indian officer who’s simply been medically discharged from his cavalry regiment.
Jim is an immediately likable character whose good coronary heart and endearing methods make him a super narrator. Though his combined racial heritage leaves him classless (“An Anglo-Indian is never welcome” on any social stage, Jim tells us), his sleuthing takes him on an completely satisfying and picaresque journey by India on which he encounters beggars and brigands, journey and hazard — and finds true romance.
Wish to irritate your neighbors? Write a comic book thriller about them. That’s what Lynne Truss has finished in MURDER BY MILK BOTTLE (Bloomsbury, 302 pp., $27), a ridiculously humorous caricature of the seaside city of Brighton. Truss takes a few of the sting out of the satire by setting it in 1957, when the English resort city was in its heyday.
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