søndag den 29. maj 2011

Moving Day

After a couple of turbulent weeks, I have had enough of Blogger´s whims.

My new address: djskrimiblog

I hope to see all of you there soon.


Writing News

First a reminder: you have two days left to participate in my competition. The chances of winning are still fairly good.

May competition (world wide)
Read "Liquorice Twists" and answer three simple questions. Send the answers to do.hu.ja (at) mail.tele.dk before the end of May, and two of you will win an Amazon voucher (£ 5 or $ 8).

a) what is the name of the baby in story no 8, "A Question of Perspective"?
b) which car brand is mentioned in story no 11, "Swept Away"?
c) what is the name of the main character of story no 18, "In the Dark"


And if you are in the mood for more suspense, you can read my short story "Heather Farm" for free during the launch period (May and June). Plenty of love, ghosts and countryside atmosphere. Enter the coupon code EP59D - and if you like the story, please make my day by spreading the word to your friends.


Latest Liquorice Twists news

I am happy to tell my writer friends that they were right; Amazon offers a large market,  it is often the first place readers search for an ebook, and now I seen had my first sales trickle in there. And while I was in Bristol, Kerrie showed med that I had had my first Amazon review - five stars that made a wonderful day even better: 

"This selection of shorts is naughty but in a good way". 

And I am glad to see that readers of my latest collection appreciate the story ´Catastrophe´ which was a last-minute addition.  

NB: perhaps I should make it clear that I appreciate it very much whenever readers take the time to write a fair and honest review of my stories no matter how many or few stars they give me  :)

lørdag den 28. maj 2011

Vanda Symon, The Ringmaster (2008)

(German title: Der ungeschminkte Tod. My review of Overkill).

Well, I read the second Sam Shephard mystery from New Zealand in German, but I was afraid that if I only gave you the German title, you would not read my review.

"Rosie, warte!" rief er und beschleunigte seine Schritte. Sie drehte sich um, und mit genugtuung stellte er fest, dass ihr Gesicht anfing zu strahlen, als sie ihn erkannte.

Detective Constable Sam Shephard, who now works in Dunedin, and her colleague, Smithy, are trying to disperse a group of people who demonstrate in front of a circus. Soon, the department have more important things to care about, however, as they find the body of a young woman who has been assaulted and drowned in the river Leith which runs through the Botanic Garden.

But as Sam has offended her superior, DI Johns, quite successfully, she is sent off to deal with the less interesting circus case while everybody else works on the murder. As she is a stubborn and determined woman, and perhaps a bit impulsive, she does her best to worm her way into the murder investigation. New trouble hits the circus, though, and whether Sam wants to or not, she gets deeply involved in the affairs of the circus before she can return to the murder of young Rose-Marie Bateman. and at some time she begins to wonder if the occurrences in the circus are related to the murder.

I enjoyed the story just as much as Vanda´s terrific debut, especially for the character of Sam, a female protagonist of the very best kind. A slight minus, though, because Sam has a tendency to run into dramatic situations on her own. It was not as difficult to read it in German as I had expected, but I won´t pretend I understood each and every detail, and I certainly won´t admit how long it took me to read it in German.

I bought the German e-book myself (because the English version is very difficult to come by), and fortunately I have the next volumes ready on my shelf - in English. 

Craig´s review of The Ringmaster (Crime Watch).

fredag den 27. maj 2011

Linda Gillard, House of Silence (2011)

This novel is the British writer´s fourth stand-alone. It is probably more precise to call it gothic romance than mystery.

"I used to wonder if Alfie chose me because I was an orphan and an only child. Was that part of the attraction? I came unencumbered, with no family."

As Gwen Rowland´s mother died from an overdose of drugs some years ago, she is all alone in the world. She falls in love with the actor Alfie Donovan who is her opposite in many ways. He has more family than he cares for at Creake Hall. Four older sisters, an aging mother and a mysterious, yet quite attractive gardener.

Alfie´s mother has written the famous series Tom Dickon Harry, claiming her inspiration was Alfie, her only son. Alfie feels he has lived in the shadows of this fictional character all his life, and even as an adult he finds it very difficult to carve a career for himself as everybody see him as Tom.

Alfie and Gwen are very happy together, though, until Gwen insists on accompanying him when he goes home to Creake Hall for the traditional family Christmas. "... an Elizabethan manor house, a jumble of tall, barley sugar chimneys and crow step gables, red brick walls and a battery of mullioned windows..."

The story is very strong on atmosphere and suspense with a trace of gothic horror and a feeling of being caught in a web permeating the story. It is a very enjoyable read with several intriguing characters though the ending is more romantic than psychologically credible in my opinion. I bought the e-book myself.

Here is an interesting article about Linda Gillard and her ebook.

torsdag den 26. maj 2011

Thy´s Day 52

When I saw Norman´s comment Monday about the flat lands of Denmark, I knew I had to share these pictures with you though I am afraid you cannot really see the depth in them. They are from "Skyum Bjerge", a hilly area not far from our home. (You can click on each photo to enlarge them if you want more details).

onsdag den 25. maj 2011

CrimeFest 2011

You know (or hope) you are participating in a crime fiction conference when you hear someone saying:

´... and then I put the poison in his haemorrhoid cream´
´you got to kill people somehow´
´I do like blowing things up´

In two words; my first CrimeFest was absolutely overwhelming!  I did take a few photos, but most of the time my husband had the camera. And Saturday, the only day when I had it, the battery went flat rather unexpectedly.

Karen Meek of Euro Crime

As I mentioned the other day, one of the very best experiences was to meet some of my blog friends and get to know them even better. The panels were also very interesting, and it was such a pleasure that the crime writers I have read - and read about - for so long, were so kind and forthcoming. They really seemed to like meeting their readers :)

So apart from Martin Edwards, our walking crime fiction encyclopaedia, whom I mentioned the other day, I had plenty of opportunity to chat with Len Tyler, Christine Poulson, Quentin Bates and Kate Ellis to mention a few.

I wish I could participate every year, but unfortunately May and June are the busiest months of our school year so I won´t win any popularity contests by running off, leaving three days of external examinations to my colleagues again.

Here you see my CrimeFest spoil - I bought the ones by Len Tyler and S.J. Bolton myself, the others are books I won or was given for free.

tirsdag den 24. maj 2011

S is for Silence

(Taking a short break in the streets of Bristol)

For this week´s alphabet in crime meme, I´ll comment on what the crime writer does not tell us. I was inspired by a very interesting CrimeFest panel where the writers discussed the endings of crime novels, their own as well as those of other writers. Good endings, brilliant endings, disappointing endings - and the endings we will never see because their wives or publishers vetoed them.

I don´t think Rob Kitchin will mind if I tell you that his first crime novel leaves a couple of loose ends. The Rule Book was an impressive debut which I enjoyed very much, and the ending worked very well for me, but there are aspects I hope he will take up in later volumes of his great Colm McEvoy series.

Another trend is mysteries of the kind where we know who committed the crime almost from the beginning. There are wonderful examples of the why dunnit around, but after a very promising beginning, the ending of Louise Doughty´s Honey-Dew was a disappointment for me. I didn´t feel she added enough suspense after the first few chapters so in my opinion she should have structured her story very differently, or kept a few surprices up her sleeve.

Do you prefer endings where everything is nicely wrapped up, or is it okay with you when the author hands you the villain but leaves some - or several - unanswered questions?

mandag den 23. maj 2011

Save the Words

Scatterbrained as I am today I keep telling myself that now I´ll begin that blog round, but I run into one distraction after the other (such as five-star reviews on Amazon).

I just visited Rob Kitchin´s blog and was reminded of "Save The Words". Of course I ran off immediately to salvage some word of my own, and I just had to adopt ´magistricide´  ;)


NB: for danske læsere - jeg har lige opdaget, at min lille Thy-historie, Entreprenøren, er blevet udgivet på Skrive-Bloggen mens jeg har været væk.

Back home from CrimeFest

Came home from a wonderful event last night (twenty past one so forgive me if I write sheer rubbish).

CrimeFest in Bristol was absolutely overwhelming.
First of all I met a couple of blog friends, and of course they were just as kind and interesting as I had expected. Norman (Crime Scraps), Kerrie (Mysteries of Paradise) and Karen (EuroCrime), it has been so great to get to know you and spend three-four days together with you. And thank you to Martin Edwards not only for being just as kind and charming as Daniel Kind, but also for winning the pub quiz for us Thursday night. It was a good feeling to participate in my first pub quiz ever - and ´win´ it.

As my husband has been sightseeing in Bristol, I only have a few pictures of the people I met, but I promise to post them later (when I have had time to catch up with life, work and my blog round). If you follow the links to Norman, Karen and Martin´s blogs above, you will see some of us in Bristol, though.

tirsdag den 17. maj 2011

R is for Revenge

- the alphabet in crime is hosted by Kerrie, Mysteries in Paradise -

A few lines written in between washing & packing.

Revenge is not exactly my favourite crime fiction plot, but when it is done well, the result may be a wonderful pageturner. So I will mention a couple of recent reviews where revenge is part of the plot, but without going into detail because it is quite easy to spoil such a story for those of you who have not read it yet.

First, I´ll highlight Jussi Adler-Olsen´s Mercy (UK title) or The Keeper of Lost Causes (US). I re-read the first Carl Mørck story in English earlier this month because I was curious about the English translation. Here a dramatic event acts like a catalyst many years later.

Second, I reviewed Martin Edwards´ standalone, Take My Breath Away as my first May book. Apparently a woman returns from the dead, bent on revenge. There is much else to this story, but the urge to get even is one of the pieces of the puzzle.

What is your favourite story that includes an element of revenge?


Writer´s news:

I created an author´s page on Amazon the other day. While I am writing this, my short biography and two of my works are visible, and "Candied Crime" should also be on the way. So for those of you who prefer shopping via Amazon.com, it is now possible. But I recommend that you check the price. Mobi for Kindle is also available from Smashwords, and their VAT-free version may be cheaper for some of you.

"Liquorice Twists" should also be available via Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Apple and Diesel in a week or two.

mandag den 16. maj 2011

Neil Gaiman, Coraline (2002)

Today I am visiting Kelly of Kelly´s Thoughts & Ramblings. Kelly and I will be ever so pleased if you peep in to say hello, and perhaps some of you also want to know why the vicar´s wife writes crime fiction

This British fantasy is brilliantly illustrated by Dave McKean. I only read Coraline because I needed some fantasy for a challenge (Bogudfordringen 2011), but I enjoyed it very much. 

Once you realize Coraline is a little school girl and neither the teenager she looks like on the cover nor the tiny midget she sounds like, the story works very well.

"Something moved. It was little more than a shadow, and it scuttled down the darkened hall fast, like a little patch of night."

Coraline and her family move into a new flat in a mysterious house. One rainy day when she is bored, she finds the door which leads to nowhere. Her mother does not lock the door afterwards, and of course you know immediately that this was very unwise of her. The next time Coraline tries the door, it suddenly leads to somewhere - a flat which looks deceptively like her own, but where everything is just a bit different.

And in this other world Coraline realizes she need all her courage and determination in order to change things back so she can return to her ordinary life which suddenly seems incredibly appealing.

I bought the Kindle version myself, and if you like fantasy/fairy tales, this one is strongly recommended.


NB: I know I should be in touch with a few of you who have also invited me to guest blog, but that will have to wait until I have come to my senses after CrimeFest. 

lørdag den 14. maj 2011

DJ Light

- just came home from the hairdresser, considerably lighter (eh, greyer) than before -

As Blogger has played so many tricks recently, most of you had no chance to notice my guest post yesterday so here is the link once again. 

For several reasons you may expect irregular posting and visits from me over the next month or two.
First, I am running off to Bristol to CrimeFest from Wednesday to Sunday, and afterwards the exam period begins. Besides, I have my family and my unreliable health to consider. 

Liquorice Twists Launch

Notes to myself:
- don´t launch on a Sunday which is often the quietest blog day
- add more ghosts; my readers seem to like them

What else?
I am testing the possibilities of Amazon, but as I have had a few technical glitches, I have only published "Heather farm" there yet. The price I set is 99 cents so if Amazon wants more than that (e.g. from Scandinavian customers), I recommend that you go to Smashwords instead. Because they are a minor company, they are not forced to add VAT.

Finally a reminder: there is still plenty of time to participate in my competition or download "Heather Farm" for free (Smashwords coupon: EP 59D).

fredag den 13. maj 2011

Giles Blunt, The Fields of Grief (2006)

[I should have been guest blogging on Thoughts in Progress today, but with Blogger gone awry I don´t know when the post will be up.]

This Canadian police procedural is the fourth John Cardinal story, but the first I have read by this author. See my teaser.

Though I found the story interesting and appealing, it was hard to read as it begins with the death of Catherine Cardinal, John´s beloved wife, who suffered from very severe depressions and is supposed to have committed suicide. The description of his grief and his self-reproach are very realistic, meaning that the story made a great impact.

Besides, there is a story about child abuse. Always a tough theme, but Blunt never goes into uncanny details so for me the theme of depression was harder to handle.

Soon John Cardinal begins to wonder if Catherine really did take her own life, but even though Lise Delorme, a close colleague and friend, offer him some support, the main reaction is that it is just Cardinal´s unwillingness to accept his wife´s suicide.

My overall impression: a really fine mystery with great characters and a fine sense of place. I bought the book myself, and Giles Blunt has gone on the list.

Thy´s Day # 51

Sorry for the inconvenience Blogger has caused my readers. Hope it is back to normal service again.

Don´t leave your bedroom window open - enemies may sneak in -
and they are much faster than you´d imagine.

onsdag den 11. maj 2011

A Teaser

I have not had a bait-in-the-box post for some time, mostly because it is quite difficult to choose books that are neither too new nor too old. But even though you haven´t read this one, I am sure many of you can guess where it takes place.

So let´s play - where, when, what is this? Written by whom?

"Nothing bad could ever happen on Madonna Road. It curls around the western shore of a small lake just outside Algonquin Bay, Ontario, providing a pine-scented refuge for affluent families with young children, yuppies fond of canoes and kayaks, and an artful population of chipmunks chased by galumphing dogs. It´s the kind of spot - tranquil, shady and secluded - that promises an exemption from tragedy and sorrow."

tirsdag den 10. maj 2011

Q is for Quest

[The alphabet in crime meme is hosted by Kerrie]

I suppose you could say most crime fiction is about a quest, yet the feeling is much stronger in some stories than in others. Today, I have selected three (or four) novels for you, in which children are on a quest.

My first example is Alan Bradley´s "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". Here eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce stumbles on a body among the cucumbers. Soon she realizes that the police suspect her kind, yet somewhat absent-minded father. Flavia knows he is too impractical to be able to save himself so she embarks on a quest to find the real murderer. 

In "Blacklands", Belinda Bauer´s dark but excellent debut, young Steven knows he has to find the remains of his murdered uncle. A black shadow has haunted the whole family ever since Billy disappeared nearly twenty years ago, but Steven is certain that once he has found the body, his mother and grandmother will get some kind of closure and be able to get on with their lives.

In James W. Nichol´s "Midnight Cab" the main character is grown-up, but only just. Walker leaves his adopted family as soon as possible, not because he doesn´t love them but because he must find the mother who left him by the road when he was only three years old. Knowing about his past is such an important part of his identity that he risks everything to find the truth.


Two-Sentence Tuesday 
[Hosted by Women of Mystery]

Three brilliant stories, all strongly recommended, and here you have a bit from my own "Crystal Nights", a Danish novel I am currently editing & translating into English. As I told you Friday, I received a rejection last week, but I have tried to tackle it as well as I could - by writing. The main part of the story is set in the 1960s and deals with a loyal and determined boy´s quest to find his best friend.

- Sonja Jensen left her flat Wednesday morning to go to work in Hjørring, and since then no one has seen ten-year-old Lars-Ole Jensen. Mrs Nielsen in the flat downstairs believes she heard him leave around ten o´clock, but more than forty-eight hours have gone so every minute counts. Holst paused to let the message sink in.

What is your favourite crime story or thriller which includes a quest? 

mandag den 9. maj 2011

Deborah Crombie, Leave the Grave Green (1995)

OBS: at some point today (when the Americans are up and about) I´ll be visiting Margot Kinberg´s brilliant blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist as part of my "Liquorice Twist" launch. If you pop over and say hello, Margot and I will be so happy!


This American novel is the third police procedural featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James from Scotland Yard.

"He´d fallen in, landing on his back with his arms and legs splayed awkwardly ´It´s cold,´ he said, his face registering surprise. He scrabbled towards the bank, laughing, shaking the water from his eyes."

Twelve-year-old Matthew has not even realized yet that he is going to drown, but tragedy hits the family of Sir Gerald Asherton, the conductor, and his wife, the soprano Dame Caroline Stowe when they lose their prodigy. And twenty years later they are struck again when their son-in-law Connor Swann drowns - also in the Thames.

As the police are not sure Swann´s death was an accident, Thames Valley CID call in Inspector Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James to take a closer look at the circumstances. And no matter what Sir Asherton and his wife say, Connor Swann does not seem to be universally liked - not even by his own wife, the somewhat capricious Julia, who left him a year ago.

An entertaining and fairly cosy mystery with plenty of British atmosphere, including high tea and scones.

I bought the book myself, and Crombie will be on my radar from now on.

søndag den 8. maj 2011

Liquorice Twists - Launch Party

Cover art: Elisabeth & Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen.

Today is the official launch day of my 
second volume of Daim Stories, Liquorice Twists
Please share a virtual glass of champagne with me, dear readers! 

Contrary to my happy-go-lucky launch of "Candied Crime" in February, I have done my best to create a suitable cover (assisted by my youngest who is deft at making those slipknots), test the content and the technical aspects of the book beforehand and plan a few guest blog posts.

I have selected twenty flash fiction stories for you this time, only half as funny but definitely twice as chilling as volume I, and ten of them have never been published on my blog. According to one of my beta-readers they are ´nasty in a good way´. So now there is nothing for it but to send my tiny stories out in the world to fend for themselves.

The first stops on my blog tour will be tomorrow on Margot´s delicious blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist.

May competition (world wide)
A launch surely calls for a competition. Buy "Liquorice Twists" and answer three simple questions. Send the answers to do.hu.ja (at) mail.tele.dk before the end of May, and two of you will win an Amazon voucher (£ 5 or $ 8).

a) what is the name of the baby in story no 8, "A Question of Perspective"?
b) which car brand is mentioned in story no 11, "Swept Away"?
c) what is the name of the main character of story no 18, "In the Dark"?


And if you are in the mood for more suspense, you can read my short story "Heather Farm" for free during the launch period (May and June). Plenty of love, ghosts and countryside atmosphere. Enter the coupon code EP59D - and if you like the story, please make my day by spreading the word to your friends.

lørdag den 7. maj 2011

That sinking feeling

Self-pity - the murky monster

The other day it happened again.

"Thank you for your submission to xxxxx. I regret to inform you that we are unable to use it at this time."

It is far from my first rejection, and it will not be the last one either. It does not leave me quite as devastated as the first ones, yet I do get grumpy or dejected for a day or two, depending on how important the submission was. And it would have been really nice to tell my readers I had sold a story right now - just to prove that I am not only a self-publishing writer.

Well, they have a point (the ending being too abrupt), and that is why agents and editors come in handy, I suppose. They have that distance to your work which you can never achieve yourself. So now that they have showed me the flaw, I may have a better story for you at some other time.

And in the meantime, let me prop up my self-esteem a little bit:

The opening paragraph is wonderful -- compact and developing. I also liked the progression of the piece in its structure and believability of interactions. ... The descriptions are well written.

So perhaps I should just find someone who is a better ´plotter´ and become a brilliant ghost writer? :)

If you are a writer, how do you handle rejections?

fredag den 6. maj 2011

Jussi Adler-Olsen, The Keeper of Lost Causes (2011)

I enjoyed the first volume of this series very much when I read it in Danish a couple of years ago (Kvinden i buret, 2007), and it is a pleasure to see that my countryman is on his way to the USA as well as the UK (under the title of Mercy). No matter what it is called, this is a fine debut, and you have something to look forward to as the next volumes in the series are even better!

"She scratched her fingertips on the smooth walls until they bled, and pounded her fists on the thick panes until she could no longer feel her hands. At least ten times she had fumbled her way to the steel door and stuck her fingernails in the crack to try to pry it open, but the door could not be budged, and the edge was sharp."

The woman in the dark keeps fighting to get out, determined not to let her captors win by breaking down.

After this meeting with the captured woman we are introduced to the protagonist Carl Mørck, recently scarred by a gunshot, but perhaps his internal wounds are worse. Earlier he was a dedicated criminal investigator from Jutland, but after his colleague Hardy was hospitalized and their third mate Anker was killed, Mørck has turned into a somewhat reluctant detective.

In between the scenes from a police perspective, we meet Merete Lynggaard, vice chairperson for the Social Democrats, a very secretive politician, who disappears during a trip on a ferry.

As Carl Mørck has grown ´lazy, surly, morose´ and hopeless to work with, his superiors decide to solve their problem by ´promoting´ him. They appoint him the leader of the new Department Q, a kind of cold-case unit, and equip him with a dark office in the basement. When Mørck grows tired of solving Sudoku and insists on having a couple of men he can boss around, they send him Hafez al-Assad. It seems as if Assad has not quite realized his role is to brew coffee and sweep the floors, but not a word more about one of my favourite sidekicks.

The story offers a nice touch of humour, interesting characters, and a find and exciting plot.
My example was a free review copy from NetGalley, published by the Penguin Group and expertly translated by Tiina Nunnally.

Also reviewed today by Kerrie, Mysteries in Paradise. 

torsdag den 5. maj 2011

Thy´s Day # 50

To celebrate my 50th Thy´s Day (and my daughter´s birthday) 
I will share with you our darling buds of May.

onsdag den 4. maj 2011

A Few Steps Forward

I have not written much about my challenges lately so perhaps it is time for a progress report.

First, the Danish challenge "Bogudfordringen 2011".
January - crime before 2000.
February - short stories
March - female Danish writers
April - books from the 1800s.

So far, no problems, but May is fantasy month. I bought Neil Gaiman´s Coraline the other day, hoping it would be to my taste.

Second, the 2011 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge
I finished this challenge last week, and I really enjoyed reading a couple of books and stories I would not have chosen otherwise.
Margery Allingham, Hide Your Eyes (British 1958)
John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps (Scottish – 1915)
Palle Rosenkrantz, Hvad skovsøen gemte (Danish - 1903)
Blicher, The Rector of Vejlby (Kindle - 3 Danish short stories, 19th century)
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley´s Secret (British – 1862)
Arne Magnussen, Den vidtudråbte besættelse i Thisted (Danish - 1699/1891)

Third, Ireland Reading Challenge
Five books read, one to go. And my, this challenge has been a pleasure. Five great reads, all strongly recommended.

Declan Burke, The Big O (2007)
Tana French, The Likeness (2008) 
Brian McGilloway, Gallows Lane (2008)
Colin Bateman, Mystery Man (2009)
Jane Casey, The Burning (2010)

For my last challenges I will keep you updated when I have news for you.

tirsdag den 3. maj 2011

P is for Prison

- thank you to Kerrie, Mystery of Paradise, for hosting the alphabet in crime meme -

While most traditional crime novels end when the criminal is apprehended, perhaps sentenced to prison, some thrillers include long sections where we follow an inmate of a prison, or where a character has just been released from prison.

In Belinda Bauer´s Blacklands, we meet Arnold Avery, the paedophile murderer who has already spent several years in Dartmoor Prison. Avery´s way of handling life is prison is being the model prisoner, keeping to himself and doing what he can to achieve an early release. Another aspect of the book is the powerful psychiatrist and his importance for the prisoner´s chances of being released.

In Gretelise Holm´s Møgkællinger, Jonas Kamper goes to prison for a murder he claims he did not commit. For the good-looking and charming teacher it is a shock to realize that there are prison warders who just do not like him and are ready to abuse their power if he breaks any of their unwritten rules.

In Simon Brett´s The Witness at the Wedding (to be reviewed later), Michael Brewer is released after thirty years in prison. In this story an important theme is what happens when someone returns to society after having been locked up for so many years.

A similar plot can be found in Brian McGilloway´s Gallows Lane which begins when James Kerr is released from prison. Inspector Benedict Devling is told to keep an eye on the ex-con to find out if he really found Jesus or if he is bent on revenge.

What is your favourite thriller about life in prison?


mandag den 2. maj 2011

Martin Edwards, Take My Breath Away (2002)

This British legal mystery is a stand-alone which will be published in the USA in July. It is set in London.

"The dead woman smiled. So far, so good."

Nic Gabriel, the writer of a true crime story about Crippen, is somewhat surprised when he meets Ella Vinton at a party in a friend´s flat as ´a stone in a Sussex graveyard bore her name´.

The woman seems to be very much alive, though, and before the party is over, she has killed Dylan Rees, the host and the man who was supposed to be the reason that Ella committed suicide five years earlier. And Dylan´s last words are just as mysterious: "Why not jazz?"

Nic Gabriel feels he should have been able to prevent the woman from stabbing his friends right in front of him so he decides to look into the background of Dylan´s death. His search leads him to the high-profile human rights law firm Creed, and to their new paralegal Roxanne Wake. She is sure she has finally landed her dream job, but for some reason she has omitted to tell her bosses that Roxanne is not her real name.

Apparently, most characters in this story have skeletons in their closets which they are very keen to keep in place. As a reader you assume that Dylan´s death and Roxanne´s story will be connected at some point, but you do not know how or why. And do we really get the full truth of this finely plotted mystery?

A fine mystery with a very apt title which offers an insight into the life of lawyers, but hopefully they are not all as devious as the book makes you think.

I bought the book myself, and this cover is from my British edition of the book.

søndag den 1. maj 2011

The Notice Board

This week´s notice bord post was sent to me by the Danish crime writer Kim Jørgensen. Unfortunately the book has not been translated into English.



– af Kim Jørgensen

Min nye krimi er inspireret af virkelighedens mange samvittighedsløse personer, der får spalteplads i medierne. Har vi ikke ofte tænkt, at nogle slipper for let fra deres forbrydelser, mens deres ofre må lide? I "Den røde boomerang" gav jeg mig selv chancen for at rette op på dette misforhold.

Hovedpersonen er en magtsyg byggematador, Klaus Winther. Hans opvækst var præget af en streng far, der ikke skyede nogen midler for at nå sine selviske mål, selvom det betød, at han trådte på alt og alle. Han lærte sin søn at gå lige til stregen og gerne lidt over, hvis det kunne gøres inden for lovens rammer.

Klaus Winther fandt hurtigt ud af, at det var svært at følge sin fars råd. Han kunne sagtens undgå at forbryde sig mod loven, samtidig med at han forbrød sig groft mod sin samvittighed. Men da han først havde slidt sin samvittighed rund, var det nærliggende at foretage sig noget ulovligt, hvis det var det mindste påkrævet. Det gjaldt blot om at skjule sine ulovligheder.

Ved at følge denne farlige opskrift er Klaus Winther efterhånden kommet så langt ud, at han end ikke viger tilbage for mord.

Historien tager sin begyndelse en mørk og iskold vinteraften, hvor to mænd mødes i hemmelighed på et øde sted for at finde en løsning på et fælles problem – men mødet får katastrofale følger.

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Bogen kan lånes på biblioteket eller købes bl.a. på Forlaget Facets hjemmeside. Her kan du også læse de første tre kapitler.