Ranking The Books: Åsa Larsson

Crime writer Åsa Larsson writes police procedurals set in the North of Sweden

Crime writer Åsa Larsson writes police procedurals set in the North of Sweden

Åsa Larsson is a Swedish crime writer who sets most of her stories in the small mining town of Kiruna. She writes the Rebecka Martinsson series. She’s a tax attorney who often helps the police in their investigation(s). Her character continues to evolve and it’s the one thing I like about this series. The author has put her through the wringer emotionally and in harm’s way so many times that the author has to address her recovery in the series itself. I may not like all the plots in her books but she gets top marks for characterization and setting. I’ve read them all and so this is how I would rank her work from strongest to weakest in the series now. The only book to dip below average for me was her latest book, The Second Deadly Sin. It wasn’t bad but it certainly wasn’t great which is why it sits at the bottom of this list.

Until Thy Wrath Be Past (2011)
Sun Storm (2006) aka The Savage Altar
The Blood Split (2007)
The Black Path (2008)
The Second Deadly Sin (2014)

I did a similar ranking for Jo Nesbo in 2013 and have since updated it.

Violence in Crime Fiction: The Redux Edition

It seems like the Bristol CrimeFest Convention some weeks ago in London started the debate again about the increase in violence in books and TV. Especially towards women, or so it seems. There are accusations being flung about women writing brutal crime scenes that are just as bad as the men. And yes, there is a double standard against women writers who write graphic violence, but that goes beyond the scope of this article. Continue reading “Violence in Crime Fiction: The Redux Edition”

Digital News: Ted Lewis’ Jack Carter Trilogy

I was browsing Amazon this morning and came across two upcoming Kindle titles for Ted Lewis’  Jack Carter Trilogy: “Get Carter” aka “Jack’s Return Home” (1971) and Jack Carter’s Law (1974). Both to be released in Fall 2014. Update: Paul, in the comments states that all of the author’s books will be made available again. Great news!

Ted Lewis was a British writer (1940 to 1982) who wrote about London-based gangsters. I bought a copy of one of his most popular titles? GBH (1980) but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. The prices for the Jack Carter trilogy are not cheap at $9.99 each. I’m hoping GBH is next to be digitized because that’s the one I really, really want to read.

“Get Carter” has been made into a film twice, one with Michael Caine in 1971 and the other with Sylvester Stallone in 2000. Update: Read on the publisher’s website that the book was adapted three times. Hmm, I could only find the two movies on a quick search. Readers praise his books all the time so I am looking forward to reading them.

Additional links:

The Rap Sheet’s review of GBH

The Artistry of Ted Lewis by Mulholland Books blog

Saturday Crime News

Brief post with links for Saturday, in the “just in case you missed it” department:

Jo NesbøI read two articles by Jo Nesbo –

Found an Arne Dahl interview posted on Twitter:

And last but not least is another Guardian article about a UK constable who says that crime fiction needs a little more reality: 

Detectives should be depicted as “cheery, well-balanced, well-adjusted, equally successful investigators” in crime novels rather than “hard-drinking, heavy-smoking, cynical people”, the chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police has said.

Sorry but that sounds boring and I wouldn’t read it.


Why Books in Series Should Standalone or Why I don’t Care to Read In Order

I am a big fan of reading series book out of order.  I’ve been doing it that way for years. In mystery, more than half the books you read will most likely be apart of a series.  The standalone novel seems to be a rare find these days. I actually prefer standalone novels but most of the books that interest me tend to be apart of a long running series.

books and glassesI think if writers are going to pen a bunch of books in a series, readers should be able to start anywhere without having to be forced to start at the beginning. Some series are really long and I don’t always feel like starting at the beginning. And I’m sure there are more readers like me out there that want to read anywhere they please in a series.

There are benefits to making series books standalone. For starters, the author would gain more readers.  Often when I read a rave review of a book online and it’s apart of a series, I am hesitant to buy it. I love reviews that say “You can start with this book” or some variation. Second, those readers that started with the latest book might go back and read the first book. It happens. Continue reading “Why Books in Series Should Standalone or Why I don’t Care to Read In Order”