Log In


Reset Password
Columnists View from the Center Bear Smart The Travel Troubleshooter Dear Abby Student Aide Life in the Legislature Of Sound Mind Others Say Powerful solutions You are What You Eat Out Standing in the Fields From the State Senate What's up in Durango Skies Watch Yore Topknot Local First

2 major releases to be on shelves by next month

There are two major releases coming in October from big publishing houses. You should know about them: One is huge, and the other is Andrea Camilleri’s new Inspector Montalbano machination, Treasure Hunt.Camilleri has created one of the most compelling police detectives in fiction history.

Inspector Salvo Montalbano of the Vigáta, Sicily, police department is a caricature equal to any of the classics in fiction writing. Treasure Hunt is delicate, lovely, suspenseful, romantic and mischievous. Buy this book; you will lend it to good friends and save it along with other valuables if your house burns.

Knopf is releasing Jo Nesbø’s new book, Police. I’ve heard that the first printing is 3.5 million. That is a lot of books. Especially, that is a lot of bad books.

Nesbø is brutish, walking heavy and carrying a little stick. This will be his ninth international bestseller, and to his credit, I have to say Police is his worst – which is to say that some of Nesbø’s previous books are better. And a couple of them were even sort of good, in that over-sauced way of chicken-fried steak.

Nesbø has written himself onto every page, and I’ve grown to dislike the character. I quit reading Police on page 126, confused and angry and wanting only to get my hands on the impudent poser and demand those hours back.

Many readers (3.5 million) love Nesbø; many people love chicken-fried steak. I hope both those groups will forgive me for not liking either, because both shorten your life for a cheap thrill.

The sleeper for the month is a newly translated mystery from the Swedish publisher Stockholm Text, finding access to American readers through a distribution agreement with The Random House Group.

Small European publishers often are excluded from American readers, so when they go through the trouble of translation and finding representation here in the U.S. – in this case assisted by the eagle-eyed Meryl Zegarek Public Relations in New York City – they are exceptionally good. Killer’s Art by Swedish author Mari Jungstedt is exceptionally good.

Celebrity art gallery owner Egon Wallin on the tiny island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea south of Stockholm has meticulously planned on disappearing with his paramour and ill-gotten gains after a grand opening of a sensational new Lithuanian artist.

The next morning, Egon Wallin is found hanging by his neck from Dalman Gate, one of the grandest medieval defense towers in Europe. From here we’re off on an ascetic police procedural that intrigues as only the Scandinavians can do.

In Killer’s Art, we’re in the world of stolen art, glossy gallery owners, ancient Nordic landscape and the dark side of addiction to priceless masterpieces and money – and more artful murder and drugs and prostitution and the relentless plodding of good police work.

Jungstedt is sensational. Killer’s Art is a book you will want to own and read again, and to write your congressman to have her February 2014 Stockholm Text release, The Dead of Summer, translated into English.

Enough said.

JeffMannix.com. Jeff Mannix is a local journalist and author.

Reader Comments