Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Siren's Song

For reasons best known to themselves (as my late British mother-in-law used to say), I've been asked by the Los Angeles Times to be a judge in the mystery/thriller category for their annual book awards. My fellow judges are the divine Sarah (Weinman) and the brilliant Oline (Cogdill). So here I sit, like a thorn between two roses, reading tons of stuff that comes in daily so as not to miss anything. Suggestions are welcome, and I'll do my beleagured best to pass on tips about great stuff coming up. Like Siren of the Waters, soon to be published by Soho.

Olen Steinhauer has written many fine books about the police in a country very much like Rumania. Now comes Michael Genelin, whose Jana Matinova has risen to the rank of Commander in the Slovak police in Bratislova. Her rise to her present position cost her a lot, and now she's in charge of an investigation into a deadly human trafficking ring. She's a tremendously interesting character, totally believable (and with the same aura of sad determination as the hero of Child 44), facing a truly frightening villain named Koba. Add this one to your must read list.

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