As I've said, 2008 hasn't even bitten the dust yet, but the 2009 hotties fill my beside table -- and all other available surfaces. Who can keep up with this flood? Sarah Weinman, of course, but that's another story...
Here are this week's arrivals of note:
SHADOW AND LIGHT, by Jonathan Rabb
Was I sleeping when Rabb's ROSA -- a thriller about Rosa Luxembourg -- came out to fine reviews, including one from the much-missed John Leonard? I guess so: anyway, I've just ordered a copy with my own money (alert the media...)
Imagine a Bernie Gunther-type German policeman, Chief Inspector Nikolai Hoffner, investigating a suicide (ho ho ho) at the Ufa film studios in 1927, aided by director Fritz Lang and a fascinating little crime boss called Alby Pimm. Hoffner watches as his beloved Berlin falls apart, bloated with corruption and Nazis in brown -- like demented UPS drivers.
THE REDBREAST and NEMESIS, by Jo Nesbo
Once again, I must have been absent when Jo Nesbo, Norway's ace noir writer, economist, musician and all around great guy, invented my favorite private detective name -- Harry Hole. In THE REDBREAST, a disgraced and often drunk Harry gets involved in crimes old and new in Oslo, including some Neo Nazis with a frightening link to WWII.
NEMESIS is another great Harry Hole adventure. Grainy footage shows a man walking into a bank in Oslo and putting a gun to a cashier's head. He tells her to count to twenty-five. When he doesn't get his money in time, he kills her. Hole is assigned to the case. While Harry's girlfriend is away in Russia, an old flame gets in touch. He goes to dinner at her house and wakes up at home with no memory of the past twelve hours. The same morning the girl is found shot dead in her bed.
Also just arrived, but as yet uncracked, THE SECRET SPEECH, Tom Rob Smith's follow-up to CHILD 44. Watch this space.