This week there are more French crime / thrillers than Scandanavian!
Paasilinna The year of the hare cover opposite – A journalist and a photographer set out on an assignment, but as they drive along they hit a hare. The hare then adopts the journalist, and together the two scamper through farcical adventures and political scandal Translated from Finnish
Deville Plague and cholera Paris, May 1940. Nazi troops storm the city and at Le Bourget airport, on the last flight out, sits Dr Alexandre Yersin, his gaze politely turned away from his fellow passengers with their jewels sewn into their luggage. He is too old for the combat ahead, and besides he has already saved millions of lives. When he was the brilliant young protégé of Louis Pasteur, he focused his exceptional mind on a great medical conundrum: in 1894, on a Hong Kong hospital forecourt, he identified and vaccinated against bubonic plague, later named in his honour Yersinia pestis. Swiss by birth and trained in Germany and France, he is the son of a European tradition of endeavour; but he has a romantic hunger for adventure, fuelled by tales of Livingstone and Conrad, and sets sail for South-East Asia Translated from French, Biographical fiction
Loubiere The stone boy When the elderly Madame Preau returns to her own house after several years spent in a convalescent home, she immediately notices that the neighbourhood has changed. A new family has moved in next door and, from her window, she watches their three children playing in the garden after school. Two of the children seem perfectly healthy, but Madame Preau is struck by the third child, who seems listless and stands apart from the others. When she reports this to social services, they refuse to believe her. Cut off some years ago from her own grandson, she begins a mission to help this boy, even when those around her start to fear for her sanity. Thriller/suspense translated from French
Marias The infatuations Every day, María Dolz stops at the same cafe. And every day she watches a couple following the same routine. Then one day they aren’t there. She comes across a photograph of the man, lying stabbed in the street. When the woman returns with her children, who are then collected by a different man, a new McFarlane The night guest Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. One day a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. She claims to be a care-worker and Ruth lets her in. But who exactly is she letting in? Australian fiction
Nevo Neuland Dori’s father has gone travelling in South America and, suffering from some kind of breakdown, following the death of his wife, he goes missing. Dori sets out to find him, leaving his wife and young son at home in Israel. Inbar is escaping from her life – from the grief that she can’t shake after her brother’s death, from the boyfriend she doesn’t love – and impulsively sets out for South America. While she’s there she meets a man who is searching for his father Translated from Hebrew
Simenon The carter of ‘la providence’ Maigret is sent to investigate the murder of a woman found in a stable at a canal lock. While carrying out his investigation, he gets acquainted with the eccentric crew of the yacht ‘Southern Cross’. Sir Lampson, the owner of the yacht and husband of the victim, Mary, and also his boatswain, Willy, attract Maigret’s suspicions as Willy was also Mary’s lover. However, the autopsy of Mary’s body reveals certain details that point Maigret’s attention to a barge called ‘The Providence’
Vargas The ghost riders of Ordebec ‘People will die,’ says the panic-stricken woman outside police headquarters. She has been standing in blazing sunshine for more than an hour, and refuses to speak to anyone besides Commissaire Adamsberg. Her daughter has seen a vision: ghostly horsemen who target the most nefarious characters in Normandy. Since the middle ages there have been stories of murderers, rapists, those with serious crimes on their conscience, meeting a grizzly end following a visitation by the riders. Crime translated from French