New translated fiction

Brief loves that live forever#Book of the week is  Jo Nesbo’s The Son Model prisoner Sonny listens to the confessions of other inmates at Oslo jail, and absolves them of their sins. Some people even whisper that Sonny is serving time for someone else: that he doesn’t just listen, he confesses to their crimes. Inspector Simon Kefas has worked for the Oslo police force for years. Now he’s assigned to a new murder investigation and a new partner on the same day. Both knew Sonny’s father. To Sonny he was the man he idolised, to Simon he was his best friend. Both were devastated when his corruption was revealed. But neither of them knew the truth. Translated from Norwegian. Crime.

Jonasson The girl who saved the king of Sweden On June 14th, 2007, the King and Prime Minister of Sweden went missing from a gala banquet at the Royal Castle. Later it was said that both had fallen ill: the truth is different. The real story starts  in 1961, with the birth of Nombeko Mayeki in a shack in Soweto. Fated to grow up fast and die early in her poverty-stricken township, she takes a different path, finds work as a housecleaner and eventually becomes chief advisor for one of the world’s most secret projects. Here the story merges with, then diverges from reality. South Africa developed six nuclear missiles in the 1980s, then voluntarily dismantled them in 1994. This is a story about the seventh missile – the one that was never supposed to have existed. Translated from Swedish

Kallentoft -The fifth season It’s early May when a young family out on a forest walk stumble upon a heavily mutliated body. The female corpse is in eerily good condition, and signs of torture are all too visible. Inspector Malin Fors immediately draws parallels between this case and that of Maria Murvall, the young woman who was found raped and brutally beaten in the forest several years ago. She has been living as a mute in the local psychiatric hospital ever since the attack, and Malin is haunted by her inability to help her. In the course of her investigation, Malin meets with a psychologist who tells her about another similar case, and suddenly Maria appears to be a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. Translated from Swedish. Crime

Theorin – The Asylum  A dark passageway leads from the nursery to Saint Patricia’s asylum. Those who enter are innocents: children visiting their parents. Those inside are some of the most dangerous psychopaths in the country. Translated from Swedish. Suspense/thriller

Gerhardsen – Cinderella girl  – Rated 5 * already. When detective Petra Westman finds an unconscious child in an undergrowth, and shortly after stumbles upon the mother’s dead body hidden inside a grit bin, the Hammarby Police team is shocked by the gruesomeness of this case. And the strangest thing is that nobody seems to be missing the victims. Soon chief investigator Conny Sjøberg is faced with another murder. A teenage girl has been killed aboard cruise ship Cinderella and her younger sister will be next if Sjøberg can’t uncover the killer. Translated from Swedish. Crime

Laub – Diary of the fall – A schoolboy prank goes horribly wrong, and a 13-year-old boy is left injured. Years later, one of the classmates relives the episode as he tries to come to terms with his demons Translated from PortugeseThe girl who saved the king of Sweden

Ma -The dark road Meili, a young peasant woman is married to Kongzi, a village school teacher, and a distant descendant of the great sage Confucius. They have a daughter, but desperate to carry on his illustrious line, Kongzi gets Meili pregnant without waiting for official permission. When family planning officers storm into the village to arrest violators of the population control policy, mother, father and daughter are forced to make a fugitive life on the river Translated from Chinese

Hwang -The hen who dreamed she could fly  A fable about a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild and to hatch an egg of her own. Translated from Korean

Truc – Forty days without shadow     When a priceless local relic is stolen from Kautokeino, Lapland, detectives Klemet Nango – a familiar face in the rural community – and Nina Nansen, fresh out of the local police academy, are called to investigate. There are just a few days until the locals will host a UN World Heritage conference, and they are under pressure to retrieve the artefact, due to be presented to a world-renowned French scientist as part of the celebrations. When a local reindeer herder is found brutally murdered, they immediately suspect that the two events are linked. But the villagers don’t take too kindly to having their secret histories stirred up and the duo are forced to cross the icy landscapes alone in search of the answers that will lead them to a killer. Suspense/thriller

Makine -Brief loves that live forever In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love. Lovers live as outlaws, traitors to the collective spirit, and love is more intense when it feels like an act of resistance. Now entering middle age, an orphan recalls the fleeting moments that have never left him – a scorching day in a blossoming orchard with a woman who loves another; a furtive, desperate affair in a Black Sea resort; the bunch of snowdrops a crippled childhood friend gave him to give to his lover Translated from French

Ammaniti – Let the games begin Satire.  The world is in the throes of a global recession but when an author on the brink of despair, an enigmatic musician, a supermodel, and a Satanic sect meet with the cream of Italian high society at the home of a Roman property tycoon, the world outside the mansion’s walls is soon forgotten. There’s going to be one hell of a party. And you’ve got a VIP ticket. Translated from Italian

 Fante -The Bandini quartet This quartet of novels rated 5 * by 2 readers tells of Fante’s fictional alter-ego Bandini, an impoverished young Italian-American escaping his suffocating home in Colorado for Depression-era Los Angeles. Bandini struggles under the triple of weights of poverty, father and Church. Italian/American