All tagged Crime Fiction

Recommendation Tuesday: A Darker Shade of Sweden (Stories)

Recommendation Tuesday started as a joke and is now an official thing. If you've got a book to recommend on this or any Tuesday, tweet me at @FullShelves and I'll help spread the word.

View all of the past recommendations over here. 

This week, Sandra is getting in on the fun and recommending a collection of short stories she really, really enjoyed, A Darker Shade of Sweden. 

Without any sense of shame, I admit to judging a book by its cover. I laser in on a beautifully bound book. But, a book can’t get by on looks alone. Intelligent writing is what truly endears it.

A Darker Shade of Sweden edited by John-Henri Holmberg has it all: beauty and brains. 


The YA Crime Thriller I've Hoped For: Fake ID by Lamar Giles

You don’t have to know someone your whole life to know them. Not really. Lonely is the same everywhere.”

I've read a lot--and I mean a lot--of crime fiction, and until I picked up Lamar Giles' Fake ID, I'm certain I haven't encountered a young adult novel that really hit the notes of adult crime fiction. 

Lamar Giles' Fake ID is told from the first-person point-of-view of of Nick Pearson--and yes, that is a fake name. He's been in the federal Witness Protection Program with his parents since his father agreed to testify against the crime boss he worked for. Nick's father is terrible at being in Witness Protection and they're on their last placement--the family has to make this work or else they're out of the program, on their own and in serious danger.

Nick's starting at a new high school in Stepton, Virginia, with yet another new identity, studying his personal "legend" (the fake backstory developed by the U.S. Marshall Service for each family) and trying to stay under the radar. He's quickly befriended by Eli, rabble-rousing editor of the school paper, who's eager to recruit the new kid to his one-man journalism operation. 

Mini Reviews: A Mystery Mixed Bag

It's been well-documented that I love mysteries of all sorts. I recently devoured three, all of which I recommend--but with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers, the first in Barry Lyga's series featuring Jasper Dent better known as Jazz, a serial killer's son, ended with a cliffhanger--a seriously obnoxious one. Game was released about two weeks after I finished “Killers” so my wait wasn't too painful.  But, Game goes beyond cliffhanger. It leaves you plummeting off the cliff with no way of knowing or guessing what the landing will entail.

Billy Dent, Jazz's serial killer father, roams free to continue his dastardly deeds while Jazz searches for him in New York City. In contrast to his demented father, Jazz has come to his own understanding of humanity and his place in the world.

People are real, Jazz told himself, repeating his mantra. People matter … Jazz had always thought that his past was his own burden to bear, but could it be possible that he was meant to have people around him? Was this the true meaning of “People are real. People matter?

Jazz confronts his past, his own emotional pain and commits himself fully to finding and bringing down his father.

Connie, his girlfriend,  goes against her parents wishes and her own common sense  to follow Jazz to the city with the intention of helping him, even saving him from whatever may come.  

I closed the pages of the second in Lyga's series, frustrated and irritated. Everyone I liked best in the novel was heading down a winding road toward a collision. Nothing is resolved, and this does not read as a complete story.

I haven't found a date for publication of the sequel to Game.  So it goes. I'll just have to wait.

List-O-Rama: 2013 Mysterious Reads

I used to adore mysteries and crime fiction, but at some point the genres went in two extreme directions: incredibly gory or incredibly campy.

But hope is on the horizon! I've seen a number of intriguing-looking new or upcoming releases that look like they walk a nice line of mysterious and atmospheric without being too extreme. Fingers crossed!

Ratlines by Stuart Neville | Soho Crime, Jan. 2013

The folks at Soho Press were the best "book talkers" at ALA and got me incredibly excited for a number of their titles, including Stuart Neville's thriller, Ratlines, which promises to name names regarding the Irish government officials who granted asylum to Nazis following World War II. 

Amazon Goodreads

What We Saw at Night by Jacqueline Mitchard | Soho Teen, Jan. 2013

What We Saw at Night is another Soho title, this time from the new teen imprint. This one is about a group of teens who are allergic to sunlight and witness what they think is a murder. It's the first of a series that involves Parkour and sleuthing and secrets. I'm nervous, though, because reviews have mentioned a cliffhanger, which annoy me in mysteries. 

Amazon / Goodreads

Review: Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

Live by Night by Dennis LehaneI’ve long been a fan of Dennis Lehane’s novels.

I was solidly hooked once Sarah introduced me to his first book, A Drink Before the War, so by the time I held his fourth novel Gone, Baby, Gone (which is also an excellent movie), the hook was set. When I saw he had a new book, Live By Night, coming out, I preordered it with great expectations.

I have no concerns about disappointment when a Lehane book is in my grip.

Live By Night features minor characters created in The Given Day, his lengthy previous novel, though it is not necessary to read that novel prior to reading this one. Lehane’s writing treats his readers with exact historical background. While reading The Given Day, I would pause in my reading to Google details from the book. They were always meticulously researched.

Yes, there was really a Molasses Flood in 1919 Boston. That’s right. Two-and-a-half million gallons of crude molasses heated up to the point where an eruption from the tower holding it resulted in a thick, hot flood of the sticky stuff traveling at 35 miles per hour with waves of eight to fifteen feet. Twenty-one people died in the scalding river of molasses. 

I admit that it took me twice as long to read The Given Day than it should have—all that fact checking got in the way.

Elmore Leonard & Timothy Olyphant aka Raylan GivensIt seems that with the (very deserved) popularity of the FX television show Justified, there’s a resurgence in the popularity of Elmore Leonard’s work. The thing is, the dude’s written a lot—and I mean—a lot of novels. And, I’ve read most all of them that aren’t westerns. So, if Justified has your interest piqued in Leonard’s work, here are my suggestions for good books of his to start with. 


Elmore Leonard & Timothy OlyphantTouch, 1987, Arbor House

This is probably my absolute favorite Leonard Novel. It’s about an astigmatic former monk and faith healer who finds himself admist an odd assortment of characters (including a baton twirler) in Michigan. It’s the Leonard book I recommend to people who have a soft spot for romance and are nervous about crime fiction, because this one is far sweeter and none of the characters are actual criminals per se. But, it’s just as suspenseful and twisty as all of his novels, and is written with the chracteristic Leonard wit.