Best mystery books 2014 new york times
Notable Crime Fiction of - The New York TimesEven the most modest mystery novel has the dignity of its lineage. In the permanent war that all genre fiction wages for respect, it can claim partial but persuasive ownership even of Dickens, of Voltaire. But the thriller is new money. Where did it come from? The genre spread fast and hard — America had all that unmelting, isolate, stoic toughness, and, with the west at last wholly settled, nowhere to put it, fictionally. Eventually an Englishman came up with Jack Reacher. Now a non-trivial percentage of us is convinced that biology teachers should carry guns.
Notable Crime Books of 2011
How do you create suspense? We begin with a man stumbling down a road with no pigment in his skin, no shoes on his feet and no idea who or where or when he is. Behind him, a crashed plane sends off waves of fire and a pillar of smoke. With that opener, Toyne grabs our attention, and he keeps it. Every answer leads to another question.
Henning Mankell makes it clear that his brilliant if chronically depressed Swedish detective, Kurt Wallander, has solved his last case. Although it accounts for his perpetual mood of despair, that insight also makes him a hero for this age of anxiety. The big question: Can Pelecanos keep his young hero from flaming out? View all New York Times newsletters. The criminal mistreatment of children is also the focus of the Danish thriller, which follows the efforts of a nurse to identify the 3-year-old boy she rescues at the Copenhagen train station. This prince of a fellow made a killing pimping and working the black market as an Army quartermaster in Rome during World War II. But peacetime life in Wichita is so dull it takes all his ingenuity to come up with a new way to make a dishonest living.
Impressively, it is also a vastly entertaining feat of storytelling. Wry and devastating in equal measure, the novel is a cracked mirror that throws light in every direction — on music and literature; science and philosophy; marriage and motherhood and infidelity; and especially love and the grueling rigors of domestic life. In , the anthropologist Margaret Mead took a field trip to the Sepik River in New Guinea with her second husband; they met and collaborated with the man who would become her third. King has taken the known details of that actual event and created this exquisite novel, her fourth, about the rewards and disappointments of intellectual ambition and physical desire. The result is an intelligent, sensual tale told with a suitable mix of precision and heat. Deeply unnerving and gorgeously tender, the book chronicles how grief renders the parents unable to cherish and raise their other son; love, it suggests, becomes warped and jagged and even seemingly vanishes in the midst of mourning. In this brilliant debut story collection, Klay — a former Marine who served in Iraq — shows what happens when young, heavily armed Americans collide with a fractured and deeply foreign country few of them even remotely understand.
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By Dinaw Mengestu. By Evie Wyld. By Anthony Doerr.
Like his other crime novels set in blue-collar Washington neighborhoods, this one has a strong father-son dynamic and a stern message about the generational cycles of urban crime. But Pelecanos takes an unusually tender approach to the two families in his novel, one black and one white, and extends them the rare hope of redemption. But enough of the warm climates. This rugged environmental mystery, which unfolds in the middle of a blizzard, finds a ranger working on a research project at Isle Royale National Park, on the Canadian border, where a killer is hunting along with the wolves. Indoors, the best adventure is a devious intellectual puzzle.
There are a lot of ways for a novelist to create suspense, but also really only two: one a trick, one an art. The trick is to keep a secret. Or many secrets, even. Rowling is another master of this technique — Who gave Harry that Firebolt? How is Rita Skeeter getting her info? It makes them deeply immersive in the moment, but strangely evanescent: in other words, beach reads. This time around his victim is Adam Price, a New Jersey lawyer; one evening, a man approaches Adam with the devastating news that his wife, Corinne, faked her last pregnancy, and worse still that their two sons may not be his.