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Mark Angelotti, blind amateur detective

dantesdilemmaNow here’s an unusual amateur detective: Psychiatrist Mark Angelotti is coming to terms with his increasing blindness caused by a late-onset genetic disease.  At 47 and single, he has accepted his need for the assistive devices that make life easier for the blind.  But he still has a hard time dealing with the sympathy of friends and the insensitivity of strangers.  He is reluctant to return to work, but his boss, head of a large clinical psychiatry department in a Chicago hospital, needs him back.  Dante’s Wood (Seventh Street, 2013) his first case back on the job concerns a mentally handicapped teenager who may have murdered a teacher. Dante’s Dilemma (Prometheus/Seventh Street, 2015) is the third book in the series. Mark must decide if a woman who killed her husband is a cold-blooded murderer or the victim of years of emotional and physical abuse.  These quick reads are clever and fast-paced.  They even offer a touch of humor.  Author Lynne Raimondo is a lawyer who credits her excellent writing skills to years of writing briefs.

–posted 9/28/2015

Posted September/9/2015

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels

ferranteThe four novels that comprise the “Neapolitan” series follow the lives of Lila and Elena, childhood friends in Naples in the 1950s. Both are brilliant students, but very different personalities. Cheeky and daring Lila chooses early marriage while Elena plods her way to college. Ferrante paints a vivid nostalgic picture of the young girls, their parents and friends and the lively crowded neighborhood that shapes them. These pleasant, easy to read novels have received rave reviews in Europe and the U.S. They are prime candidates for book discussion groups. Little is known about the author beyond the fact that she lives in Naples and is probably a woman. She has chosen to remain staunchly behind her pseudonym.  The fourth and final volume, The Story of the Lost Child (Europa, 9/2015) brings Lila and Elena back to Naples as they face old age.

–posted 9/21/2015

Posted September/9/2015

DI Carl Mørck

hanging girlDetective Carl Mørck works in Department Q, the basement office at police headquarters where very cold cases come to rest.  Mørck had been one of Copenhagen’s best detectives until a bullet nearly killed him in a shooting that took the life of a colleague.  Now he and the others who eventually drift down to Department Q putter about in the subterranean office and lead a mostly peaceful life.  But when a case captures his interest, Mørck can be surprisingly effective.  The odd characters and sometimes hilarious dialog make these lighter, but no less suspenseful, than most Nordic noir series.  The Hanging Girl (Dutton, 9.2015) is the sixth book in the series.   It finds Mørck, Assad, Rose, and newcomer Gordon on a remote island attempting to stop a string of cult murders.  Danish author Adler-Olsen won the prestigious Glass Key award in 2010 and his books continue to be best-sellers in Europe and the U.S.

–posted 9/14/2015

Posted September/8/2015

Jorn Lier Horst

cavemanJorn Lier Horst is a new Nordic noir author that you won’t want to miss. Before turning to writing full time, Horst was a policeman who, like his main character William Wisting, worked his way up to Chief Inspector of Larvik, a sizeable town south of Oslo, Norway. Wisting is a thorough and sensitive investigator, admired and trusted by his staff. He is in his 50’s, widowed with two grown children. His daughter, Line, is a journalist and plays a significant role in some of the books.   The Caveman  (Sandstone, 2015) is the fourth novel to be published in the U. S.  It is the story about a man who apparently died while watching TV and whose body was undiscovered for four months. Clues in another murder case lead to a serial killer wanted in America.  At least eight Wisting novels have been published in Norway.

–posted 9/7/2015

Posted September/8/2015

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