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  • American,  Crime fiction,  Random,  Southern

    The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter

    When you are in a Southern crime fiction mood you just have to roll with it! After compiling some nice looking Southern mysteries last month I had no other option but to read Emily Carpenter’s The Weight of Lies. The novel came to my attention after a good friend swore it was the perfect reading when you are in a Gillian Flynn hangover – yes, that’s a thing – and I have to say, she was 100% right. The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter is a fast-paced mystery that tells the story of Meg Ashley, daughter to Frances Ashley, a best-selling author idolised by her 1970’s cult horror novel Kitten. Frances’ success…

  • Monthly Recommendations
    American,  Crime fiction,  Monthly Recommendations

    September Recommendations: Southern Crime Fiction

    Bodies in the Library’s recommendations come out the last day of each month and they aim to bring together great crime fiction reads for fans of the genre. The lists are eclectic and diverse, and they celebrate contemporary crime fiction writers and classics alike. Southern culture is a big thing for me. My Mum brought me up listening to Johnny Cash and I carried on the family obsession by becoming June Carter Cash’s biggest fan as soon as I had access to the Internet. I love a good pair of cowboy boots, and my English-speaking friends think it’s funny I “y’all” people around even though I have a British accent.…

  • American,  Crime fiction,  Essays,  Random

    The Future and the Truth are Female: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

      Crime fiction is one of the most political forms of popular literature, and American women authors are killing it (no pun intended) with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Laura Lippman being responsible for a new golden age. The reasons for the success of female-authored crime fiction novels are many, but considering the current political climate, it is just natural to see how these narratives about social injustice and trauma as the perfect breeding ground for those stories that women have been keeping silent for years or even decades. Megan Miranda’s latest novel The Perfect Stranger (2017) perfectly exemplifies this new era and the role women are proactively…

  • American,  Crime fiction

    Tales of Survival: Teenagers, Trauma and Resilience in Crime Fiction

    After the events of last week, I really hoped I was not writing this post. But I am, and before you continue reading, I would like you to know this post is about gun violence, mass shootings, trauma, and the tales of those who survive. The attack on a Florida high school last week is the 8th to happen in the USA in 2018. That is, in less than two months. But this time things have changed: Students who survived the shooting are using their social media profiles as platforms to denounce the need for a change in the US constitutions about the right to bear arms. More importantly, they…

  • American,  Crime fiction

    Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

    Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman has been on my radar ever since it was published in May 2016. I did not get a review copy back then but as bookish magic goes, I found the book at Bristol Public Library. This was the last book that I borrowed during my visit to England, and it was the cherry on top. Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman focuses on the friendship between two girls in a small American town. Following the necessary tend started by Megan Abbott, Wasserman goes against popular believes of young girls as shallow creatures and reminds readers that girlhood can be the perfect foundation for a…

  • American,  Crime fiction

    Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

    Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh was one of the most talked-about books of 2016, especially as it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Not only that, but some of my favourite book bloggers kept raving about it, and after Naomi from The Writes of Woman said I would love it, I knew I had to give it a try. On the release of the paperback, I was sent a review copy by Vintage Books. Thank you! Eileen tells the story of twenty-four year old Eileen Dunlop just before her disappears from her stereotypically New England town in 1964. In the first chapter, we learn that she is telling the story from…

  • American,  Crime fiction

    Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

    A few months ago I discovered American author Laura Lippman – a bit late to the party, I know – and I started following her on Twitter. She and Megan Abbott saw my confession and told me about Lippman’s upcoming stand-alone novel, Wilde Lake, to be published in the UK the 7th July by Faber Books. So, thanks to Laura I got in contact with Faber Books and they kindly sent me a review copy of Wilde Lake. Abbott suggested I would love it, and she was right. Wilde Lake tells the story of Louisa ‘Lu’ Brant, newly elected – and first female! – State’s Attorney of Howard County (Maryland).…

  • American,  Crime fiction

    New Review: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda for Los Angeles Review of Books

    Today I am very happy to bring you my latest review for Los Angeles Review of Books. When my former editor contacted me he wanted to know if I would like to review books by female writers for the Noir section, and I obviously did not have to think about it. Sadly, my editor is now gone – wishing you the best, Zac – and the Noir section as such is gone, but I am still writing for them. Zac’s last task before he left was to make sure I got a review copy of Megan Miranda’s first adult novel, All the Missing Girls. What makes this book special is…

  • American,  Crime fiction

    You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

    I was one of the lucky readers to get a very early review copy of Megan Abbott‘s next novel, You Will Know Me, to be published in the UK on the 30th of June, 2016. I hit a reading slump and I had no idea how to get out of there. Simon Savidge was in a similar situation, and when author Paula Hawkins spotted us talking on Twitter – knowing me quite well – she recommended I gave Abbott’s novel a try. It just what I needed. Megan Abbott has had the infinite wisdom of spotting a silence in contemporary crime fiction and she has masterfully filled it: teenage girls.…

  • American,  Crime fiction

    Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane

    I have a really good friend called Abel, who is also a huge crime fiction fan and whose book recommendations I keep ignoring, systematically. But he puts up with it because I assure him I will eventually read the book he just shouted at me over Facebook I need to read as soon as possible. One of his recommendations was Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane at least 5 years ago if I remember well. So, a few months ago I decided to buy it, second-hand at Abebooks. Now I have read it, and finished it, and I will publically say it: Abel, you were right. It was my kind…