As the name implies, this club focuses on mystery novels set in foreign locations, investigating how the crime novel is interpreted around the world.
May: Brian Klingborg. Thief of Souls (St Martins, $27.99 Signed).
In Brian Klingborg’s Thief of Souls, the brutal murder of a young woman in a rural village in Northern China sends shockwaves all the way to Beijing—but seemingly only Inspector Lu Fei, living in exile in the small town, is interested in justice for the victim.
Lu Fei is a graduate of China’s top police college but he’s been assigned to a sleepy backwater town in northern China, where almost nothing happens and the theft of a few chickens represents a major crime wave. That is until a young woman is found dead, her organs removed, and joss paper stuffed in her mouth. The CID in Beijing—headed by a rising political star—is on the case but in an increasingly authoritarian China, prosperity and political stability are far more important than solving the murder of an insignificant village girl. As such, the CID head is interested in pinning the crime on the first available suspect rather than wading into uncomfortable truths, leaving Lu Fei on his own.
As Lu digs deeper into the gruesome murder, he finds himself facing old enemies and creating new ones in the form of local Communist Party bosses and corrupt business interests. Despite these rising obstacles, Lu remains determined to find the real killer, especially after he links the murder to other unsolved homicides. But the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery, the more he puts himself and his loved ones in danger.
April: Richard O’Rawe. Northern Heist
A fast-paced, suspenseful thriller based on one of the biggest (and still unsolved) bank-robberies in history, written by a former IRA bank robber.
Nobody robs banks in Belfast without the IRA getting a cut — not even former Provo James ‘Ructions’ O’Hare. But when word gets around O’Hare may be up to something, the pressure from the IRA begins.
Ructions’ trusts his crack squad of former paramilitary compadres, and has full confidence in his audacious plan: To literally empty the biggest bank in Belfast by kidnapping the families of two employees – known as a “tiger” kidnapping — in order to force them to help Ructions and his crew get into the bank’s vault.
But keeping the plan — and the money — from the IRA is another plan entirely, one requiring all Ruction’s cunning and skill.
In this stunning debut novel, as audacious and well-executed as Ructions’ plan to rob the National Bank itself, Richard O’Rawe — a former IRA bank robber himself – unleashes a story that will shock, surprise and thrill as he takes you on a white-knuckle ride through Belfast’s criminal underbelly. Enter the deadly world of tiger kidnappings, kangaroo courts, money laundering, drug deals and double-crosses.
March: Sten, Camilla. The Lost Village.
The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar in this brilliantly disturbing thriller from Camilla Sten, an electrifying new voice in suspense.
Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.
But there will be no turning back.
Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:
They are not alone.
They’re looking for the truth…
But what if it finds them first?
Come find out.
“RELENTLESSLY CREEPY.” —Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger (An NPR Best Horror Novel)
“IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP READING.” —Ragnar Jonasson, author of The Island
“Readers will revel in the chills.” – Booklist
February: Raman, R.V. A Will to Kill
January: Quartey, Kwei. Sleep Well, My Lady
July: Perrin, Valerie. Fresh Water for Flowers
August: Billingham, Mark. Cry Baby
September: Noor, Rozlan. 21 Immortals.
October: Carlyle, Rose. The Girl in the Mirror.
November: Seeck, Max. The Witch Hunter.
December: Aimaq, Jasmine. Opium Prince