Today I have a list of books dealing with murders, mysteries and puzzles. Which one is your favourite?
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena - One of my favourite summer reads of 2017! I did not have any expectations from the story (compare to The Girl on the Train, where I was expecting a new Gone Girl) and I enjoyed reading every page! To find out more about the book, have a look on my book review here. Also try Lapena's second release, A Stranger in the House! I am still not sure which one I prefer, but they are both worth of your attention. Warning: Be careful while reading. I read it until 2am!
Inferno by Dan Brown (+The Da Vinci Code) - I know that there are many people who hate Dan Brown and his interpretation of history and twisting facts in his books. But I am not one of them! On the contrary, I always reach for his books whenever I want to dive into to a slightly less demanding read (such as reading about the Holocaust or Irish history for my university). For the third time, you follow professor Langdon who wakes up in a hospital and does not remember anything from the previous few days. But if he wants to survive, he needs to hurry up with remembering as a female assassin shows up in the hospital... A smart mystery thriller full of symbols and history is not difficult to read, but leaves you wanting to change your degree and become a symbologist, just like professor Langdon.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe - Let's go back in time and revisit one of the first detective stories, which has inspired many after, including creating the characters of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Doctor Watson. In this story, Dupin uses his wit to solve mysterious murders of a mother and her daughter, who were found dead in their locked-from-inside room. While Dupin's behaviour remarkably reminds us of Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, the nameless narrator of the story looks just like Holmes's loyal friend Watson. If you claim that you love reading detective stories, you should not miss The Murders in the Rue Morgue, starting the whole phenomena back in 1841 (!!!!!!!!! - this is why I love the history of literature).
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin - I am still not sure if this book should be on this reading list, as solving crime is not its main theme. On the contrary, the story revolves around an American man in Paris, whose fiancé is away, and he starts a dangerous affair with a handsome bartender Giovanni, whom he meets in a gay bar. Published in 1956, this book was one of a few, skilfully opening up the topics of homosexuality and bisexuality in literature. So why do I still put it on this reading list about crime fiction and thrillers? Because I believe that you should come across it. Plus, the ending involves a murder... So technically, why not putting it on the list!
The Snowman by Jo Nesbø - Scandinavian literature is considered to be completely different compare to its neighbours' literary scene. And Jo Nesbø is a good example of it. The Snowman is Nesbø's seventh book in his "Harry Hole series", but never mind if you have not read the previous ones. I started by reading this one and then went back in the series. The story, set in Oslo, follows Hole who tries to solve the brutal murders, having only two links connecting them. All of the victims are married mothers, and after each murder a snowman appears in front of the victim's house. I have to admit that some of the scenes were described in such a detail that I was struggling to keep reading. Yet I finished the story. And then another and another (Cockroaches, The Son). For me, this is exactly Nesbø's talent. He makes you keep turning the pages, no matter how much you are terrified of what will happen next.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Everyone was talking about this book when it was published back in 2012. I read slightly later, but fell in love! Seemingly a happy married couple moves back into husband's hometown to take care of his ill mother. And then his beautiful, beloved wife has gone missing. Is she dead? Did he kill her and if so, why? Do not expect a story that will change your life. But for me this book was an original, new type of crime fiction, written by a female writer. Since then, many other female writers have tried to follow in her footsteps, but I have never liked them as much as Gillian Flynn. Also, try her book published before Gone Girl, called Sharp Objects. I am still not over its ending.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Talking of famous crime fiction written by a woman, The Girl on the Train is a brilliant example. I read the book after finishing Gone Girl, and everyone was telling me that Paula Hawkins is a new Gillian Flynn. Well, not for me. The story about alcoholic Rachel, who is obsessed with watching a couple living in a house alongside a railway Rachel takes to go to and from London, has a potential. It does not miss the right amount of tension, yet, for me it is not as good as Gone Girl. Some bits are slow to read and Rachel's behaviour sometimes almost put me off the reading...
Naked in Death by Nora Roberts - I used to love this series when I was about seventeen-year-old! Books set in a futuristic New York follow Lieutenant Eva Dallas who solves the worst crimes, while falling in love with mysterious millionaire Roarke, who has dark past. Sounds like a cliché? Oh well, I told you that I was seventeen... But I still think that Nora Robert's books are better than Fifty Shades of Grey (following the pattern of a girl falling in love with a millionaire. In this case, Eva is an independent woman who knows how to take care of herself. Plus the use of language and Roberts' writing skills are brilliant).