Tagged: crime fiction Polar
23rd September 2020 at 1:35 pm #2471Nick RosenthalParticipant
To help get the forum underway, I’ll share a few of my favourite French crime fiction books here.
One of my favourite series is by Jean-Claude Izzo, known as “The Marseilles trilogy”. They feature a police detective called Fabio Montale, who is a bit of a misfit due to his social conscience. It has soe lovely dry humour, and describes Marseilles and the surrounding area in a way that makes me want to book a flight there right now! As an aside, Fabio Montale has excellent tastes in music, and I’ve had great fun exploring the jazz and blues records he likes to listen to late in the evening. The stories are fast-paced, and very readable (translation: hard to put down once you’ve got started!)
The titles are: Total Chaos, Chourmo, and Solea23rd September 2020 at 3:47 pm #2473Nick RosenthalParticipant
Next up, a slightly more exotic one:
“Yeruldelgger“, by Ian Manook. Written in French (by a French travel writer), this story features a Mongolian police commissaire called Yeruldelgger. Whilst he is investigating a grizzle murder in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, he is called away to investigate a strange discovery, a strange object buried on the Mongolian steppe. Why has he been ordered away? Is someone trying to distract him? Gradually, we learn more about Yeruldelgger’s own patchy past, a broken marriage, a lost child, his relationships with his shady former father-in-law and with his own colleagues. This book has a strong story line, a magnificent sense of place, an introduction to Mongolian life, to a society going through massive change, and excellent characterisation. It is quite a long read, at 480ish pages, so ideal for those long winter evenings when the pubs close early. So far, the book is not available in English, so we’ll need to read it in French. And it is the first of a trilogy (the other two books are on my “to be read” pile!).
Full disclosure: I’ve translated a few pages of this book into English as a sample, and been trying to pitch it to UK book publishers – so far, without any luck, but I’ll keep on trying!
In the meantime, here’s a small sample from my English:
= = = = = = = = =
You don’t simply enter a yurt that is not your own. You stop a few paces away from the door, and call out. Tradition dictates that you should mention dogs. You don’t shout “Hello?”, because the people in the yurt have known for a long time that somebody is coming. And you don’t say “Is there anyone there?” because the person approaching the yurt already knows full well that there is someone inside. Often, prudence or some primeval instinct leads us to call “Hold on to your dogs!” or “Have your dogs been fed well?”
Yeruldelgger burst into Solongo’s yurt without warning, like a bull in a china shop. He flung the door open, almost smashing it off its hinges and rushed inside, knocking over a stool.
“Where is she?” he yelled.24th September 2020 at 4:09 pm #2478Laurence BisotKeymaster
Merci Nick for these ideas! I must admit, I need recommendations even for French polars!
However, I know a French “local” author (here local means from the town my family comes from, Vitry-le-François in Champagne) who has written a few gritty crime novels, Armand Gautron (https://www.babelio.com/auteur/Armand-Gautron/324862). His recurrent character, Antoine Landrini, attracts marginals, criminals and trouble like corpses attract flies -;).24th September 2020 at 4:46 pm #2479Janice CrossfieldParticipant
Thanks for the recommendations, Nick. I don’t speak German but I’ll certainly follow up the French ones. Look forward to seeing you at Bookchat on Tuesday?30th September 2020 at 2:08 pm #2489
I might give these a read Nick although my favourite subject is France during WWII and stories about the Resistance. The bravery of the French Resistance always amazes me. (I’ll put my own recommendations on this subject in a new thread)
However, any vocabulary I pick up about the French Police/legal system is always useful for my interpreting!30th September 2020 at 2:40 pm #2492Janice CrossfieldParticipant
Hi Deborah. You might like “Robert et Jeanne à Lyon sous l’Occupation” by Annette Kahn or the writings of and film about Lucie Aubrac!30th September 2020 at 3:33 pm #2494
I did see the film with Carol Bouquet and loved it. I’d like to see it again sometime. I have the Lucie Aubrac biography which my children bought me as a birthday present but I tend to read it when I’m waiting at an assignment (it’s handbag friendly) but I haven’t really got into it.
Thanks for the recommendation by Annette Kahn, I’ll look it up!9th October 2020 at 4:38 pm #2518Mike HansonParticipant
I’m afraid I haven’t got any recommendations to make but I thought I’d just put my head round the door and say hello.
This isn’t a recommendation but did anyone read Austin Freeman’s Dr._Thorndyke (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Thorndyke) stories when they were younger? My Dad was a keen Sherlock Holmes fan and I suspect Dr T. was a Sherlock rip-off. I remember in one story, following a post-mortem, Dr T spotted that the type of duckweed found in the victim’s lungs was different from that present in the canal where the body was found! “Elementary, my dear Watson-equivalent”. As a result, I probably know more than any other NWTN member about the duckweeds that occur in the UK. ;-028th December 2020 at 5:28 pm #2643
I’ve just ordered Janice’s recommendations on French Ebay.
“Robert et Jeanne à Lyon sous l’Occupation” by Annette Kahn and film about Lucie Aubrac! The postage was pretty reasonable, but let’s hope they don’t get caught up in post Brexit Customs problems!
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