23rd September 2020 at 1:59 pm #2472Nick RosenthalParticipant
Now, I must confess that I struggle a bit with German crime fiction. So many German authors, even of gritty thrillers and Krimis, feel the need to prove themselves as intellectual authors by wandering off into abstract reflection. Works great in German, but it doesn’t travel well!
So I’m going to start with three books that I really enjoyed, and which are all highly readable – good plots, interesting characters, and a sense of place.
Plan D (by Simon Urban) This book is set in East Germany .. but in an East Germany of the future. Here, East Germany did not cease to exist in 1989, it just underwent major change. And this book is set roughly in 2010, but offers superb insights into what “life in the east” was like. The lead East German detective is a good character (I loved his descriptions of his feelings of inadequacy when getting changed for a swim on account of his cludgy East German underwear, seeing his West German’s colleagues somewhat more elegant garmentry. As well as insights into East German life This one was well translated by Katy Derbyshire (and one day, I’ll forgive her for getting there before I could translate it!)
Du (by Zoran Drvenkar) A contemporary novel set in Berlin. Five teenage girls end up coming into a possession of a crime lord’s drug stash, and this cracking book describes their flight as they try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. Fast paced, with good characterisation and well-captured conversation. Translator Shaun Whiteside did a brilliant job of turning this into a highly readable English book, too
Zen and the art of Murder (by Oliver Bottini) This is the first of a series of crime fiction books set in the Black Forest, featuring a female detective on the police serious crimes squad. She’s still recovering from her involvement in a shooting incident, in a time pre-dating this book, and has various struggles with the police hierarchy and with her family and ex-husband (neither of which is helped by her seeking support from any bottle containing alcohol).
So … over to others! Anyone else got some recommendations?
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