Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Some New Books for my Stacks

My husband passed a stack of books on to me in December and January. I was thrilled to get them. Some are ones he has read, others are one he has decided he won't read. They are a mixed bag, but mostly mystery, which is why I was so excited. Of course, now I have to find a place on my book shelves, but I can live with that.

Crowther and Westerman series by Imogen Robertson:
Instruments of Darkness (2009)
Anatomy of Murder (2010)

Summary of Instruments of Darkness at Goodreads:
An intricate historical page-turner about a forbidding country estate and the unlikely forensic duo who set out to uncover its deadly secrets.

In the year 1780, Harriet Westerman, the willful mistress of a country manor in Sussex, finds a dead man on her grounds with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense's newest investigative duo is born.
This is my husband's review of Instruments of Darkness at Goodreads:
Leisurely paced (except for the last 50 pages or so) and well-written first novel set in 1780s England. The story mostly takes place in a rural region of country estates and dark secrets with the remainder in a London in the throes of anti-Catholic rioting. Rural areas before the advent of dependable transportation (railroads) seem a good setting because of their remoteness and isolation and here it is especially well done. The subsidiary characters seem more interesting and sharply drawn than the main ones of Westerman and Crowther but this a minor quibble.

Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev series by William Ryan
The Holy Thief (2010)
The Darkening Field [also published as The Bloody Meadow] (2011)

From the summary at Goodreads:
Moscow, 1936, and Stalin’s Great Terror is beginning. In a deconsecrated church, a young woman is found dead, her mutilated body displayed on the altar for all to see. Captain Alexei Korolev, finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of his success with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate. But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD—the most feared organization in Russia—becomes involved. Soon, Korolev’s every step is under close scrutiny and one false move will mean exile to The Zone, where enemies of the Soviet State, both real and imagined, meet their fate in the frozen camps of the far north.

Juan Gómez-Jurado: The Traitor's Emblem

This is a stand-alone novel. Before my husband discovered this book, I had never heard of it or the author. At Amazon, the summary describes it as...
... an epic novel spanning decades of family betrayal, impossible love and the high price of vengeance. Set against the dark and menacing streets of Depression-era Munich and the cruel rise of Nazism, Gómez-Jurado's spellbinding thriller proves again that he is a master of narration.
Per the website for this book, Juan Gomez-Jurado is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author. THE TRAITOR'S EMBLEM won Spain's prestigious literary award, the Premio de Novela Ciudad de Torrevieja. He lives in Spain with his wife and two children.

Leo Demidov series by Tom Rob Smith
The Secret Speech (2009)
Agent 6 (2012)

The 2nd and 3rd books in the series which features Leo Demidov and is set primarily in Cold War Russia. My husband held on to the first one in the series, Child 44. I haven't read any of them yet.

From the Amazon.com review of Child 44:
... a frightening, chilling, almost unbelievable horror story about the very worst that Stalin's henchmen could manage. In this worker's paradise, superior in every way to the decadent West, the citizen's needs are met: health care, food, shelter, security. All one must offer in exchange are work and loyalty to the State. Leo Demidov is a believer, a former war hero who loves his country and wants only to serve it well. He puts contradictions out of his mind and carries on. Until something happens that he cannot ignore. A serial killer of children is on the loose, and the State cannot admit it.
A number of non-fiction books also made it to my stacks; I will follow up later with a post on those books.


Bill Selnes said...

TracyK: I have read The Holy Thief and Child 44. Each presents a powerful picture of the paranoia that dominated Stalinist Russia. The mysteries are also well done. Neither is light reading.

TracyK said...

Bill, I did get that impression about both of those books. Intense. A period I am very interested in but a lot that happened then was horrifying.

col2910 said...

Nice acqusitions! Ryan and Rob Smith are unread on the pile. The one in the middle seems really good - so I'm off to look it up..........thanks (he says shaking fist at screen!)

Anonymous said...

Tracy - Looks as though you did quite well! I really hope you'll like the Ryan books; I think they're very well-done, as is Child 44. They're very atmospheric and they inform without 'dumping.'

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Interesting titles, Tracy. I look forward to your reviews.

TracyK said...

I am looking forward to trying all four of these authors. I know the least about The Traitor's Emblem, but it is the right time period for me.

TracyK said...

Margot, I expect to like the Ryan books. And Child 44. I have been planning to read them for a while now, maybe with them on my shelves I will get to them.

TracyK said...

I hope I get to these books (or at least the first ones in each series) soon, Prashant.

Clothes In Books said...

Great selection, and lucky you to have such a nice husband. The Imogen Robertson series is the one that most appeals to me, but they all sound good.

TracyK said...

He is a most wonderful husband, Moira, and I am very appreciative. But now his TBR stacks and bookshelves are slimmer and mine continue to grow.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

These all look great TracyK and all are authors I have not yet tried thank for all the info. Isn't it about time your hubby did a guest post?

TracyK said...

Sergio, I hope it is not too much longer before I try some of them. I have been planning to read them for a while.

I would love to have my husband do a post... on any topic. His style is much more minimalist than mine. I could learn from him.

Anonymous said...

I hope you like William Ryan's book. He is an excellent writer.

TracyK said...

Me, too, Sarah. I have heard many good things about Ryan's writing and I am sure I am going to like the series.