Monday, 6 April 2020

Easy reading in times of distress

When you want an easy read, something exciting and thrilling, then a thriller or mystery book comes in handy. I have already read six such books this year and two during the present worrying times. Reading all the gruesome news in the papers is enough for the time being. Not that thrillers are less gruesome reading, but at least it is in a book. Here a few short notes on good mysteries, easy to read and they keep up the thrill until the very end.

Byron's Shadow by Jason Foss - a different story set at an archeological site in Greece. A golden pen found at the dig, with the name 'Byron' on it, sets a chain of events in motion. Archeologist, Dr. Jeffrey Flint is in the middle of the action when his boss suddenly is murdered and he is accused of the deed. With the help of his ex-girlfriend, he is in for more than he asked for. Thrilling and hiding the culprit until the very end.

The Dry by Jane Harper - a favourite author and this is the first book about her detective, Aaron Falk. "After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets." The past is catching up with Aaron as he stays on to try to solve the murder. The story keeps you glued to the pages. Jane Harper takes you out in the wilderness and the heat. There is no getting away. A superb author of thrillers where human actions take us beyond belief.

Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum -  a young girl is found murdered, and it takes time before detective Sejer sees the reason behind the murder. "At the foot of the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small, idyllic village, where neighbors know neighbors and children play happily in the streets. But when the body of a teenage girl is found by the lake at the mountaintop, the town's tranquility is shattered forever. Annie was strong, intelligent, and loved by everyone. What went so terribly wrong? Doggedly, yet subtly, Inspector Sejer uncovers layer upon layer of distrust and lies beneath the town's seemingly perfect façade." A slower-moving mystery, but no less intriguing.

Kyldygnet by Philip Birk - the first book about international art thief Tom Grip. It is Copenhagen in June 2016, and the most expensive painting ever is stolen from the National Museum. The theft is very well planned, but also violent. The tracks are leading over the water to Malmö in Sweden. Tom Grip, on the run for several years, is asked to investigate, knowing that very few people would be able to go through with such an affair. The story of the theft is mixed with the story of his earlier life, as he started stealing paintings. The ending comes as a surprise. The third book in the series are soon out. They have been translated into German, and a German production company has bought the rights to film it.

Presumption of Death by Perri O'Shaughnessy - it is book no. 9 in the Nina Reilly series. My first account with lawyer Nina and her private detective boyfriend, Paul van Wagoner, is a pleasant one. "After a tumultuous year, attorney Nina Reilly heads home to put her life in order and move in with her long-time, part-time love, Paul van Wagoner. Carmel Valley, however, is not quite the sleepy town Nina remembers.
In a place where the locals clash with the rich newcomers, conflicts have always been an inevitable part of life, but lately, the hostilities have turned ugly: someone has been setting seemingly random forest fires. Just as Nina is re-establishing her family ties and beginning her new life with Paul, she is called upon again. The last fire proved fatal, and the son of her faithful ex-assistant, Sandy Whitefeather, stands accused of murder. Nina is certain that the fires are not random at all. Against her better judgement, she must work with Paul in order to gain the locals' trust in a race against time to find the truth before the real killer's motives become all too shockingly apparent." An interesting psychological drama, showing the interaction of people and their behaviour in a time of crisis. 

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo - It is the book no. 8 about detective Harry Hole. Two women have been found murdered in Oslo, both have drowned in their own blood. There are no clues, and the expert police, Harry Hole, has disappeared into the underworld of Hongkong, still suffering from his last case. Reluctantly, he comes back and gets involved in the case. There are more murders to come. This is my first book about Harry Hole, and it is terribly exciting. As more murders are detected, more clues come into the light. A complicated story that keeps you guessing. 

Do you also tend to read thrillers, when you want to read something easy? The other option I have is historical fiction. What about you? What kind of genre do you read when you just want something light to read?


  1. I love mysteries and a little less so thrillers. but I do have a couple of Karin Fossum's on my pile that a friend gave me so I'm glad to see you list them here. I've not heard of most of the others -- they look quite good, most of them. Thanks for the list! Stay safe.

    1. I tend to buy books when on sale, or second hand. I was lucky this time with good mystery and detective novels. I think Jane Harper and Jo Nesbo stick out in the crowd, but I enjoyed all of them.

  2. I want to make a post about books that are comforting during difficult times. I will link to this post. Thank you, Lisbeth.

    1. Sounds great and thank you for linking to my post. I updated the images which seemed to have disappeared. I find I look for books with less depressing stories these days. I think we need to forget the situation for a few hours.