Here is a sampling of some of our favorite mysteries for 2012.
Cliff Walk- Bruce DeSilva-Forge Books
Cliff Walk is at once a hard-boiled mystery and an exploration of sex and religion in the age of pornography. Written with the unique and powerful voice that won DeSilva an Edgar Award for Best First Novel, Cliff Walk lifts Mulligan into the pantheon of great suspense heroes and is a giant leap for the career of Bruce DeSilva.
The Absent One-Jussi Adler Olsen-Dutton
Copenhagen Deputy Detective Superintendent Carl Mørck returns from vacation to discover that his tiny cold case unit, Department Q, has been reshuffled, and a citizen’s complaint has reopened a 20-year-old case on which all the relevant documents have disappeared.
Ditlev Pram is a founder of private hospitals. Ulrik Dybbøl Jensen is a stock market analyst. Torsten Florin is a prominent designer. Before they achieved their success, however, they were fifth-form students together at Rødovre High School along with Kristian Wolf, Bjarne Thøgersen and Kirsten-Marie Lassen. These last three haven’t done so well. Kristian died in an apparent hunting accident; Bjarne is doing time for killing Lisbet Jørgeneon and her brother Søren back in 1987; and Kimmie is living on the streets of Copenhagen. Now new evidence suggests that all six of them were responsible for the Jørgensens’ deaths and for a whole lot more mayhem as well. The upshot of Carl’s dogged investigation is to get himself suspended from the force. But aided and abetted by his loyal Syrian assistant, Hafez el-Assad, and his new secretary, Rose Knudsen, assigned to his unit after she failed her police driving test, he continues to build a case against his influential quarry, themselves desperate to track down Kimmie, whose voices have been telling her that it’s time to get revenge on them for their mistreatment of her. A great read for fans of Steig Larrson.
Broken Harbour(Dublin Murder Squad #4)-Tana French-Hachette
Tana French is an all-time personal favorite at Booksellers, and her latest skillfully rendered tale explores the razor-thin edge between sanity and madness in true Tana French subtlety.
In Broken Harbour, a ghost estate outside Dublin – half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned – two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Scorcher Kennedy is given the case because he is the Murder Squad’s star detective. At first he and his rookie partner, Richie, think this is a simple one: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once.
Scorcher’s personal life is tugging for his attention. Seeing the case on the news has sent his sister Dina off the rails again, and she’s resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family, one summer at Broken Harbour, back when they were children. The neat compartments of his life are breaking down, and the sudden tangle of work and family is putting both at risk .
Donald A. Westlake (writing as Richard Stark) reissues by Hard Case publishing
It doesn’t get more hardboiled than this,baby.Donald Edwin Westlake had over a hundred novels and non-fiction books to his credit. He specialized in crime fiction, especially comic capers with an occasional foray into science fiction. He was a three-time Edgar Award winner, one of only two writers (the other is Joe Gores) to win Edgars in three different categories (1968, Best Novel, God Save the Mark; 1990, Best Short Story, “Too Many Crooks”; 1991, Best Motion Picture Screenplay, The Grifters). In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America named Westlake a Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by the society. He was also an occasional contributor to science fiction fanzines such as Xero.