CBTB’s Weekend Checklist - 9/22/18
Happy weekend, readers! It’s been a little while since I did a Weekend Checklist - so I’m rectifying that today! In this post, you’ll find all the crime fiction entertainment I’m recommending - and loving myself! - this weekend. Without further ado, let’s dive right in. Happy reading!
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THE SANDMAN by Lars Kepler
I’m not sure exactly why, but I’m majorly in the mood for Nordic Noir this weekend. (Okay, I’m always in the mood for Nordic Noir, so this isn’t that surprising… but I’m particularly in the mood for it at the moment!) If I could, I would read THE SANDMAN again for the first time - it’s that good. This dark Scandinavian crime novel reads like a cross between your favorite work of Nordic Noir and a twisted, binge-worthy serial killer. It might be a lengthy book, but Kepler’s writing begs to be devoured in one sitting. Unlike your standard Nordic Noir, which tends to be a bit more slow-burning and brooding, Kepler writes with mile-a-minute intensity; once you start reading THE SANDMAN, you won’t want to stop until the very last page. THE SANDMAN is technically Book 4 in Kepler’s internationally-bestselling series, but this edition is the perfect place to begin with Kepler’s work. Then you can go back to the beginning with THE HYPNOTIST, which just released in a brand-new edition that’s re-translated and re-edited (aka it’s worth it to get this new edition, rather than the older one).
Late one night, outside Stockholm, Mikael Kohler-Frost is found wandering. Thirteen years earlier, he went missing along with his younger sister. They were long thought to have been victims of Sweden's most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Now Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and being held by someone he knows only as the Sandman. Years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna made an excruciating personal sacrifice to ensure Jurek's capture. He is keenly aware of what this killer is capable of, and now he is certain that Jurek has an accomplice. He knows that any chance of rescuing Mikael's sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and that the only agent capable of this is Inspector Saga Bauer, a twenty-seven-year-old prodigy. She will have to go under deep cover in the psychiatric ward where Jurek is imprisoned, and she will have to find a way to get to the psychopath before it's too late--and before he gets inside her head.
If you follow Crime by the Book on Instagram, you are likely to have spotted a mention or two of this stellar true crime podcast over the last couple of weeks - but it’s so good, it’s worth mentioning here. In this disturbing mini-series, a journalist explores the gripping (and utterly horrifying) story of a surgeon in Texas whose negligence - and possible intent to harm - left over 30 patients either irreversibly injured or dead. This is a genuinely disturbing podcast, and it’s also impossible to stop listening to. As you hear reports of the injuries this doctor’s patients sustained at his hands, you almost won’t be able to believe what you’re listening to… but the most disturbing part is, it’s all true.
Learn more about Dr. Death here.
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK
Based on the novel by Joan Lindsay
I recently watched the first episode of Picnic at Hanging Rock, an Amazon Prime original series based on the classic Australian novel. Picnic at Hanging Rock takes place in 1900, and follows a group of female students at an Australian all-girls boarding school. One day, while out on an excursion to Hanging Rock for a picnic, three girls from the school vanish. The story examines the fallout of this disappearance on the school and the community, all while trying to figure out what really happened to the missing girls. I was particularly excited to watch this show because one of my favorite authors, Riley Sager, mentioned that Picnic at Hanging Rock was a source of inspiration for his latest novel, THE LAST TIME I LIED. I’ve only just started the show, but I’m really enjoying its atmosphere so far - I can’t wait to see where it goes! Plus, it stars Natalie Dormer, which is a huge plus!
THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jonasson
On Sale October 16, 2018
Okay, so it’s still a little bit of a wait until the launch of Ragnar Jonasson’s new series in the US… but I loved this book so much, it’s worth a reminder. THE DARKNESS will be an instant-hit for readers who love classic detective fiction. Slow-burning and richly atmospheric, this mystery is the perfect choice for a cozy fall weekend. Readers will love the protagonist of Jonasson’s new series, too - Hulda Hermannsdottir, the female police officer who drives this story forward, is an absolute breath of fresh air. Add in the gorgeous atmosphere of both Reykjavik and the Icelandic wilds, and you’ve got a total winner. THE DARKNESS is an old-fashioned mystery that the modern reader will absolutely love.
The body of a young Russian woman washes up on an Icelandic shore. After a cursory investigation, the death is declared a suicide and the case is quietly closed.
Over a year later Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavík police is forced into early retirement at 64. She dreads the loneliness, and the memories of her dark past that threaten to come back to haunt her. But before she leaves she is given two weeks to solve a single cold case of her choice. She knows which one: the Russian woman whose hope for asylum ended on the dark, cold shore of an unfamiliar country. Soon Hulda discovers that another young woman vanished at the same time, and that no one is telling her the whole story. Even her colleagues in the police seem determined to put the brakes on her investigation. Meanwhile the clock is ticking.
Hulda will find the killer, even if it means putting her own life in danger.
STRAND BOOKSTORE / NEW YORK, NY
The Strand is New York’s most iconic bookstore. Established in 1927, the Strand houses 18 miles (!!) of books, both new and used! Though the Strand isn’t just a mystery bookstore, it has a fantastic selection of crime fiction; some of my favorite unique editions of crime novels (Jo Nesbo, in particular!) have come from this bookstore. The Strand also has an incredible lineup of author events. Remember when I interviewed Karin Slaughter for her new book, PIECES OF HER? That was at the Strand! They have basically one author event at minimum each day - you can check out their calendar of events online here. If you are ever in the city, the Strand is absolutely worth a visit!
Learn more about Strand Bookstore here.