Crime Fiction Where You Least Expect It
Travel Blog • Julia Ross • 01.03.08 | 11:00 AM ET
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to break out of an entrenched non-fiction habit—memoirs and travel narratives are stacked 15-high beside my bed right now—and read more novels that convey a sense of place or culture. I’ve previously enjoyed crime fiction set in foreign countries, including John Burdett’s Bangkok 8 and Qiu Xiaolong’s Death of A Red Heroine, but had no idea the genre had expanded so much, and not only among those writing in English.
In an essay for the Barnes & Noble Review, Sarah Weinman looks at the explosion of international crime novels based in places as unlikely as Laos, Gaza and North Korea, and commends crime writers for exploring “contemporary sociopolitical concerns that American counterparts either ignore or don’t know about.” Italian authors, in particular, have gained a reputation for exposing home-grown corruption through their characters, she says.
Maybe I’m late to the party on this, but it seems there’s a whole lot to discover here. So, crime fiction fans, any other recommendations to lure me from the land of Pico Iyer and Paul Theroux?