Tuesday, August 28, 2018

WITMonth Day 28 | 10 Recommended Thrillers/Mysteries

One of the most popular genres across the world is undeniably thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels. Ranging from cozily whimsical to terrifyingly cold-blooded, these genres have become increasingly prevalent in recent years within the literature in translation niche, boosted in large part by an uptick in Scandinavian crime literature in particular. These are also genres that have long been well represented by women writers from all over the world, writing in many different languages!

  1. Out - Natsuo Kirino (tr. from Japanese by Stephen Snyder): A crime sets in motion a psychological thriller set in the lower-middle classes on the outskirts of Japanese society.
  2. Fever Dream - Samanta Schweblin (tr. from Spanish by Megan McDowell): Not a thriller in the most traditional meaning of the word, but a pulsing, eerily suspenseful novella.
  3. The Good Son - You-jeong Jeong (tr. from Korean Chi-Young Kim): This psychological thriller seeks to understand the mind of a killer, from his point of view.
  4. Last Rituals - Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (tr. from Icelandic by Bernard Scudder): When a young man is brutally murdered, a lawyer sets out to investigate, finding herself involved in a world of historical intrigues and dangerous rituals.
  5. Blind Goddess - Anne Holt (tr. from Norwegian by Tom Geddes): A tale of violence, crime, and corruption, led by a lesbian detective trying to uncover the truth.
  6. Thursday Night Widows - Claudia Piñeiro (tr. from Spanish by Miranda France): Three women in an affluent upper-middle class community find themselves widowed, following the murder of their respective husbands.
  7. The Lady Agnès Mystery - Andrea H. Japp (tr. from French by Lorenza García): A historical mystery set in Medieval France, full of intrigue and religious danger.
  8. In the Distance With You - Carla Guelfenbein (tr. from Spanish by John Cullen): A literary thriller centered around Chile's history and a mysterious author.
  9. Confessions - Kanae Minato (tr. from Japanese by Stephen Snyder): After the death of her daughter, a teacher seeks her revenge on those responsible: her students.
  10. Eva's Eye - Karin Fossum (tr. from Norwegian by James Anderson): The "Norwegian Queen of Crime" in a set of two murders and the single mother who gets caught up in the investigation.
You'll perhaps have noticed a few things about this list. First, it's rather high on titles from very specific parts of the world (and much lower from others). Second, it unfortunately doesn't have all that much on the cozy end of the scale. And third, there are, unfortunately, a few cases of dead women here (though I tried to avoid them as much as possible)... However, it's important to remember that with crime fiction going through a major boom right now, women in translation follow. Many prominent women crime writers from Scandinavia have been translated as a result of the increased interest in "Scandi noir", and hopefully many more from the rest of the world will soon follow!

1 comment:

  1. I really like Karin Fossum - as Scandinavian noir goes, she is the least graphic and the only one I can comfortably read! Much more about the psychology of crimes.

    And I have Confessions on my tbr, though like you this isn't my primary genre. Although if you are looking for a cozy mystery in translation, I can highly recommend Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann (trans. from German by Anthea Bell) - in which a flock of sheep try to solve the murder of their shepherd.


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