Books to Look For: Crime Fiction for 2014

January sure does have a LOT of Wednesdays, so I thought I'd add a fourth "Books to Look For" post this month about something completely different...

I'm planning on breaking into the crime fiction genre (and yes, that pun was very much intended) in the next couple of months, during which time I'll read the "classic" crime novels (such as those by Hammett, Chandler, Christie, etc.) and more contemporary ones. I have already read a few Christie novels, but she was so darn prolific, and I just have to read more of her stuff (rest assured, though, I have already read Murder on the Orient Express. Whew!)

For this post, though, I poked around the upcoming-releases listing for some shiny-sparkling-new crime novels to check out. So without further ado, I give you: by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco, 496 pages, January 21)

Yes, you read that right: Joyce. Carol. Oates. Rockin' it, as usual. Carthage, like many novels these days, considers what it means to be an Iraq War veteran trying to assimilate back into his/her community after witnessing so much violence and bloodshed. But that's only part of it. At the heart of the story is a missing (and disaffected) girl, and the veteran is a suspect in her disappearance. Sounds like a must-read to me. 
Frog Music: A Novel by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown and Company, 416 pages, April 1)

A novel based on an unsolved murder in 1876 San Francisco? Involving bohemians, French burlesque dancers, and frogs?? Yes, please! I mean, a young woman shot through the window of a railroad saloon, and only her friend (the dancer) to care enough to find the murderer and bring him to justice- that, my friends, sounds like one gooooood story. Son: A Novel by Jo Nesbo (Knopf, 336 pages, May 13)

The internationally best-selling author Jo Nesbo gives us, not another Harry Hole novel, but one about Oslo's hierarchy of corruption and one man's dangerous attempt to find out why he's been jailed for crimes he didn't commit and what all this has to do with his corrupt-cop dad. At under 400 pages and with a plot like that, this book will probably be one of those you read in one sitting. Just saying.

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