It’s that time of the year when fall begins to transition from crisp to biting, and all I want to do is curl up with a warm drink and book. Inevitably the chill in the air and shortened days lead me to fantasies of anywhere but in Seattle, and stories other than my own. To help us all prepare for the sudden urge to read thrilling tales set in far off lands, our editors have compiled a list of some of their recommendations for great international crime fiction.
Old Gold, Birmingham England: Can’t get enough of the Netflix hit crime drama “Peaky Blinders”? Old Gold puts you in the exact same world of British organized crime, only 100 years later. For all of us who love gritty and suspenseful British PIs.
The Fifth Knight, Medieval England: To escape a lifetime of poverty, mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to one final, lucrative job: help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Changing place and time is such satisfying escapism, and this book nails it!
The Adversary, Amsterdam: Former DOJ cybercrimes prosecutor Chris Bruen walks into a dark apartment in Amsterdam and discovers the hacker he has been hunting, Black Vector, is dead. Framed for the murder and transporting terrifying computer virus, Bruen must stay ahead of the FBI and CIA in a race across Europe.
Faceless Killers, Sweden: It was a senselessly violent crime: on a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse an elderly farmer is bludgeoned to death, and his wife is left to die with a noose around her neck. Ystad police Inspector Kurt Wallander must discover the truth before the mysterious crime acts as the match that could inflame Sweden’s already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments.
Circle of Bones, the Caribbean: Sex, adventure, sun, archeology, shipwrecks, mystery, and intrigue? If you really want to escape the monotony of the season, check out this breathless nautical thriller that spans decades to imagine a fascinating answer to the real-life mystery of the vanished French sub Surcouf.
Pago Pago Tango, American Samoa: There is something claustrophobic about crimes on remote small i islands. No one is a stranger and secrets are widely known, but never discussed. Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua finds himself in a tangled trail between cultures, dead bodies, hidden codes, and a string of lies on his hunt for the ugly truth behind a series of crimes buried at the heart of paradise.
Rain Girl, Germany: Veteran homicide detective Franza Oberwieser prefers her job in the winter. Summer is for growing, not for dying. So when the body of a beautiful young woman is found on the autobahn, dressed in a glittering party dress and bathed in June rain, Franza is determined to give her justice.
The Scribe, Medieval Spain: A fugitive in the wilderness, beautiful young Theresa is forced to rely on her bravery, her uncommon education, and the compassion of strangers. When she encounters Alcuin of York, a wise and influential monk with close ties to Charlemagne, she sets off on an adventure that will change her life – and history.
Central and South America:
Blood Makes Noise, Argentina: Sixteen years afterCIA agent Michael Suslov’s failed mission to transport the corpse of Eva Peron to a new hiding place in the wake of her husband's fall from power, the Argentine military needs his help to bring her remains back home. Heart-pounding and thought provoking, this mix of history and fiction helped us cope with our Seattle Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Ready To Kill, Nicaragua: When a mysterious note referencing a top-secret US operation is tossed over the wall of the embassy in Nicaragua, Nathan comes out of retirement to face down his own demons of his past lurking in the jungle, and to square off with a ruthless killer who learned from the best: Nathan himself.
Because We Are, Haiti: Set in the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake and following ten-year-old orphan Libète and Jak as they seek justice in an unjust world. When a local woman and child are found dead and no one seems to care, they find themselves plunged into a dangerous, far-reaching plot that will change life irrevocably and threaten everything they holds dear.
Dove Season, Mexico Borderlands: Drinking a lot and hanging around in the desert, what could possibly go wrong? Apparently a lot of things, but just to get you started: dead bodies, bar fights, tussles with Mexican organized crime, and fart jokes. If you are looking for the hilarious ride of your life to distract you from your turkey-induced food-coma, this one will keep you awake!