They Know Not What They Do by Jussi Valtonen

They Know Not What They Do by Jussi Valtonen
Ruth Morse

This is a remarkably long book, which isn’t surprising given that it is about life in more than one country, only one of which is Finland. It opens with the usual kind of scientist who is only interested in sex and science, lumbering through a series of scenes in which Joe, the Jewish protagonist, behaves with complete boorishness. It’s a bit like Ursula K. Leguin, illustrating first the wife’s point of view and then allowing the uncomprehending husband a few moments of what is absolutely not ‘helping’ with the household, their baby son, or the wife’s vulnerability. What he gets right at this point is the tremendous egotism of the ambitious scientist, whose research absorbs him utterly, to the detriment of everything else.

To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime

To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime
Maxim Jakubowski

One of the most diverse months in memory as we enter a new year, with no book similar to any other. Ranging from a potent slice of dark Americana, a fascinating look into the paperback jungles of the past, French thrills and racial politics, a version of San Francisco far removed from what tourists expect, a clever and involving nod to Hitchcock, the return of an old-time favourite at the top of his game, a decidedly experimental crime investigation that comes right out of the blue, a possible successor to James Bond with a techno edge and a change of gender, a bleak dystopian future and a corruscating look into the London power scene through a legal lens, all these titles stand out for their originality and sheer readability in spite of their differing approaches, techniques, locales and plots.

The Child Finder By Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder By Rene Denfeld
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times

The ingredients of many an excellent crime novel have been conjured solely from a writer’s vivid imagination, but Rene Denfeld — while clearly not lacking keen imaginative facilities — has drawn on elements of her own life for the highly persuasive The Child Finder. The theme in the author’s second novel is the tricky one of child abuse — a subject that was problematic for the crime genre until fairly recently but is now a staple of the genre.

The Execution of Justice by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (translated by John E Woods)

The Execution of Justice by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (translated by John E Woods)
Russell James

The always interesting Pushkin Press have reissued four Dürrenmatt crime classics (in suitably grainy dramatic covers) to pique the interest of those to whom his is a familiar name and to draw in any crime fan who wants to vary their diet with an unexpected Chef’s Surprise. It’s not that Dürrenmatt always took the road less chosen, more that he carved out an entirely different and perverse path through the literary undergrowth.

New Blu-rays from Powerhouse/Indicator, Arrow, Sony, Eureka

New Blu-rays from Powerhouse/Indicator, Arrow, Sony, Eureka
Barry Forshaw

WIND RIVER, Taylor Sheridan, director/Sony Taylor Sheridan’s film has been steadily acquiring something of a reputation for its effortless command of the material – not to mention its vivid sense of place. A gripping crime thriller set in the unforgiving snow plains of Wyoming. Elizabeth Olsen stars as a rookie FBI agent tasked with solving the brutal murder of a young woman in a Native American reserve. Enlisting the help of a local hunter (Jeremy Renner) to help her navigate the freezing wilderness, the two set about trying to find a vicious killer hidden in plain sight

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