Monday, June 11, 2012

Listener reviews: Symon, James, Kallentoft and more

At a time when many newspapers and magazines are unfortunately (and in my opinion, short-sightedly) cutting back on their arts and books coverage - filling their pages with guff instead - it is great to see some publications continuing to step forward, set the bar higher, and include great articles and reviews about books of all kinds. Last year, the New Zealand Listener (our preeminent current affairs magazine), which has had a great Arts & Books section for as long as I can remember, added a monthly crime and thriller fiction review round-up. The magazine has also included large features on crime writers amongst its wider books and literature coverage, including some written by myself.

But back to the reviews: each month Bernard Carpinter, one of my fellow Ngaio Marsh Award judges, casts his critical eye over a handful of the latest crime and thriller titles. His latest reviews, published on 26 May (and now available to read in full online) include the latest books from New Zealand's own Vanda Symon, along with international authors Peter James, Mons Kallentoft, James Runcie and Nora Roberts.

Carpinter says of THE FACELESS, Symon's first standalone thriller, "More serious and ambitious than the Shephard books, and better written, this is a real step forward for Symon". Carpinter is also impressed by SUMMERTIME DEATH by Mons Kallentoft - a "complex and excellent novel" - while seeming to have more mixed feelings about the other books he reviews this month. You can read his latest reviews in full at the New Zealand Listener website here, and his early reviews as part of his regular monthly round-up here.

It's great to see crime fiction being covered by the 'big' newspapers and magazines in New Zealand - well, some of them, at least - and to see New Zealand crime writers also getting big raps from local reviewers, who have in the past (and I include myself here) tended to be much harder on and more critical of our own writers than those from overseas, for whatever reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Craig - So good to hear that The Listener is keeping focus not just on crime fiction but on books in general. So reassuring :-).