Friday, June 29, 2007

More summer crime reads

Marcel Berlins of the London Times suggested a number of crime titles for the summer, starting with:

THE OPENING SENTENCE is hard to beat: “On the same day Umberto Anastasia was killed in New York, a hippopotamus escaped from the zoo in Havana.”

The crucial link between the two events – the first of them real – is the basis of the Cuban-born Mayra Montero’s exuberant Dancing to Almendra (translated by Edith Grossman, Picador, £14.99/offer £13.49), an elegant story of crime and passion set mainly in 1957 Havana, when the city was the glamorous playground of movie stars and elite gangsters.

The narrators, Joaquin, an ambitious young journalist who stumbles on the connection between the hippo and the Mafia, and Yolande, his reminiscing one-armed lover, paint a vivid portrait of a louche, exciting underworld that was soon to disappear.

Read about the other recommended titles.

Need more suggestions? See what the usual suspects at The Rap Sheet suggest.

--Marshal Zeringue