Monday, December 21, 2020

Five top novels that make effective use of place and locale

Russ Thomas's debut novel is Firewatching. He grew up in the 80s reading anything he could get his hands on, writing stories, watching television, and playing videogames: in short, anything that avoided the Great Outdoors. After a few ‘proper’ jobs, he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. Now a full-time writer, he also teaches creative writing classes and mentors new authors.

At the Waterstones blog, Thomas tagged "five great novels that make brilliantly effective use of place and locale," including:
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith is another thriller about a man determined to do the right thing even at the cost of his own career, and potentially his life as well. When war hero and secret police officer, Leo Demidov discovers there might be a serial killer on the loose, he’s determined to bring them to justice. The only problem is Stalin’s Soviet Union, a place where crime does not officially exist but is seen as a symptom of the decadent Capitalist West. Forced to investigate in secret, Leo finds himself risking, not only his own life, but that of his family as well, as he’s caught between a ruthless pathological killer and a state determined to stop him from uncovering the truth.
Read about another entry on the list.

Child 44 is among Jeff Somers's top eight bizarre literary serial killers, B&N Reads' twenty top book-to-film adaptations of 2015, Julian Ovenden's six best books, J. Kingston Pierce's top eight former Soviet Union-set crime and thriller novels and Rebecca Armstrong's ten best thrillers.

The Page 69 Test: Child 44.

--Marshal Zeringue