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Crime fiction does not rest: great crime novels for the beginning of 2022


With their sights set on BCNegra, publishers bring out some of their best weapons. There is a bit of everything and few excuses not to read to death

The first months of the year are one of the best times for the black genre in bookstores. Pushed by the force of an increasingly international and powerful BCNegra, publishers are encouraged to present some of their best assets to attract readers and enter the conversation generated by the Barcelona event. If, in addition, a few good looking Spanish debuts are added (we will have to see later), the incombustible breath of some classics (alive and already deceased, from Don Winslow to Andrea Camilleri) and other strong bets in neighboring genres (espionage and

true crime

, above all) we find a vast menu that quickens the pulse of this reader just thinking about it.

Don Winslow is the proper name for this start of the season. The author of

The Power of the Dog


The Cartel

will receive the Pepe Carvalho Prize in Barcelona in February for a career marked by some of the most powerful novels of the genre in the last two decades. We will have to wait, however, until April to read

City on Fire

(Harper Collins), the beginning of a series about the mafia whose first installment responds to the ambition of the company. Before we will have other big names. In January, Scotsman Charles Cumming closes with

London Connection

(Black Salamander) his Thomas Kell series, the best spy I've read since John Le Carré and Charles McCarry.

She came in through the bathroom window

(Alfaguara) is the new installment of the adventures and misfortunes of El zurdo Mendieta, the series that has placed Elmer Mendoza among the most prominent authors of criminal fiction in Spanish.

They can read it directly or go to the first of the series (previously in Tusquets) and get hooked on this character and the language, pure literary boast, of Mendoza.

If you do not know or have not frequented the narco-literature, this is its author.

Mike Herron (left) and Charles Cumming in 2019 in Barcelona.JUAN BARBOSA (EL PAÍS)

Also great name Javier Cercas, who in March continues with the third installment of his Terra Alta trilogy with

El castillo de Barba Azul

(Tusquets). It is a series that goes beyond the genre, in which current problems are addressed from a story that also enters the western world but, you know, we have always been in favor of an open approach to the crime novel.

Don't let them pass ...

There are authors who are not on the front page of the genre in Spain, but who should not be missed by fans.

Esther García Llovet has shown with


and then with

Gordo de feria

(Anagrama) her ability to speak of dark characters who live on the margins and aspire to little.

Now he embarks on the Trilogy of the Eastern countries whose first installment,

Spanish Beauty

(in Anagrama in a few days), takes us to a Benidorm full of English gangsters, Russian millionaires, crappy basement billiards and half-built skyscrapers.

These ingredients, in the hands of García Llovet, promise.

Esther Garcia Llovet, in Madrid at the beginning of 2021.Olmo Calvo

Alan Parks is making his place with the Harry McCoy novels, which from the first installment (

Bloody January

) give us a good share of tough cop in the Glasgow of the seventies. A complex character and well installed in the dark part of life - baby, he does not disgust drugs and is somewhat corrupt -, well equipped music and plots. The last one,

Bobby March will live forever

(in January in Tusquets) confirms everything said. It will also be in BCNegra.

If you want something classic police, each in its own way, with a good dose of procedural, you have Caz Frear and Cristina Cassar Scalia. The first brings in AdN

Forbidden to cry

, while the second comes from the hand of Duomo with

Black Sand

, an adventure in Catania, with Etna in the background, by the Deputy Commissioner of the Judicial Police, Giovanna Garrasi, known as Vanina. If you don't know this character, this is a great opportunity.

Now, if you want good plots, excellent characters and

cozy crime

stories with literary quality, be sure to visit the series by Canadian police officer Armand Gamache by Louis Penny, from which

A Deadly Offense

(Black Salamander) will arrive in the coming weeks.

There are many, they can start with this without problem or go to

Bury the Dead

(2016) and have a recommended binge of Québec crime.

Personal endeavors

It is not the first time that I speak to you about Arantza Portabales, who writes sober genre novels with good plots, something that may seem little, but it is much seen some nonsense.

He did it in

Red Beauty

and in

The Secret Life of Úrsula Bas

, so we look forward to


in March , in which he also moves to the world of reality TV.

Following this section of personal endeavors, I really liked John McMahon

's Un Police from the South

, a novel set in deep America, so I am looking forward to

The Evil of Good Men


And in this category we could put Alexis Ravelo, who won the 2021 Café Gijón award with

Los names lent.

The novel is edited by Siruela, where the canary already published the excellent

Uncle with a Bag on His Head

(guess what it's about).

From the novels of Eladio Monroy (who is recovering Alrevés) and the rogue literature commanded by the excellent

The strategy of the Pekingese

(Dashiell Hammett Award), Ravelo is one of the great names of the genre in Spanish.

Andrea Camilleri in BCNegra in 2014. GIANLUCA BATTISTA

Two Sicilian classics and one American

Andrea Camilleri's ability to produce has left work to be published in Spanish after her death.

Alcyon's Cook

(Salamander) is the penultimate in the Montalbano series. You know: Mediterranean irony, slow pace, good literature, better food. You can not ask for much more. Of course, you have to wait until March. The consolation: since the inaugural

The Shape of Water

there are many to go into its universe.

And also Mediterranean and Sicilian but with a different tone, Tusquets continues to bring us little by little the work of Leonardo Sciascia, whose centenary was commemorated in 2021.

In this case

, The Day of the Owl


The Context


For some, the first is Sciascia's best novel.

In both, corruption and lies, crude crimes and other elegant ones.


As essential is all the work of James Sallis, one of the greats of the genre.

He wrote not just

Driver, but

all six Lew Griffin novels (come back to them if you want a mix of metaliterature, poetry and crime in darker New Orleans) and now he arrives with

Sarah Jane



In this field that I like to frequent so much, we have two great novelties of very different conditions.

On the one hand, Pierre Lemaitre arrives with his

passionate Dictionary of the crime novel

(Salamandra, in February).

As he himself admits, "there will be some forgetfulness."

I know of more than one who is already looking for it.

On the other hand, we have a notable

true crime



, by Michael Cannel (RBA).

A very powerful story that proves, once again, the success with which Antonio Lozano is selecting this type of works for the Black Series (see if not

The Faceless Assassin

, Shadow Eaters

and others).

Attentive to ...

Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End

(Salamandra, at the end of January) will also be at BCNegra,

one of the novels that was most talked about in 2020 and 2021 in the Anglo-Saxon sphere. Do not get lost because your publisher has not published it in the genre collection: it is good and black on all four sides. Main of the books to publish

The Darkest Night

, by Robert Bryndzna, a book in the style of

The Silence of the Lambs

that is being an international success. Santiago Díaz, who after receiving

The Good Father

, returns with

The Other Girls

(ReservoirBooks). Two


thrillers .

And there are names to populate the genre in Spanish, writers who make their debut, or who reach the first division and that we will see in the next three months. Santiago Álvarez, who already has two novels under his belt, arrives at AdN with


, violence, western and


in the same pack. Virgina Feito opens with all the noise in the world (and television adaptation included) with

Mrs. March

(Lumen). There is terror and also black genre, apparently. It will be necessary to see how far the phenomenon reaches. David Orange with

Romperás la noche con un grito

(Planet), Teresa Cardona (

The two sides

, Siruela), Santiago Vera (

The secret life of Sarah Brooks

, Ediciones B) or Miryam Imedio with

The most remote island in the world

(the first of several forays that RBA's Black Series is going to make in the genre in Spanish in the coming months) complete this beginning of 2022, once again well populated with readings for all kinds of lovers of the genre.

There are no excuses.

Buy, read, enjoy.

Live le noir!

Source: elparis

All life articles on 2022-01-11

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