I’ve been, it feels, locked in a windowless office in the south of the Netherlands for the last four days in meetings with no sunlight. It could have been winter in northern Sweden!
My business trips get in the way of reading and writing. By the time the flip-chart pad has been scribbled on; the whiteboard (can you say that?) drawn-on, photographed and wiped and my fingers are covered in dabs of coloured marker — looks down at shirt to see if he’s ruined another one — and I’ve killed my colleagues with yet another presentation my brain is too exhausted to read.
My preference at this point is to retire to the hotel bar, the restaurant and then my room, switch on the TV to find something easy to watch. I still find crime as choice one! On Monday, I ate dinner with colleagues; Tuesday evening after dinner with a colleague I found ‘Lewis’ and his trusty side-kick solving a crime in the beautiful settings in and around Oxford. On Wednesday evening I found ‘Silent Witness’. One of the UK’s better answers – if not the only one to the US CSI franchise and in fact a forerunner. I don’t, I hesitate to state, raise any comparison between the two. The role the local CSIs play has a very English feel and is a far more relaxed in the build-up and I could say on contradiction more tension built. All of these shows this week in English with Dutch sub-titles on NED-3.
The Book Of the Blog
Why make excuses? Because I am currently reading Meet me in Malmo by Torquil MacLeod. Set in Malmö in Sweden featuring a Scots journalist sent to do a piece on his old university buddy’s life as a now famous ‘Geordie’ Swedish film director. The police element comes from the attractive, blonde, divorced, female inspector who is under pressure to find the murderer of Mick‘s (the director) reluctant star and actress wife. Ewan the Scots ‘hack’ finds her body so gets entangled in the web of intrigue being unwound by Anita. Another dimension to the story comes from her Anita‘s boss, an overweight and overbearing chauvinist ‘copper’ who wants to string-up the first suspect on circumstantial evidence. The plot has developed nicely and we learn about our heroine’s back-story. I am looking forward to an exciting climax as there are only a few other key players in this clever plot.
The question remains as always. “Whodunit”? I hope to finish this excellent novel over the weekend as my relaxation and find out the answers to those inevitable questions in the crime genre; ‘Why, Who did do it,’ and ‘will or won’t they get away with it? Add that to the pleasure of finding out I’ll be adding another to my 2015 book count. The bonus is I won’t have to wait long for the follow-up as I believe a copy of Torquil MacLeod‘s next instalment and Anita’s next case Murder in Malmo is winging its way in hard copy to my letterbox. Unlike some Nordic Noir authors (nameless) whose books in English I have caught up and wait impatiently for the next translation. You know who you are if you ever read this!
“Meet me in Malmo” engaged me in the people and the places; it makes me feel like I am in Malmo and I am starting to sympathise with the main characters and if the journo Ewan will still be part of the next one and more entangled with Anita than the investigation he is caught up in!
As this is my first real blog on what I am reading I suppose a little back story would assist to try to give me some street-cred in your eyes; I am in my 50s I have always aspired to write but never have (or make) the time. I have however read a lot — predominantly crime; a lot of espionage and sci- fi along side general novels. I have some favourite authors – Jo Nesbo; John Le Carre; Henning Mankel; Arne Dahl; Iain Banks; Asimov; Charles Cumming and Edward Wilson. There are others where I’ve read a single book – Graeme Greene’s ‘Our Man in Havana’. In most of the books I have read there is one character that grabs me and I want to know more about them it helps my passion so I like books with characters who ‘star’ in the books Kurt Wallander; Harry Hole; George Smiley; Catesby! So my latest find is Anita Sundström – there are other heroes in the crime genre (homage to a BBC line used in reference to brand naming). I’ll write about them in future blogs if you like this then thank you! If you don’t we are all entitled to our opinion!
Enjoy reading, it has to be one of the last and most inexpensive pastimes that allows me to escape from reality and so far unknown to me anyway no medical expert has said it is detrimental to my health! Until next time.