Archive for the ‘Crime Fiction’ Category

You Review: The Lie – Hesh Kestin

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Reviewed by Barbara Povel

The Lie is a modern day story set in the Middle East, in Israel and Palestine. We all hear about it in the news, the conflicts, the tragedies, and the crimes against humanity from both sides.

It’s written by Hesh Kestin, an Israeli correspondent who is also a veteran of the Israeli army.  Knowing that in advance, I wondered which path he was going to take in telling his story… and was pleasantly surprised! The main caracter is a female Israeli defence attorney for Palestinians who are accused of terrorist activities. She is known to be against torture as a way of interrogation, but is asked by the government to decide when torture could be used as a legitimate method. When her own son is kidnapped by Hezbollah, one Palestinian man might have the information needed to find him back. He happens to be an old colleague of hers, and a longtime friend of the family; their mothers are very close. Will she stand by her beliefs, or is torture admissible if it could save her son’s life?

The book is a bit like a movie: going from one location to the other and back and I just couldn’t put it away until I knew what had happened. It’s not just a thriller, it’s also a story about people and humanity and the roles women play.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

There is no ebook available (yet) for The Lie, but there is an ebook available of an earlier book by Kestin: The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats.

You Review: The Intern’s Handbook (Kill Your Boss) – Shane Kuhn

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Reviewed by Natalie Gerritsen

Human Resources, Inc. is an elite hitmen agency which poses as a placement agency for office interns. The assassins trained by Human Resources, Inc. are almost without exception orphans, ‘raised’ by the agency to become ruthless killers. Their targets are corrupt businessmen, so getting an internship is the perfect opportunity to get close to a victim. The downside to this approach is the fact that the hitmen have to retire when they are twenty-five, because no one would believe an older intern.

John Lago is one of these hitmen about to retire. He is the star of the agency and is about to start his final assignment. He describes this assignment in ‘The Intern’s Handbook’, meant to help the new interns/assassins. But he doesn’t know this last job is going to be a lot harder than it looks, especially when a beautiful woman shows up to complicate things.

Kill Your Boss (a.k.a. The Intern’s Handbook) by Shane Kuhn is just the best kind of pulp: funny, dark, sometimes vulgar and full of action. John Lago is the kind of messed-up hero I love: skilled in all types of combat, weaponry and espionage, but with a damaged heart, which could just turn out to be a heart of gold.

This is a book you will read in one or two sittings and it will entertain you all the way through. Six months from now, you probably won’t remember too much about it; it just isn’t that kind of ‘impressive’ literature, but then again, it doesn’t pretend to be. If you’re in the mood for some straight-up entertaining action, pick up this book and just enjoy yourself for a few hours.

Blogmistress’s note:  The Intern’s Handbook is the US title of the book; Kill Your Boss is the UK title.  Because why have the same title across the globe in this internet age, right?  ;-)

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Ebook available of Kill Your Boss.

This Just In: Mysteries & Thrillers

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Six Recently-Arrived Titles from the Mysteries & Thrillers Section:

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check!

EBooks available for The Cuckoo’s Calling, Winter of the World, Salvation of a Saint, and The King’s Deception.


You Review: The Geneva Option by Adam LeBor

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Reviewed by Mark McDaid

Adam LeBor is a journalist and author of mainly non-fiction, The Geneva Option being his second foray into the world following his first novel, The Budapest Protocol, displaying a growing penchant for grounding his titles in attractive European cities.

His non-fiction has won him many accolades, tackling controversial subjects: Hitler’s Secret Bankers, exposing Swiss complicity with the Third Reich, and Complicity with Evil: the United Nations in the Age of Modern Genocide which takes a strong moral stance against the UN’s failure to intervene in various incidences of genocide. The Geneva Option feels like a fictional extension of the latter.

His novel follows Yael Azoulay, an attractive young woman orchestrating the seedier business of the UN, brokering deals with warlords in the world’s most dangerous war zones. However, after a leaked document leads to her being ceremoniously ejected, she finds herself catapulted into a world of greed and corruption whose filthy trails lead all the way to the highest echelons of power.

Her story is plotted alongside that of Sami, another attractive, albeit scruffy, young UN correspondent for the New York Times, whose investigative journalism helps Yael (and the reader) tie the threads of plot together, as well as offering a handy romantic interest.

The novel is enjoyable in the way a thriller should be: it’s fast-paced, full of intrigue, abuse of power, greed and cinematic twists as we are safely led through by our moralistic protagonists. Descriptions are sparse, saved for scene-setting, but this is plot-driven and the plot is good, if a little heavy on the good guy-bad guy dialectic.

For me, though, it’s all a little too Hollywood, smelling suspiciously like Ludlum’s Bourne trilogy, a fact which LeBor himself seems to acknowledge in one ‘wink-wink-nudge-nudge’ moment. The Geneva Option is set to be the first in a trilogy of novels focusing on Yael Azoulay, and perhaps a second chance at developing her character may reveal something a little more interesting.

However, with a June release, it wouldn’t be a bad novel to pick up and settle into your deck chair by the seaside with, letting your mind race gently as you work on your stock of vitamin D.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Spotlight on… Classic Crime and Merchandise

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Since both ABC stores are so full of nooks and crannies, and each and every one of us on the floor buys books for at least one section, we are planning to show you some of what we consider our treasures here more often. We know how easy it can become to head straight to your favorite section, and we want to show you there is so much more to be found!  Jouke gave us a head-start with his Cozy Mysteries Corner, and now Jilles and Renate, our Fiction buyers at Amsterdam (when they’re not reading on the job), have taken up the gauntlet…

Get your classic Penguin summer bag and make all your book loving friends jealous! Have a great summer (because it *will* be summer this year, we can feel it in our bones)!

June will be ‘de maand van het spannende boek‘ (the month of the thrilling book) in the Netherlands. We in the fiction department are making ourselves ready for some literary blood and guts with both these three gorgeous hardcovers for everybody who wants to know about Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Watson, and these classic noirs that have been reissued in beautiful editions. If your relationship is boring you, get your tension and excitement here… Happy reading!

Shown in the bottom picture are: The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett, American Noir: 11 Classic Crime Novels of the 1930s, 40s & 50s – edited by Robert Polito, Blood on the Mink – Robert Silverberg, Double Indemnity – James M. Cain, The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler, and David Goodis, Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s – David Goodis.