Last month we introduced you to the Fiction buyers. This month, because it’s the ‘Maand van het Spannende Boek’ in The Netherlands, it’s all about mysteries, thrillers and crime… Meet Pleun and PeterL, Crime Fiction buyers at ABC Amsterdam, and Jouke, Mysteries & Thrillers buyer at ABC The Hague.
Should the section be called Crime Fiction or Mysteries & Thrillers? Or something else?
Pleun: There is always some kind of crime in the books so Crime Fiction it is for me.
PeterL: I prefer Crime Fiction. I like the sound of that.
Jouke: There is probably no “one label to rule them all”. The section covers a variety of genres: from spy fiction to whodunnits to action/adventures to forensic investigations and more. When pointing the section out to customers, I usually refer to it as the Mysteries & Thrillers section.
How long have you been the section’s buyer?
Pleun: Since 2006. Darn, that’s a long time!
PeterL: I’m not sure but I think since 2010.
Jouke: Since 2011.
Which author or series of books should have a bigger audience, and why?
Pleun: I love Michael Robotham, especially his early work. He is a master in psychological crime writing. I also love the early books by Minette Walters. Such a shame she she hasn’t written a book in such a long time. She gets under the skin of her characters better then anyone I know.
PeterL: Personally I like the David Loogan series by Harry Dolan. There are only three volumes in the series until now. It’s well written, a good read. Something else I really appreciated was The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns, his latest release. I liked it so much that I orderded The Church of Dead Girls by him with our supplier of second-hand books, because a lot of his books are unfortunately no longer in print. For what it’s worth, both of these authors are recommended by Stephen King.
Jouke: Michael Connelly. What I especially like about his books are the police procedural (Harry Bosch series) and legal procedural (Micky Haller series) elements. And the plot twists.
What makes buying for this section interesting/fun?
Pleun: I am a fan of the genre, but after so many years I don’t read everything anymore. I used to read every book that the publishers sent to me, but now I am picky. Once in a blue moon you find a jewel – ahhh, how wonderful that is! To find something truly original is difficult. It may happen once or twice a year.
PeterL: It is my favorite genre. I am not sure what this says about me but I love to read about the perfect crime.
Jouke: It is a big section, which gives room to experiment with lesser-known authors and also with subsections. In our The Hague store, we permanently have a Historical Suspense subsection. I’m thinking about building a subsection of foreign language thrillers. That could be a home for the myriad of Scandinavian thriller authors, as well as some Italian, Japanese, German and French authors that have been translated into English.
What has been the best-selling title of 2014 so far?
Pleun: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is still going strong. What an amazing writer!
PeterL: Inferno by Dan Brown, altough the paperback edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) is also selling really well, not to mention Elizabeth George’s paperback Just One Evil Act.
Jouke: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which is one of ABC’s Favorites. It is also being made into a movie, to be released this year, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. An Officer and a Spy, by Robert Harris, was a De Wereld Draait Door book-of-the-month, which helped sell quite a lot of copies. Dan Brown’s Inferno has just been released in paperback and is picking up speed, as expected. The latest book from a big author, like Lee Child, is always a bestseller.
Please name some highly anticipated summer releases.
Pleun: A new Gillian Flynn would be nice, and a new S. J. Watson would be great, too! But those will take a while. As for the rest… they’ll come when they come. Oh, I do have one exception and that’s Mr. Stephen King’s newest, Mr. Mercedes.
PeterL: I am curious about The Spring of Kasper Meier by Ben Fergusson and looking forward to The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.
Jouke: Robert Galbraith’s second instalment of the Cormoran Strike series, The Silkworm, the final part of Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, Edge of Eternity, and Michael Connelly’s The Burning Room.
There are ebooks available for Michael Robotham, Minette Walters, David Loogan #1, Harry Bosch #1, Mickey Haller #1, Inferno, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Just One Evil Act, Gone Girl, An Officer and a Spy, S. J. Watson and Mr. Mercedes.