Top-100 Thrillers

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Are you tired of all the blood and gore? Are you exhausted by the break-neck speed of today's thrillers?  Then you may be ready for something entirely different.

In this section I have compiled unusual murder mysteries - such as the books of Arthur W. Upfield, featuring the half-aborigine half-white detective Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte. He is a smooth and charming fellow, investigating mysterious murder cases in the Australian outback with his combination of bushmaster skills and brilliant intelligence. Upfield wrote these novels in the late 1940s and early 1950s - but just because they are half a century old they are no less enthralling. Their strength is attention to detail and the authentic Australian background. As the author slowly, and sometimes even languidly, develops his plots the reader begins to feel the strange foreign atmosphere of a very different world.

Crime fiction detectives are usually smart, athletic, good looking and bold. So maybe for a change you may want to read about someone who is like the rest of us: Quite a bit overweight, closer to 50 than 40, depressed with his life, sexually frustrated, pissed-off with today's politics, and overworked. Meet the Swedish inspector Kurt Wallander. What he lacks in brilliant intuition he more than compensates with his stubborn methodical mind. Wallander is not one of those arrogant pricks that seem to know everything in advance. He rather prefers to discuss his cases with his colleagues and more often than not must be dragged into the right direction.

Kurt Wallander was created by Henning Mankell. Born 1948 in Stockholm and raised in a small village of Northern Sweden, Mankell has spent much of his life in Maputo, Mozambique, where he is director of the Teatro Avenida. With his European-African background Mankell has a relentless grasp of the social and ethnic brutalities of our time. Make no mistake! Mankell's stories may be located in the seemingly peaceful Skane district of Southern Sweden, but there is nothing provincial or sleepy about the plots. They are about ruthless serial killers, psychopaths, racist fanatics and international terrorists. Under Northern Light you will find some of the most outrageous crime scenes.

Russian crime fiction is mostly unknown in the West. Have you ever heard of Alexandra Marinina who may have sold almost as many books as Agatha Christie? Unfortunately, very few Russian crime fiction writers have been translated into English. One of the few is contemporary author Boris Akunin (a pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who perhaps used it as a reminiscence to Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, the well known Russian anarchist).

Akunin's hero is the good-looking Erast Fandorin - a mixture of Sherlock Holmes, Maigret, Hercule Poirot and James Bond, but with a mysterious Russian soul. He investigates in Czarist Russia, surrounded by decadent aristocrats, violent assassins, revolutionary anarchists, and glamorous ladies.



Copyright 2012 by Claudia Heilig-Staindl. All Rights Reserved.