Friday, August 08, 2008

China 1991, two years after the Tiananmen Square massacre and Detective Wang Anzhuang ,of the Beijing police force, is called into investigate the murder of a young triad member, a blue lantern. Wang apparently solves the case but his next assignment is not so easy. Wang is then reassigned to an ongoing investigation into the robbery of ancient artifacts from an archeological dig. However Wang uncovers more than he bargained for. Corruption in high places. Corruption in the police force. Collusion with the triad gangs. Wang also has to endure a struggle session where he is denounced as being soft during the events surrounding Tiananmen Square. All in all a classic piece of detective fiction.

Imagine, if you can, a swarm of demented haiku and you have the ingredients of Novels in Three Lines by Felix Feneon. Written by Feneon in 1906 when he was writing for the Le Matin newspaper, Novels in Three Lines tell of new worthy incidents from Paris, provincial France and the French Colonies. As the title suggests a news article would be condensed into a sentence or two. Strikes, births, marriages, murders would all fall under Feneon’s perceptive gaze.

Monty Brogan is a small time crook who has just been convicted of selling drugs. 25th Hour is the story of his last day of freedom before serving a seven year prison sentence. The novel is full of suspense and intrigue. Will Monty go to prison or will he go on the run. The novel also examines the effect Monty imprisonment will have on those around him, the women he loves, his friends, his father. All told in chilling details. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.


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