Brian R. Martin

Top Reviewer Ranking: 448
Helpful votes received on reviews: 86% (1,181 of 1,371)
Location: London, UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 448 - Total Helpful Votes: 1181 of 1371
The Dinner Club by Saskia Noort
The Dinner Club by Saskia Noort
In my continuing quest for good European thrillers in translation, I turned to Holland and this book, although frankly I wish I hadn't. It's the story of a small group of rich couples that live in a village outside Amsterdam. The wives spend most of their day drinking coffee in expensive cafés, playing tennis, shopping for expensive clothes and gossiping about each other, the full yuppie menu in fact. Into this claustrophobic atmosphere comes Karen, a self-employed graphic designer, who has moved to the country with her husband and two young daughters. At first she finds it difficult to makes friends, but later forms a `dinner club' with the families of four of the other… Read more
Brother Kemal (Pi Kemal Kayankaya 5) by Jakob Arjouni
A book about a Turkish-German private investigator was not an obvious first choice to expand my reading into modern European crime fiction, but in no way do I regret my choice. The central character is Jakob Arjouni, a private investigator working in Frankfurt. He is intelligent, with a sardonic demeanor, and is no respecter of rank or wealth. Unusually for a fictional detective/investigator he has a happy home life as the partner of a former prostitute, but now the owner of a successful restaurant.

The book starts with a request by a distraught socialite mother to find her teenage daughter who the mother believes has run away to be with her lover, allegedly a photographer, but… Read more
Silence by Jan Costin Wagner
Silence by Jan Costin Wagner
This book has an unconventional background. It is set in Finland by its Finnish author, and features the Finnish detective Kimmo Joentaa, but it was originally written in German and then translated into English, which has been well done.

The plot starts with the reported disappearance of 14 year-old girl called Sinikka, and the discovery of her bicycle together with blood stains on a track near her house. Disturbing as this is, it is made more so by the fact the bicycle was found very close to the spot where 33 years earlier another girl, Pia Lehtinen, of a similar age disappeared, also leaving a bicycle. Some months later she had been found in a nearby lake; she had been raped… Read more