Some of the problem of deciding which books
to pack for a trip away has been solved by having an e-reader. One can take any
number. I’ve got the latest Bryant and May by Chrisopher Fowler, the new Fred
Vargas, and the latest Sue Grafton all stacked up. I’ve also got The Mangle
Street Murders by M.R.C.Kasasian and masses of classics: Middlemarch, lots of
Trollope, Jane Austen, Lettres de mon Moulin, and another French novel, Rue des
boutiques obscures by Patrick Modiana (our
book group choice which I’m trying to read in French).
But – of course there’s a but – this isn’t
the complete answer. My book addict like
myself has to have back-up. What if the e-reader gets lost or stolen or just
plain stops working. Disaster! Besides
it’s still very nice to have a crisp new paperback or four (or more) to take
away. It’s part of the pleasure of getting ready for a holiday.
But having said this, one of my choices
this year is The Strangler’s Honeymoon by Hakan Nesser and I only bought this
because I like Nesser and sadly I wouldn’t have found it enticing if I hadn’t
already read his novels. It’s a terrible title and the cover is no
better. When Nesser was first published in the UK, I seem to remember that the
covers were atmospheric landscapes which suited the mood of the novels.
Now they have all been repackaged with close ups of sulky-faced women with lots
of hair on the covers, whether it’s relevant to the story or not. I don’t think these are the kind of images to
appeal to the readers like me who enjoy intelligent crime fiction. It reminds me
of when my friend Sue Hepworth's comedy of middle-aged love was packaged as
chick lit. She was furious and I don’t blame her. Don’t publishers realize that
some readers will feel cheated if the cover doesn’t match the contents of the
book and that others will be put off buying a book they might actually enjoy? Interestingly both the US and the Germany editions have better covers.
Labels: Hakan Nesser, The Strangler's Honeymoon